sitemap | help
Click here to access to our stories featuring images from our collections and related materials ranging from Unusual takes, voices to biographies and more. Click here to find a feature debate and other debates related to some of our subjects and topics found with the READ section, please note, you need to be a registered user to participate in debates Click here to browse or search for images and related materials.  Alternatively use the advanced search for more detailed queries. Click here to create your own web galleries using our image collections or to personalise your experience within Ingenious.  Please note that you need to be a registered user to work with the CREATE tools.  Go to the 'Register' link to utilise Ingenious Create Tools Menu Log in Menu Search
Spacer image
Spacer image
save to my links [ + ]read caption
Topic section: Ayurveda
TOPIC SECTION:
Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a living medical tradition with a history reaching back more than two thousand years. With roots in the Indian subcontinent, its infl
Image: According to Ayurveda, examining the size, shape and colour of the eyes gives information about the balance of the doshas
According to Ayurveda, examining the size, shape and colour of the eyes gives information about the balance of the doshas.
Copyright: Mark de Fraeye
uence has spread to many other parts of the world. The name Ayurveda comes from ayus (life) and veda (knowledge or science), indicating that Ayurveda incorporates a whole way of life.

Three forces called doshas are central to the Ayurvedic concept of the body. These doshas are known as vata, pit
A healthy person’s pulse should be like an elephant - slow, steady and regular.
ta and kapha. Your health, character and appearance can all be influenced by the dominant dosha in your body. The fundamental aim of Ayurveda is to use treatments and lifestyle to bring your doshas as closely as possible into balance.

Your physical appearance and pulse can suggest imbalances in the doshas, indicating where in the body an illness is focused. Highly trained Vaidyas (Ayurvedic doctors) rely on their senses to help diagnosis. Examining patients’ physical characteristics can give clues. For example, different medical problems give the pulse a distinct character, often compared to the characteristics of animals. A healthy person’s pulse should be like an elephant - slow, steady and regular.The Vaidya also questions the patient. First impressions are very important and diet, lifestyle and state of mind are all relevant when making a diagnosis.

Vaidyas treat patients from all levels of society and all religious backgrounds. Sometimes they use Ayurvedic trea
Image: Meditation, like yoga, has strong links with Ayurveda and is often recommended as part of an ‘Ayurvedic lifestyle’
Meditation, like yoga, has strong links with Ayurveda and is often recommended as part of an ‘Ayurvedic lifestyle’.
Credit: Science & Society Picture Library
tments alongside those from other medical traditions.

When treating illnesses, Vaidyas generally use two types of therapies. Some actively purge and purify the body to eliminate the causes of disease (shodhana). Other therapies are more passive and soothe the symptoms of disease (shamana).

The centrepiece of Ayurvedic treatment is panchakarma therapy. Meaning the ‘five actions’, panchakarma is a series of procedures - including vomiting, purging and enemas - which aim to drive out harmful doshas (forces) and waste products.

Vaidyas are as concerned with preventing illness as with treating it. They are as likely to prescribe exercise and changes in diet as they are medicine. They will also recommend a disciplined and balanced lifestyle - which may include early mornings, fewer late nights and special attention to personal cleanliness and hygiene.


 

 
 
Spacer image

Spacer image
Topic section: Traditional Chinese Medicine
Spacer image
Balance and harmony are essential in Traditional Chinese Medicine – good health is believed to stem from the smooth flowing of the cosmic energy, qi (chi). TCM started in China more than two thousand years ago, and is now integrated into health care systems around the world.  > more

Spacer image
Topic section: African medical traditions
Spacer image
For thousands of years, Africa’s many medical traditions have grown and changed in response to local disease and sickness. Although a diverse continent, certain elements of theory and practice are common to the many African medical traditions taking a holistic, community-led approach to medicine.  > more
 
Click here to print this page in a printer friendly format  > Printer friendly version > Back to top
© NMSI. All rights reserved. | terms of use | sitemap | contact us | accessibility | privacy | who we are
Spacer image
Spacer image
Read More
Please click here to explore this topic further and to access our our stories featuring images from our collections and related materials ranging from Unusual takes, voices to biographies and more.
If your browser is not javascript enabled then click here to Read More. To learn how to javascript enable your browser click here.
  right arrow Voices - of people involved
  right arrow Unusual Takes - the unexpected angle


See caption
Click here to see images related to this section
Related to: