What are the fundamental differences in the way a disease is inferred and diagnosed by ayurveda and allopathy?
Ayurveda says, disease is the disturbance in equilibrium and treatments are efforts to bring back it. Though criteria of assessment are a long list but mainly, the state of imbalance of Dosha, Agni (digestive fire), Dhatu (structural tissues), Mala (waste products) and state of Atma, Manas, Indriya (senses) are sufficient to infer about the disease and to arrive a diagnosis. Compare to modern medicine naming a disease has given least importance in Ayurveda as the permutations and combinations of the state of above become innumerable. A Set probable mode of treatments is given and it’s the duty of the wise physician to decide the right at the given condition.
In Ayurveda is the target for treatment the body, an organ or a system?
As Ayurveda looks problem has a whole (together) hence it never looks the body in the target area at all. It means that, the problem’s impact is not identified as a single entity or a single point rather it looks to the zone or area of affliction. It never means that, the other parts are not afflicted rather it is neglected while treatment as its minimum and corrected when the core is corrected. Hence, it looks to the body as whole and treat as whole.
If triage were used in Ayurveda what are the factors that will determine if a patient is critically ill? How does Ayurveda deal with immediate and short-term medical problems?
The triage in Ayurveda depends on the following criteria:i. Who possess a constitution (prakruti) which is capable of withstanding the rigor of therapeutic measures and the action of powerful drugsii. Who is young in ageiii. Male (males are easy to treat than female)iv. Who has good control of senses (jithedriya)v. If not affected the Marma (vital point)vi. Which arises on account of light causesvii. Which exhibit mild prodromal symptomsviii. Mild of less intense main symptomsix. Which has no complicationsx. Where the dhatus of the body, place of residence and the season of the incidence of the disease and the constitution of the patient exhibits the traits opposite to those of the diseasexi. If afflicted by one doshaxii. It is spread in only in the same channel (no metastasis)xiii. If the disease in early stagexiv. If all the four limbs of medicine fulfills properly (physician, patient, attendant and medicine)xv. If the grahas (planetary positions) are goodThe above told are the criteria in general and in the case of each disease it may vary slightly. Another set of norms are told which means patient is going to die soon (marana lakshanas/arishta lakshanas) so that you can refer him and another set for rejection due to its legal, political and social issues.Ayurveda measures a disease and its extension of reach in body generally by symptomatology. After that it decides to treat the condition in generalized way or locally. Three major categories are applied they are,i. Cause orientedii. Disease orientediii. Combination of the aboveHence, in most of the time in short-term and immediate conditions, disease and it’s symptom oriented management will be opted and mainly prefers local usage of medicine. (Ex: A patient is unconscious and real cause is not known then do nasya (nasal administration) and try him to make him conscious)
How does Ayurveda determine the length or course of a treatment? (Based on the intensity or complexity of the disease or both)
As told earlier, the amount of vitiated dosha (intensity) is an important point along with its dept of affliction. The higher the depth, tougher and longer to treat is simple to understand. The length determines by the type of treatment and its power to extract dosha from body and duration depends on the time taken by the therapy to remove it out of the body. It also depends by the tolerance, and status of health and complexity -in terms of associated problems, multi-dosha involvement etc.
Would you agree that the operative words for Ayurveda are rejuvenation, recovery, activation, restoring (restitution) etc?
Yes, But Purification, Reconstruction, Renovation, Harmonization are more appropriate as Revitalization, Rejuvenation etc are yet to defined in the context of Classical Ayurveda as at present these words are used in commercial language of Ayurveda.
Does ayurvedic treatment function always as a “lead” factor that will help the body cure the disease and thereby the symptoms?If so, how does it calculate the pathways and “transmission loss” that occurs when a medicine is introduced into the body?
It is true, if strictly confine to Pathya (food-lifestyle-behavior-routine restrictions). The lead factor is pathya and avoiding apathya which facilitate body for easy recovery but treatments are not the lead factor rather its duty to understand the lack and fulfill or excess to through out.Ayurveda identified the Transmission loss also and to avoid or to minimize the transmission loss, path ways like oral administration in some situation, rectal administration in some other situation in different situations are told. (Ex. Giving a nasya (nasal administration of medicine in a case of different types of headache makes sense in some situations than of oral medication, as taken orally may take long time to reach the site and with transmission loss where as nasal administration make proximity in application and least distance for travel and to reach the site. Besides, it also prevents the qualitative and quantitative modification during its travel towards the location)
Can this transmission loss be calibrated so that given a person’s lifestyle, the climate in which he lives, and the difference in his metabolic rate to personalize the formulation?
It can be calibrated, but at present these calibration are done intellectually by physician and he does the personalization of treatments and formulations. That is the true approach of Ayurveda.
How much weightage is given for the psychosomatic effect in Ayurveda? In cultures where there is inadequate trust / cynicism how much would its effectiveness be affected?
Ayurveda given enough weightage to the psychosomatic effect from clinical aspect till therapeutical areas and explained many non- medicinal or drugless management of conditions. But at present era though it is true that trust is on decline but that is seen more towards individuals not towards institutions, I felt. Belief, assurance, security, respect etc., are also play great role in healing but it never means that those makes it heals. It creates positivity in individual and act as a lead factor for early recovery. Hence, though it may influence the percentage of effectiveness in sum it can be made negligible.
In Ayurvedic treatment, is the change in lifestyle / diet essential for effective cure?
As told earlier, life style corrections and diet corrections are done for better daily basis effortless cleaning from the part of the body. These corrections are targeted to attain correct and effort less transportation and disposal mechanism so that it act as a supportive frame for attaining harmony. Thus, these have a potential role for earliest recovery from illnesses. Even with out these, cure can be attained but the possibility of time-consumption may be high and reemergence are possible.
Are there any calibration / unit to define a shift in Tridoshas? What is the evidence? Can it be related to objective and scientific diagnostic measurement systems?
Doshas are not the material entity and it a conglomeration of a set of qualities on action. Hence if we can calibrate qualities (guna) the chance of calibration is possible but that calibration will be the calibration of it in that given time. But that makes no problem as all biological calibrations are variable like pulse, BP etc., as they are significant in the given time only. Thus, Guna is the unit of dosha. And it is more subjective in expression with my knowledge, I never come through a scientific measurement systems.
What is the variability of the impact of Ayurvedic treatment based on external factors such as temperature, humidity, diet, altitude, animal protein intake etc?
The above mentioned are external factors except diet and animal protein intake which is internal in nature. Thus, like above hundreds of factors like watching television, emotional activity etc can also be identified but it many times unavoidable in the present circumstances. So, Can be categorise them in to three,Which create directly negative effectsNo direct effectWhich create positive effectsBy this categorization we can choose so that which create positive effects can be added or supported and which give negative effect can be avoided and the middle can be chosen according to the situation.The internal factors are more chance to make higher degree of influence as it faces the direct contact with systems of body. For example in many diseases animal fat are used as medicine so it can be given.