Even as a child, a friend of mine always wanted to be a doctor – she wanted to help people be healthy. But when she went to study medicine, she only heard the word ‘health’ mentioned three or four times in all her years of study – the lectures were all about disease.
In her thirties she heard about Maharishi Ayurveda, a prevention-oriented natural healthcare system. She was fascinated to hear about a system of healthcare that returned responsibility for our health back to us. In this system, the doctor’s primary responsibility is to provide advice and guidance, including individual diagnoses, to enable the patient to keep themselves healthy.
There are of course procedures and formulations to help with curing diseases but the primary job is to keep people healthy. Ayurveda speaks of 6 stages of a disease, right from an initial imbalance that can easily be corrected by a minor change in behaviour (I loved the example of a serious mathematician who was advised by the Ayurvedic physician to read comics, in order to balance his mind and emotions!) or nutrition, to stage five, where symptoms become apparent, and stage six, where the disease breaks out.
The way I was brought up (and it was the same for my doctor friend), we would seek medical help only when stages 5 or 6 had been reached, in order to get pills to deal with the symptoms, but by then the physiology was already seriously out of balance.
She also found out that there is a diagnostic system known as ‘Nadi Vigyan’ in Ayurveda, in which all that is needed is a pulse diagnosis with three fingers, and this method can pick up even stage one imbalances. Using this method, the physician can diagnose early warning signs the body is giving out and provide the patient with advice on how to return to balance and good health. Think how much such a system could save the NHS!
The first stage of disease in Ayurveda involves a blockage in the Nadis or energy channels in the body, and this is where Maharishi Marma links in beautifully with Ayurveda. Marma therapy releases blocked energy and helps regain balance and good health. And it’s wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable, too.
There will be more information about simple Ayurvedic health hints and tips in future blogs.