Ayurvedic treatment focuses on rebalancing the doshas. On your first visit, the practitioner will take a detailed medical history, check your pulse, feel your abdomen, examine your tongue, eyes, nails, and skin, and listen to the tone of your voice. The practitioner will also ask you questions about your general health, paying special attention to your lifestyle, diet, habits, and surroundings. The practitioner will then recommend how to restore your natural dosha balance, which almost always includes changes in lifestyle, especially diet. Practitioners draw from more than 20 types of treatment, but the most commonly prescribed include:
- Pranayama — breathing exercises. Practicing pranayama helps you feel calm.
- Abhyanga — rubbing the skin with herbal oil to increase blood circulation and draw toxins out of the body through the skin.
- Rasayana — using mantras (repeated words or phrases) during meditation combined with certain herbs to rejuvenate a person.
- Yoga — combining pranayama, movement, and meditation. Yoga has been shown to improve circulation and digestion, and to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, anxiety, and chronic pain.
- Pancha karma — cleansing the body to purify it and reduce cholesterol. Practitioners use methods that cause sweat, bowel movements, and even vomit to cleanse the body of toxins.
- Herbal medicines — prescribing herbs to restore dosha balance.
Reproduced with permission from University of Maryland.