by Harold Shaw
Despite the fact that strict regulations govern approved medical practice, one can never escape the potential side-effects of new drugs. These negative reactions occur in a very small percentage of patients, making the drugs “safe” to use for everyone else. What’s worse is that some big pharma products take an entire generation for their full impact on health to be assessed. Sometimes, clinical trials can also be manipulated.
While Western medicine relies heavily on the discovery of new machinery, compounds and techniques to cure its patients, other cultures believe in the wisdom of ages. One such case is that of traditional Indian medicine, or Ayurveda. Historical proof indicates that Ayurveda has been practiced in the Indian subcontinent for at least 5,000 years. Despite its age, it is estimated that over 90 percent of Indians still employ this form of medicine to successfully treat their ailments.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine is a form of natural medicine that is centred on the individual. The very principles of this practice stipulate that each person’s body is unique in its own way. From structure to needs, weaknesses, physiological and mental configurations, every individual has his or her own constitution or prakruti. For a medical practice that predates our era, it’s a highly advanced and refined manner of understanding diseases.
Before an Indian practitioner of Ayurveda can prescribe a cure for a patient’s illness, they must be ‘familiarised’ with their constitution. As a result, the cure is always customised to their needs. Coincidentally, this is what modern medicine tries to do, as the majority of prescriptions require blood or other tests to assess your current state..
Unlike modern medicine, however, Ayurveda considers an unhealthy diet, stress, relationships with others and even the weather as possible factors that can influence a particular disease. The purpose of Ayurvedic remedies is not to ameliorate the symptoms, but rather to determine what causes it in the first place. For once, you’re not going to get a painkiller for your pain.
The first higher education degree in Ayurveda is Ayurveda?
Many Americans have heard about Ayurveda, and some of them may even have decided to try different cures for their illnesses. However, until now, no U.S. citizen has been able to phone a certified, licensed Ayurvedic practitioner for a prescription that’s officially approved and recognised by the state. Recently, however, Grass Valley College in California decided to take the first steps towards an integrative understanding of medicine.
The institution has officially introduced a three-year doctorate program in Ayurvedic Medicine. This first-of-its kind program is a full-time doctorate that will take six semesters to complete. By the end of this degree, graduates will be thoroughly acquainted with the principles of Ayurveda, the necessary skills and knowledge to diagnose patients, as well as be able to prepare traditional cures.
Accredited by the National Council of Ayurvedic Education, the doctorate is a step forward in an age when people think a pill is always the answer. Instead of promoting a mentality that everything holistic, herbal, alternative or integrative is wrong and even harmful, higher education institutions should be leading the way and providing a standard for everyone else. In this respect, Green Valley College is definitely a breath of fresh air.
If you need proof
Millennia-worth of successful treatments somehow fall short of convincing people and even medical practitioners that Ayurvedic medicine has valuable insight when it comes to our bodies. While there is still a high demand for proof in terms of the effectiveness of Ayurvedic practices, the World Health Organization (WHO) has gone out of their way to provide some.
In the 1970s, WHO determined that Ayurveda recommendations for rheumatoid arthritis are safe, effective and do not incur any side-effects in patients. In 2011, another study found that the recommended herbal compound was just as effective at combating this form of arthritis as prescription drugs. All of the benefits, but none of the diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding gums, bloody urine or other wretched consequences. Osteoarthritis, heart disease and hypertension are other diseases that Ayurveda has helped to successfully manage in a manner that’s infinitely less harmful to the body than Western medicine.