Kerala | Kerala Ayurveda

The Ayurveda
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian health science developed through long research works of sages, who were eminent scholars. As the term Ayurveda denotes to the knowledge of life it’s not only a system to cure disease but the regimen teaching us ways to achieve Perfect Health from diseased or abnormal conditions and guidelines to lead a life, both physical and mental, to attain the bliss of real life. According to Ayurveda human body is composed of three fundamental elements called Doshas which represent the physicochemical and physiological activities of the body, Dhatu which denotes the materials entering in to the formation of a basic structure of the body cell, thereby performing some basic actions and Malas the substance which are partly used in the body and partly excreted in yet another from after serving their physiological activities. The dynamic equilibrium of these leads to perfect health and imbalance of any of these leads to disease. To attain perfect health we have to maintain the original, natural balance of these. The role of a physician is to understand the imbalance happened to this dynamic equilibrium and to correct or give advice as how can it be brought to the original state, whether with medicine or with changes in life style. Though Doshas, Dhatus and Malas are equally important, Doshas have added dominance; because human body and everything in it are influenced by Doshas and maintenance of their balance will correct the defects of the other.
Doshas are three vata, pitta, and kapha and they may not be equal and same in all. According to the dominance of each dosha every man is categorised to different types. There can be 1 dosha types, 2 dosha types and 3 dosha types. There is abundant means to find out body types and it is easy for an Ayurvedic doctor to comprehend anyone’s body type. A lot of rearrangements and adjustments we can do in a positive way in our life style, food habits etc; according to our body type to attain a stage of perfect health and to resist illness. So nowadays, in the age of dreadful diseases the Ayurvedic system of identifying body types has unfathomable importance. Physical and mental co-operation of the patient to make necessary changes in his life style and food habits also are essential to procure the natural dynamic balance of the doshas and once that balance is maintained the illness is gone. So every Ayurvedic doctor is making his patient very healthy and not treating the disease. Ayurveda gives special emphasis on prevention on disease. Signs and symptoms by which we can foresee an illness are well described in the texts so that can take necessary steps to avoid it or lesser the strength of it. More over Ayurveda describes how to live to avoid disease in each climate and how can perfect health be maintained throughout the life. A strict follower of these advices can enjoy an ill-less enthusiastic life with high quality physical, mental and spiritual health.
Ayurvedic Treatments
The treatment in Ayurveda is classified mainly into two Samana and Sodhana. Samana is the pacifying way of treatment and sodhana roots out the disease from the body. Oral therapy and easier means of treatment are prescribed under Samana treatment. But Sodhana treatment is extensive, time consuming procedures to change a diseased man to the original healthy man. These are widely used all over India for patients with chronic illnesses. If done with special precautions, regular checkups and extra care these types of Sodhana treatments can work wonders and this is what happens in India, especially in Kerala which attracts a lot of foreigners from all over the world to this small state.
Ayurvedic Medicines
According to ayurvedic principle you are what you eat. So much significance is given to the food habits and life style. Natural herbs are widely used as Ayurvedic Medicines. In fundamental principles of Ayurveda 5 basic elements are very important. The universe and anything in the universe is believed to be made of these 5 elements- air, water, earth, fire and space. Quality and nature of everything varies according to difference in the proportion of these elements. According to the dominance of these elements each plant or each mineral exhibits its own physical and chemical characters. This basic principle is made use of in the formulation of Ayurvedic Medicines. Since natural herbs being the main ingredients of the Ayurvedic Medicines, side effects or ill effects are negligible. So it is more or less safe to use Ayurvedic Medicines in any condition.
Ayurvedic Panchakarma and Kerala Treatments
Panchakarma is a term most mistaken among people. Ayurvedic Panchakarma is really 5 main treatments, by which vitiated Doshas are expelled from the body. Ayurvedic Panchakarma includes Vamana - induced vomiting, Virechanam - Purgation, Asthapanam - enema with decoction, Anuvasanam - enema with oil and Nasyam - Nasal application of oil. According to another school, both the enemas are included under common title Vasti and 5th one is Raktamoksham - Bloodletting. Kerala is a small state situated at the south west of India. Kerala has a very unique cultural background and has a special nature that it won’t accept anything as such. If anything new comes, it will sow the seeds of that in its own soil and cultivate with its own water and air and then will reap the results and that will be used. This happened in the case of Ayurveda too. Apart from all over India, Kerala has a special method of treatment. Though the lessons and texts studied are same, the system of treatment is entirely different and far more effective as well. These special methods of treatment which can be included in the pre and post Panchakarma procedures are Sarvangasnehadhara or Pizhichil - oil bath, Shashtikapindaswedam - rice bundle massage, Sirodhara - head bath, Patrapodalaswedam - leaf bundle massage etc.
Some very important points to be borne in mind before undergoing intensive Ayurvedic Treatments: Pizhichil is contra indicated in serious liver and renal problems. After each set of 7 oil baths purgation is essential, because the toxins and waste materials collected in the intestine, as a result of the oil baths, should be expelled or it will be reabsorbed in the body. Blood parameters should be checked and kept in safe level before starting any of the intensive treatments. Whole body rice bundle massage is contra indicated in diabetics, obese and patients with serious cardiac, hepatic and renal problems. In summer and in patients with elevated pitta, leaf or medicated powder bundle massage is not good. Sirodhara should not be done in cerebral thrombosis or may lead to fatal embolisms. Sirovasti has strong impact on brain. So it should be done with proper care and under the guidance and presence of a physician and only in serious brain and nerve diseases. Perfect rest, regular oil massage, oral drugs and peace of mind are essential throughout the curative period, after the intensive treatments or it may affect body negatively. Steam bath should not be done If you are not treated with oil inside and outside or if you are obese, too lean, too weak, having loose motion or bleeding of any sort, after trauma, alcoholic having cataract, ascetic, some of skin conditions, tuberculosis, arthritis, prolapsed rectum, fatigue, anger, depression, fear, hunger, thirst, jaundice, hepatitis, anemia, diabetes, excessive pitta and pregnancy. Ayurveda cares for patient’s physical and mental satisfaction and so these treatments are done in patients with peace of mind or they have to be made so before starting with. Ayurveda believes that healthy mind is seen only in a healthy body. Mental derangement can lead to ill health and contrariwise. Mind and Body relation is well explained in Ayurveda. Any mental aberration can lead to physical abnormalities and physical problems to mental distortions. So an Ayurvedic Doctor has to think always about the patient’s mental status and capabilities.