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  1. “The science of life” Man has eternally endeavored to keep himself free from three types of miseries namely physical, mental and spiritual. Hence the history of medicine is as old as the history of mankind. As per our tradition the primary objectives of human life are: dharma or to perform religious rites, artha or to acquire wealth, kama or to satisfy the worldly desires and moksha or to attain liberation. Good health was considered to be the essential condition for the achievement of these objectives. According to Caraka (one of the greatest saints ever, who compiled “Caraka Samhita” which is an important text of ayurvedic science ), ayurveda or “ the science of life” had always been in existence and there had always been people who understood it in their own way. Ayurveda , unani, siddha, emchi (Tibetan) and prakritika chikitsa (naturopathy) are the various traditional systems of medicine still prevalent in India. Yoga and Tantra which are primarily meant for spiritual ailments have also certain prescription for the prevention and cure of psychic, somatic and psychosomatic ailments. However Ayurveda is the most popular among not only the people of India but also through out the world, and has a unique position among them. Definition of Ayurveda: The word ayurveda is composed of two Sanskrit terms, viz, ‘ayus’ meaning life and ‘veda’ meaning knowledge, combined together it means “science of life” or “knowledge of life” it is always used to imply “the science of Medicine” in a limited sense. Caraka has defined ayurveda as the “science through the help of which one can obtain knowledge about the useful and harmful types of life (hita and ahita ayus),happy and miserable types of life, things which are useful and harmful for such types of life, the span of life as well as the very nature of life.” From this definition ayurveda emphasis upon not only leading a life which is full of happiness, which implies a personal attitude but also leading a life which will be useful to society as a whole. Man is a social being. He can not withdraw from society. Unless society becomes happy, it is impossible for the individual to attain or maintain his or her own happiness. Ayurveda

  2. Eight branches of ayurveda: • Kayacikitsa or internal medicine. • Salya tantra or surgery. • Salakya tantra or the Treatment of diseases of head, neck and throat. • Agada tantra or Toxicology. • Bhuta vidya or the management of seizures by evil spirits and other mental disorders. • Bala vidya or paediatrics. • Rasayana tantra or Geriatrics including rejuvenation Therapy. • Vajikarana tantra or Science of Aphrodisiacs. • Unique features of ayurveda: • Treatment of individual as a whole: In modern medicine treatment is more symptomatic means correcting the afflicted part of the body, where as in ayurveda while treating a disease, the individual as a whole is taken into consideration. Not only the condition of other parts of the body but also the condition of the mind and soul are taken into account while treating the patient. • Free from toxicity: ayurvedic medicines have centuries of traditional experience behind them. Therefore they produce little toxicity in the human body. Though certain toxic materials are used for the preparations of medicines, they are always detoxicated and made more acceptable to the body before they are actually administered in the form of a medicine. • Each medicine is a tonic: all ayurvedic medicines can be used simultaneously both by the patients and healthy individuals. In patients they cure diseases and in healthy persons they increase immunity against diseases. • Psychosomatic concept of disease: diseases are not considered as exclusively psychic or somatic. Psychic factors can be the cause of somatic diseases and vice versa. This has given rise to a psychosomatic concept of all diseases in ayurveda. • Emphasis on preventive medicines: Ayurveda lays lot of emphasis on the prevention of the diseases. Several Dos and Don’ts are prescribed for healthy individuals. Regiments for the different part of the day, night and different seasons for persons of different age groups and social status, are described in great detail.

  3. Concept of Ayurveda: According to ayurveda human body is made up of three fundamental elements called dosas, dhatus and malas. The dosas govern the physio-chemical and physiological activities of the body, while dhatus enter into the formation of the basic structure of a body cell and perform some specific actions. Malas are substances partly utilized in the body and partly excreted in a modified form after performing their physiological functions. These three elements are said to be in a dynamic equilibrium with each other for the maintenance of health. Any imbalance of their relative preponderance in the body results in disease and decay. Dosas are mainly three known as vata(air), pita (fire), and kapha (water). When these three are in a state of equilibrium along with properly functioning datus, malas, sense organs with a pleasant state of mind and spirit is considered as positive health. Any imbalance in the above factors result in disease. Examination of patients: Mainly the examinations depends up on eight types which are pulse, urine, stool, tongue, voice, touch, eyes and general physical feature. These examinations are conducted keeping in view the fundamental principals of ayurveda. Treatment : Inthe event of the vitiation of bodily dosas, generally three types of therapies are used, namely (1) internal cleansing, (2) external cleansing and (3) surgical therapy. For diseases caused by the afflictions of evil spirit etc. Psychotherapy is used. Different types of therapy: Ayurvedic therapies are classified into six categories viz, Langhana or lightening therapy; Brmhana or nourishing therapy; rukshna or drying therapy; Snehana or oleation therapy; svedana or fomentation therapy and finally stambana or astringent therapy. Drugs used for these therapies have certain characteristic features. Pancha karma is the most important part of cleansing therapy. It includes vamana (vomiting), virechana (purgation), vasthi (niruha type of enema), nasyam (inhalation of medicated oil or powder into nostrils) and Rakthamoshana ( blood letting ). More over, what you eat that you are. Ayurveda gives a lot of emphasis on diet and half of the problems can be rectified through eating wisely.

  4. In Kenya we are blessed to have some of these therapies taking place at AYUSH AYURVEDA AND YOGA CENTREwhich is in brook side groove a km from sarit centre. Ayurveda ‘the science of life’ is a very comprehensive system of healing which is the most ancient system of medicines with history of over 3000 years old. A perfect holistic health approach to attain the balance and tranquility in body, mind and spirit. Therapies done: Abhyanga: With medicated oils, revitalizing the tissues ensures sound sleep, improves luster of skin and circulation, removes toxins from the body, softens body tissues and relaxes mind. Good for circulatory and motor neuron disorders. Sweda(steam treatment): An invigorating herbal steam bath with abhyanga. Shirodhara (mental stress reliever): Alleviates stress and mental strain nourishes hair follicles, recommended for insomnia, hair loss, dandruff and migraine head ache. Navarakizhi: Special rice prepared with herbal decoction and milk filled in Muslin bags is applied to the body with bearable heat. Udvarthanam: A special powder massage to reduce the fat from body. Good for obesity and cellulites Patra pinda sweda(maxi rejuvenator): The supreme oil massage followed by application of special medicinal leaves in Muslim bag is applied to the body. Nasyam and talam: Application of medicated oil in to nostrils and head for cleaning the head, neck and throat regions and for mental relaxation. Soundaryavardhini(A facial par excellence): Removes accumulated toxins and dead skin, revives skin tone, making it fresh and glowing. Keshini (Beauty for the crowning glory): Restores natural balance in the scalp/hair follicle base, controls premature hair loss and graying, restores a natural sheen. Padashubhakari(pedicure plus): Soothes the under skin of the foot, helps to improve circulation, revitalizes “ tired feet”.

  5. Karashubhakari (manicure plus): Softens the hands, improve skin tone and feel, gives you the manicure effect. Reflexology: By simple technique of applying gentle pressure through thump to the feet to stimulate and regulate the bodily functions, to bring balance in mental Physical and emotional levels. Very good for relaxation. Yoga and Meditation: For over all personality development at physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels. Good for relaxation, recharging and rejuvenation, removes stress from all levels. Helps to focus and concentrate and brings clarity in thinking. Pranayama: Controlling breath helps to control the mind flow and increases the intake of prana (vital energy) which helps to restore the vigor, vitality and positive health. Specially trained therapists from Kerala and Kenya do all our treatments under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic Doctor from Kerala. Dr. Sunil Kallungal: BAMS, DSAc, PGDYT. E-mail: Mob: +254 733 761 705, 721 269 690