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Ayurveda

INTRODUCTION TO AYURVEDA

Ayurveda is a perfect ancient science of life in India. ‘Ayur’ means ‘life’ and ‘Veda’ means ‘science or knowledge’. Ayurveda briefly explains the knowledge of do’s and don’ts which favors the well being of each individual to lead a healthy, happy & comfortable life, physically, mentally & socially. Ayurveda also emphasizes that ‘prevention is better than cure’.

HISTORY OF AYURVEDA

There are four Vedas (treatises) which form the basis of Indian Philosophy: *The Rig Veda * The Yajur Veda * The Sama Veda * The Adharva Veda Ayurveda has emerged out as the branch of The Adharva Veda dated back over 5000 years. It is said to have been originated from Lord Brahma (The creator of universe according to Hindu Mythology) and has been descended to the earth through various generations of Gods through ancient venerable scripts as palm leaf books, leather leaves etc.

The oldest books in Ayurveda are:

  • The Charaka Samhitha
  • The Susrutha Samhitha, and
  • The Ashtanga Samhitha (Its 8 branches are as follows :)
    1. 1. Kaya Chikilsa (General Medicine)
    2. 2. Kaumara Bhrithya (Pediatrics)
    3. 3. Graha Chikilsa (Psychiatry & Psycho Medicine)
    4. 4. Shalakya Chikilsa (Eye, Ear, Head, Nose & Throat Medicine & Surgery)
    5. 5. Shalya (General Surgery)
    6. 6. Agada (Toxicology)
    7. 7. Rasayana Chikilsa (Rejuvenation Therapy)
    8. 8. Vajeekarana Chikilsa (Aphrodisiac Therapy)

According to Ayurveda, every living and non-living being in the universe is a combination of 5 basic elements called ‘Pancha Maha Bhootas’ i.e. Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Ether. A human body is constituted by these elements in various compositions viz the expression of Chaitanya or consciousness or life spark or spirit/soul. These eternal elements manifest in human body as 3 basic principles. These principles govern all the biological, physiological and physio-pathological functions of body, mind and consciousness. They act as basic constituents and protective barriers for the body in its normal physiological conditions.

PRINCIPLES
PROPERTIES
FUNCTIONS
IMPOTANT SITES
1) VATHA PRINCIPLE
(constitutes of Air & Ether)
1. Dry
2. Bright
3. Cold
4. Rough
5. Subtle & Minute
6. Moving
1. Controls Movement
2. Controls Breathing
3. Control Natural Urges
4. Tissue Transformation
5. Motor Functions
6. Sensory Functions
7. Controls Secretions & Excretions
8. Fear
9. Impulses
10. Anxiety
1. Large Intestine
2. Pelvic Regions
3. Thighs
4. Ears
5. Bones
6. Skin
2) PITHA PRINCIPLE
(constitutes of Fire)
1. Slightly Oily
2. Penetrating
3. Hot
4. Light
5. Unpleasant Odor
6. Spreading Nature
7. Liquid Form
1. Facilitate Metabolism & Hormonal Functioning
2. Regulates Body Heat & Temperature
3. Helps Digestion
4. Understanding
5. Intelligent
6. Hunger & Thirst
7. Perception
8. Color & Complexion
9. Anger, Hate & Jealousy
1. Navel
2. Small Intestine
3. Sweat
4. Lymph
5. Blood
6. Eye
7. Skin
3) KAPHA PRINCIPLE
(constitutes of Earth & Water)
1. Oily
2. Cold
3. Heavy
4. Slow Acting
5. Slimy
6. Soft
7. Stable etc
1. Stability & energy to Body
2. Development of Body
3. Lubrication
4. Enthusiasm
5. Sexual Urges
6. Forgiveness
7. Immunity
8. Attachment
9. Holding
10. Possessiveness
11. Greed
12. Accumulation
13. Knowledge
1. Chest
2. Throat
3. Head
4. Trachea
5. Joints
6. Stomach
7. Lymph
8. Fat Tissue
9. Nose & Tongue

HEALTH IN AYURVEDA

The objectives of Ayurveda are to establish the prime health in every living being, physically, mentally and spiritually. A living body can function properly when it’s Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni are in a state of equilibrium. The Trigunas also play a vital role in the maintenance of three-dimensional health. When these factors become either increased or decreased, either partially or totally, the body may either become sick or dead. Health, according to Ayurveda, can be defined as a state of equilibrium of the action of Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni accompanied by a sensation of well being (tranquility) of body and sense organs, mind and soul. Such a person is called ‘Swastha’.

Dhatus: These seven Dhatus are the basic functional tissues that support body functions:
*Rasa (Plasma) * Raktha (Blood) * Mamsa (Muscle) * Medas (Fat) * Asthi (Bone) * Majja (Bone-Marrow) * Sukla (Semen & Ovum

Malas: Malas are the metabolic bi-products formed in the body that contaminates the body. These are eliminated as sweat, urine & faeces.

Agni: The representative of Solar Energy in a living organism, viz responsible for all types of metabolism, is called Agni. It converts the food to reach the energy cells of the body for its maintenance.

Trigunas: It means ‘Three Qualities’. These are the three specific properties of Mind. They are Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. Qualities of the three gunas are:

  • Satwa: Cleanliness, Faith in God, Interested in Truth, Good Morals & Intelligence
  • Rajas: Overtaking Ego, Anger Unhealthy Competitions.
  • Tamas: Fear, Absence of Knowledge, Inadequate Knowledge, Abnormal Sleep, Laziness and Depression.

TREATMENT IN AYURVEDA

The treatment of Ayurveda is classified under the following:

1. Sodhana Chikilsa (Purification Therapy)
The main aim of this treatment is to eliminate the internal causative factors of the disease. A large quantity of toxic by-product are formed in the body as a result of continuous metabolic process, most of which are naturally eliminated by the body’s excretory system. Some of this waste is deposited in various body-tissues, due to wrong body habits, food habits, incompatible combination of food items, suppression of body-urges, emotional imbalance etc. The following therapeutic procedures are used to facilitate the elimination of such harmful elements:

  • Vamana (Emesis Therapy): Internal Oral Medicines are administered to induce vomiting.
  • Virechana (Purgation Therapy): Internal medicines are administered to induce purgation.
  • Nasyam (Nasal Medication): Herbal medicines-oil or powder is administered through the nostril.
  • Vasthi (Medicated Enema Therapy): Herbal medicines-decoction or powder is administered through the anus.
  • Rakthamoksham (Blood-Letting Therapy): Impure blood is drained out by needle-prick, venesection, leaching etc.

2. Shaman Chikilsa (Alleviating Therapy)
This is specially done after ‘Sodhana Chikilsa’ and in less variation. Herbal medicines are used internally and externally to correct the derangement of functions of Doshas, Dhatus, Malas & Agni and to increase the body-immunity. For this purpose, the following two therapeutic procedures are done in association:

  • Snehana Karma (Oleation Therapy):
    Herbal medicines-oil or ghee are used both, internally & externally. The various procedures implemented for this therapy are: *Sneha Panam * Abhyangam and Massage * Sirovasthy * Sirodhara etc.
  • Swedana Karma (Sudation Therapy)
    It is a sweating process, done in association with the Snehana Karma. The various procedures implemented for this therapy are:

*Njavarakizhi * Pizhichil * Elakizhi * Choornasweda * Steam Bath * Hot Herbal Bath etc.

SOME PRIME THERAPIES IN AYURVEDA

1. PIZHICHIL: It is among the rare and special therapies done by lukewarm herbal oils that are applied all over the body in a systematic rhythmic way continuously for 60-90 minutes for a period of 7-20 days. It is done on a special table made from Strychnos Nuxvomica wood. This treatment is very useful in Rheumatic diseases like Arthritis, Paralysis, Hemiplegia, Paralysis-Agitanus, Sexual Weakness, Nervous Weakness and Nervous Disorders etc.

2. NJAVARAKIZHI: In this therapy, the whole body is made to perspire by the application of certain medicinal puddings externally in the form of boluses tied up in muslin bag for 60-90 minutes per day for 14 days. This treatment is very useful in Rheumatism, Joint-Pains, Limbs Emaciation, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, and Muscular Diseases.

3. SIRODHARA: In this therapy, some herbal oils, medicated milk & butter etc are poured on the forehead in a special way for about 40 minutes per day for 7-21 days. This treatment is very useful in Insomnia, Loss of Memory, Headaches, Mental Tension and Skin Diseases.

4. VASTHI: In this therapy, certain herbal oils, herbal extracts etc are applied through the rectum daily for 5-25 days. This treatment is very useful in Arthritis, Paralysis, Hemiplegia, Numbness, Gastric, Rheumatism and Chronic Constipation.

5. SIROVASTHY: In this procedure, lukewarm herbal oils are poured into a cap fitted on the head foe 15-60 minutes per day for 7 days. This treatment is very useful in Facial Paralysis, Dryness of Nostrils, Mouth & Throat, Severe Headaches and many other Head Diseases.

6. UDVARTHANAM: It is also known as ‘powder massage’. A medicated power is applied in a peculiar way for 30-40 minutes daily for 14-28 days. This treatment is very useful in Obesity, Paralysis, Hemiplegia, Skin Diseases, and Impaired Circulation etc.

7. ABHYANGAM: This is a special type of oil therapy in which strokes are given in circulatory channels for 45 minutes daily for 14 days. This treatment is very useful for Obesity, Loss of Skin Lustre, Insomnia, Fatigue etc.

8. NASYAM: In this treatment, herbal juices and medicated oil are applied through nose for 14 days. This treatment is very useful in Headaches, Paralysis, Mental Disorders, and Skin Diseases etc.

9. SNEHAPANAM: It is a preparatory procedure during Body purification Therapy, in which medicated ghee/oils are given internally in proportionally increasing quantity for 8-12 days. This treatment is very effective for Osteo Arthritis, Psoriasis, Chronic Constipation, Hemorrhoids etc.

10. KIZHI: In this therapy, herbal leaves/powders are made in boluses and applied on whole body after dripping it in warm medicated oils for 45 minutes daily for 07-14 days. This treatment is very effective for Osteo Arthritis, Spondylosis, and Sports Injuries etc.

11. DHANYAMLA DHARA: In this, warm herbal liquid is poured all over the body in a rhythmic way using a special vessel for 45 minutes daily. . This treatment is very useful in Paralysis, Hemiplegia etc.

12. YONI PRAKSHALANAM: In this therapy, herbal oils and decoction are applied through the vaginal route. This treatment is good for Gynecological Disorders. It is also a purification process for genital organ.

13. KATIVASTHI: In this treatment, specially prepared warm medicated oil is kept over the lower back with herbal paste boundary for 45 minutes. It is effective for any type of Back Pain and Spinal Disorders.

14. UROVASTHI: In this treatment, specially prepared warm medicated oil is kept over the chest with herbal paste boundary for 45 minutes. It is effective for Asthma, Many Respiratory Problems and Muscular Chest Pain.

15. KSHEERADHARA: This is a special procedure in which a mixture of medicinal decoction and cow’s milk is heated and the steam is passed to a tube and applied over the affected area. This is found effective for Facial Palsies, Speech Disorders, Ptosis, and various nervous Disorders.

16. THALAM: In this, the special powder is mixed with medicated oil and applied on top of head for 45 minutes. This treatment is helpful in curing ENT problems, insomnia, and migraine etc.

17. LEPANAM: This is a process in which medicated herbal paste is applied on the affected part. This is useful for various types of Inflammatory Conditions, Skin Diseases, Arthritis, and Gout etc.

18. THALAPOTHICHIL: Various medicinal herbs are made into a paste applied to the scalp for 45 minutes. This treatment is good for Insomnia, Premature Greying, and Hair & Scalp problems.

19. SANDHI VATHA CHIKILSA: This therapy includes Massage, Lepanam, and oil application on affected parts, Kizhi, Steam-Bath, Snehavasthi, Kashayavasthi, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi, Snehapanam and internal medicines. It’s effective for curing Rheumatoid-Arthritis, Gout, Osteo-Arthritis, Ankylosing-Spondylosis, Cervical Spondylosis, Osteo-Porosis etc.

20. SWASAKASACHIKILSA: This therapy includes Body Massage, Urovasthi, Pizhichil, Podikizhi, Snehavasthi, Kashayavasthi, Nasyam and Internal Medicines. It is effective for respiratory diseases like Bronchial-Asthma, Chronic Cough, Allergic-Rhinitis, Sinusitis etc.

21. SUKHANIDRA: This treatment includes Body massage, Sirovasthy, Ksheeradhara, Thailadhara, Thalam, Thalapothichil, and internal medicines, Yoga and Meditation. This is very effective in Insomnia, Anxiety and it improves immunity and self-confidence.

22. SIDHMA CHIKILSA: This treatment includes Special Lepanam, Abhyangam, Snehapanam, Pizhichil, Medicated Steam-Bath, Sirovasthy, Internal herbal medicines, Yoga and meditation. This is very effective in all types of Psoriases and various Skin-Diseases.

PRIME BODY CARE THERAPY IN AYURVEDA

1. REJUVENATION THERAPY (Rasayana Chikilsa)
This therapy includes Full Body-Massage with medicated oil/cream, intake of Rejuvenative Medicines, Sirodhara, Medicated Steam-Bath, and Herbal Face-Pack for 1-2 Hours per day for 7-14 days. This rejuvenates the body systems for better harmony of body, mind & soul.

2. BODY PURIFICATION THERAPY (Sodhana Chikilsa)
This treatment includes intake of internal herbal medicines, Panchakarma, Snehanakarma & Swedanakarma treatments, Body Massage, Snehapanam, Virechana, Nasyam, Snehavasthi, Dhara, Tharpanam, Sirovasthy, Karnapoornam, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi and Medicated Steam-Bath for 15 days. This is helpful in purifying the body from toxins.

3. BODY IMMUNISATION / LONGEVITY TREATMENT (Kayakalpa Chikilsa)
This treatment includes intake of Special Ayurvedic Medicines, Panchakarma & Swedanakarma treatments, Body Massage, Snehapanam, Virechana, Nasyam, Snehavasthi, Dhara, Tharpanam, Sirovasthy, Karnapoornam, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi and Medicated Steam-Bath for 28 days. This helps in reducing ageing processes, arresting the degeneration of body cells and increasing the immunity.

4. SLIMMING PROGRAM
It includes medicated herbal powder & oil massages, steam-bath, intake of herbal-tea & juices for 28 days. A very special Ayurvedic diet is prescribed during this treatment. It is a very effective slimming program.

5. BEAUTY CARE PROGRAM
It includes Herbal Face-Pack, Herbal Cream-Massage, Herbal Oil-Massage, Herbal-Tea and Steam-Bath. This treatment increases the skin complexion, skin tone, beautifies the body figure and helps you to feel young.

6. SPINE & NECK CARE PROGRAM
This treatment includes special massages, Kativasthi, Snehavasthi, Kashayavasthi, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi, Special exercises etc to keep spine and neck healthy and to cure the related problems like Cervical Spondylosis, Osteo-Porosis, Low Backaches, Sciatica etc.

7. MANASANTHY (Stress Management for body, mind & soul)
It is a combination of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda therapies including Dhara, Thalam, Herbal Steam-Bath, Mudpack, Njavarakizhi, Rejuvenation Massage Therapy done 3-4 hours per day for 7-14 days. This method is very effective for relieving stress and pacifying and soothing the mind.

8. DHOOPANAM
In this, medicated fumes are applied to ears for 5-10 minutes. It helps clean the ears and avoid ear-ailments.

9. THARPANAM
It is a cleaning process of eyes which gives a cooling effect and prevents eye-diseases and strengthens optical nerves.

10. MUKHALEPAM
A Herbal Face Pack made of medicated powder and fruits is used to treat wrinkles, black-heads, cellulites, sun-tan etc.

11. MARMA MASSAGE
Full Body Massage at vital points (or Marmas) is helpful in strengthening deep muscles and ligaments.

12. REJUVENATION MASSAGE
Full Body Massage with herbal oil/powder for 90 minutes is good for rejuvenating the body; reduce mental tension, sexual weakness, to improve vitality etc.

13. GENERAL MASSAGE
Body Massage with herbal oil/powder for 60 minutes to tone up body and to improve the blood circulation.

14. MEDICATED STEAM MASSAGE
Certain herbs are boiled and the steam is passed to the whole body for 10-20 minutes. This is good for skin diseases, to eliminate impurities, improve the tone of body, to reduce fat etc.