Ayurveda is an all-encompassing and holistic system of medicine with roots in India dating back over 5,000 years. Due to its infinitely relevant fundamentals, it is known to be in existence forever. The crux of Ayurvedic treatment lies in the belief that the mind, body, and spirit are intricately linked, and that one must maintain a harmonious balance between these elements to achieve optimal health and well-being. According to Ayurveda, healthy living and well-being are achieved when the mind, body, and spirit are in balance.
The premise behind Ayurveda is that disease is a natural consequence of living out of harmony with nature. Essentially Ayurveda is a medicinal practice that helps in solving health-related problems holistically and naturally. Ayurveda is divided into eight branches namely Kayachikitsa (internal medicine), Bala roga (paediatrics), Graha roga (psychiatry), Urdhwa roga or Shalakya tantra (ENT), Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery), Jara roga/Rasayan tantra (Geriatrics), Visha Chikitsa (Forensic & toxicology), Stree roga (Gynaecology) for better management of diseases. The Eight branches of Ayurveda or Ashtang Ayurveda is a collective name for the eight major disciplines of Ayurveda. Branches specialise in specific areas of health and well-being and focus on a specific aspect of it.With eight different branches, Ayurveda offers comprehensive approaches to various aspects of health and wellness. Let’s examine how they can enhance your overall health and vitality. The eight branches of Ayurveda are;
This branch is known as internal medicine or general medicine in Ayurveda. They work in diagnosing and treatments that usually affect the internal systems of the human body. This branch focuses on the overall well-being of the body and strives to maintain the balance of the internal systems so that the body can go back to functioning normally. In the Kaya Chikitsa branch the treatment regimens are carried out mainly to solve the root cause and not the symptoms directly. This branch also insists on maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet, ideal lifestyle and exercise, stress management, and other mindfulness practices. Internal medication through various types of formulations like tablets, powders, decoctions, syrups, herbs-mineral formulations, and various external therapies like snehan, swedan etc. are utilized for treatment. Panchakarma is the 5 specialized treatments that are prescribed if the disease doesn’t come under control with the oral form of medication and the disease is chronic with severe vitiation of the doshas.
This branch of Ayurveda deals with diagnosing and treating diseases and problems that are faced by children or pediatrics. The term “Bala” means child. The treatments are tailored to the unique needs of the children and set on promoting their health and well-being. T
he goal of Bala Chikitsa is to help children reach their full potential by supporting their natural growth and development through various stages of child growth. This includes a nutritious diet, exercise, lifestyle building, etc. Most importantly this branch insists on the importance of parental care for the growth of children and provides guidelines regarding the same from childbirth.
This branch of Ayurveda specifically deals with the diseases of mind and psychic conditions. It also describes the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders caused by the affliction of Deva, Asura, Gandharva, Yaksha, Rakshasa, Pitara, Pishacha, Naga, and other demons or evil spirits (demonology, evil spirits, and infections) Current practice deals with developmental disorders, depression, anxiety, mood swings, emotional disturbances, fear and anger.
The Urdhvaanga chikitsa also known as Shalyaka chikitsa of the Ayurveda deals with the identification of diseases and its treatment of the head, neck, or upper body. This branch is equivalent to
otorhinolaryngology and ophthalmology of modern medicine. Treatments like Netradhara, Karnapoornam, Gandoosham, or Shirolepa are carried out in this branch for related diseases that occur in the upper body. Apart from that it also deals with the problems faced by the central nervous system, skull, and throat. This branch helps in building a strong and balanced upper body and has notable introductions in the famous treatise Susruta-Samhita.
This branch is commonly called general surgery and deals with understanding and treating surgical conditions. This branch was mastered by one of the pioneers of Ayurveda Susrutha who is credited to be one the first people to perform surgeries and had left behind detailed instructions on his manual Susruth-Samhita. This branch details the pre-procedures, procedures, and post-procedures that need to be performed during the surgeries. It also talks about detailed information about anesthesia and instructions for its usage. Apart from that the Shalya chikitsa also discusses in detail the energy points or marma, instruments, and bandages that need to be used for specific procedures. Special techniques of Parasurgical procedures like Kshara Karma, Kshara Sutra, Agnikarma, Raktamokshana, Jalaukavacharana, Siravyadhana etc have been adopted to treat many sufferers.
In the Damstra Chikitsa, the diagnosis, and the treatments are done for the poisoning and toxic conditions and their prevention. This includes toxins from plants, insects, minerals, and materials. The treatments are prescribed to stop the poison from affecting the body and keep it from causing any further damage after identifying the type of poison that affected the patient. This branch also considers air and water pollution as a part of pollution that needs to be resolved for healthy living.
This branch deals with preventing and treating degenerative disorders, regardless of one’s age. The Jara Chikitsa emphasizes the use of rasayanas, which are rejuvenating substances or therapies, to promote longevity. Among the healing modalities in Jara Chikitsa are those that promote longevity, better memory, youthfulness, brightness, positive emotions and virtues, strength, immunity, and vitality. The focus is not only on regulating the symptoms but also on making sure that the source of the problem is also dealt with. Rasayan Chikitsa is executed after the main treatment of the disease is done through Kayachikitsa, just so to avoid the recurrence of the disease.
Vrusha chikitsa is a branch that ensures the diagnosis and treatment of fertility-related issues. The goal of this branch is to ensure the sexual well-being of the people. It focuses on the health and illness of reproductive organs. It talks about sex, virility, potency, etc. Besides promoting emotional well-being, Vrusha Chikitsa emphasizes the role it plays in maintaining a healthy and fulfilling sexuality.
In conclusion, the branching of Ayurveda is an effective way of not only identifying and treating diseases but also making the entire process seamless and easily understandable. This also makes sure that the specific lifestyles or instructions need to be followed in order to achieve a balanced life independent of the disease. Ayurveda assures treatment that not only solves the symptoms but also identifies and solves the cause thereby preventing it from ever happening.
Through Alveda, patients inflicted from various diseases can find a holistic with Ayurvedic doctors. Patients can book online consultation for ayurvedic treatment for their health or lifestyle-related problems that can affect them in the long run.