What are Ayurvedic Treatments and Therapies – An Introduction
The main aim of Ayurveda is the preservation of Swasthya (health) and cure of ailments. The object of Ayurvedic treatments is to restore the patient’s natural balance of doshas. The main discipline in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine consists of two primary procedures- Brimhana and Langhana. Brimhana is nourishing and Langhana is reducing the body. Most of the diseases need langhana type of management. Langhana is of two types- Shamana (palliation) and Shodhana (purification).
When aggravation of doshas and accumulation of doshas are mild, they can be pacified by appropriate Samana medicines or treatment procedures. These comprise of Deepana-pachana drugs (Amapachana), Trit (restriction of fluid intake), Maruta sevana (exposure to fresh air), Atapa sevana (sunbath), Upavas (fasting), Vyayama (proper exercise). Since the elimination of root cause is not completely possible by these methods, the chances of recurrence are more.
The elimination therapy is employed when the vitiated doshas are more, or in other words the accumulation of impurities at an extreme level. Different methods are described for elimination, which suit to different disease conditions- Vamana (emesis), Virechana (purgation), Nasya (nasal medication), Vasti (medicated enema), and Raktamokshana (blood letting).
The group of five purification measures comprising of Vamana, Virechana, Vasti, Nasya and Raktamokshana are technically termed as Panchakarma in Ayurveda. Pancha means five and Karma means action. These are bio cleansing procedures used in Ayurveda. By these methods the toxins accumulated and adhered to the body channels (shrotas), due to derangement of doshas are expelled through the natural orifices of the body. (By Vamana through mouth, by Virechana and Vasti through anus and by Nasya through nostrils).
Since these are major operations (Pradhana karma), they require preoperative and post-operative procedures. The preoperative procedures are known as poorvakarmas. Snehana (oleation) and Svedana (sudation) are the two major preoperative measures. By snehana vitiated doshas adhere to the channels (Shrotas), tissues (Dhatus) and organs are moisturized and transformed in to a form suitable for elimination. Svedana is intended to liquefy the doshas and lead them to the gastro intestinal tract (Mahashrotas). After this, by administering appropriate Panchakarma, doshas are expelled through the nearest natural orifice of the body.
Then by using specific post operative measures, prescribed for each karmas, the body regains normalcy.