Ayurveda Treatment describes the process of life as a highly dynamic one where the different functions in the body are harmoniously integrated.
This harmony has to be preserved for a person to be healthy and requires some basic factors like proper diet, proper balance of mental and physical rest and activity, adaptations to changes in the environment etc. In spite of taking care of all these factors, certain factors like the genetic make-up of a person, micro-organisms, exposure to harmful and poisonous substances inadvertently or otherwise, and again etc. tend to skew the equilibrium, disrupting certain functions in the body.
Any disturbance to any function also disturbs the other functions. For example, when a person’s digestion is not proper, he may not have a proper bowel movement, which will make him feel heavy, and bloated, which could then precipitate a headache, it could disturb his sleep which in turn could aggravate his digestive process and so on creating vicious circles leading to more and more chronic diseases.
The body of a healthy person, in the meanwhile, tries to re-establish the harmony with some support from the person. Like, if the person doesn’t overfeed himself on feeling heavy, the body gets over the initial problem and thereby prevents the chain of events.
When the harmony is upset in a number of functions and particularly with growing age, the ability of the body to bounce back to normalcy gets hampered. With more and more functions getting upset the problems get into more complications and become irreversible or not fully curable.
If the tissues are damaged beyond repair and likely to be the cause of the problem to other tissues in the body, surgical removal of the diseased tissue is recommended.
Ayurveda has a very holistic concept comprising of various approaches to help the body re-establish the harmony by addressing the problem at different levels.
- For minor disruptions in health, the approach comprises of identifying the type of functional aberration and using appropriate interventions to re-establish normalcy.
- Ayurveda Treatment recommends a number of safe and effective herbal combinations dietary modifications and lifestyle changes which help bring back the functions to normalcy. This approach is called samana. This approach is helpful in curing mild to moderate diseases and in palliative care of chronic diseases. Therapies and medications to control specific diseases and those meant to correct specific functions also come under this form of therapy.
- Where the disease process involves the production of toxic chemicals – Ama (free radicals) in the body, in the most chronic diseases and as a routine procedure, Ayurveda Treatment recommends a systematic process of detoxification as a first and foremost step in the therapeutic intervention.
- If the level of toxicity is mild, fasting or restricting food and giving rest to the body will help to achieve the objective.
- If the level of toxicity is moderate, fasting/restricting food, rest and administration of herbal combinations that aid the natural detoxification mechanism (Paachanam) is the approach of choice.
- If the level of toxicity is high as with chronic diseases, Ayurveda Treatment recommends a thorough detoxification (Sodhanam) through the use of Panchakarma – The five therapeutic forms of detoxification. They are Emesis (Vamana), Purgation (Virechana), Medicated Hyper tonic enema (Nirooha), Medicated oil enema (Anuvasana) and Nasal cleansing (Nasyam).
- Preceding the administration of detoxification therapies, preparatory therapies like oil saturation (Snehenam) and induced sweating (Swedanam) are used to mobilise the toxicity from all parts of the body to the Gastrointestinal tract to help the system eliminate them.
- Chronic diseases debilitate and destroy the tissues in the body and so Ayurveda Treatment describes a very specialised form of therapy to prevent and reverse the damage to tissues in the body caused by various diseases. These are called Rasayanam – Tissue repair therapy. Many herbs and herbal preparations have been described in Ayurveda to combat the harmful effects of different types of diseases affecting different tissues.
Food Medicine & Poison – for Treatment
- If the disease process is very mild, appropriate interventions in the food itself could be adequate to correct the disease. For Eg, an attack of Diarrhoea can very well be treated by avoiding heavy, oily and spicy food and administering buttermilk.
- If the disease is of moderate intensity it may be necessary to also use specific herbal combinations, Nutraceuticals (Most Ayurvedic medicines come under this category), which are extremely safe but more effective than food.
- If the disease process is severe or life-threatening, Ayurveda Treatment recommends the use of substances that are not generally safe or even poisonous (they are unfit for consumption by normal people), but are powerful enough to control the disease, are to be used. Most allopathic medicines come under this category. The idea is to control the disease and then try to switch over to the milder form of therapy once the acute phase is overcome.