Ayurveda and Diseases Understanding

Ayurveda understands that disease is due to a dysfunction in the inner processes of the body and mind. It is a disassociation within the whole system. This is different from our modern functional view of disease that regards organs in isolation and bacteria as causes of disease. Although Ayurveda understands the potential of invading organisms (and refers to them as worms) its primary understanding of disease is systemic rather than reductionist. Many of the causes of dis-ease are seen as originating from within us as are many of the preventative measures that can keep us at optimum health. For Ayurveda, health is more than the absence of disease, it is the whole reason of living because without health you cannot enjoy or pursue the goals of your life. Therefore Ayurveda gives insight into both the causes of dis-ease and the means to obtain the best health.

Ayurveda has grown out of the accumulated knowledge and experience of hundreds of thousands of ayurvedic doctors. The main texts are actually named after renowned doctors, such as the Caraka Samhita , ‘The Treatise of Charaka or the Bhavaprakasa, ‘The Light of Bhava’. Following the ayurvedic teachings, these doctors have developed their insights by applying the theory of Ayurveda to clinical practice and then being flexible enough to adjust this theory as their experience dictates. The texts clearly reveal this flexibility; they are full of adaptations and inquisitive questioning which reflect a deep commitment to learn and apply the truth. Different perspectives on the nature of the humours (dosha), variations on the effects of the tastes, new diseases and numer-ous ways of treating the same disease are discussed. These adjustments reveal an evolving medical system, steeped in a tradition that is respectful of its divine origins yet open to experiential  truth.

The wisdom of Ayurveda is expressed as a way of life that flows with the changes of the seasons, weather, time and place. It teaches dietary and behavioral adjustments that should be adopted as you mature from childhood to adulthood to old age. It gives perennial advice on how to prevent illness as one season becomes another and specific recommendations on how to adjust your daily habits. This way of wholesome living prescribes a routine for all the different climates and geographical regions of the world. It offers particular insights for men and women, children and adults. It is a universal system applicable to every individual living thing/being in any part of the world, and at the root of Ayurveda is its focus on the uniqueness of each individual. In ayurvedic practice no one has the same constitution or disease (even if the ‘names’ are the same) and certainly no one gets the same medicine just because they have the same disease.