To some, personalized medicine is a novel concept. But tailoring a healthy lifestyle to each individual is central to a practice we’ve known about for thousands of years: Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is centered around taking advantage of your mind-body connection, which Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, has written about extensively. In a piece on Ayurvedic medicine on his site, Chopra writes that “the mind and the body are inextricably connected” and that the greatest resource we have to heal our body is our mind. At the point in the body where thought “becomes a physical manifestation,” Chopra writes, there are “three governing agents called doshas.”

If you already practice Ayurveda, you know the guiding principle: The three doshas are found within all of us, but one usually dominates (as fiery Pittas know well!). Doshas are “governed by two of the five master elements,” according to a piece by Sheila Patel, MD, that make up what is inside and outside of our bodies: space, air, fire, water and earth. (You can read a more in-depth description of doshas and the elements here and if you want to know about your personal doshas, the Chopra Center offers this quiz.) Yoga, a central element of Ayurveda, has also been shown by research to improve various aspects of well-being.

In Ayurvedic medicine, everything is personalized to your dominant dosha, from your recommended diet and movement to other lifestyle factors. Chopra writes that getting sleep is essential in Ayurvedic practices, as is living in harmony with nature, or “having desires that match what you actually need.” In addition to living in tune with nature, Ayurvedic medicine also emphasizes being in tune with your body, something that can be done through exercise.

If you’re looking for a more individual approach to your well-being, one with thousands of years of wisdom and practice behind it, Ayurveda could be a good place to start.

Read more about Ayurveda here.

Originally published at