Aruna Patki is an Ayurvedic practitioner &
NCTMB, LMBT #6253 Charlotte, NC, USA.
She received her Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and
Surgery(BAMS) from the Government College of Ayurvedic Medicine at
Nanded, India, and received her Postgraduate Certificate of Proficiency
in Panchakarma and Certification in Massage Therapy from Pune, India.
She is the Founder of Ayurveda Healing Spa, located in Charlotte, NC
She specializes in Ayurvedic consultation, Panchakarma
therapy (rejuvenation and detoxification therapy) and Ayurvedic
integrative and manipulative therapies.
She has given consultation to thousands of patients
suffering from digestive, liver and pancreatic problems, weight loss,
obesity, urinary system, cardiovascular disorders, chronic fatigue
syndrome and many other chronic physical debilities and psychosomatic
The Ayurvedic Approach…
In Ayurveda, health is defined as an active state of wellness
- a state in which you truly live, not merely exist. This active state
of wellness, according to the ancient texts of Ayurveda, extends beyond
the physical body to the mind, heart, senses and spirit. In this
"zone," you experience physical vitality, mental alertness, emotional
bliss, sensual balance and spiritual awareness, not just for a fleeting
time, but day after day, year after year.
The Ayurvedic approach to health is inclusive, extending to
your daily diet, your routine, and your environment. Your needs for
achieving that active state of wellness, which Ayurveda calls balance,
change over time. Age, environmental factors, stress levels, poor
lifestyle choices and dietary excesses or deprivation can all cause
imbalances in your physiology. Ayurveda offers a wide range of
therapies and tools to restore balance, from dietary recommendations
and Ayurvedic rasayanas (herbs, fruits and spices that help maintain
good health) to internal cleansing and rejuvenation treatments.
In Ayurveda, each person is viewed as a unique individual made
up of five primary elements. The elements are ether (space), air, fire,
water, and earth. Just as in nature, we too have these five elements in
us. When any of these elements are present in the environment, they
will in turn have an influence on us. The foods we eat and the weather
are just two examples of the presence of these elements. While we are a
composite of these five primary elements, certain elements are seen to
have an ability to combine to create various physiological functions.
The Three Dosha Types…
Vata: Ether and air combine to form what is
known in Ayurveda as the Vata dosha. Vata governs the principle of
movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve
impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination. The proportions of
ether and air determine how active Vata is. The amount of ether (space)
affects the ability of the air to gain momentum. If unrestricted, as in
ocean, air can gain momentum and become forceful such as a hurricane.
Vata means "wind, to move, flow, direct the processes of, or command."
Vata enables the other two doshas to be expressive. The actions of Vata
are drying, cooling, light, agitating, and moving.
Vata governs breathing, blinking of the eyelids, movements in the
muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart, all expansion and
contraction, the movements of cytoplasm and the cell membranes, and the
movement of the single impulses in nerve cells. Vata also governs such
feelings and emotions as freshness, nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain,
tremors, and spasms. The primary seat or location of the Vata in the
body is the colon. It also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones,
large intestine, pelvic cavity, and skin. It is related to the
touch sensation. If the body develops an excess of vata, it will
accumulate in these areas.
Pitta: Fire and water are the elements that combine to form
the Pitta dosha. They cannot change into each other, but they modulate
or control each other and are vitally required for the life processes
to occur. For example, too much fire and too little water will result
in the boiling away of the water. Too much water will result in the
fire being put out. The Pitta dosha is the process of transformation,
or metabolism. The transformation of foods into nutrients that our
bodies can assimilate is an example of a Pitta function. Pitta is also
responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as
Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition,
metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes,
intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger,
hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood,
fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.
Kapha: Finally, it is predominantly the water and earth
elements which combine to form the Kapha dosha. Kapha is what is
responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. Another function
of the Kapha dosha is to offer protection. Cerebral-spinal fluid
protects the brain and spinal column and is a type of Kapha found in
the body. Also, the mucosal lining of the stomach is another example of
the Kapha dosha protecting the tissues. One can visualize the Kapha
force as the stirring force to keep the water and earth from
separating. For example, if we take a pot, fill it to the half with
water and then add sand to it, the sand will gradually sink to the
bottom of the pot. (It separates from the water). The only way to keep
the sand in equilibrium with the water is by stirring the mixture
continuously. The Kapha force can be visualized as this stirring force
in our body.
Kapha cements the elements in the body, providing the material for
physical structure. This dosha maintains body resistance. Water is the
main constituent of kapha, and this bodily water is responsible
physiologically for biological strength and natural tissue resistance
in the body. Kapha lubricates the joints; provides moisture to the
skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives
biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention;
gives energy to the heart and lungs, and maintains immunity. Kapha is
present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach,
joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and in the liquid secretions of the body
such as mucus. Psychologically, kapha is responsible for the emotions
of attachment, greed, and long-standing envy. It is also expressed in
tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness, and love. The chest is the
seat of kapha.
We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
These ratios of the doshas vary in each individual. Because of this,
Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our
Ayurvedic Approach to Management of Imbalance and Disease
Determine Vikruti [the present altered state of dosha in
Determine cause(s) of illness such as: Diet, lifestyle,
emotional patterns, quality of relationships, genetic predisposition
Remove the cause
Provide the proper regime [diet, exercise, pranayam]
according to the person’s Prakruti, Vikruti, seasons, climate, age, and
Provide a detoxification procedure, such as Panchakarma,
of either Shamana [palliation], or Shodhana [elimination]
Provide therapies that are antagonist to the provoked
dosha /antagonist to the disease
Provide rejuvenation [Rasayan] for the body in general to
maximize immunity, to strengthen specific organs and tissues.
Panchakarma [cleansing] therapies
General management for body type energy.
One of the most unique aspects of Ayurveda is its cleansing
and rejuvenation program known as Panchakarma. Pancha in Sanskrit
stands for Five and Karma are therapeutic measures thereby meaning five
types of therapeutic measures. " Panchakarma consists of five
therapeutic actions or treatments that are specific methods to safely
and effectively remove ama (toxins) from different areas of
the body without damaging or weakening the system. These are undertaken
for the purification of the body and Ayurveda considers it necessary
before the start of any other therapy. The logic being -as a cloth
needs to be purified or cleaned of impurities and dust before it can be
imparted a new color. Similarly the Body needs to be purified before it
can be imparted new colors of youthfulness, health and vigor etc. In
fact, most of the times, Panchakarma is an end in itself rather than a
prelude to other therapeutic measures.
There are so many subtypes of this therapy and different
types of herbal massages, fomentation's like steam, external oil
treatments, Basti (medicated enemas), Virechana (purgation through
herbs), Vamana (emesis through herbs), Nasya (nasal administration of
oils) etc. are incorporated. These practices are extremely helpful in
relieving deep seated diseases as well as it is also beneficial for
maintaining and improving physical and mental health.
Panchakarma needs special Ayurvedic operation requiring proper guidance
from a highly trained and skillful Ayurvedic practitioner. One should
consult with an Ayurvedic physician, not just someone with a modest
amount of training prior to deciding for these cleansing procedures.
Panchakarma is done "individually" for each person with their specific
constitution and specific disorder or need in mind, thus it requires
close observation and supervision.
It is recommended for healthy persons also as a preventive treatment to
keep physically and mentally fit and energetic. It is also done to best
advantage, although not always, at the junction period between two
seasons, thus helping a person to prepare their internal environment
for the oncoming season.