The primary way in which Ayurveda and most of the science and medicine that has sprung up in the East differs from the dominant paradigm most Americans are exposed to is that it takes an energetic framework.
Quantum physics and Einstein has long been supporting this understanding of reality and have postulated that energy equals matter and that at the most atomic level we are all electrons spinning around a tiny nucleus and thus we need to pay attention to the subatomic energetic framework in order to maintain health. Energy must be conserved, that is the third law of thermodynamics, it is neither created or destroyed it only changes shape.
So if we can understand the form of energy. If we can understand the shape with which energy circulates in our body we can understand how health is created. At this post most people glaze over, but the truly powerful gift of this understanding is the realization that energy equals matter and so the physical circulation, the nerves, the bones all are carrying energy and when we can feel or understand the rhythm of each of these layers of tissue we can begin to recognize when the energy is stagnant or is moving in an incorrect or inappropriate way. This is no different than any other biological system. In biological thermodynamics the body seeks to conserve energy as it is the dominant fuel in the form of ATP that provides the body and mind with the capability of performing any type of work.
As the body conserves energy and stores potential energy from the foods that we are eating we begin to see where in the body energy is flowing because those areas will have adequate structure and function.
However it is the areas that begin to breakdown even when there is adequate nutrition that can provide a litmus test for the flow of energy in the organism. Perhaps the circulation or the nerves have not received adequate nutrition and support and thus are not feeling nourished and are causing pain or discomfort in a distant part of the body like the neck or shoulders. The nutrition and self-care that is being administered is not adequately being transported to this area of the body and the energetic framework has become stagnant.
Herbal medicine, massage, and acupuncture can all be utilized to restore the energetic harmony underlying the body so that the discomfort and pain relieve themselves. Because the body is set up to conserve energy and to utilize the nutrition that is received we can re-establish this natural experience of the body by unblocking the energy and restoring cellular nutrition to the areas of the body that need it most. This is biological thermodynamics.
Heat equals energy and when there is adequate circulation then heat is present and that circulation can create healing in the body. In some instances inflammation or an excess of activity, a state in which the body is burning up all its nutrition faster than the nutrition can be replaced can also block the flow of energy as it is consumed and unable to flow downstream. These are the primary causes of pain and both of them can be remedies by understanding the body from an energetic perspective and establishing wholeness at that level which will translate into physical well-being.
Ayurveda, Yoga, Chinese medicine, Tibetan medicine, and Thai medicine all have a different framework by which they understand and engage with the energetic system underlying the physical body. Although the precise location and theoretical basis of each system differs significantly the building blocks of each system are very similar.
There are two primary types: energetic anatomy and energetic function.
Energetic anatomy includes channels, points, and stations. The channels often correlate with primary biological channels of nerves, fascia, or vessels and are how the energy is carried. Points refer to places along the channels where the energy can be accessed most easily. These often correlate to places in the body where there is a plexus of vessels, fascia or nerves.
The Stations refer to larger energetic control centers that often refer to physical structures like the organs or the glands. The energetic functions are composed of: directional flows, coordination, and qualities.
Energy moves in the space created by the channels in six primary ways: inward, outward, forward, backward, up, and down.
Coordination refers to the communication that happens at an energetic level that allows for the multiple structures within the body to work in harmony with one another. The qualities refer to the physical characteristics of opposites that become present based on the components of energy such as hot/cold, dry/moist, and heavy/light.
This is the language of energy that Ayurveda and Yoga both utilize to help provide information on the underlying cause of imbalance and they are utilized to maintain and encourage balance in all areas of the mind and body. They are a language that everyone can learn and utilize to restore balance to the system that underlies our physical body and has a direct effect on our health.
Following the conservation of energy within the body will allow one to see, where is the body receiving nutrition and where is it going. Through this understanding energetic balance can be established. This approach is especially relevant for individuals who have tried more physical and bio-mechanical interventions without much success.
By looking at the body through this lens a new way of maintaining balance can be created.