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05 June 2003

The ayurvedic treatment

The most important factor in Ayurveda is “the determination of individual constitution” (Prakriti Pariksha). Once an ayurvedic practitioner has learnt the basic principles of ayurvedic anatomy and physiology, he/she has the background knowledge to recognise the different conditions of the doshas in different individuals.

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Constitutional examination
The most important factor in Ayurveda is “the determination of individual constitution” (Prakriti Pariksha). Once an ayurvedic practitioner has learnt the basic principles of ayurvedic anatomy and physiology, he/she has the background knowledge to recognise the different conditions of the doshas in different individuals.

Even if we cannot diagnose all diseases in detail, if we can ascertain the basic constitution, we can still function as effective health educators and establish an appropriate life-regimen. It is then that proper diet, general herbs, oils, massage and other safe, but effective treatments can be prescribed.

According to Ayurveda, the superior physician is one who can recognize the doshas in their various states, not necessarily one who knows how to diagnose many diseases. While the former knowledge gives us the knowledge of the life force and how to balance it, the latter gets us caught in the disease as the primary factor and ceases to be holistic. While Western medicine is more concerned with classifying the disease, Ayurveda aims at understanding the life force beneath it and learning to work with it.

Getting a complete picture of the patient
It is up to the practitioner to find out as much as possible about every facet of the patient's life that can affect his/her health, including things like their character and personality, medical history and their astrological sign. Once the practitioner has a complete picture of the patient, it is up to him/her to identify the imbalances within the doshas and to prescribe appropriate treatments that will alleviate these distress-causing imbalances.

Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe different types of remedies and therapies ranging from detoxification (by way of baths, steam and essential oils), massage, conventional surgery, herbal medicines and meditation. Dietary advice will also be given and a form of exercise that is appropriate to your condition may be prescribed. Ayurvedic medicine can be used to treat any complaint, but often it is required of the patient to make numerous return visits.

Ayurvedic treatment
Ayurvedic treatment is based on three steps: medicines, therapy and lifestyle management. The practitioner chooses the therapy/therapies that are appropriate to the patient's constitution and his/her particular dosha imbalance. A practitioner may choose from an extensive range of therapies and medicines.

Lifestyle management
Usually I perform lifestyle management therapy on groups of about five to seven people. I take them to hillside for one to two weeks, where I teach them ideal lifestyle techniques, including ahhaar (balanced diet), vihhaar (yoga and pranayama) and vichaar (thought) I try to change their way of thinking through the use of music therapy and meditation.

Our centre also performs beauty therapies such as facials and treats hair problems, blemishes and wrinkles.

I also run a sex-counselling (vaajikarna) clinic where I treat patients with medicines and psychotherapy.

My centre is very successful. People who modern medicines have been unable to treat, are developing faith in ayurveda. I am also treating people with chronic diseases such as psoriasis, allergies, arthritis, obesity, hypertension and chronic fatigue syndrome.

What causes disease?
The human tridosha equilibrium (HTE), or the balance of Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha, is basis for health and disease. These three doshas are equally important in maintaining the mental health of a person.

The entire human physiology as per Ayurveda is dependent upon the three basic factors known as doshas. Doshas may be defined as a factor of Prana (vital energy), which constitutes the individual's parkriti (a person’s fundamental nature), controls the physiological functions and initiates pathology changes.

The term doshas means "the ones". If these doshas are individually or collectively increased or decreased, they are capable of corrupting the body tissues and organs and disease ensues.

The primary aim of the Ayurveda is to restore the balance of the three doshas and hence ensure good health. In order to derive any benefit from Ayurveda, it is of utmost importance that we evaluate all individual constitutions on the basis of these three doshas.

[This article was written by Ayurvedic health care practitioner, Dr Roshan Singh. For more information on Ayurveda, you can contact him on (031) 262 2622 or e-mail him: ayurveda@31.co.za]

 
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