Ayurveda a holistic approach to health | Daily News

Ayurveda a holistic approach to health

Hundreds of patients throng the indigenous ayurveda hospital daily in Colombo District to be treated for numerous ailments. “They are here because they are utterly frustrated with what allopathy has to offer,” says the hospital’s bigwig, Director Dr. Kumari Kumarasekera in an interview with this writer recently.

“It is all free of charge,” she added. “We do have a paying ward for Rs. 1,000 per day and we have treated so many and they are doing very well now and are so grateful to us. The allopathy system has been a total failure and I am glad they had the presence of mind to come here for treatment.”

Dr Kumarasekera then went on to explain the magic behind it all.

“You see it is like this. Ours is a lifelong process and once you are in it from your infancy you are in safe hands, I assure you. You have to take greater care in what you consume.”

“A vegetarian diet is recommended and yoga helps the metabolism to function effectively. Apart from this, at the slightest onset of sickness, you have to cleanse the system. It is a process of constantly maintaining your body.” Chipping in was Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Amaratunga who said the ayurvedic system was like servicing a car. “You have to fine-tune the body like we do in the case of our vehicles. But we seem to be fond of our vehicles more than ourselves, because we are on time for vehicle servicing and not so with ourselves. So disease or no disease, one has to keep in touch with the ayurvedic doctor after observing our body signals. Just in case you wonder what body signals are, you have to watch out for these messages that the body sends and act fast on it. Persistent aches and pains, headaches, puffiness, inability to eat and constant coughs and colds will signal that the body is lacking something and this is where the ayurvedic physician can be of enormous help.

Our drugs do not have any chemicals. It is all only herbs, leaves, roots and so on.”

Dr. Kumarasekera says to make it easier for patients, nowadays medicine is prepared at the ayurveda hospital and one does not need to go through the hassle of preparing it at home, which understandably is quite tedious. Medicine comes in the form of powders, paste, liquid, oils and so on. So it is much easier now particularly when people are scrambling for time. All the grinding, pounding and preparation is done at the pharmacological unit under strict hygienic conditions.

“Ayurvedic teachings are as old as the earth,” said Dr Kumarasekera. “Whoever who created the world, created for man the vegetation he needs for his sustenance. Into that he included medicinal herbs as well. Documented long after, this system was widely practised not only by early man, but by animals as well. Even today when a cat is sick, it goes in search of a medicinal herb called kuppameniya. Unfortunately that inherent knowledge in man has been wiped out because of externalities.”

“The technological era has come in. Computers are ruling our lives and many scientific developments have set in. All this is good and we are keeping abreast of it. But then, it should not be at the cost of the natural knowledge bestowed on man.”

The two doctors further explained that according to ayurveda, the cosmos consists of fire, water and ether. All three elements comprise man. If we are to be healthy, these three elements must be well balanced. One must not overtake the other. If it does, the body loses its equilibrium. This is when you have to get yourself treated.

Dr. Kalpana from the University of Gujarat who was in Sri Lanka to attend an ayurvedic seminar viewed ayurveda as a holistic approach to health. It is also a lifelong process. She recommended regular exercise, 6-7 hours of sleep, a vegetarian diet and the intake of a litre of boiled ginger water throughout the day as harbingers of good health.


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