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  • Luisa

The Nature of Individuality, structure of life in health and disease

Each of us is a unique individual. Just consider how inherently and intriguingly different we are in so many fundamental ways. Each of us will react differently to a given stimulus whether diet, medicine, weather, emotional stresses, aging, or disease. The stream of our life that continues for a finite period has certain automatic activities and reacts to stimuli in characteristic ways. How can we as individuals remain healthy, energetic, and full of vigor and initiative for the achievement of the higher purpose of life—i.e. experience, the performance of our duty, and enlightenment? Both health and disease are highly individual phenomena. Both our differences and similarities are considered as integral effects of three basic qualities that structure all of creation and also organize our existence.

It is important to understand the basic principles whose preponderance qualify our individuality. These universally intrinsic forces are called gunas. When they become framed in our bodies and minds they are referred to as the system of tridosha.  The three doshas conceptualize the three principles that are most fundamental to life. They pervade each of us in different proportions and maintain our functioning. Within each of us there is a unique balance of these dynamic forces. We differ one from another in this respect and we react differently to the slightest stimulus from the outside or inside as a result of these different proportions of tendencies. The nature of these principle forces results in uniquely individual tendencies both in health and disease. The system of tridosha is the very heart of Ayurveda and by understanding it, not only can we come to accept and understand ourselves—our strengths both physically and mentally, but we can also know what aspects of preventive medicine are strategic for us to follow. We can also know what emotional instabilities and diseases we are most susceptible to and how we may best proceed to cure them if they arise or to prevent their occurrence. The tridosha system has immense practical value in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. It can be applied to any form of medical system.

Individualized “patient-centered” healthcare as well as all aspects of self-healing begin by determining one’s individual constitutional type, understanding the basic tendencies and the underlying metabolic faults that are inherently generated. With this foundation one can begin to become aware of the normal fluctuations in these governing principles. If any imbalance develops we can learn to quickly recognize and treat it before it develops into mental or physical disease. Our bodies and minds are designed to adapt, adjust and accommodate change including stresses in diet and variations in the environment to which they are subjected to, but within certain limits. We call these limits our disease resistance and natural immunity. When stresses exceed these limits the body is unable to return to its self-regulated homeostasis and a disease process begins.   But what causes these fundamental principles to become unbalanced? And what determines the limits of resistance?


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