AYURVEDA: Hindu Healing
Rooted in Hinduism, the philosophy of Ayurvedic medicine contends that the body, mind and soul are connected to the outer world. When the relationship. Hinduism has 18 Vidhya Sthanams. Ayurveda is one of the Vidya Sthanams 4 vedas, [Rik Yujur, Sama, What is the relation of Hinduism with Greeks?. Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu science of medicine of long life that is and I have no separate existence, but exist in relationship to everything in the universe.
They have evolved relatively independent of modern western medicine, for example, Traditional European Medicine anthroposophy, homeopathy, and naturopathyTraditional Chinese Medicine TCMTibetan Medicine, or Arabian systems of medicine [ 23 — 29 ]. Concerning Ayurveda, two main opposing positions can be observed: These positions are, however, not mutually exclusive. There is growing acceptance and demand for Ayurveda in western countries and there are currently more than online publications on Ayurvedic therapies in PubMed [ 30 ] and greater than 52, referenced Ayurveda research articles in the Indian digital database DHARA Digital Helpline for Ayurveda Research Articles [ 31 ].
It is hypothesized that spirituality might be a main attractor for the increasing popularity of Ayurveda [ 32 ]; however, there is still little scientific evidence regarding the influence of religious and spiritual elements on the diffusion and implementation of modern hybrid forms of Ayurveda [ 33 — 35 ].
This is striking because spirituality has already entered discussions in neurobiology [ 36 ] and most of all quality of life QoL research [ 37 ], especially in chronic diseases [ 38 — 44 ]. However, cultural and spiritual attractors of nonwestern CAM have been discussed in recent years [ 4546 ] and are beginning to be researched [ 4748 ]. The rather late awareness of spiritual aspects in CAM might be due to the impact that the methodology of Evidence-based Medicine EbM had on the medical system as such and in particular on research initiatives in CAM.
More recently, after CAM research has managed to close some evidence gaps, researchers have become aware of the necessity to conduct research focused not only on specific evidence but also on unspecific or contextual or patient-centred aspects related to CAM [ 49 — 52 ]. This is by no means in opposition to EbM because one of its founders defined EbM as the integration of a the best research evidence with b clinical expertise and c patient values [ 53 ]. However, clinical research had focused predominantly on the two former aspects until recently.
In order to explore the general role of religion and spirituality specifically within the field of Ayurveda, a new questionnaire was developed. Spirituality and religion were thereby not used as analytical but as emic ethno categories [ 69 — 71 ]. This questionnaire was distributed among patients accessing and therapists offering Ayurveda in German-speaking countries. Hypothesis To shed some light on the influence and meaning of religious and spiritual aspects on the diffusion and implementation of Ayurvedic practices in Europe the following hypotheses were formulated to the survey a priori.
Ayurveda is perceived as a healthcare approach which incorporates religious and spiritual demands. For patients and therapists, principles of Ayurveda and modern science are not in conflict.
Concepts of religion, spirituality, and science can be integrated. Elements from South Asian cultures, religions, and philosophies are supposed to have an effect on the results of Ayurvedic therapies. Women are more open to religious and spiritual aspects in the case of Ayurvedic therapists and patients than men.
Survey To test these hypotheses a questionnaire was developed and distributed among patients and therapists in western Ayurvedic health care settings in Frankfurt a.
Ayurveda: The Ancient Hindu Science of Health and Medicine
These settings included a private Ayurvedic practices, b the International Ayurveda Symposium in Birstein, and c direct contacts of the corresponding author. To rule out any potential selection bias of the participants, questionnaires were given to the first sequential eligible persons contacted.
Of note this is not a clinical study, and according to university procedures therefore no ethical approval was mandatory and informed consent, anonymized questionnaires, and respect of data privacy were sufficient.
Construction of the Questionnaire Firstly, a preliminary questionnaire considering content validity, internal consistency, criterion validity, construct validity, and reproducibility was developed [ 72 ]. The items for the preliminary questionnaire version were derived from three sources: This preliminary version of the questionnaire was pretested with 10 test persons accustomed to filling out questionnaires, to gain information on reliability and validity aspects.
The questionnaire was then modified based on the received feedback and reexamined. It was then modified and approved by expert representatives and scholars from various disciplines Medicine, Indology, Religious Sciences, Informatics, and Sociology.
This resulted in a final version of the questionnaire to be distributed to the target group in its finalized version. A validated questionnaire in the traditional sense was not possible, since we could not compare this instrument against a gold standard, as such a gold standard for Ayurveda as a Whole Medical System this context does not yet exist [ 58 ]. The final version of the questionnaire included a section for sociodemographic baseline data and 50 questionnaire items. In order to obviate the problem of acquiescence bias, we designed a scale with balanced keying an equal number of positive and negative statementswhile possible distortions through central tendency and social desirability are more difficult to control.
Statistics and Validation All returned questionnaires underwent statistical analysis. For descriptive statistics each item was analyzed separately and in some cases item responses were summed to create a score for a group of items.
The frequencies of the various variables were calculated.
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Differences in frequency distributions were tested with the -Test. Principal Component Analyses with Varimax Rotation and Kaiser Normalization were used to represent the main structural features of the multivariate data set by a smaller number of attributes.
This is achieved by transforming data from the original coordinate system i. The factor loading, a standardized scoring coefficient, was used to determine the contribution of a variable to a particular factor.
The 12 variables are replaced by 4 factors: Negative rotated absolute factor values express inverse correlations. We used 10 or more test persons per item in connection with multivariate analyses. Ten test persons per 1 item is a well-known rule of thumb for the number of instances data sets in connection with knowledge discovery processes, that is, multivariate analyses.
Based on reliability analyses inner consistencies and discriminatory power were tested. A significance level of was taken as a basis. The validation of questionnaires in general is based on methods of the classical test theory and factor analyses for the design of questionnaire items. Factor analysis was one of the central methods for the evaluation of this questionnaire.
It serves for the grouping of parameters and for the partial validation of this questionnaire. The a priori allocation of different subject areas was tested by factor analyses. For each subject area a factor analysis was calculated to find out whether the chosen subject area captures the construct or whether the existence of several factors hints at the existence of different subconstructs.
We used the Principal Components Analysis as extraction method. Results Overall questionnaires were distributed in private practices, at the International Ayurveda Symposium in Birstein, and 70 through direct contacts of the corresponding author.
Following the sociodemographic background, the results of the questionnaire will be summarized in order of the respective hypotheses. Parts of the results are presented as pooled data from patients and therapists wherever there is no significant difference between the two groups. Among the participants of the survey a significant difference in sociodemographic data was only found for profession but not for age, gender, education, income, or location Table 1.
Four survey participants all patients had only 1 experience with Ayurveda at the time of the interview. The individual training range from the surveyed therapists ranges widely from below three months to a 4—6-year academic Ayurvedic training in South Asia.
Traditional Christian values and beliefs are confirmed e. Yet at the same time therapists adhere more to traditional South Asian values and beliefs: A general affinity for South Asian religions is noticeable. The most prominent aspects of traditional Christian spirituality and of South Asian spirituality derived from this data are 1 belief in God Bonferroni adjusted value adj.
P2 belief in divine beings adj. Only 3 patients and 1 therapist declared themselves as nonreligious. Characterization of Ayurveda by therapists and patients.Ancient Vedic Alchemy for Super Intelligence Power - Ayurveda tips for brain power
The 12 variables in Table 3 could be reduced to 4 different factors: A majority of the respondents feel well acquainted with the concepts of reincarnation, karma, migration of the soul, nirvana, attachment, atman, brahman, enlightenment, and Buddhism.
Principal Component Analysis reduced the 12 variables in Table 4 to 3 different factors: Gender differences can also be seen in the answer pattern for the question on whether Ayurveda is spirituality. Discussion The metapostulate of this work was confirmed that individual sociocultural backgrounds, especially religious and spiritual ones, of Ayurvedic therapists and patients influence attitudes and expectations regarding Ayurvedic health care.
Statistical relationships between individual religious and spiritual backgrounds and individual decisions to offer or access Ayurvedic services are clearly shown. A statistically significant larger fraction of women in both groups is noticeable. Both therapists and patients also share an above average education. Results support the thesis that Ayurveda is being used by a predominantly well-educated, urban, and female clientele [ 76 — 78 ].
This survey investigates the perception of Ayurveda from a convenience sample of therapists and patients of predominantly western backgrounds. Nevertheless the results of this survey point to a conception of Ayurveda as Whole Medical System, which also impacts the implementation of Ayurveda, particularly regarding the patient-doctor relationship [ 8081 ].
Individual forms of spirituality and religion seem to play a key role in the perception and definition of Ayurveda for patients and therapists. In our population adherers of Ayurveda have a tendency to have a special affinity for Buddhism, Hinduism, and South Asian culture in general. Ayurveda follows the concept of Dinacharyawhich says that natural cycles waking, sleeping, working, meditation etc.
Hygiene, including regular bathing, cleaning of teeth, tongue scrapingskin care, and eye washing, is also a central practice. In the 19th century, William Dymock and co-authors summarized hundreds of plant-derived medicines along with the uses, microscopic structure, chemical composition, toxicology, prevalent myths and stories, and relation to commerce in British India. In addition, fats are prescribed both for consumption and for external use. Consumption of minerals, including sulphurarseniclead, copper sulfate and gold, are also prescribed.
Ayurveda uses alcoholic beverages called Madya,  which are said to adjust the doshas by increasing Pitta and reducing Vatta and Kapha. The intended outcomes can include causing purgation, improving digestion or taste, creating dryness, or loosening joints.
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Ayurvedic texts describe Madya as non-viscid and fast-acting, and say that it enters and cleans minute pores in the body.
The sedative and pain-relieving properties of opium are not considered in Ayurveda. The use of opium is not found in the ancient Ayurvedic texts, and is first mentioned in the Sarngadhara Samhita CEa book on pharmacy used in Rajasthan in Western India, as an ingredient of an aphrodisiac to delay male ejaculation.
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In this drug, the respiratory depressant action of opium is counteracted by the respiratory stimulant property of Camphor. Oils are also used in a number of ways, including regular consumption, anointing, smearing, head massage, application to affected areas,  [ not in citation given ] and oil pulling.
Liquids may also be poured on the patient's forehead, a technique called shirodhara.