Modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection. However, in India, more than forty thousand years ago, sages had put derived the knowledge and evidence based medicine called Ayurveda. Ayurveda continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems today. To India, Ayurveda is nature’s medicine. There are different types of diagnosis in Ayurveda and treatments that are specific to the being to restore health and wellbeing.
More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of diagnosing and investigating the root cause of the illness and evaluate the process of cure. Ayurveda is life (Ayus = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It is offered by a person of wisdom who designs treatments and therapies to help you stay vibrant and healthy while realising your full human potential.
The guiding principles of Ayurveda
- The mind and the body are connected
- With proper instructions to the mind, the power of the harnessed to transform the body
Freedom from illness is achieved by expanding our own awareness, and then extending that awareness to the body. The way to engage with this awareness is simple and uncomplicated.
Understanding illness in the body through Ayurveda
Roga and Arogya are two words denoting opposite conditions of an individual organism. Roga is a word which means illness. It implies disturbed or unbalanced condition of body elements or mind.
The pain or suffering has two places of origin and manifestations which are – the body and the mind.
Arogya is a just opposite of Roga i.e. happy, joyful condition i.e. ease i.e. sense of wellbeing. It is the outcome of an equilibrium of thought-feeling-mind-body-soul.
So when we have to investigate and understand the root cause of a disease we must examine a disease with a reference to the totality of person in body and mind. In a disease condition by examining a patient’s body and his mind, that we can come to the right conclusion of a disease and its root cause. This emphasises the “Purusa Pradhanya Sidhanta” or Person specific diagnosis and treatment of Ayurveda.
Diagnosis in Ayurveda
There are 8 types of diagnosis in Ayurveda.
Nadi Pariksha is given foremost place. Then we have Mootra and Mala pariksha (urine and faeces examination).
Jihva Pariksha –tongue examination for its colour, movement, shape and taste sense etc.
Srotra Pariksha – Examining the ear and capacity for hearing.
Sparsa Pariksha – Examining the skin for sensation of touch and lustre, colour, temperature and proper or impaired functions and to diagnose any signs of obstruction, inflammation, wounds and change of colour of the skin.
Drik and Cakshu Pariksha – Examining the eyes to evaluate the proper functioning and to examine any changes in its normal lustre and colour, examining any swelling, discharge and disorientation of the eye ball, retraction or tightness of eyelids, dilation or constriction of the pupil etc. The eyes also indicate physical diseases and mental unrest, or moods of the person.
Akriti Pariksha – The patient’s body and face is examined to find out expression of being upset, in grief, depression, rage worry, fatigue, anxiety, excitement; physical changes- unhealthy appearance, cyanosis, jaundice, leanness puffiness, etc.
Treatment in Ayurveda
Treatment or therapy in Ayurveda is called Chikitsa. There are primarily two types of Chikitsa.
- Shodhana Chikitsa and
- Shamana Chikitsa
Shodhana Chikitsa involves the removal of toxins in the body. This is done by two methods; Vamana – inducing vomitting after medicated ghee is consumed and by Virechana – by inducing loose stools with medications. These two are a part of a larger or the whole procedure of cleansing, purification, toning and strengthening called Pancha karma. By undergoing the five procedures involved in Pancha Karma, the normal tone is brought back to the system and a balance in mind and body are attained.
There are other lesser known toning and strengthening practices such as Marma Chikitsa that produce quick results and are cost effective.