Today, there is growing understanding and appreciation of Ayurveda. In the domestic sector as well as the international arena, there is a growing respect and admiration for the power of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a 5000 years old Indian health care system, widely practiced, in time with the times. "Ayur" is Sanskrit means "life", "Veda" means "science". Knowledge of Ayurveda has been recorded in two of the vedic texts: the Atharva veda, and the Rig veda.
Ayurved texts like Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were documented about 1000 years B.C. It includes in its consideration, longevity, rejuvenation and self-realization therapies through herbs, diet, exercise, yoga, massage, aromas, tantras, mantras, and meditation. Ayurveda treats illness at its source, rather than at the level of symptoms, and helps an in individual to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. The philosophy of Ayurveda is to help people heal themselves. A unique quality of Ayurveda is that healing is promoted by balancing the different energies in the body. Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but the individual as a whole. Ayurveda, the most profound system of medicine, is the heritage of India and is uninterrupted practice since prehistoric age.
BASIC FUNDAMENTALS OF AYURVEDA:
According to Ayurvedic medicine, human body consists of three primary life forces or biological humors, which are Vatha, Pitha and Kapha. These three doshas are called the tridoshas. A balance among these life forces is essential for proper health. Any imbalance among the tridoshas causes a state of unhealthiness or disease. Ayurvedic system says that this imbalance is the effect of the constant reaction of the internal environment of body to the changes in external environment. It is only required that we bring back normalcy to the balance of these doshas, to bring back the state of healthiness.
Other basic concepts of Ayurvedic system are the Saptha Dhathus (the bodily tissues), Srotas (Channals), Ama (toxins and filthy matter) and the trinity of life - body, mind and spiritual awareness. The first step in the method of diagnosis in Ayurvedic form of medicine is to determine the constitution of the person. That means it is the patient who is diagnosed first and not the disease. The same disease might appear in different forms in two persons because their constitution is different. Due to this variation in constitution the medicines and treatment may be different for two people with the same illness. This difference in treatment methods according to the constitution is essential to bring back the natural balance of the biological doshas. The constitutional approach is the essence of the Ayurvedic system.
VARIOUS BRANCHES OF AYURVEDA:
Ayurveda is also known as 'Ashtanga Veda' (the word literally means 'Eight branches of knowledge') as it is divided into eight specialized branches. The eight branches of Ayurveda are:
- General medicine - Kayachikitsa
- Surgery - Shalya Tantra
- Ears, eyes, nose and throat - ShalakyaTantra
- Pediatrics and Gynecology- Kaumarabhritya Tantra
- Toxicology - Agada Tantra
- Purification of the genetic organs/Aphrodisiacs - Vajikarana Tantra
- Health and Longevity/Rejuvenation - Rasayana Tantra
- Spiritual Healing/Psychotherapy - Bhuta Vidya
IMPORTANCE FEATURES OF AYURVEDA :
Natural and herbal health care system ,which is totally safe. Body, mind, spirit health care system for long creative life. Treats the whole person and eliminates the cause of the disease. Emphasis in preventive medicine. Effective treatments to detoxify the body. Highly perfected rejuvenation treatments. Preventive as well as curative treatments. Human being is a microcosm (small universe) that is part of macrocosm. Rhythm or life is intimately connected with the rhythm of the universe. Diseases are due to improper eating and life style ignoring ones special body type, environment and age. By establishing perfect balance between inner and outer world body, mind and spirit would be in perfect health. Human body has the power to heal itself.
There are two aspects to Ayurveda Treatment.
- Curing of diseases
- Prevention of diseases.
Shamana Chikithsa (Curing of diseases)
Manages the symptoms of the disease and treats the cause of the disease with the help of various Ayurveda medicine and therapies. In Ayurveda there are thousands of medicines consisting of herbs, minerals, and biological products, which are used singly or jointly to suppress and cure diseases, particularly when the disease is at an early stage.
Shodana chikithsa (Prevention of diseases)
is one the most important and advanced techniques in Ayurveda and is an internal purification process. Purification can be used to cure diseases and at the same time to promote the healthy state of the body. Shodana chikitsa removes the Ama and Mala (toxins) from the body and restores the balance of the Doshas. Shodana Chikitsa consists of a three-stage purification process as follows:
Purva Karma - preparatory purification prior to the main purification.
Pradhana Karma - the main five purification methods (known as Panchakarma treatment)
Paschath Karma - post rejuvenation therapy.
Our ancient worshipful saints could again see the human body is made up of five basic elements i.e. earthen, water, energy, air and space. balancing the different energies in the body.This life-science could see the physiology of human body in three Humors (Tridosha) & human mind in another set of three Humors (Sathwa-Rejo-Thama). These are known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha (the "Doshas" or body humors). The Doshas are the three main combinations of the five elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth). These five elements in the body can be balanced through diet and herbs that possess the essence of each element.
IMPORTANT PROCEDURES IN AYURVEDA:
Shamana therapy involves suppression of vitiated doshas. The process by which disturbed doshas subsides or returns to normal without creating imbalance of other humours is known as shamana.
Pathya Vyavastha comprises indications and contraindications in respect of diet, activity, habits and emotional status. Emphasis on do’s and don’ts of diet etc is laid with the aim to stimulate Agni and optimize digestion and assimilation of food in order to ensure strength of tissues. Nidan Parivarjan is to avoid the known disease causing factors in diet and lifestyle of the patient. Satvavajaya concerns mainly with the area of mental disturbances. This includes restraining the mind from desires for unwholesome objects and cultivation of courage, memory and concentration.
Rasayana therapy deals with promotion of strength and vitality.
Ayurveda is not simply a system of medicines but giving light to the way of healthy living. Ayurveda consider a human being in totality keeping in view his subtle relationship with the environment.