The Ayurvedic versus Western Medical Approach
"One should never feel embarrassed for not knowing the name of a disease, for there is no rule that every disease has name."
-Astanga Hrdaya, Sutrasthana 12:64
In the western medical model, there is great emphasis on the delineation between one disease versus another, and a penetrating focus on treating every one of these diseases from the basis of its symptomology. And in the western medical model, the list of diseases is continuously growing, causing medical professionals to be forced to specialize in the treatment of one disease over another.
This focused fragmentation creates the illusion that every imbalance is separate from another, and that each is entirely unique, and thus requires an entirely separate treatment plan. We can think of this approach, more as a form of managing disease, rather than treating it.
Whereas in Ayurveda, professionals were traditionally able to treat a wide variety of imbalances in both men and women, and in patients of all ages, and even in some domesticated animals.
Ayurveda instead approaches any disease, not from its symptomology as a foundation, but from the unique physical, mental, emotional and spiritual imbalances that are occurring in that specific individual.
Ayurveda truly seeks to understand, not the symptomology and how it can be erased, but rather, the root source of those symptoms and the cause of the disease.
Ayurveda even suggests that naming, or knowing the name of a disease, is unnecessary in the quest to uncover the most appropriate treatment plan.
Furthermore, Ayurveda considers disease to be an abnormal manifestation; an expression of a lack of equilibrium within our Agni, (digestive fire) the Doshas, the Dhatus (tissues), and/or the Malas (the three waste products), the senses, and the mind-consciousness connection. Ayurveda views no disease as a random event brought about by bad luck or misfortune–even contagious diseases–but as a cumulative result of our previous actions, our diet, lifestyle, our environments and repressed emotions held in the body. Therefore, treatment is a final resort, but if we make a conscious commitment to living in alignment with the teachings of this great and wise Vedic science, we can live in harmonious balance and avoid disease altogether.
"Health is order; disease is disorder. Within the body, there is a constant interaction between order and disorder. The wise man learns to be fully aware of the presence of disorder in his body and then sets about to reestablish order. He understands that order is inherent in disorder and that a return to health is thus possible."
-Dr. Vasant Lad
While allopathic medicine has brought such incredible progress, gifts and solutions to the medical field, Ayurveda's eternal teachings continue to stand the test of time and to guide us not only to treat and potentially heal any imbalance, but to experience truly radiant and vital health throughout our entire lives.
Learn more about Ayurveda here!