Types of Alternative Medicine
Ayurveda literally means “The Science of Life” and it represents the oldest complex medical system about healthy lifestyle principle. [Ayur-life, veda- knowledge (or) science]
Ayurveda aims at making a happy, healthy and peaceful society. The two most important aims of Ayurveda are:
· To maintain the health of healthy people.
· To cure the diseases of sick people.
Auyveda originated in the vedic civilization of India about 4,000 years ago. The origin of its teachings dates back to the ancient Indian scriptures [Vedas]
Atreys was the first great physician and teacher of ayurvedha. “SushruthaSamhita” is written by the great surgeon sushrutha who says “The physician, the patient, the drug and nurses are four feet of the medicine upon which the cure depends.
The great physician Charaka was written the charakasamhita in which he deals with ayurvedic surgery.
Ayurveda is regarded as the mother of all medical system.
· In India we had the ayurvedic system of medicine which can be traced of about 3000 B.C. Ayurveda stressed on hygiene, prevention of sickness, Inoculation against small pox, Lavatories, good ventilation, construction of hospitals, cultivation of medicinal plants.
· Ayurveda represents a holistic and simple form of healing approach
· Ayurvedic practice above all appeals to conscious prevention, healthy life style.
· Following a programme of positive change to include proper diet a regular herb usage it is possible to remove various health problems.
The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exist when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humors (or) doshas called [Vatha, Pitta, Kapha].
Life in ayurveda is conceived as the union of body senses, mind and soul. Thus the total body matrix comprises of the humours, the tissue and waste product of the body.
· It represent the balance between three biological principle [Vata, Pitta, Kapha], bodily tissues, their function, sensory organs, the mind and psychic consciousness.
· Imbalance [vata, pitta, kapha] can be caused by number of factors, including stress, lifestyle and improper diet.
· Imbalance of the body and bias from its natural balance results in different kinds of ailments.
There are three main methods mentioned in Ayurveda for diagnosing the Dosha imbalance and disease process in a person. They are –
1. Darsana Pareeksha – By observing the patient’s physical signs and symptoms,
Example – colour of skin, hair, eyes, behavior, body condition etc.
2. Prasna Preeksha – By asking minute questions regarding the imbalance of each Doshas.
3. Sparsana Pareeksha – By touching the patient. The pulse diagnosis, palpation, percussion and auscultation are included in this method.
4. Nadi Pareeksha (Pulse diagnosis) is a very important tool for diagnosis. The physician feels the radial artery pulsations on the wrist of the patient and through his experience he can get a clear picture of the milieu interior.
The treatment in Ayurveda can be classified broadly into two:-
1. Shamana Chikitsa (Alleviating Therapy)
2. Sodhana Chikitsa (Purification Therapy)
This is specially done after the sodhana therapy and in less vitiation. Herbal medicines are used internally and externally to correct the derangement of functions of Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni and also to increase the Immunity. The restoration of normality is brought about without any elimination.
The main aim of this treatment is to eliminate the internal causative factors of the disease. Large quantities of toxic bi-products are formed in the body as a result of continuous metabolic process. All though most of these toxins are eliminated naturally by the body’s excretory system, some may get deposited in the various tissues of the body, which ensures the vitiation of Doshas, Dhatus etc. and then the normal functioning of the system is impaired. Similarly disease causing toxins accumulate in the body as a result of various factors like wrong body habits, wrong food habits, incompatible combination of food items, suppression of the body urges, emotional imbalance etc. Panchakarma therapeutic procedures are used to facilitate the elimination of such harmful factors.
Panchakarma is the cornerstone to Ayurvedic management of disease. Pancha Karma is the process, which gets to the root cause of the problem and re-establishes the essential balance of ‘Tridosha’ (three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in body.
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means “five actions” or “five treatments”. This science of purifying the body is an ancient branch of Ayurveda.
Panchakarma is designed to reduce symptoms and restore harmony and body balance. To achieve this an Ayurvedic Practitioner might rely on:-
Blood – Purification
Massage – Medical oils, herbs.
Enemas (or) Laxativs – Cleanse your body of undigested foods.
Physician – should use his knowledge with humility, wisdom, service of humanity.
Medicaments – Food and drugs.
Nursing – Must know the skills of their art affectionate, sympathetic, intelligent, heat clean and Resourceful.
“ONLY THE SILENCE OF THE HEART CAN CURE THE ILLNESS OF THE MIND”
Patient – Co-operative and obedient to follow instruction of the physician.
· Regulation of diet as therapy has great importance.
· An individual’s mental and spiritual development is influenced by proper treatment.
· Ayurveda stresses the use of plant based medicine and treatment with some animal products and added minerals.