A compound of Sanskrit words meaning “knowledge of life,” it is a word used to describe the complex ancient healing systems of India. Techniques used include breathwork, massage, needling, herbs, surgery (until banned in 250 B.C.E.), nutrition, and the use of certain minerals. The basic underlying concept is that people are based on blends of three different energies (similar to the two-fold Chinese concept of yin and yang), and when these energies are out of balance (the balance is different for each person) disease results. The techniques listed help to restore appropriate balance.