Ayurveda originated in India thousands of years ago. Its goal is to find a balance between the human soul and body. Its principles have never changed as they are derived from the universal laws of nature that are eternal. Ayurveda encourages the maintenance of health through the environment, yoga and meditation, diet and lifestyle, and proper cooking techniques as well as cleansing and rejuvenating Ayurvedic therapies. This ancient medicine is the science of self-knowledge that can help a person to interact with the environment. In Ayurveda, diseases happen when individuals stop living in harmony with their unique constitution. Therefore, such factors as environment, habits, heredity, family medical history, and so on play a great role in the recovery. This paper aims to observe the effects of Ayurvedic medicine on patients from the example of T. R. Reid.
A Critique of the Video
The main character of the video is a veteran reporter T. R. Reid, who has had problems with his shoulders for 25 years because of the accident in the Navy (“Second opinion”, 2010). His American doctor in Dallas suggested shoulder replacement surgery as the only option. However, Reid decided to go to India and investigate Ayurvedic medicine. He stayed there for three weeks, experiencing the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda. The man wanted to know why people were used to work with this practice for three thousand years. According to the research, this medicine is used by half a billion Indians who have a long practice and great evidence of its effectiveness (Sharma & Clark, 2011).
Reid met Indian doctors and ordinary people and discussed with them how Ayurveda worked. He found out that there was the influence of the moon and horoscope on people’s health. The young doctor explained the difference between their medicine and the western one. Thus, Ayurvedic medicine is about healing and not just about getting cured. The literature reveals that Ayurveda is the science of self-knowledge that helps to make choices that lead a person to better health and well-being (Patwardhan, 2014). Thus, the Ayurvedic approach is very holistic, as one’s path to the optimal health is different from any other person, depending on his unique constitution or dosha (Pole, 2012). Nevertheless, Reid was still doubtful whether this old medicine could help his shoulder.
The doctor started the healing from the pulse diagnosis, explaining the patient that
Ayurvedic medicine believes that environment is a major factor of illness. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to evoke the response of the body. During his stay in the clinic, Reid met several individuals who had also come there for the treatment. He was impressed by meeting an Indian physician, who lived in the USA and had the US diploma, but she came to India for treatment. The research asserts that Indians have a great knowledge of plants and their medical properties (Pandey, Rastogi, & Rawat, 2013). Indians learn how to use plants from their forefathers’ experience and from their personal one. The video demonstrates that Indian use 700 herbs for making various medications. The movie shows how they cook the herbs according to the ancient recipes.
According to the doctor’s prescriptions, Reid took medicine six times a day. Moreover, he took special meals, a bizarre regimen of massage, caustic eye drops, brews, and mudpacks. Leeches were used for sucking his bad blood from the legs, and he purified his body from head to toe. Moreover, Reid’s treatment involved astrology. Although the patient’s initial attitude to Ayurvedic medicine was rather skeptical, he found out at the end of the third week that his shoulder was much better than before. As a result, he could lift his hand higher and he lost ten pounds. The results were rather good and encouraging. When he came home, he was mostly pain-free for the first time in 25 years. Consequently, he was sure that the ancient treatment could compete with the western medicine.
Personal Impressions from the Video
I have learned that the process of healing is much more profound. Healing is something that happens on its own and goes from the psyche of a patient. Ayurvedic medicine offers a different concept of treatment. Thus, I have learned that many factors, both internal and external, can disturb the balance in my body and lead to the changes in my original constitution, which can become a result of different disorders and diseases. Significantly, these factors can be emotional and physical stress, poor diet, physical trauma, or seasonal and weather changes. Once I can understand how these factors affect me on the constitutional level, I can take appropriate measures to eliminate or minimize their effects and the causes of this imbalance. In this way, Ayurveda can give me the understanding of how to gain control over my own health.
Furthermore, this video has taught me that in the cases of emergency, a person must try different options to find the best one. Thus, if Reid had not gone to India, he would never have found the best treatment for his shoulder. Moreover, to reach the desired result, I will be ready to walk throughout the world, looking for best practices. The next thing that I have learned is the awareness that a person can be his own doctor, using internal and external abilities. The statement that healing is more important than treatment has encouraged me to think about my psyche and the environment where I live. Now, I am ready to adapt to my inner world better than before.
My Previous Knowledge about Ayurvedic Medicine
Before watching the video, I had very superficial knowledge about Ayurvedic medicine. Afterwards, I have learned that Ayurvedic system believes that a person’s individual constitution is recorded at the time of conception and birth, as the genetic code. As a result, it may be expressed physically and mentally as susceptibility to diseases in the future. According to Lad (2012), psycho-physiological dynamic principles determine an individual’s reaction to the environment both physically and emotionally. Furthermore, when the body is out of balance, it can affect the progress of the disease. My previous knowledge of Ayurveda involves the information about the existence of three doshas that govern the entire human body. Furthermore, I have learned that Ayurveda offers a complete deep knowledge about a healthy lifestyle and outlook on how to live in harmony with nature. Ayurveda is based on the assumption that life represents an intelligent interaction of the mind, body, and soul. This knowledge gives me the power to govern my thoughts and encourages me to think positively.
Thus, the video had a great impact on my awareness of ancient methods of treatment. Although it was not the new knowledge for me, I have learned many new things. Ayurvedic medicine, which is based on the ancient principles and experience, truly helps people. The example of Reid has proved this assumption. His healing seems rather fantastic to me because Ayurveda appears to help more than the western medicine. It has been useful to know that people’s health depends on the harmony between body, mind, and soul. In fact, I have always known this that but the video has assured me that a person should find a balance in life.
This new knowledge gives the viewers new information about possible options in treatment and lifestyle. Despite the new technology and inventions in medicine, it is often important to use old practices that are tested by the life of many generations. Therefore, Ayurvedic medicine is a perfect option for the modern medicine and treatment. It can be used alone or in combination with other treatment methods for better results.