Ayurveda, the ancient medicinal system is known to be a logical science that gets down to the root cause of the disease rather than dealing with the symptoms mentioned by the patient. Ayurveda diagnosis namely Nidan or Ayurveda Pareeksha is a process that involves a thorough examination of the patient to eliminate the dosha disturbances in the body. According to Ayurveda diseases are caused by the imbalance of the three doshas namely Vata, pitta, and Kapha.
Treatment is based on the findings of the specific tests and the body gets permanent relief from the disease and regains its strength and the ability to function in the normal way. Ayurveda treatment is individual to every patient as it provides treatment according to the body constitution of each individual. It, therefore, has a high degree of accuracy because of the personalized methods of diagnosis.
Ayurveda believes that it is important to address not only the external or physical symptoms but also to look deeply into all the factors that are responsible both internal and external for the imbalance of doshas in the body. These factors may be food, lifestyle, or other such activities that affect the health and well-being of the body and mind.
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Techniques of Ayurvedic Diagnosis
The Ayurvedic physician uses many techniques to diagnose the exact cause of your condition and the dosha imbalances in your body. By asking several questions he or she determines your body constitution and your dosha type. The other techniques used in Ayurveda in diagnosis are Facial Diagnosis, Eye Diagnosis, Tongue Diagnosis, Pulse Diagnosis, Nail Diagnosis, and Lip Diagnosis.
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Ayurvedic Diagnosis revolves around two aspects namely the history of the patient and the physical examination. The history involves information about the symptoms of the disease. Details about the past occurrence of the disease, medicines used, surgery performed if any are noted. In addition, the details on diet, sleep, smoking, alcohol consumption, marriage, sexual life, bowel movements, occupational history, living conditions, financial status, mental status, and social life are also taken into account in determining the line of treatment.
Two stages of examination
The physical examination of the patient is done in two stages. The first is the general examination and the other is to probe the different internal systems.
The general examination is called Ashta Vidha Pareeksha in Ayurveda. It consists of parameters like the pulse namely general appearance, Naadi Pariksha, examination of the tongue, Urine and stool, Speech, use of Palpation and percussion, Gait, the patient’s bodily movement, and the constitution of the patient’s body namely Prakruti.
For example, the tongue diagnosis is done on the size, shape, color, margin, and surface. Paleness indicates an anemic condition and a yellowish tongue may indicate excessive bile secretion the cause of liver disease. The blue tongue indicates heart problems. The white tongue shows mucus accumulation which is a Kapha dosha. A red or yellow-green tongue may be due to pitta imbalance. Black or brown tongue points towards Vata imbalance in the body.
Depending upon the area of the tongue which shows blemishes the Ayurvedic physician can determine which part of the body is affected by an imbalance of doshas. A coating on the middle part of the tongue shows the presence of toxins in the stomach, small and intestines and. coating in the posterior part of the tongue shows toxins in the large intestine.
Examination of the internal systems involves the examination of the Digestive system, Musculoskeletal system, Urinary System, Skin and Hair, Eyes, Respiratory system, Nervous system, Reproductive system, and Heart and circulatory system.
Charaka’s Rogi Pareeksha
Charaka the ancient Ayurvedic scholar has detailed the diagnostic process in ten steps in his book Charaka Samhita. They are done to identify the physical, mental and social condition of the patient in order to look into the patient’s lifestyle and emotional stability, and more. The ten examinations are Aahaara, Prakruti, Vikruti, Sara, Prarmana, Samhanana, Vyayan Shakti, Satmya, Sattva and Vaya.