In Modern medicine, diagnosis is the identification of disease once it is appeared. In contrast, diagnosis in Ayurveda implies a moment-to-moment monitoring of the interaction between order (health) and disorder (disease).
The disease process is a reaction between the bodily humors (doshas) and tissues (dhatus) and is influenced by the environment.
The diagnosis method in Ayurveda is called Astha Sthana Pariksha (Eight-Point Diagnosis). It involves an assessment of the state of the doshas as well as various physical signs . The Astha Sthana Pariksha includes
Nervous system assessment
Assessment of digestive fire and metabolic secretions
Mucous and mucoid secretions assessment
Examination of body sounds.
Ayurvedic Methods of Treatment
Ayurvedic treatment attempts to establish a balance among the bodily humors of vata, pitta, and kapha, as well as improve digestion and elimination of ama.
Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners determine a person’s constitutional type before they start treatment. Drugs are prescribed based on the patient’s body type as well as on what disease or disturbance of the doshas they are suffering from. An Ayurvedic physician then considers all aspects that might affect the patient’s health, including their activities, the time of the day, and the season. In other words, patients are looked at as individuals as well as in relation to their environment. Ayurvedic therapy often begins with shodhana (cleansing) in which toxins, emotional or physical, are eliminated or neutralized. Without this first step, the toxins will only be pushed deeper into the tissues.
Shodhana follows shamana (palliative treatment) to reduce the intensity of a disease and balance the disordered doshas. At last , rasayana (rejuvenation therapy) is used to maintain health and reduce the negative effects of disease. Attention to mental nurturing and spiritual healing are important in Ayurveda, and this is collectively known as sattvavajaya
Shaman (palliative treatment) includes Dipana ( kindling the digestive fire), Pachana (burning the toxic waste), Ksud-nigraha (Fasting), Trut-nigraha (Observing thirst), Vyayama (Yoga exercise), Atapa-seva (Sun-bathing),Maruta-seva(Breathing exercise and meditation).
Panchakarma is a high profile process of internally cleaning and purifying the entire human body, as described in Ayurvedic Science. It aims not only to cure the disease but also to prevent the further recurrence of the particular disease. Only healthy men can take this therapy. Children and elderly people are weak. Women by nature don’t require Panchakarma therapy.
There are five steps to complete the process.
Vamana is a medicated emesis therapy which removes Kapha toxins collected in the body and the respiratory tract. This is given to people with high Kapha imbalance. Daily treatment involves loosening and mobilizing the toxins in an effort to finally eliminate them.
Vamana is beneficial in bronchial asthma, chronic allergies, hay fever, vitiligo, psoriasis, hyperacidity, chronic indigestion, nasal congestion, edema, obesity, psychological disorders, and skin disorders.
Virechana is medicated purgation therapy which removes Pit ta toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gall bladder. It completely cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract. It is a safe procedure without side effects. The beneficial effects of Virechana are in following conditions: chronic fever, diabetes, asthma, skin disorders such as herpes, paraplegia, hemiplegia, joint disorders, digestive disorders, constipation, hyperacidity, vitiligo, psoriasis, headaches, elephantiasis and gynecologicaldisorders.
As per modern understanding basti is enema.Basti (Enema) is considered as the most important step of all Panchakarma treatments since it cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, through the colon. Basti is also highly beneficial as a rejuvenating treatment. Medicated oil or ghee and an herbal decoction is given as enema to clean the colon and increase the muscle tone. This procedure is usually applied for 8 to 30 days, based on the medical condition of a person.Basti is beneficial in following conditions hemiplegia, paraplegia, colitis, convalescence, cervical spondylosis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, digestive disorders, backache & sciatica, hepatomegaly & splenomegaly, obesity, piles, sexual debility & infertility.
Navan/Nasya (Nasal Administration)
It is the administration of medicated oil through the nose to cleanse accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region. Based on the medical condition of a person, it can be given up to 30 days. Nasya is beneficial in following conditions:
trigeminal neuralgia, Bel’s Palsy, improves memory & eye sight, insomnia, elimination of excess mucus hyper pigmentation in the face, pre-mature graying of hair, clarity to voice, headaches of various origin hemiplegia, loss of smell and taste, frozen shoulder, migraine, stiffness of the neck, nasal allergies , neurological dysfunctions, sinusitis.
Rakta Moksha (Blood Cleansing)
Raktamokshana is procedure to cleanse the blood and is advised only in very rare conditions. It is not advisable during general Panchakarma.
Panchakarma is ineffective if special detoxification diet is not given along with the treatments.
The panchakarma process is still practiced today, after more than 3000 yrs, without changing the line of treatment. Many Panchakarma centers have opened in large and small cities all over India and Sri Lanka, where specially qualified Ayurvedic practitioners provide the panchakarma treatment. In Sri Lanka and South India, there is still big Ayurvedic Centers exists, Kerala is ahead in Panchakarma Therapy with world class facilities.