Interweaving Ayurveda and Wellness- The route to Wellness via Ayurveda
How do we interpret Wellness?As per WHO, Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life."...a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." J Stanford describes Wellness as "Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being" Wellness encompasses more than just being disease-free. It is a dynamic progression towards transformation and development. In fact, it is an ongoing, anytime, all-time process or activity which promotes awareness building of the many available choices which are beneficial and promotes a healthier and satisfying life.
How did it come about?
It is said that Dr. Halbert L Dunn, first referred to the term Wellness in the 1950s to depict the healthy balance between the mind, body and soul which gives rise to a great sense of wellness. Gradually, Wellness gained prominence in the 1970s and it grew as a major health component promoting conscious self-awareness and self-development.
Categorizing the Wellness Dimensions
Being fit, active and lively is the very basis Physical Wellness. Along with this a regimented diet, exercise and staying away from any detrimental excesses like alcohol and tobacco helps you prevent illnesses and reach the optimal level of Physical Wellness. If we do not harm our bodies or weaken it because of lack of exercise or nutritious food and stay away from addictive substances, we are on the road to achieving this wellness.
The Occupational Wellness determinant is based on people's absolute satisfaction in their chosen or situational line of work. In this context, to experience occupational wellness, it should be a collaborative effort that is meaningful and gratifying. A person should feel enriched, rewarded and recognized and at the same time, contribute wholeheartedly and is completely involved in the job.
All of us are in the constant quest of seeking meaning and purpose to our lives as it unfolds with the situations, trials and tribulations we encounter in the journey called Life. Therefore, Spiritual Wellness is achieved when we find, understand and appreciate our purpose and we learn to coexist and are increasingly tolerant to people, beliefs values and also the many forces of nature.
Being in denial about what we are experiencing or going through, or if we are incapable of acknowledging or understanding our emotional route, then Emotional Wellness cannot be attained. In order to achieve this, being aware of and accepting feelings and thoughts, to be realistic, coping with stressful situations, and to apply a positive approach to life would help us reach the state of Emotional Wellness.
If we have to evolve, grow spiritually, it is important to explore our potentials, challenge ourselves, critically analyze and a constant quest to learn, all these act as stimulants to achieve Intellectual Wellness.
When 'I' is replaced by 'We' even 'illness' becomes 'Wellness'
Developing good interpersonal relationships and recognizing that we are interdependent and accepting of others and maintaining good, harmonious relationships with family and friends renders happiness. When there is no conflict, we accomplish Social Wellness.
How Ayurveda always stressed on Wellness
The established, ancient alternative medical system, Ayurveda centers on the wellness element rather than rooting out the illness. Therefore, as per Ayurvedic science, in daily living, health and wellness can be achieved only when there is a perfect balance established between mind, body, soul and nature. As per Ayurvedic principles, the human life is an amalgamation of mind, body, nature and soul. Each one of have an inimitable nature, which is our prakriti, and this in turn is made up of any one of the five rudiments of nature or panchabhutams. We have our inimitable qualities or characters that are referred to as our gunas. And connecting the dots between these elements is our life-force or physical energies known as doshas. The three doshas being, vata, pitta and kapha dosha. When our doshas are in a pleasant state, there is a feeling of wellness and we are also fit. But generally, we are made of at least two doshas, one which is dominant and the other plays a minor role. So in order to reach a state of wellness, Ayurveda prescribes understanding and perceiving our physical energies. Consequently, Ayurveda doles out very simple, easy to understand and practice techniques, when we understand our bodies, listen to them, understand, respect and take care of it, then health and wellness have a harmonizing effect. As per Ayurveda, the mind and heart is one entity. Because, the mind dwells in our heart and therefore, our emotional and mental connect is easily influenced by our physical wellbeing. And assimilating and adapting these age-old Ayurvedic principles of Wellness, is Ayuryogashram, an Ayurvedic health resort in Thrissur, Kerala. Thus the direct bearing of Ayurveda on Wellness can be beautifully summed up in the words of Sushruta, one of the earliest proponents of Ayurveda, "One who is established in Self, who has balanced doshas (body), balanced agni (metabolism), properly formed dhatus (tissues), proper elimination of malas (excretion), well functioning bodily processes and whose mind, soul, mind and senses are full of bliss, is called a healthy person."
Yes. As clearly laid out by the NWI, National Wellness Institute, "Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence!" And woven into this holistic approach are many aspects like if all relevant queries have been addressed as in, if people have explored their latent energies, if a multi-faceted approach has been dealt with, and if it avows people's positive values and qualities. Ayurveda prescribes just that; Wellness can be achieved with simple changes to life, positive adaptations and habits, a holistic approach, and lifestyle modifications. Thus, considering the many different elements and facets of Wellness and the meeting points of Ayurveda and Wellness, the unified theories and sciences, all contribute to ensure just one objective, a happy mind in a healthy body!