Ayurveda medicine has developed a method of diagnosis known as a theory of types/constitutional medicine based on which the doctor can diagnose the condition of a patient. Ayurvedic medicine is based on direct observation of the body as well as the personality of the person. Certainly such a method of diagnosis existed in the west as well. Galen had developed such a typology based on the medicine of Hippokrates, the theory of the four temperaments. The psychoanalyst C.G. Jung had also developed a theory of typology.
Relationship between the Elements and Temperament
It is not only the typology of types that has been developed but different schematas based on different perspectives which intersect one another and results in an exact accuracy. In the west the clinical view of the older generation of doctors has been replaced by the methods of technical diagnostic.
In the Fundament of Ayurvedic Diagnosis and Medicine we have pointed out Nature, natural constitution; energy of consciousness (prakrti: prakriti as pronounced) If there are disorders caused through disbalance in the three fundamental energy (gunas) emerges vakrti(=vakriti=disorder). The doshas (fault) deviates itself from the Elements. The constitutional findings of the attributes of elements are relevant to the doshas as well.
The definition of PRAKRITI ( Prakriti is that which represents one’s own character) is not only used to describe the human constitution.
It is broadened out to other areas of substances as well to form a complete picture so that one can decide which healing method or medicine is complementary to a particular constitutional type.
The healing system of Ayurveda is very similar to Homeopathic medicine.
What is really significant, next to the practical training that an Ayurveda doctor learns for about 8 years in a medical college, is that what the doctor learns from the knowledge based on long family traditions and secret theories. This is handed down from generation to generation and remains closely guarded within the Ayurvedic families. Some Ayurveda-doctor families have a lineage of 5.000 years of Ayurveda tradition.
Ayurveda is not a supernatural or magic oriented system of medicine but very much based on scientific knowledge. This knowledge is given further through the books on Ayurvedic medicine and through family traditions. This is not only relevant to the doctors but to the therapists (masseurs) as well. The South Indian form of Ayurveda differentiates itself to a certain degree from the north India form, also known as the Himalayan school of Ayurveda, the former is based on the healing result of different massages given with herbal oil , the later is more alchemistic and homeopathy oriented.
Translated by Paramita Lahiri