Through finding the imbalance within the whole person (body, mind, and spirit) and bringing it back into balance. This is more complex than it sounds for when one area is off, then in time more and more areas of the body/mind will lose proper functioning. Example: if one eats twice as much as normal the stomach will expand to hold the extra food. Because of this abnormal expansion the organs immediately surrounding the stomach will be forced out of place which compromises their functioning. Tissues like veins and arteries are squeezed out of place, not to mention the food overload that cannot be used in the body and is then turned into fat, or cholesterol. However, Ayurveda is not concerned with naming an illness as diabetes or high cholesterol, rather the concern is with the imbalance and how it is expressed as symptoms. These symptoms are what help the Ayurvedic doctor to track down the imbalance and prepare a treatment for regaining balance. An Ayurvedic doctor knows what is happening in the body through the expertise of the system of Ayurveda, centuries of knowledge of how a certain type of body will react to a certain food, and so on to many types of symptomatologies and many types of bodies. Ayurveda has tracked the expression of various foods, what they do in the body, and how a body responds to it, from first entry (taste) to final evacuation (you know what that is), and after-affects also. But it is not only foods, but herbs, spices, minerals, stones and gems, colors, and metals that are included in Ayurvedic treatment. To an American mind this seems somewhat magical maybe, or hard to believe, if not impossible, for how could a color affect a person, or a rock of silver (other than to increase your worth?) This is where Ayurveda is vastly different from Western medicine as it considers the spiritual or mental quality involved in health. By considering all the senses and the impressions they pick up, often unknown to the conscious mind, an Ayurvedic doctor uses color to affect these sensations and in this way can then harmonize the body/mind. This is easiest to understand in considering colors as they most obviously affect most of us. However even the make-up of a metal like gold or silver can have a powerful effect on the body/mind due to its vibrational quality. Ayurveda does not offer an instant healing. Deep healing can take months for difficult imbalance, but often one can feel relief immediately with just a change in how one eats. The concern is with finding balance, not making a diagnosis of a certain kind of illness or disorder. A kapha person with overweight who has developed diabetes is viewed almost metaphorically: the water element is out of balance. The water excess is the imbalance and is the weight problem too, also out of balance. To treat this imbalance means drying up the water – which causes weight loss. It is then easier to determine the original imbalance – it is literally easier to see. Ayurveda is adept at alliance of the body with the mind, and vice versa. It is the energy work, energy being “prana” or life-force. More on prana later.