According to Ayurveda, the human body comprises three vital elements, doshas, dhatus and malas. Doshas are the three biological energies (vata, pitta, kapha) and govern physiological activities within the body. Dhatus are the seven bodily tissues that create form and structure. Malas are waste substances which are part utilised in the body and part excreted.
These three elements depend on a dynamic equilibrium to sustain the health of the body—any disturbance to the equilibrium results in disease.
Agni is a collective word for all digestive enzymes, acid, bile etc., that determine our ability to digest and assimilate food efficiently. It is said that all disorders lead back to faulty digestion. Therefore the current state of agni also needs to be identified and addressed.
Determining the exact nature of the disease with particular reference to doshas, dhatus, malas, srotas (bodily channels), and agni (digestive fire) involved in its manifestation requires extensive training and knowledge by the practitioner.
Various diagnostic methods are used during a consultation to identify the imbalance. Some of these methods include:
- observation/looking (darshana)
- palpitation or touch (sparshana)
- questioning (prashana)
- pulse diagnosis (nadi pariksha)
- tongue diagnosis (jiva pariksha)
Questioning takes up a large part of the consultation. You will be encouraged to share details about your diet, elimination, daily routines, lifestyle habits, relationships, work, emotions, menstrual cycle (if applicable) and medical history.
Obtaining this information enables the practitioner to form an accurate ayurvedic diagnosis and pinpoint the likely cause of the disorder (nidana).
Ayurveda places much emphasis on the nidana. It seeks to identify and remove the disorder's root cause to eliminate the disease successfully rather than act as a band-aid to the symptoms. The earlier the intervention, the probability of successful treatment increases. In other words, prevention is better than cure, so it is wise to address any niggling symptoms when they first arise.
Expect the initial consultation to take up to 90 minutes allowing adequate time to gather the necessary information and follow-up consultations up to 60 minutes. The number of follow-up consultations depends on the progress and the severity of the condition, but typically a minimum of three is recommended.
Unlike allopathic medicine's 'one size fits all' approach, Ayurveda recognises the uniqueness of the individual and therefore offers a completely bespoke treatment plan according to the presenting symptoms of the patient, their constitution (prakriti), current imbalance (vikruti), strength (bala).
A treatment plan will include appropriate dietary and lifestyle advice and, if necessary, supportive herbal medicines. All herbal preparations are time-tested traditional Ayurvedic formulas sourced via the Ayurveda Institute UK and processed in accordance with HACCP and GMP certification.