DIAGNOSTICS IN AYURVEDA
The Ayurvedic primary source “Sushruta-samhita” says:
“An Ayurvedic doctor must compare the impact of dosha, age of the patient, his Prakriti (nature), Guna (state of mind) in which he resides, his vitality, mental status, food that a person normally consumes, his pulse, three Mala (waste of the body), questions about well-being and the time of the onset of the disease, and only after that one should begin to reflect on the disease and make a diagnosis. All this affects the correct diagnosis, and the treatment of the disease ultimately. ”
An Ayurvedic doctor diagnoses any of the stages of the disease using the “method of 5 mirrors”:
- pulse diagnosis
- tongue examination
- examination of the auricles
- eye diagnosis
- examination of the skin.
Ayurvedic diagnostic procedure includes 8 types of data (Ashtavidya pariksha), based on which the cause of the disease is determined:
- Nadi pariksha – pulse
- Jihva pariksha – tongue
- Drik pariksha – eyes
- Moutra pariksha – urine
- Mala pariksha – stool
- Shabda pariksha – voice and other noises
- Sparsha pariksha – examination by touch
- Akriti pariksha – general impression.
- Heart rate check
About 150 types of pathological and physiological pulse are distinguished, recognizing it by the strength of the blow, speed, frequency, rhythm, combinations, etc. The pulse is determined with three fingers at three points of the radial artery. Each finger of the doctor checks one of the three doshas – the index finger determines Vata-dosha, the middle finger determines Pitta-dosha, and the ring finger determines Kapha-dosha. An experienced Ayurvedic doctor can assess the nature of your body (prakriti), pathological condition (Vikriti), type of the body imbalance (dosha), and even predict the future illness with a pulse.
- Examination of the tongue
The tongue is closely connected with the Kapha dosha, as well as with the stomach, intestines, heart, kidneys and liver, so it can also be used for diagnostic of the state of these organs.
The tip of the tongue belongs to the heart and liver, the middle of the tongue is in charge for the stomach with the pancreas and spleen, the root of the tongue is responsible for the state of the intestine, its lateral sections are responsible for the liver and kidneys. The state of the body of tongue, its color and the condition of the papillae are separately evaluated from the tongue plaque.
If Vata dosha is prevailing, the tongue is dry, rough with cracks; if Pitta is dominant, it is red with a burning sensation; if Kapha dosha is prevailing, it is moist and covered with a layer of mucus.
- Voice check
With the prevailing Kapha dosha, the voice becomes low and slow; under the influence of Pitta, it is cracked and harsh; with the dominance of Vata, it is hoarse and gruff.
- Examination of skin
Palpation (examination by touch) is an important clinical method for checking the skin. Some external characteristics also indicate which of the doshas are out of balance: the predominance of Vata makes the skin dry and calloused with a low average temperature; the predominance of Pitta leads to an elevated temperature of the skin; and the excess of Kapha makes it cool and moist.
- Examination of eyes
Vata domination makes the eyes sunken, dry and reddish brown. With increased Pitta, they turn red or yellow; the patient suffers from photophobia and burning sensation in the organ of vision. The predominant Kapha corresponds to the moist and watery eyes with a feeling of eyelid heaviness.
- Examination of the general view
The influence of doshas reflected on the patient’s face allows the doctor to evaluate the general constitution of the patient and the nature of the disease.
- Analysis of the urine
To assess the effect of doshas during this test, it is important to conduct both a urinalysis and a patient survey. A variation of this test is a test (pariksha) with a drop (bindu) of oil (taila), in which the result of the influence of a drop of oil on urine reports the curability of the disease.
- Examination of stool
If digestion and assimilation of food are not good, then the stool has a specific smell and drowns in water. If Vata dominates, it is solid, dry, grey. An excess of Pitta makes its colour green or yellow and liquid in consistency. The predominant Kapha makes the stool with mucus.
Marma Point Diagnostics
There are 108 Marma points, 5 of which are the main ones (Maha Marma). Diagnosis consists in pressing on the marma points and finding out whether these pressures are painful. It also pays attention to the condition of the points (densification, swelling, penetration) and the type of its sensation.