Arya Vaidya Sala has been conducting annual Ayurvedic seminars in connection with the Founder’s Day Celebrations since 1964 and All India Essay Competitions since 1965. The proceedings of seminars and prize winning essays are being published regularly. They cover a wide range of topics and have become a veritable source of information to the students and researchers in the field of ayurveda. Diagnostic Methods of Ayurveda was the topic for essay competition in 2004.
In the medical field, only observation can ensure correct information, provided it is followed by the right deal of logical reasoning. A thorough understanding of the classical texts is necessary for right diagnosis. The various Ayurvedic diagnostic methods mentioned in this book are: dasavidha rogipariksa, rogapariksa, examination of the dosas, methods of interrogation, system-wise examination of the ojas, various interrogatory methods, qualities of a royal physician, nidanapancakas (nidana, purvarupa, rupa, upasaya, samprapati), trividhapariksa (darsana, purvarupa, rupa, upasaya, samprapati), trividhapariksa (darsana, sparsana and prasna), sadvidhapariksa, astavidhapariksa and nadipariksa. Brief account is also given on yukti, agni and ristalaksanas. The discussion at the end gives a comprehensive view of the contents. Proper chart presentations and diagrams provide an insight to the readers and make this text more informative.
This essay, ranked first in the competition, deals with all the aspects of diagnosic methods of ayurveda. Hope that this will be useful for students and scholars alike.
Back of the Book
In ancient times physicians framed diagnostic methods using the tools available at that time. Most of them were subjective. Today one requires objective parameters to understand the diseases and its pathology.
This work attempts to co-relate Ayurvedic diagnostic methods with the modern parlance. This has been done without prejudice to the basic principles. The whole work is divided into five major sections based on dosha, agni, rogapariksha, rogipariksha and other contributing factors for disease.
Impotence and impotency are the noun forms of impotent, used as an adjective meaning powerless; lacking all strength, helpless, decrepit and a condition where a male is unable to achieve sexual erection of orgasm. Of the two, impotence is the most commonly used noun form. In medical parlance the meaning listed last is the most apt one. Harrison's medical dictionary explains impotence as inability in a man to have sexual intercourse. Impotence, it says, can be erectile in which the penis does not become firm enough to enter the vagina, or ejaculatory; in which the penetration occurs but there is no ejaculation and adds that either kind of impotence may be due to a physical disease such as diabetes (organic) or to a psychological or emotional problem (psychogenic).
Nowadays, we are using the term erectile dysfunction (ED) because, strictly speaking, the term 'impotence', which was subject to confuse interpretations and also had pejorative implications has now become obsolete.
Erectile dysfunction which is described as persistent or recurrent inability to attain, or maintain until the completion of sexual activity, an adequate penile erection is a significant and common medical problem affecting many men. Almost all the websites have stressed the point that erectile dysfunction include under the broad heading of sexual dysfunction, covering a wide range of difficulties from loss of libido to
loss of erectile function to premature ejaculation, to penile curvature, to failure to achieve orgasm, to problems with ejaculation, is not a disease but is rather a symptom or side-effect of various other physical conditions of chronic illness like prostate cancer (34%), haemodialysis (82%), diabetes (50%), atherosclerotic disease (40%), chronic renal failure (45%), multiple sclerosis (71 %), urological conditions (44%), hepatic failure (25-70%) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (30%). Other factors that may cause erectile dysfunction include side effects of medication, too much alcohol consumption, smoking, advancing age and trauma. Sexual desire, sometimes, even orgasmic and ejaculatory capacity, may be unaltered in the presence of erectile dysfunction. Ideally, checking for erectile dysfunction should be part of a normal work-up for men's health in concert with checking for other illness and life-style risk factors like hypertension, hyper-cholesterolaemia, diabetes, smoking, alcohol and prostate problems.
What is sexuality?
It would not be wrong to state that the sustenance of the human race is based on its sexuality. Sexuality is not just sexual activity but is rather the sum total of man's existential presence in the world. Based on his sense of sexual identity with which he identifies his sex roles and modulates his interaction with the society around him. A person recognises his sex role through three means - his family ties, his social standing and codes of behaviour, his sexual values and priorities. The stereotypes of male aggression and female submission are results of skewed sense of sexual identity and misplaced priorities in discharge of sexual role. The bane of ever increasing sex crimes in the society is primarily due to the man in the society wrongly identifying himself with needless aggression and the woman revolving against what she thinks as her stereotype role of a meek submission.
There are no stereotypes really, sexual roles and identities are not static symbols; they are regularly changing with the changes in society and social parameters. The girl of today need not be shy and submissive and the boy need not be overbearing and aggressive. As Carl Young sand, There is no one who is either fully a man or a woman. A man has bits of woman in him and a woman has bits of man in her. Our sex roles are therefore dictated not by our sex organs as they are by various other factors. Feminism is thus a reflection of the transformation that is undergoing in sexual identity of today's women. It is perhaps in response to the spiraling ego of the male counterpart. In this broad canvas of human sexuality the sex act itself is just a dab of colour. It can be generally said that the climax aim of the bodily activity brought about by coordinated functioning of the autonomous nervous system, hormones and muscle groups is procreation. But it is not altogether true. Pleasure, gratification, camaraderie are also aimed at. Pleasure is an important factor and that is why perversions and masturbation are the areas of concern for sexologists.
Normal sexual response
Though there have been many studies on the findings on human sexual responses, the findings of Masters and Johnson have been widely acclaimed. Masters and Johnson have also come in for much flak due to the fact that they have reduced sexuality from its broad human perspective to its limited mechanical and structural perspective. It is also argued that the volunteers admitted for their experiments were not normal subjects. However, the fact remains that their findings arrived at by them through meticulous scientific methods have helped to chart out and evaluate human sexual behavior. And therein lies their credit.
Female sexual response
Whereas in the male, sexual stimulation leading to orgasm is possible to be initiated simply by thinking of sexually stimulating or titillating situations, the sexual centres in the female start responding to sexual stimulation only when she is both bodily and mentally aroused. Sexual response in females follows four definite stages.
1. Excitement phase: In the initial stages of arousal, the muscles undergo light squeezing and tightening. This is followed by increased blood flow to the groin and pelvic regions. The breast tissues undergo softening and the nipples become erect. A slight change of colour or complexion can be seen through out the body called sex flush. This flush could remain in the next stage of plateau phase too. In the peak of excitement phase the lips of labia minora may swell and become pinkish. The clitoris gets stimulated and at the end of the excitement phase, the female is ready to welcome the male organ.
2. Plateau phase: Here the stimulated vaginal muscles loosen up and vaginal canal expands to accommodate the penis. The nipples throb and protrude. The labia majora swell and lips separate. With the entry of the male organ, the vaginal walls expand further and lighten around the penile shaft. The thrust experienced in the groin and the friction on the clitoris heighten the stimulation of the female. The pupils dilate, the breathing becomes fast and laborious and the veins in the neck stand out.
3. Orgasmic phase: The female experiences an orgasm that is quite different from that of male. While with ejaculation of semen male experiences satiation of pleasure and the female reach orgasm as a result of many mutually complimentary and additive stages. At this stage the muscles around the vagina and the uterus experience pleasurable contractions. The muscles of the vaginal walls contract repeatedly. Inside the vagina there is a feel of waves. The heart rate rises two to three times. Respiratory rate reaches an uncontrollable high.
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