As a holistic health practice, Ayurveda seeks to maintain a balance between a person’s physical, mental and spiritual aspects. When this balance is upset, disease and other health problems can result, according to Ayurvedic practitioners.
Health care is a highly individualized practice under Ayurvedic principles, and everybody has a specific pattern of characteristics called a dosha, which is like a metabolism type based on body chemistry and mental state. According to Ayurveda, everything is composed of five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and space. These elements combine to form the three doshas, vata, kapha, and pitta, or metabolic types. In Ayurveda, doshas account for some of our individual differences.
Vata energy is associated with air and space, and is linked to bodily movement, including breathing and blood circulation. Vata energy is said to predominate in people who are lively, creative, original thinkers. When out-of-balance, vata types can endure joint pain, constipation, dry skin, anxiety and other ailments.
Kapha energy, linked to earth and water, is believed to control growth and strength, and is associated with the chest, torso and back. Kaphatypes are considered strong and solid in constitution, and generally calm in nature. But obesity, diabetes, sinus problems, insecurity and gallbladder issues can result when kapha energy is out of balance, according to Ayurvedic practitioners.
Pitta energy is composed of fire and water. Pitta functions are associated with the digestive processes, metabolic activity and body temperature. Balanced Pitta lends itself to intelligence and leadership. Out of balance it expresses itself as anger, hatred and jealousy.