Life is a complete whole,
and every part of that whole is an integral part which contributes to the proper
functioning of the entirety and the other parts. Life in balance does not
neglect any part of itself, and life in balance is a healthy life. However,
this balance is often near impossible to find with the demands of today’s
world, or can seem so at least. Ayurvedic
medicine seeks to restore that balance to life which is natural to it, and
is productive of the health which it is intended to have. Consequently, ayurvedic
treatments can address every aspect of life regardless of how insignificant
it may seem.
In Ayurveda, all disease
and unhealthy conditions are the result of imbalance of the natural forces of
life within the body, mind, and spirit of the individual. Restoring these
forces to their natural state of balance is the ultimate goal of ayurvedic
medicine. To accomplish this ayurvedic treatments follow a fairly simple
threefold plan of action. The first step is to determine the nature of the
imbalance, this is known as diagnosis, and though sharing the name with its
western counter-part, it is quite unique in its methodology.
There are three primary
actions for diagnosing a patient in ayurvedic medicine. The first is to check
the pulse of the patient. The pulse of an individual directly reflects the
exact current state of that individual, and a sensitive doctor can identify the
specific dosha(s) which are out of balance, the cites of the origin of their
imbalance, and the resulting symptoms of the imbalance. This method for
diagnosis is very powerful, and unique to Ayurveda.
Next, the doctor will
review the tongue of the patient. The tongue is a mirror to the body,
reflecting on its various regions the states of the various parts of the body.
Ama, toxins accumulated due to imbalance, often buildup on the tongue and the
different colors and cite of buildup can further indicate the type and level of
Finally, after listening to
and looking at the body, the doctor will listen to the patient’s description of
their symptoms and conditions. This method is common to all medical practices,
but is often complicated by the patient’s ability or inability to accurately
describe their condition, or their willingness to be honest.
The next stage in ayurvedic
treatment is not always necessary but used only for old, chronic, or
particularly stubborn conditions. This stage uses the methods of Panchakarma,
or five actions, to expel stagnate and accumulated toxins from the body which
prevent the body from being restored to balance. Panchakarma are five general
types of ayurvedic treatments that often utilize powerful herbs blended in oils
and other mediums for the purposes of emesis, purgation, and nasal discharge. These
blends are applied internally through the mouth, nose, and rectum, or
externally through massage depending upon the desired effect. This stage of
ayurvedic treatment is a necessary precursor to the final stage of restoring
the vitiated dosha(s) to their natural balance.
The third and final stage
in the process of ayurvedic treatment is the restoration of balance. Treatments
utilized in this stage are as vast and multifaceted as are the actions of life.
It can be necessary to change any kind of habit, to introduce a new one, or
remove an old one. Yoga and meditation are new habits which are often
prescribed, but it can be necessary to do things which might seem insignificant
or irrelevant, like going on walks in the evening, or sleeping on a different
side of the body. Such Ayurvedic treatments often include changes in diet,
exercise, and sexual habits. This stage of treatment will also include the use
of traditional ayurvedic
medicines, which are less severe than panchakarma and work to restore
balance to the body rather than simply cleansing it of toxins. There are
hundreds and perhaps thousands of ayurvedic
preparations specially designed for the treatment of all the variety of
ailments which humans encounter, and it is here that most of such ayurvedic
treatments are employed.
This threefold path to
health is simple yet thorough and methodical. It begins with true insight into
the condition of the suffering and ends with a person restored as a whole. It
neglects no aspect of life, and treats nothing with less importance than it deserves.
Only by addressing the wholeness of life can life find the complete balance
which is health. Ayurvedic treatments keep a encompassing perspective in order
to achieve this complete balance, and this perfect health.
medicine maintains vitality as a living tradition and world view, the heart
of which can only be taught by a living and breathing sensitive person to
another living, breathing, sensitive person.