The basic principles of ayurveda stand on the concept of panchamahabhuta. Understanding of panchamahabhuta in the universe and the human body is the key for practice of ayurveda. The elemental composition of body constituents in terms of dosha, dhatu, mala etc. is the point of consideration for proper understanding of health and ill-health of the body. The concept of maintaining health through prevention and cure of diseases and maintenance as explained in ayurveda needs proper assessment of imbalance of doshas in the body, which can best be possible with application of ayurvedic methods of diagnostics that include inspection, palpation and interrogation and more importantly methods of examination of disease and examination of patient like asthasthana pariksha and dasavidha pariksha. At present the practitioners of ayurveda adopt the modern diagnostic tools and technology in the diagnosis of diseases and prescribe ayurvedic medicines to mitigate the imbalance, primarily to maintain interaction with patients and professionals of other medical systems. Many vaidyas question this trend whether it is ayurveda at all and can it contribute to sustenance of ayurveda. For the last many decades the whole world is looking to ayurveda for side-effect free remedies for many life-style disorders and conventional medical systems do not have much to offer. In these circumstances the professionals of this system need to develop scientific aspects in the ancient methods of diagnostics like nadi pariksha, taila-bindu pariksha etc.
One of the applications is the nadi pariksha. Though there appears no elaboration of this method in ancient classical texts of ayurveda, the later vaidyas have developed this science and appear to have practised. Even now many vaidyas claim to be practicing and diagnosing the diseases primarily on the basis of nadi.
Nadi pariksha constitutes one of the important diagnostic methods in ayurvedic clinical examination. Barring all the modern investigations, which are based on principles of physics and chemistry these clinical methods still are very much relevant and hold the ground on their own merits. These can neither be replaced nor can be obsolete. In fact without evolution the stagnancy would prove fatal for the field of education. All the methods of clinical examination have evolved further and have become very much refined. Some of these methods have developed into full fledged modern medical specialties with the help of modern investigative tools. Nadi pariksha also progressed further and reached its zenith during medieval (nighantu) period without any basic change in its method. This was followed by a significantly long period of stagnancy. Whatever the reasons were, the art of nadi pariksha almost became extinct. Fortunately modern medical science is applying principles of science to understand the pulse wave and its features. But this application explains the principles of modern medical system.
The question arises as to whether we want to live with the dreams of glorious past and be content with a very small segment of society approaching us for our service or we want to develop further like any other field of science and bring the larger section of society to us for the medical help. Time is ripe to progress further. Absolutely nothing is found about the physiological aspects of nadi (i.e. pulse wave) other than the three segments of it representing the influence of three doshas on it. Deciphering the physiological and pathological influences on nadi is a very challenging task as there are differences in the opinion regarding which part is influenced by which dosha and what is the action of the remaining two doshas on this. A very brief description is available on these matters. More light was reflected on various characteristics of nadi observed in different healthy as well as unhealthy conditions.
The locomotion of various birds and animals is used to explain these characteristics. This comparison appears very cryptic. As now we know the modern physiological aspects of arterial pulse wave formation, some points appear to be clear. But we need to put in more efforts in this aspect and evolve this method of examination to understand ayurvedic principles and apply them in a better way.
RAV's goals are preservation, propagation and proliferation of the knowledge. For these purposes RAV invests heavily in young mind. Upcoming ayurvedic experts have the potential to withstand the burden of preserving the knowledge and can be ready to adopt the required viable changes that are very quintessential for the survival of science without altering the basic principles of ayurveda. This interactive workshop is held keeping this view in mind. I am sure a very healthy interaction would take place and this would initiate further development that has not taken place for some centuries.
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