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Ayurveda Demystified - Part 1
Ayurveda – A Way of Healthy Living, Part - 1
Dr. A C Thomas, Managing Director, VCC Ayurveda & Yoga Institute Pvt. Ltd.
Ayurveda touches all aspects of life- the physical, mental and spiritual. Ayurveda is a Veda of life….
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the most ancient holistic medical system with an extensive documentation and an impressive record of safety and efficacy. Ayurveda means science of life (‘Ayur’ means life and ‘Veda’ means knowledge/science).
It is believed, the ‘God of creation’ revealed the knowledge of Ayurveda. It focuses on causes rather than symptoms. This system provides an excellent line of low cost treatment for various common disorders and several chronic ailments.
Ayurvedic medicines taken from certified professionals are safe and have no adverse side effects. Ayurveda is not only a system of medicine but also represents a way of healthy living and has preventive, promotive, mitigative and curative interventions. It is a comprehensive health care system.
It focuses on causes rather than symptoms. Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help maintain nature with Health in a person by keeping the individual's body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium
Are there any specialized branches of Ayurveda?
Yes, there are 8 branches. They are Kaya Chikitsa (Internal Medicine), Bala Chikitsa (Pediatrics), Grahachikitsa (Psychiatry), Urdhwanga Chikitsa (ENT), Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery), Agada Tantra (Toxicology), Jara Chikitsa and Vajeekarana (Eugenics & Aphrodisiacs)
What does Ayurveda do to you?
The aim of this system is to prevent illness, heal the sick and preserve life. This can be summed up as follows:
"Swasthyas swasthya rakshanam" (To protect health and prolong life)
"Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha (To eliminate diseases and dysfunctions of the body)
The treatment of diseases can broadly be classified as:
- Shodhana therapy (Purification treatment)
- Shamana therapy (Palliative treatment)
- Nidan Parivarjan (Avoidance of disease causing and aggravating factors)
- Pathya Vyavastha (Prescription of diet and activity)
- Satvavajaya (Psycho-therapy)
- Rasayana therapy (use of immunomodulators and rejuvenation medicine)
Among these different Ayurvedic treatments, two of the important types are the Panchakarma or (internal purification treatment) and Snehana or (Abhyanga, rubbing the body with special oils has always been prevalent since time immemorial)
Panchakarma is one of the unique therapeutic procedures in Ayurveda advocated for the radical elimination of disease causing factors and to maintain the equilibrium of doshas. As the wastes are eliminated from the body, the person becomes healthy. It is used in deep-rooted chronic diseases as well as seasonal imbalance of tridoshas, tunes the body, organs, mind, breath, and nerves and purifies the blood. Literally Pancha means five and Karma means action. The five fold measures include internal purification of the body or Vamana (Emisis), Virechna (purgation), Vasti (enema), Nasya (nasal insufflation) and Raktha Moksha (Blood Letting).
Abhyanga is doing in a synchronized, systematic way. It increases the metabolism, which leads to better tissue respiration and circulation, causing the body to flush out its waste products more efficiently. Abhyanga improves concentration, intelligence, confidence, and youthfulness. It helps in alleviating rheumatic disorders. It provides comfort to the eyes, sound sleep, and tones up the body, improves flexibility, softness and firmness of the skin and for long life. It is the most ancient method used to remove muscular fatigue and pain. Abhyanga is acknowledged as an excellent method to maintain health and to slow down the aging process.