Science or Fiction !!

Ayurvedic medicine involves understanding the aetiology, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic diseases. It is an ancient, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focussing assessment on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological and structural balance. It’s Vedic origin is shrouded in mystery.

The basic principles upon which Ayurvedic medicine operates are:

Biochemical individuality based on genetic and environmental uniqueness.
Patient-centred care rather than disease-focussed.
Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
Web-like interconnections of physiological processes.
Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
Promotion of organ reserve – psychoneuroimmunological processes.

Using these principles, Ayurvedic medicine practitioners focus on understanding the fundamental physiological processes, the environmental inputs, and the genetic predispositions that influence every person’s experience of health and disease. A person is considered as an integral part of the Universe which is governed by Natural laws.

Environmental inputs include the air and water in our community, the particular diet we eat, the manner in which we eat, the choice of food we make, the quality of the food available to us, physical exercise, psychosocial factors, and toxic exposure or traumas we may have experienced

Genetic predisposition is not an unavoidable outcome for our life; our genes may be influenced by everything in our environment from the time of our conception, plus our experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are expressed (activated and experienced).

Fundamental physiological processes keep us alive. They involve cellular communication; energy transformation; replication, repair, and maintenance; waste elimination; protection/defense and transport/circulation. These processes are influenced by environment and by genes, and when they are disturbed or imbalanced by our non-compliance with Nature, they lead to symptoms, which can lead to disease if effective interventions are not applied.

Most imbalances in functionality can be addressed; some can be completely restored to optimum function and others can be substantially improved. Virtually every complex, chronic disease is preceded by long-term disturbances in functionality that need to be identified and effectively managed – the earlier the better.

Once an assessment has been made, the Ayurvedic practitioner examines a wide array of interventions and selects those with the most impact on underlying functionality. Changing how the system(s) function can have a major impact on the patient’s health.

Lifestyle is a very big factor; research estimates that 70-90% of the risk of chronic disease is attributable to lifestyle. That means what, how and when we eat, how we exercise, what spiritual practices we follow, how much stress we live with (and how we handle it) are all elements that must be addressed in a comprehensive approach.
Working in partnership with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner, patients make dietary and activity changes that, when combined with herbominerals targeted to specific functional needs, allow them to really be in charge of improving their own health and changing the outcome of disease.

Within the scope of practice of their own particular discipline, Ayurvedic practitioners may also prescribe herbomineral remedies (nutriceuticals); they may suggest a detoxification protocol (pañcakarma), physical intervention (massage, marma therapy), nutritional protocol (pathyahara), or a stress-management procedure (exercise, yoga, meditation, pranayama).

The good news is: when you look at Ayurveda, we uncover many different ways of attacking problems – we are not limited to the “drug of choice for condition X, Y or Z.”
“Biological and social systems are inherently complex, so it is hardly surprising that few if any human illnesses can be said to have a single “cause” or “cure”.

[Wilson, T., and Holt, T. British Medical Journal, 2001; 323:685-688]