Ayurveda - the Complete Medical Science
Ayurveda implies the science of life. It recommends the measures that have to be adopted in routine life style as well as the treatment procedures for diseases. It is a science with its base on the Tridosha principle. Doshas are the representation/generalisation of the biological functions of human body. Both health and disease are based on the balance or imbalance of these doshas.
These variations in the doshas are brought about by various factors of food and other regimen, environment, climate etc. Its a common day experience to find the role of food, food pattern in the formation or mitigation of ailment. How this can be elicited will be detailed further. It can be thought about to a good extent that we are what we eat. There are clear cut and vivid detailing of the remedial measures to bring vitiated dosha to normality / balance by Sodhana (purifying therapy) and samana (curative therapy).
The uniqueness of Ayurveda is Rasayana (Rejuvenation therapy) which aims at increasing the longevity of a person by improving the functions of the Saptadhatus (the seven structural units of the body). This has profound importance in immunity status enhancement of a person and also in the cure of severely ill patients generally incurable diseases. Kerala Ayurveda doctors specialise in this aspect.
The theoratical and practical framework of Ayurveda is wide enough to include all that is essential to make a man healthy and happy. It includes the study of right conduct (dharma), which is necessary for the healthy growth of society in which the man lives. Further it deals with the philosophical aspect of life, the knowledge of which contributes greatly to the comfort and happiness of all human beings. Ayurveda philosophically understands the limitation of human efforts. Still it talks about the means of prolonging life and the methods of invigorating it.
The objectives of Ayurveda are mainly two, the first being the maintenance of positive health -that is preventive healthcare and the other - treatment of diseases i.e. curative healthcare. These clearly defined objectives are achieved through logically developed means in a classical way. On the basis of objectives defined, the sum and substance of Ayurveda can be classified into two parts;
Healthy manʼs regimen
The emphasis on the concept of positive health is a unique feature of Ayurveda. The radical shift that occurred in defining health, encourages the medical fraternity of modern times to look deeply into empirically evolved Ayurvedic techniques for the maintenance of positive health. The recommendations that Ayurveda puts forth in this regard include the observance of systematized daily routine (dinacharya), life in accordance with seasons (ritucharya) and well planned schedules of diet and exercise. Ayurveda stresses on the need of maintaining personal, social and civic hygiene for the orderly upkeep of positive health.
Ayurveda recognizes that mind is very powerful both in the causation and cure of diseases. So, strict mental discipline and adherence to moral values are considered a pre-requisite for health. Therefore, ethical basis of life (sadvrttam) is described as an important health support system.
Regular or periodic use of rejuvenative therapy (rasayanachikitsa) also finds a place in the maintenance of positive health because of its therapeutic potentials to delay the process of ageing and also to improve quality of life.
In a nutshell, Ayurveda recommends socio-economic adjustments, modification of personal habits, protection against trauma, control of infection, control of pollution, and prophylatic medication for the maintenance of positive health.
Patientʼs regimen (aturavrttam) deals with the curative and palliative measures employed for the medical and emotional care of the patient. It includes definition of the disease, etiology, clinical picture, patho-physiology, prognosis and line of treatment consisting of drugs, diet and life style.
In patientʼs regimen
The Ayurvedic approach to a patient and his cure is often termed as holistic. The Ayurvedic therapy is either palliative (samana) or purificatory (sodhana). The palliative approach stresses on the use of medicaments. The famous Panchakarma therapies and the supportive Kerala special therapies belong to the purificatory approach. In both cases, proper control of food and behavioural habits is a necessary component for achieving perfect cure.
A very important contribution by Kerala physicians is the continued practice and enrichment of the panchakarma therapy. Even when they became defunct in the rest of the country due to socio-political reasons, Kerala retained this therapeutic wealth in all its pristine essence. Texts were written here on its practical aspects. More importantly, the famous Kerala special therapies were evolved by the practitioners here. They are essentially preparatory in nature. Dhara, mukkippizhichil, navarakkizhi, etc are typical examples. As the practice of Ayurveda expanded in popular acceptance in the recent past, these treatment modalities have also become more prevalent.
There are several unique herbal formulations described in Kerala Ayurveda texts. Many of them have now received national level acclaim and they are included in the Ayurvedic Formulary of India. One important aspect of Kerala formulations is that the stress is more on herbal components rather than on metals or minerals. There is also the history of Ayurvedic physicians developing some areas of specialisations like Pediatrics, Gynaecology, Obstetrics, Ophthalmology, Martial arts therapy for orthopedics practice etc.
Real Ayurevda - the real curative powers:
Most people consider Ayurveda nothing more than a "herbal medical discipline", in fact it is a regular practice in Kerala to have the 8 branches of Ayurveda flourish in an extensive manner.
The branches of General medicine, Pediatrics , Psychiatry, ENT, Surgery, Toxicology, Aphrodisiac medicine & Rasayana chikitsa are practiced in full authority in Kerala.
Such is the impact of Ayurveda in Kerala that many people opt it as the first preference of medical discipline for their ailments to be cured. Even doctors from other medical disciplines approach Ayurveda doctors for professional help.
I had travelled the whole length and breadth of Kerala spending high quality learning time from my teachers who are accepted by all in kerala as the best known specialists of different branches of AYURVEDA in Kerala.
We shall make an attempt in this regard for the simple reason that people across the world have either ''over estimated or under estimated '' the real curative powers of Ayurveda , and for somebody who belongs to a traditional family of Ayurveda [my generation is the fifth generation] its matter of committment to work to create awareness.
AYURVEDA - THE KERALA TRADITION
Ayurveda is a science - medical aspects of human life are the major components of it.
It aims at preventive, curative, promotive healthcare. It has medical & surgical wings. It covers in details the different facets of human life - food attern, sleep pattern, sex pattern and even behavoiur in society and ethics of an individual's life.
Ayurveda in Kerala, as in the rest of India, originated over 5000 years ago. The Rig Veda, the ancient book of wisdom specifically mentions the existence, acceptance and practice of Ayurveda treatments like the rejuvenation treatments, yoga therapy and panchakarma treatments in ancient India. The rulers of the day provided every support for popularizing these ayurveda treatments.
Ayurveda is a science of life that calls on every individual to live in perfect harmony with his natural environment. It is a holistic system that states that health of an individual is based on a perfect balance of three doshas, called the Tridoshas i.e. Vatta, Pita and Kapha. These doshas are nothing but generalisation of the different functions of the body so that the entire biological functions can be summarised into 3 broad categories. This theory has stood the test of time and still draws people around the world to India or be more specific to Kerala !!
These three doshas form the constitution of an individual. When any one of these doshas exhibit an imbalance in an individual due to an unhealthy lifestyle, diet, or too much mental or physical strain, disease sets in. Disease in short is caused by imbalance in the body constitution of an individual.
Ayurveda system of treatment rectifies these imbalances and helps an individual maintain and bring back a perfect balance of his body, mind and soul, thus assuring an individual a life free from every form of disease. A perfect harmony and balance of the body constitution, in short, guarantees perfect health. Ayurveda promotes such a healthy life style.
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