Ayurveda medical practitioners believe we’re all born in a state of balance. This balance is thrown out of whack by the processes of life. These disruptions can be physical, emotional, spiritual, or combinations of all these. In Ayurveda, an individual’s prakriti, or essential “constitution,” is considered to be a unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics, as well as ways in which the body’s constitution functions. Three qualities called doshas form important characteristics of the body and control the body’s activities. The doshas are called by their original Sanskrit names: vata, pitta, and kapha. Each dosha is associated with a certain body type and personality type. An imbalance in any dosha may be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or diet, too much or too little mental and physical exertion, improper digestion, or problems with how the body eliminates waste products. Ayurveda helps with chronic pain treatment, because a person’s health will be good if he or she returns to balance and has a wholesome interaction with the environment. According to Ayurveda, a person’s chances of developing certain types of diseases are related to the way doshas are balanced, the state of the physical body, and mental or lifestyle factors. Ayurveda practitioners use an individual’s pulse to diagnose illness and imbalances in the body, and incorporate a variety of herbs and herbal jams to remedy an imbalanced condition. Major components of Ayurveda include a morning self massage with warm sesame oil (abhyanga), meditation at sunrise and sunset, drinking small amounts of hot water throughout the day to help detoxify the body, and fasting once a week. This blog post is an excerpt from A Day Without Pain (Revised) by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).