Ayurveda refers to the traditional health and healing system of India. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda consists of the words āyus, meaning “longevity,” and veda, meaning “science” – together meaning the “science of life.” The philosophy is guided by the five great elements: air, space, fire, water, and earth. Achieving balance and order in connection with these elements is considered crucial to health and wellness on all levels of being - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
We are all born with a certain genetic makeup, and science once believed that this blueprint was permanent and unchangeable -- essentially that our DNA dictated our destiny. However, an exciting new field of genetic science is emerging which demonstrates that our gene expression can be influenced and altered for better or worse, based on a number of internal and external triggers. These influences on our genes can change how we age, how our bodies react to lifestyle and environmental factors, our resistance to illness and even how we gain weight, among numerous other influences. The study of how various factors affect our genes is known as “epigenetics.”Advances in this field are showing how environment, diet, lifestyle and even thoughts and emotions can have just as powerful an impact on gene function as biological lineage. Small changes in the expression of one master regulator gene, coming from a number of potential influences, can cause a ripple effect and ultimately guide the way your genes, cells, and body systems function and communicate.
By now, many of us know that maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial to our overall health. In America especially, poor diet and obesity are the number one enemy to public health, with innumerable studies linking a western diet to an increased risk for many serious health issues.