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Superbeing Admin   July 20, 2017, 6:20 p.m.
Indian Ayurveda on the rise through 'Modi'fication

Indian Ayurveda on the rise through 'Modi'fication

We need to look beyond providing healthcare & engage in the pursuit of good health, a combination of physical and mental well being: PM

Being the Prime Minister of the most populous democratic country in the world, means that you are being under the extreme pressure of meeting the expectations of almost 1.2 Billion people. And our PM Mr Narendra Modi is excelling in his role in a way that none of his predecessors have achieved over a long period.

Modi, himself is a vegetarian, an introvert and a workaholic, with a frugal lifestyle. To be able to perform to the most challenging of the duties at this level requires a healthy body and mind. He has testified that, the secret for his energy is practicing yoga, pranayam and his habit of being a workaholic.

“When soul, senses, intellect are in harmony with internal peace, optimal health is achieved”, PM Modi

Even the amount of travelling he does, at this age, carrying the responsibilities and hopes of the entire nation is mind blowing and shows the passion of the man to make India a superpower among other nations.

One of the important agenda put forward under Modi government is the upbringing of Ayurveda and other traditional system of medicine on a global scale. Yoga, which originated from India, is gaining wide acceptance all over the world. Similarly, a strong movement is required in promoting Ayurveda and other holistic treatment methods. Ayurveda, the Indian traditional system of medicine, which is perhaps the oldest system of medicine known to mankind, having originated around 5000 years ago, somehow lost its charm, by the wide expansion of modern medicine.

One of the first initiatives in this movement for promoting Ayurveda was the setting up of the ministry of AYUSH. The main functions of the ministry of AYUSH are development, education and research in Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy.

"Ayurveda is relevant globally because of its holistic and comprehensive approach to health", PM Modi

Strengthening this movement of bringing our traditional systems of medicine to a point of global acceptance is not the responsibility of the government alone, but all the doctors, treatment practitioners, teachers, students, medicine manufacturers, etc. need to join hands and work for the common goal.

PM Modi points out some challenges that are faced by traditional treatment systems:

1)The problem is not with Ayurveda, it is the mindset of the people carrying Ayurveda

According to Mr. Modi, attitude of the doctors and treatment practitioners is the biggest challenge facing the holistic system. There are very few doctors who are 100% dedicated to their understanding of the treatment system. Many doctors doesn’t have 100% conviction in their knowledge of the treatment system, and also, they have doubts in their minds on the ability and scope of the system they practice.

It is due to this lack of confidence, they recommend the patients to consult a practitioner of modern medicine. This is a very common scenario happening now. There are some cases where doctors asks patients to follow modern medicines for the first 3 days of the illness, and then come back to Ayurveda.

This mental block of treatment practitioners is the biggest hurdle faced now. If an Ayurvedic doctor herself doesn’t have confidence in the knowledge she attained over the years, how can he induce confidence in the patient approaching him for treatment.

A person visits a restaurant, and orders food. As he couldn’t find the owner there in the counter, so he happened to ask the waiter, ’where is your owner?’. The waiter tells him that, ‘The owner went to the nearest restaurant to eat’.  

Imagine the future of such a restaurant. The one who doesn’t trust his own capabilities is never going to achieve anything. This is exactly what is happening with traditional medicine.

2) Health being outsourced to Modern medicine

Ayurveda is not a sector which is limited within a certified doctor. For our ancestors, health was a part of life. They had their own way of maintaining health and managing illness.
Now our health and lifestyle is being outsourced. It was never so during ancient times. During that time, people had good knowledge about the body,  and in case of any discomfort or illness, they were aware of the cure and preventive methods.

"Ayurveda is generally defined as ‘Science of life’ by translating ‘Ayuh(r)’ as life and ‘Veda’ as science", PM Modi

A couple of decades ago, when you travel in a bus or train, imagine, when a child cries. There would be at least  10-15 people who would come up with suggestions and remedies, and most of the times these work. No one questions about the proof or authenticity of such remedies at that time.  It was very common during that period, where a person who doesn’t have any medical expertise would provide support to whomever needed.

This is because of the fact that, it was part of our culture and tradition to know the basics of human body, different preventive and treatment remedies and a healthy lifestyle. But gradually, modern medicine invaded our rich knowledge. People started to outsource their health, which caused loss of belief in traditional medicine among the new generation.

3) People are ignorant about the capabilities of Traditional treatment methods

Ayurveda and other alternate medicine is kind of last resort for patients suffering from chronic health conditions. Initially, patients think as if the only option left for them is to go towards modern medicine.

People don’t know about the capabilities of Ayurveda, its scope as a system of medicine, the authenticity of the diagnosis, treatment procedures, medicines, etc. There is no medium through which a person can identify accurate information justifying all the above doubts.

A fact about modern medicine is that, the whole treatment process in inclined to cure the symptoms, without curing the root cause of the illness. For many health conditions, it uses medication which suppresses the symptoms and does not really bother about the root cause. The same illness can affect again and again, as the root cause is untouched. In some cases prolonged use of such medicines can cause drastic side-effects.

"Health is the complete state of well-being and not the absence of disease", PM Modi

But in Ayurveda, the whole principle is about identifying the root cause and the treatment process depends on this identification. That is the reason why, in Ayurveda, for same disease for two different people, the treatment procedures will be different.

4) Inability to modernize the ancient studies, writings and researches from ancient practitioners

Ayurveda is the oldest (5000 year old) system of medicine known to mankind. The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the gods to sages, and then to human physicians. The great classics of Ayurveda, namely Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridayam and Ashtanga Sangraha, are all believed to have written during 400 BC.

"India has a long history and rich heritage of Ayurveda and Yoga", PM Modi

These classics all have detailed representations all kinds of medicinal plants, its applications, medicinal properties, its effect on different symptoms, etc. They also have detailed explanation of the structure and working of the human body and its response to various environment factors. There were other scholars and practitioners who made considerable contributions of their own to Ayurveda, and these also are available through writings.

One big challenge we are facing today, is the modernization of these studies. All these books are written in Sanskrit, and has a poetic style of writing in the form of shlokas. This is very difficult to understand for modern day students, practitioners, etc. People cannot learn Sanskrit first, and then work on understanding the writings.

One solution to this problem is to translate the writings to other languages that people understand. This should be translated in way that common people can understand and implement it in their day to day life. This should be made part of the academic curriculum, so that teachers and students can work on these translations and reach out to the public.

5) Knowledgeable content related to Ayurveda and holistic treatment systems is not available to public

People working in Ayurvedic sector are doing a number of researches on various topics as part of their academics. These research materials should be made accessible to public, after going through an institutional framework. There should be efforts to publish in various science, health and lifestyle magazines for the public to read. This is how we can educate common people about the capability and scope of Ayurveda.

"India can be a leader in making affordable, holistic healthcare available to the world", PM Modi

Another important suggestion is to include at least one research paper for every student and professor on some subject, and the publication should be made available using modern terminology, for common people to understand. Then there should be efforts to publish these papers in international science, health and lifestyle magazines. Gradually, if we can grab at least 10% of the printing space in these magazines for Ayurveda, it will help to improved traction among international audience about the benefits of our holistic treatment systems.

"We need to present our technology to the world in the language in which they understand. Why cannot our herbal medicines take over the world market", PM Modi"

It is also important to take effort in identifying these magazines, how many of them already have participation in Ayurveda, and how to partner with them. There should be constant efforts from our end in establishing a partnership with these magazines. This collective movement is the best possible method to attract international patients, looking for various treatments.

India, having being under the British for many years, still have that negative slave mindset. Our people still doesn’t value materials published in local and national media. For our people to believe something, it should be through some international media. Not only the people, most of the Ayurvedic doctors also have the same mindset. So the importance of publishing articles in international media is important to achieve local traction as well.

6) Application of medicines is not easy

When Pandit Nehru was the PM of India, a committee was organized for the revival of Ayurveda. It was called the Hathi Committee. The final report of the committee stated that, in order the popularize Ayurveda, the packaging of the medicines needs to change.

Even about a decade ago, we could notice that Ayurvedic medicines were available in the form of raw materials, and patients had to follow very complicated instructions for consuming the final form of medicine. Different forms of oils and powders prescribed were also difficult to carry.

Now a major advancement is happening in the packaging of medicines, improve the usability. There has been considerable researches happening, and now readymade capsules are available for Ayurvedic medicine, very similar to modern medicine. It is also beneficial for the doctors to prescribe medicines, as the medicines are in ready-to-consume form, and packaged to carry around easily.

To improve the packaging of the medicines, without making any compromises on the quality, it is important that Ayurvedic doctors, researchers and medicine manufacturers work collaboratively. There should be constant interactions taking place for making this collaboration successful in attaining the common goal of promoting Ayurveda.

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"We need to look beyond providing healthcare and engage in the pursuit of good health, a combination of physical and mental well being", PM Modi


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