Indian healing art Ayurveda

The Ayurveda healing art has recently been taught at the university. A guest professorship for Ayurveda is to be established in Frankfurt (Oder) from 2011 at the European University Viadrina. The centuries-old Indian art of healing has also become increasingly popular in the western world since the 1980s and various Ayurveda techniques are already practiced in numerous wellness facilities and in complementary medicine throughout Germany. In general, Ayurveda deals with all facets of life, as Munich physician Ulrich Bauhofer and chairman of the German Society for Ayurveda, in conversation with Cornelia Steiner from Braunschweig newspaper publisher ( reports.

Interview with Ayurveda experts Already from the beginning of next year, with the financial support of the Indian government, a chair for Ayurveda is to be established at the Institute for Transcultural Health Sciences (IntraG) of the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the European University Viadrina. Ulrich Bauhofer, who is considered one of the leading Ayurveda specialists outside of India, gave information in the interview about the basics of Ayurveda, clarified the most common misunderstandings and prejudices and clarified the differences to conventional medicine.

Ayurveda and esotericism? When asked about a possible connection between esotericism and Ayurveda, the specialist emphasized that Ayurveda translates as "knowledge of life" and "Ayurvedic medicine therefore takes into account all facets of life", so that of course the mind and the human soul play an important role or "our spiritual dimension". But according to Bauhofer, this has nothing to do with esotericism. However, spirituality plays a special role in the ancient art of healing, because "Ayurveda sees people as a body-mind-soul unit". The term "Ayurveda" comes from the Sanskrit language. Here is the word for health, "Swasthya", which means "to rest in the self" from the language origin, explains Bauhofer. This makes it clear that in Ayurvedic healing art, the "self of a person (...) is fundamentally healthy". "When our body functions swing in balance, we experience ourselves in our midst, connected to the healthy self that slumbers in every person," said the chairman of the German Society for Ayurveda.

Personal “balance” What he means by balance, Bauhofer explained as follows: “Our body consists of a hundred trillion cells, which are in a complex network of relationships.” In healthy people, the body functions are balanced and the communication inside is right, he said Specialist. "If it (communication) is disturbed or interrupted, a disease develops." However, the path to balance is not quite as easy as one might hope. "With the help of a good doctor and through a healthy lifestyle," Bauhofer explained, "this can be achieved" by developing the necessary sensitivity and mindfulness for what benefits us personally and what harms us. "

Often easier said than done, the Ayurvedic therapy and prevention with a "holistic strategy that is always personally tailored to the life situation of a person" provide good help to achieve personal balance, emphasized the expert. In addition to the use of natural remedies, "above all, (...) nutrition, detoxification, relaxation and exercise" are particularly important. With the help of the appropriate measures, an Ayurvedic doctor makes sure that "all measures are more effective and keep the organism in balance or - in the event of illness - restore the inner balance".

Detoxification and relaxation Detoxification and relaxation procedures, "which can also be practiced at home, are often neglected, but are an important pillar for our health," explained Bauhofer when asked more precisely. The processes "help to keep the communication channels in the body free". Because just as the hard drives of our computers have to be cleaned again and again or a car has to be changed regularly, “we also have to change our bodies from time to time purify"Says Bauhofer. In order to "cleanse the mind", in today's enormous psychological stress, appropriate relaxation phases, deceleration and regeneration are of crucial importance, the expert emphasized. Here, "the system of yoga, a sister discipline of Ayurveda, (...) offers, for example in transcendental meditation, highly effective techniques to make our system more resistant to stress", explained Bauhofer. However, even the expert was unable to clearly explain why many people find it so difficult to make their everyday lives healthier. Mostly, "old, well-established habits" are to blame, with Ulrich Bauhofer advising "to replace bad, unhealthy habits slowly and in small steps with good ones". Here, people should "not take on too much right away", but should start with small measures that are easy for them, Bauhofer told the.

Conventional medicine and Ayurveda When asked about the differences between an Ayurvedic doctor and conventional medicine, Ulrich Bauhofer explained that "Western conventional medicine (...) primarily deals with the disease, such as high blood pressure, a stomach ulcer or a herniated disc". On the other hand, "the Ayurveda doctor (...) would always take care of the person who has the disease and the imbalance in the organism that is causally responsible for the disease". In addition, it is important for the Ayurveda practitioner to see people as soon as possible when they are healthy, the specialist emphasized. Even if "an illness has broken out, the Ayurvedic doctor always gives holistic treatment, takes his patient with him and makes it clear to him that health is not available by prescription".

An approach that many of us would also like to see from your conventional medical doctor. Finally, in the course of the question of the suitability of Ayurveda for use in Germany, Bauhofer pointed out that Ayurveda describes the "laws according to which life works" - and that these basic rules apply everywhere. "The goal of Ayurveda is a healthy, fulfilling, happy and long life", the expert explained and asked the counter question: "Do not people all over the world strive for it?" (Fp, 25.10.2010)

Also read:
First guest professorship for Ayurveda in Germany
Healthy with Ayurveda nutritional science
Indian healing art Ayurveda
Picture: Günter Hommes /

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