Ayurveda looks at the patient from various angles
Ayurveda developed a comprehensive way to receive the medical findings to come to the diagnosis of a disease. In combination with modern medicine, which helps and makes it easy to get the results of an anamnesis and therapy through its clinical diagnostics, a holistic treatment approach becomes possible.
Ayurvedic diagnosis is a complex matter. It includes the extensive medical history (Rogi Pariksha) on a physical and mental plane and also takes into account the personal biography. It is much more than pulse diagnosis, which is just one part of the anamnesis. An Ayurvedic anamnesis includes examination of urine, stool, tongue, eyes, face, voice, body structure, tissues, physical strength, age and the social environment. Every detail is a mosaic that is examined from all sides as a whole, and combined with a criminological sense to get a diagnostical conclusive picture of the constitution, the state of health and the process of the patient’s disease.
The examination procedures are based on the well-founded study of Ayurvedic medicine, varied therapeutic experience, ability of interpretation and the intuition of the therapist. All this allows him to differentiate the clinical examinations and to begin an individual evaluation and treatment according to the patient’s constitution type.
The modern Western medical system, in acute and life-threatening circumstances, offers fast and effective help to sustain one’s life. Precise laboratory technology and technical equipment provide accurate measured values for the diagnosis and targeted medical or surgical treatment of the patient. For the treatment of chronic and psychosomatic diseases, however, the modern techniques do not provide the necessary differentiated information. These are very accurately recorded and taken into account in the examination and by the diagnostic methods of Ayurveda and other holistic healing methods. A positive attitude towards life supports the health and recovery of the patient. Therefore, special attention is given to psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine, which considers the existing symptoms to be the forerunners of a disease and their treatment can prevent a physical manifestation of the disease.
Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Vata – elements air and ether
Vata due to its agility quickly responds to disturbances either by an excess or a restriction; particularly are affected the musculoskeletal system (stiffening, deformation, dislocation), the nervous system (paralysis, convulsions, speech disorders, tinnitus, pain, dizziness) and the psyche (sleep disorders, depression, restlessness, nervousness, anxiety).
Pitta – elements fire and water
Pitta reacts through heat, acidity and inflammation, which often emanate from the digestive glands (gastric and gingivitis, diarrhea, acid eructation) and manifests on the skin and mucous membranes (excessive sweating, inflammation, blisters, cutaneous abscesses, burns, blood, pus, wound oozing).
Kapha – elements water and earth
Kapha reacts with ponderousness and inertia. The symptoms usually occur in the respiratory tract (eg: mucus in chronic cold and bronchitis or stickiness in asthma and nasal congestion) in the intestines (sluggish digestion, heaviness and abdominal fullness after the meal, sticky stool) and in the psyche through inertia, avolition and laziness.
The patient is as much in the focus of medical interest as the emergence and development of his illness. How is the individual process of reaction and how strong are the body’s defenses? With the help of detailed medical anamnesis and diagnostics, all information about the patient and his illness is recorded and combined to plan an individual therapy.
The clinical studies of modern medicine can be very well combined with Ayurvedic medicine and evaluated and analyzed according to Ayurvedic criteria, in which the Dosha reference is in the foreground. In Ayurveda the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha are considered as the pathological, the disease-causing principles. If they get out of balance over a long period of time, illness can manifest in the body.Vata, characterized by the elements ether and air, represents the principle of motion in the human body. Pitta, dominated by the elements fire and water, stands for transformation processes, such as digestion. Kapha, dominated by the elements water and earth, stands for the principle of structure and reproduction, the stability of the body and the resistance. Inappropriate lifestyle, diet and stress can bring the physical and mental health out of balance and lead to serious diseases.
Checking the causes for a disease, the etiology (Nidana), is one of the five research methods (Panca Nidana) of Ayurveda, including the analysis of the preclinical symptoms (Purvarupa), which also concerns the investigation of the unclear signs of physical ailments. Here, the features are observed that can not be clinically recorded. On the one hand, they can indicate the dominance of one dosha or the disease, on the other hand, they can be completely unclear in their expression. Here the fields of psychosomatic illnesses are included.
If the clinical symptoms (Rupa) are obvious and have manifested because of the disturbed doshas, they may provide information about the course and stage of the disease. If the diagnosis can not yet be clearly made, a trial therapy with medication, changes in diet and lifestyle as a diagnostic measure (Upashaya) can provide information about the type of the disease.
The tenfold examination (Dasavidhya Pariksha)
|2. Disease development||Vikriti|
|3. Excellent tissues||Sara|
|4. Body weight||pramana|
|5. Body structure||samhanana|
|6. Physical resilience||vyayama-sakti|
|7. Food toleratibility||satmya|
|8. Food intake capacity||ahara-sakti|
|9. Psychical powers||attva|
|10. pathological factors||Vikriti|
Examine the disease
Anamnesis, also called pathogenesis (Samprapti), thoroughly examins the roots and the development of the disease as a whole. How did the disease come up? How did it unfold? What is the reciprocal relationship between the disturbed accumulated doshas and the disturbed pathological body tissues and secondary tissues?
In the classical scriptures the way to research the disease is described in a different way. You should not consider them as something that is fixed. Even in ancient times – as today – the specialists had different skills and abilities and of course there have been points of contact and exchange between the various cultures.
One of the traditional ways of Ayurveda examinations is the eightfold examination (Ashtavidhya Pariksha). This method was developed at the end of the 17th century. Through trained observation of the five senses, i.e. hearing, touch / feeling, sight, smell and taste, the eight aspects of the body are examined and the relationship of the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha determined. All eight methods together provide information about the type of disease and its course.
The examination of the pulse (Nadi Pariksha)
Ayurveda, in contrast to Chinese and Tibetan medicine, is not organ or disease-related, but provides information about the state of the doshas. It became a part of the Ayurvedic diagnostic methods only in the 12th century. In the ancient scriptures there is no evidence for pulse diagnosis. There are hints that attribute the knowledge of the pulse diagnostic to the earliest Tamil Siddhars from pre-Vedic time, but there is no exact age determination.
The position of deflection, frequency, pace, quality, abundance, strength, rhythm, quality of the tissues and vascular walls, and the temperature are examined.
Examination of the tongue (Jihva Pariksha)
It provides information about the Dosha ratio and is not related to the organs. This also has been part of Ayurvedic diagnostics only since the 17th century. Until then, it had been considered in diseases of the oral cavity. Based on its fur, it provides information on the digestive power, metabolic deposits (ama) and the mucous membrane conditions in the digestion tract.
- Evaluation of the voice (Shabda Pariksha)
- Skin texture (Sparsha Pariksha)
- Eye examination (Drik Pariksha)
- Body structure and visage diagnosis (Akrti Pariksha)
- Urine examination (Mutra Pariksha)
- Stool examination (Mala Pariksha)
In addition to the eightfold study, the tenfold examination can be carried out. Thereby ten further aspects of the physical condition are considered.
Switzerland established clear principles
The Ayurvedic diagnostic techniques are characterized by a comprehensive recording of the medical findings, which requires a high level of expert knowledge, flexibility in mind and thinking, intuition and empathy of the therapist. In its country of origin, they are exclusively carried out by physicians and Vaidyas, i.e. naturopaths.
In Switzerland, when developing new occupational profiles the competences were clearly defined. The Ayurveda doctors (AMs) are the specialists for diagnostics. They give exact treatment instructions to the complementary Ayurveda therapists (KT) in medically defined illnesses and disabilities. The Ayurveda KT works independently and solely responsible for somatic and psychosomatic complaints, mood disorders and mental illnesses, medically specified functional health disorders or vague complaints that cannot be associated to a medical diagnosis.
Ayurveda and modern medicine, which supports and facilitates the medical findings through clinical diagnosis and therapy, create a symbiotic interface for a holistic treatment approach.