This is a blog about the Ayruveda or Indian medical science and how its relationship to normal health and disease process and its brief basic understanding.
Ayurveda is the oldest documeted medical literature one can find at least 5000 years or older but authorative text of medicine or first medical text written by Sage Charak called Charak Samhita ( written Sanskrit language) which is about 2000 years or earlier.It is currently stilll been taugh in Ayurvedic medial college in India. It is a key reference text use today. It has described the basic principles of body, its elements, its permutation and combination and its balance of forces and imbalances and the disease process .
Ayurveda is Sanskrit word (world’s oldest language) meaning Ayu= long healthy life and Veda= science of life. So Ayurveda is the science of life which explains all the aspect of the life including the health, mind, emotions, disease process, aging process, rejuvenation to name a few , and how one can use the priciples to improve the health.
Ayurveda’s basic philosophy is the based on Panchmahabhuta or five great elements and its permutation and combination. The whole universe at physical level is make up of five elements namely space, air, water, fire and earth. Its permutation and combination gives rise to different elements like combiation of earth and water gives rise to the Kapha (stabilizing energy), fire and water gives rise to the Pitta (fire energy) and air plus space gives rise to the Vata (wind energy). This are key energy factors when normal keeps normal health if not the disease process start.
Vata is the wind energy in the body, Pitta is the fire element in the boyd and Kapha is the stablizing factor or earthly element. This key forces are present at mental and physical level. At birth all the three elements are balanced. It is the three elements as it gets out of balance slowly gives rise to the disease process.
When the Vata increases in the body so is the increase in the wind energy in the body so it has the increase in the property of wind in the body. Namely dryness so leads to dry skin, emotional imbalnces, irritability, quick action without thinking, cold hands or feet, loss of weight, increase in the pain in the body. In fibromyalgia and in chronic fatigue syndrome there is usual increase in the Vata in the body at physical and mental level and that is how the pain is felt or makes lower threshold for the pain as Vata is out of order.
When the Pitta increases in the body so there is increase in the heat in the body or fire energy. Fire will burn when out of control so does the increase in the Pitta can do. So person will have hot flushes, anger or short temper, sleep disturnace, heart burn, lupus like diseases, very active but too much perfectionalist, persistent nature to make his/her plan of action etc.
In chronic fatigue syndrome and or fibromyalgia there is increase in the pitta and vata in most patients seen . Usually there is Vata-pitta imbalance or Pitta vata imbalance.
When there is Kapha increase in the body so it is the earthly element increase so gives the weight pain, low metabolism and fluid retension, lazyness, procrastination of things to do, oily stool, slow bowel movement, oily skin, low grade anger or frustation etc. It is also the built up of Ama or toxic built up in the body.
Now lets see the sites in the body where this forces are present and its home site. The site for Kapha is stomach, for Pitta is small intestine and the Vata is in the Colon so any accumlation of the pitta in small intestine or air in the colon will lead the displacement of its orignal site and subsequently leads to the disease process. For example with low stomach digestion leads to more mucus in the stomach and susequently the asthma symptoms or the sinus symptoms. Similarly the Vata accumlation leads to the arthritis or neurological disorders. Generally it takes years to decades to get accumlated before major disease is manifested in the body. The goal is to understand its displacement and to prevent further procession of the disease.
When the disease process start there is either one factor imbalance or two or three factors out of order. So it is the permutation and combination of the elements, Prakruti or genetics of the person, life style, emotions, likes and dislikes etc are different factors which may further affect the process. Like ongoing smoking or alchohol slowly leads to further imbalance of the vata or pitta and the excess of the wind energy or the fire energy if cannot come out of the body has to go some where in the body so it gives rise to arthritis, lupus, heart disease, malignacy etc. As this will affect the different tissue which is weak or has genetically weak area or from prior trauma.
Goal is to understand the underlying prakruti of the person or his/her genetics and so what imbalances it has and to use the life style, choice of foods, exercise, and herbs that is specifically to that person. Ayurveda provides a very detail understanding of the person at the level of body, mind and emotion and how to modify it based on his/her body type. This is a key benifit of the Ayurveda over the regular medicine we practice currently. As regualry no medication or diet prescribed are based on one’s own genertic make up it is a standard diet. Like ADA diet for the diabeties and all gets the same no difference. But all different type of people with diabtes eats same diet but may not be sutable for all. Although it is correct based on the sugar count or calories count. By number system is is good but not all the patient is able to digest the food correctly. So if the understanding of the Ayurveda is added to the current diet and the body type and selection of the diet it may work more better then a standrad diet.
Ojas is the key for the health and it is the end product of the food we eat. It is very unique principal described in ayurveda and cannot find this principle any where else. There is no english translation of Ojas but it is the combination of all the essentials of life present in the body. It is the combiation of all the hormones, neurtrasmitters, cellular and humoral immunity, Prana, tejas, which sustains the life. Its depletion leads to the death which is seen in patient with HIV or AIDS. There is some depletion of Ojas in patient with chronic fatigue in milder degree.
We provide a unque understanding to our patients been treated for chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia or sleep disease order provide a intergrative method of treatment and education and make the changes based on the Ayurvedic understanding of the priciples. Ayurveda is time tested knowledge for many generations and been used for centuries by mankind. Its understanding can make further understanding of disease process and its treatmetn and prevention.