Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) share many commonalities. Both systems are person centered rather than disease centered. Both traditions emphasis quality of life, & treat illness and disease in a holistic fashion. Both systems have similar philosophies that classify individuals, materials and diseases using a 5 element theory.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, views humans as the center of the universe acting as an antenna between celestial and earthly elements.(Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Comparative Overview, NCBI). However, the 5 elements vary in specifics and express in nuanced ways revealing both culture and climate in the ways their philosophies overlap and diverge.
Water, earth, metal, wood and fire are the five elements of the material world. According to Chinese medicine. The world and its movement gives rise to yin and yang. ?? Yin and yang, describes ‘opposites’, such as, active or passive, heating or cooling. These opposites seek to create homeostasis in the body.When one rises the other declines or ‘yang is raised to produce a decline of yin’.
The four bodily humors (qi, blood, moisture and essence) and organ systems help to balance yin and yang. Proper formation, maintenance and circulation of these energies are essential for health, diet, herbs, movement and acupuncture are the ways in which TCM maintains harmony to prevent and/or repair disease.
Ayurveda perceives the universe to be made up of combinations of the five elements (pancha mahabhutas), akasha (ether), vayu (air), teja (fire), aap (water) and prithvi (earth).
The five elements can be seen to exist in the material universe at all scales of life and in both organic and inorganic things. In biological system, such as humans, elements are coded into three forces, which govern all life processes. These three forces (kapha, pitta and vata) are known as the three doshas or the tridosha. Each of the doshas is composed of one or two elements.
Vata is composed of space + air.
Pitta of fire + water
Kapha of water + earth.
Vata dosha has the mobility and quickness of space and air; pitta dosha the metabolic qualities of fire and the fluidity of water; kapha dosha the stability and solidity of earth and the nourishing fluid quality of water.
Similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda also views immunity to be linked with essential essence that; nourishes, maintains and develops tissue. In Ayurveda this energy is termed, Ojas.
These systems developed over thousands of years and offer unique insights into understanding the causes of disease and offer practices, techniques and treatments for finding and maintaining homeostasis. Each tradition offers a view into immunity and has developed protocol for COVID-19, both in prevention and treatment.
In this retreat, we will explore these traditions in approach and practice. Live within the lifestyle prescribed for nourishment.