Ayurveda, an ancient system of natural and medical healing, originated in India more than 10,000 years ago, is believed to be the oldest healing science in existence, from which all other systems emerged. Ayurveda (which literally means the science of life) gives a total approach to health, healing and longevity. It is a complete natural healing system that depends on the diagnosis of the person’s body elements to achieve the right balance and thus regain immunity and good health. As per Indian heritage, “Ayurveda” is an Upaveda or annexure to the four main vedas (knowledge systems). The famous treaties of Ayurveda are Charaka Samhita by Sage Charaka – which details the prevention and treatment of disease, and Sushruta Samhita of Sage Sushruta, which deals with Ayurvedic surgical procedures.
In the Ayurvedic system, the prevention of all types of disease has a prominent place in treatment, including restructuring a patient’s lifestyle to align with the course of nature and the four seasons guarantee complete wellness. Ayurveda is practiced not just to treat illnesses but to prevent diseases and rejuvenate body. It pays attention to the mind and spirit also. It uses almost all methods of healing like yoga, meditation, purification, regime, astrology, and incorporates herbs, gems, colour, massages, diet, exercise etc, which can be individually used to heal a number of ailments in a suffering person. This system is practiced with authenticity in Kerala.
According to Ayurveda everything in nature is composed of five elements earth, water, fire, air and space (ether). These five elements are categorized into three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurveda says an imbalance in these doshas causes illness.
Ayurveda is classified into eight branches – Ashtaangams, namely kaayachikitsa (general medicine), baalachikitsa (paediatrics), grahachikitsa (psychiatry), oordhwangachikitsa (ENT), salyachikitsa (surgery), damshtrachikitsa (toxicology), jarachikitsa (geriatrics) and vishachikitsa (aphrodisiac treatment). Ayurveda has a well-developed materia medi Ayurveda ribing more than 1,500 plants.
Ayurveda has been a part of Kerala lifestyle. Climatically and naturally Kerala is suited for practising Ayurveda. According to experts Ayurveda treatment and rejuvenation therapy can be carried out most effectively when the climate is neither hot nor cold. The monsoon seasons in Kerala are best suited for this. Kerala is famous for both rejuvenative and therapeutic treatments. Rejuvenation programmes designed to improve vitality, enhance immunity and increase longevity are the popular ones. Usually after examining the patient the physician charts out a programme in accordance with the individual’s physical and psychological make up. Then the treatment begins, which will last from a couple of days to weeks.
Ayurveda offers a range of traditional therapies and herbal medicines to balance the bodily principles and to integrate body, mind and spirit. These therapies can be used for curing various ailments and improve general health. The effect of therapies differs with the oil and other ingredients used. Therapeutic massages and short-term treatments for minor ailments are also rendered on advice and under the supervision of a qualified Ayurveda physician. Avurvedic healing technique is a comprehensive personalized approach to balance the governing principles of physiology through controlling the diet and lifestyle. Thus, what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Instead of trying to treat the symptoms, Ayurveda focuses on root causes of the condition.
Ayurveda is promoted by the state government through the establishment of hospitals and teaching institutions in different parts of the state. In private sector also there are number well reputed institutions which provide excellent service. Ayurveda is an USP of the tourism sector. A lot of people, especially from out side the country visit the state to experience the Ayurveda Holidays’ here. It has brought a substantial increase in the Ayurveda centers in and around all the major tourist destinations in the State. To prevent any misuse and maintain a uniformity of practice Government of Kerala has brought out a scheme for the approval and classification of Ayurveda Centers.
A classification of the centers based on the level of quality of facilities and services provided in the approved Ayurveda centers has been put into practice. Thus they have now been classified into Green Leaf and Olive Leaf categories. The following are the main rejuvenative packages offered at different centres. Kaya Chikilsa (General Medicine), Kaumara Britya (Pediatrics), Graha Chikilsa (Psychiatry and psycho somatic diseases), Shalakya Tantra (Diseases of eye, ear, head, nose, throat and its surgery), Shalya Tantra (General Surgery), Agada Tantra (Toxicology), Rasayana Chikilsa (Rejuvenation Therapy), Rasayana Chikilsa (Aphrodisiac Therapy), Rejuvenation Therapy (Rasayana Chikilsa), Body Immunization / Longevity Treatment (Kayakalpa Chikilsa), Body Seudation (Swetha Karma), Body Slimming, Panchakarma, Abhyangam, Dhanyamla Dhara, Dhara, Kativasthi, Kizhi, Ksheeradhoomam, Lepanam, Nasyam, Njavarakizhi, Pizhichil, Sirovasthi, Snehapanam Thalam, Udvarthanam, Urovasthi, Vasthi and Yoni Prakshalanam. Ayurveda is not only the science of preventive health and healing, but also the philosophy of living.