When it comes to health goals, the new year marks a reset point for many of us. After months of stress eating, pandemic cooking, and staying indoors, many of us have ignored our bodies. Though we can’t control much external stress, we can strengthen our immune systems and minds to face better the challenges that lie ahead. One of the ways we can do this is by tapping into the knowledge our ancestors have been using for thousands of years.
Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu system of medicine that’s pseudoscientific in both theory and practice. It originated on the Indian subcontinent, and its purpose is to heal, boost immunity and maintain the quality and longevity of life. Rooted in the belief that poor digestion is the cause of 90% of illnesses, Ayurveda utilizes diet, lifestyle, and stress management techniques to promote health. A sister science to yoga, Ayurveda has initially been written in Sanskrit shlokas (poems) and passed down through gurus. Today, it’s accessible through wellness centers and health practitioners who specialize in it.
Eastern and Western sciences agree that we need to listen to our bodies and pay attention to signs of discomfort or imbalance. Still, Ayurveda isn’t a licensed practice in the United States. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “practitioners of Ayurveda in India undergo state-recognized, institutionalized training. Currently, ayurvedic practitioners are not licensed in the United States, and there is no national standard for ayurvedic training or certification. However, ayurvedic schools have gained approval as educational institutions in some states.