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Ayurvedic Practice: Significant Obstacles

Due to widespread scepticism about the efficacy of Ayurvedic theories and practises, Ayurveda graduates face significant challenges in pursuing a career in Ayurvedic practise. Despite public campaigns to promote Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH), there is a lack of trust in these systems.

What exactly is the National AYUSH Mission?

  • During the 12th Plan, the Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India launched the National AYUSH Mission (NAM) for implementation through States/UTs.
  • The primary goal of NAM is to promote AYUSH medical systems by providing cost-effective AYUSH services, strengthening educational systems, facilitating the enforcement of quality control of ASU and H drugs, and ensuring the long-term availability of ASU and H raw materials.
  • It envisions programme flexibility, which will result in significant participation from state governments/UTs.
  • The NAM is considering establishing a National Mission as well as corresponding State Missions.

What is Ayurveda?

  • Ayu means life in Sanskrit, and Veda means knowledge or science, so it is called “The Science of Life.”
  • Ayurveda is a traditional medical system that originated in India over 5,000 years ago.
  • It was passed down orally from generation to generation by accomplished masters.
  • Some of this knowledge was later written down, but much of it is still unavailable.
  • Ayurvedic principles underpin many natural healing systems, including Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy.

What are the reasons for the public’s mistrust of Ayurveda?

  • Failed to maintain the pace: The Ayurvedic establishment has failed to keep up with modern intellectual and scientific advances.
  • Archaic theories and a lack of quality evidence: As sophisticated dogmas, archaic theories that are likely to arouse suspicion in the minds of educated patients are peddled. Treatments that are claimed to be based on these theories are not subjected to simple testing.
  • Perception that Ayurvedic treatments are slow to heal: Another common perception that characterises the public image of Ayurveda is that Ayurvedic treatments are slow to heal.

What are the obstacles that Ayurveda graduates face when pursuing a career in practise?

  • The practical applicability is limited: Ancient medical wisdom taught in college has limited practical application.
  • Lack of a vibrant research ecosystem: Dependence on personal experimentation due to a lack of a vibrant science and research ecosystem. The research process involves a lot of trial and error with patients, which predictably leads to the practitioner’s reputation deteriorating.
  • The importance of combining Ayurveda and modern medicine: Inability to treat all primary-care illnesses, necessitating the use of modern medicine, which is illegal in the majority of states.
  • Unhealthy competition and marketing: Gimmickry and publicity-based practitioners pose a threat.

How can appropriate policymaking assist in addressing these issues?

  • Proper education: Primary care is being revitalised by training Ayurvedic graduates to become good primary-care doctors.
  • Ayurvedic evaluation based on evidence: Conducting a rigorous evidence-based assessment of Ayurvedic theories and practises in order to separate the useful from the obsolete
  • Utilize modern medicine: A statutory decision has been made to allow Ayurvedic graduates to practise modern medicine in specified primary care areas.

@the end

Ayurveda emphasises prevention over gratification and emphasises balance, diet, lifestyle, and herbs. A gradual transition to wellness is required for long-term treatment. Ayurveda, science, and public welfare will all benefit. What is required is sincerity, clarity of thought, and some risk-taking on the part of stakeholders.

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