Prevention has always been the first and major goal of ayurveda. According to the most ancient ayurvedic text, only when the physician has failed in that first goal does he or she need to resort to the second goal — which is cure.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Anxiety or depression
- Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
- High blood pressure or cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
- Premenopausal problems
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Ayurveda identifies six stages in the development of disease. In the first two of the six stages, there are no symptoms.
In the third stage there may be vague, non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and general malaise, which become more pronounced in the fourth stage.
Only in the fifth stage do symptoms manifest that are specific to a particular disease.
Conventional diagnostic tools which are used to detect disease in an early stage, such as blood tests and X-rays, are able to detect disease only after it has become physically manifest – for example, a small tumour or elevated blood sugar levels.
In Ayurveda, this would be in the fourth or fifth stage of pathogenesis.
Ayurveda aims to detect disease at an earlier stage, before it becomes clinically manifest, when the disease process is easier to reverse.
Ayurvedic treatment comprises a complete system of food, therapies, and natural medication, which cleanses the body of toxins, reduces stress and prescribes exercises for keeping the body healthy.
The World Health Organisation lists Ayurveda as “The most ancient, scientific, holistic and complete systems of healthcare in the world.”
The World Health Organisation lists Ayurveda as “The most ancient, scientific, holistic and complete systems of healthcare in the world”
In fact, The World Health Organisation Definition is Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
As one of the four main objectives of the WHO traditional medicine strategy 2005 was to support countries to integrate traditional medicine into their own health systems.
The World Health Organisation states, Traditional medicine (TM) is an important and often underestimated part of health services. In some countries, traditional medicine or non-conventional medicine may be termed complementary medicine (CM). TM has a long history of use in health maintenance and in disease prevention and treatment, particularly for chronic disease.
Our aim of the T&CM strategy is to promote universal health coverage by integrating T&CM services into health service delivery and self-health care by capitalizing on their potential contribution to improve health services and health outcomes, and by ensuring users are able to make informed choices about self-health care.
For many millions of people, herbal medicines, traditional treatments, and traditional practitioners are the main source of health care, and sometimes the only source of care.
T&CM around the world T&CM is widely used around the world and valued for a number of reasons. At the International Conference on Traditional Medicine for South-East Asian Countries in February 2013, the WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, stated that “traditional medicines, of proven quality, safety, and efficacy, contribute to the goal of ensuring that all people have access to care. For many millions of people, herbal medicines, traditional treatments, and traditional practitioners are the main source of health care, and sometimes the only source of care. This is care that is close to homes, accessible and affordable. It is also culturally acceptable and trusted by large numbers of people. The affordability of most traditional medicines makes them all the more attractive at a time of soaring health-care costs and nearly universal austerity. Traditional medicine also stands out as a way of coping with the relentless rise of chronic non-communicable diseases.
Regardless of reasons for seeking out T&CM, there is little doubt that interest has grown, and will almost certainly continue to grow, around the world.
Health systems around the world are experiencing increased levels of chronic illness and escalating health care costs. Patients and health care providers alike are demanding that health care services be revitalized, with a stronger emphasis on individualized, person-centred care. This includes expanding access to T&CM products, practices and practitioners.
interviews with traditional and complementary medicine users also showed that the failure of conventional medicine treatments and a desire for a healthy lifestyle were the main motives for using traditional and complementary medicine
In Australia, visits to complementary health professionals have been growing rapidly with an increase of over 30% between 1995 and 2005, when 750 000 visits were recorded in a two-week period and interviews with T&CM users also showed that the failure of conventional medicine treatments and a desire for a healthy lifestyle were the main motives for using T&CM.
In the last decade, across all types of utilization patterns, there has been an increase in self-health care as consumers choose to be more proactive about their own health. Potential cost savings are an important reason for individuals to opt for T&CM services.
patients whose general practitioner has additional complementary and alternative medicine training have lower health care costs and mortality rates than those who do not
For example, a randomized controlled trial included an economic evaluation of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: results showed that the manual therapy group improved faster than the physiotherapy and general practitioner care group, and that the total costs of manual therapy (€447) were about one third of the costs of physiotherapy (€1297) and general practitioner care (€1379). This suggests that manual therapy is more effective and less costly for treating neck pain than physiotherapy or care provided by a general practitioner. Another recent study indicates that patients whose general practitioner has additional complementary and alternative medicine training have lower health care costs and mortality rates than those who do not. Reduced costs were the outcome of fewer hospital stays and fewer prescription drugs.
The path to universal health coverage must overcome existing barriers facing individuals when accessing health-care services such as the fragmentation of health-care services and their lack of patient-centredness. Health services may be too distant, or poorly staffed with long waiting hours, or not coherent with people’s cultural and gender preferences.
of poor quality or, in some cases, even harmful
Moreover, even when the population is able to access services, they may be of poor quality or, in some cases, even harmful. Another paramount problem is the predominance of curative, hospital-based, disease-oriented services, which are often poorly integrated into the broader health system. These top-heavy services are responsible for huge inefficiencies that could be redirected towards achieving universal coverage. Instead of these existing barriers, qualified T&CM could be a positive contribution to universal health coverage.