“We are in the midst of a global paradigm shift in health care. At the center of this change is Ayurvedic Medicine.”
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old or older healing science. It seems like it’s new because we’re only hearing about it now in the West. But it’s not.
It’s older than Greek medicine, and Islamic medicine which were the basis for western medicine with eminent doctors like Hippocrates, Galen and Avicena (Ibn Sinna).
As a matter of fact, both Greek medicine and Unani (Islamic medicine) have borrowed from Ayurveda.
Ayurveda has the oldest and longest medical text in the world
The Charaka Samhita constitutes the oldest as well as longest medical text in the world. it’s “a wealth of information on all aspects of life, diet, behavior, herbs, health and disease,” all written in Sanskrit. It was devised around 1500 BCE. As students of Ayurveda we are required to read it.
It’s quite an experience to read this book knowing that 3500 years ago, someone else was studying it on the other side of the world… In my experience, it’s very humbling and I’m filled with wonder and gratitude whenever I perused its pages.
The book elaborates on physiology and anatomy. It goes in details into symptoms and signs of disease. The Charaka Samhita also explains how to examine a patient, diagnose and give a prognosis. Another book, the Sushruta Samhita, describes various surgical procedures, including plastic surgery, as well as many surgical instruments.
It’s mind blowing when you think that surgery wasn’t systematized in Europe until the 13th century, almost a millennium later!
Ayurveda was not just limited to diet and lifestyle
It consisted of 8 fields of medicine
1- Internal medicine
3- Ophtalmology and Othorhinolaryngology
7- Anti-aging medicine
8- Sexual Health
Despite its credentials and a wealth of clinical experience, Ayurveda is still considered in the West as an alternative medicine at best, a pseudo- medicine at worst. Even in India, Ayurvedic doctors are not yet fully considered as legitimate doctors.
Ayurveda and eurocentricism
Because we live in a world that is eurocentric.
In the 1800’s when the East India Company appropriated India’s wealth for the British crown, the British closed down existing Ayurvedic schools. They started their own Western medical schools. Furthermore, the practice of Ayurveda was outlawed. Countless of traditional Ayurvedic doctors were imprisoned, unable to transmit their knowledge to their disciples.
This was a political tactic to strip a people of its roots in order to better rule over them.
Read my blog on why Ayurveda is relevant to people, especially women of color.
This happened in all the countries and cultures that experienced European imperialism.
India’s independence and the revival of Ayurveda
When India gained independence in 1947, new schools of Ayurveda opened though still under the control of the British-influenced, allopathic medical community.
Finally today, India has established an independent organization, the Central Council of Indian Medicine, to oversee schools of Ayurveda.
Out of one of these new schools, came Dr. Vasant Lad. This absolutely amazing man came to America and ignited an interest in Ayurvedic medicine in people like Dr. Svoboda, and Dr. Frawley.
I recently saw a moving documentary, The Doctor From India that retells the story of this brilliant man who brought Ayurveda to the West. Click here to find out where the movie is playing today.
I feel so blessed to be a part of this paradigm shift in health care
Today I’m able to share the ancient wisdom of this healing science thanks to these teachers and their students.
Yesterday was Gurupurunima, a yearly celebration and thanks giving to teachers and ancestors. I lit a candle on my home altar to express through meditation and mantra my profound gratitude.
We have more control over our health than we think and therefore more responsibility!
“While Western medicine focuses on identifying external pathogens and controlling disease from the outside, Ayurveda concentrates on the living individual and controlling disease through balancing the life-force within the person.”
We derive our life-force or vitality from the foods we eat and our lifestyle, that is, how we manage our energy, the quality or our sleep. Find out why sleep is Ayurveda’s second pillar of health, click here to read the blog.
Therefore, Ayurveda focuses on that. It incorporates herbs and essential oils, the original medicine, and even metals, in specifically designed herbal formulas to enhance vitality and dispel toxins at the root of the imbalance that creates the symptoms.
Yes, there is a genetic predisposition, but whether or not it will be triggered strongly depends on our lifestyle habits and choices.
From the inside out
“We can no longer simply try to change our environment for health and happiness, as if manipulating the outer will make us feel better on an inner level. We must learn how to develop and improve ourselves and our own internal resources, including not only how we eat and exercise, but also how we breathe and how we think.”
The Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor as a long-term mentor
I propose that Ayurveda should be used as a complimentary medicine working along with standard medicine, supporting the patient and filling up the gaps of standard medicine.
Most of what the general public knows of Ayurveda are the broader principles that can be implemented and adopted by everybody.
However, along with a principal physician or family doctor, we should also have an Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor. The Ayurvedic practitioner/doctor knows our nature intimately, s(he) knows the unique ways we go out of balance and can not only supports us when we have symptoms but also and more importantly advise us on how to maintain a uniquely vibrant level of health all of our life!
Your Heading Here
Take the Ayurvedic Weight Loss Quiz
I created this quiz to help you get real and get an honest assessment about where you are in your relationship to your body and overall health.
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