The word Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words ayur and veda meaning ‘life’ and ‘knowledge’ respectively. Taken together they mean the ‘science of life'; in a more limited sense, the term is used to imply the science of medicine.
Traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda have become popular in recent years. This is part of the renewed ethnic cultures the world over, in their lifestyles and religious beliefs. Medicine may be seen as a living component of an unbroken tradition stretching back to several centuries.
Despite the advances in modern medicine there are many drugs, which often cause toxic side effects. Painkillers and palliative measures offer only temporary relief. This has influenced the need for other kinds of treatment. A visible shift is also evident today from the over specialization which characterizes modern medical science to a more holistic viewpoint in the treatment of diseases. Holistic medicine as in Ayurveda, deals with the body-mind-spirit complex. More than the specific disease, it is the patient who is sought to be treated.
Health, according to Ayurveda, is not merely freedom from disease. It is essential that body, mind and soul are in a excellent state so that the individual can perform his functions and fulfil his role in life.
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.
ASHTANG AYURVED (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/ Grah Tantra
Of the above the seventh one, that is rejuvenation therapy is a unique method which Ayurveda performs.
IMPORTANT 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.