Therapy or treatment is that which serves as an equipment for a physician to maintain the equilibrium of disturbed dosha. In this point of view treatment methods are divided into three types i.e., Daivavyapasrayam (Spiritual therapy), Yuktivyapasrayam (Therapy based on reasoning) and Satvavajayam (Psychic therapy).
Treatment methods are again classified into two: (a) Preventive measures and (b) Curative measures
Preventive measures of Ayurveda
The specialty of Indian Medicine lies in the prevention of the disease. Preventive measures consists of mainly three aspects.
1) Swastavritta (Personal hygiene)- consists of Dinacharya (daily routine of life) including tooth brushing, mouth wash, bath, exercise, meals and sleep etc, Ritucharya which deals with the regimens and diet to be followed in the different seasons of the year, Sadvritta deals with the social behaviour and different conducts of an individual in detail.
2) Rasayana and Vajeekarana- Use of rejuvenative and virilising agents to prevent ageing, impact longevity, immunity against diseases and to improve mental faculties. Vajeekarana drugs are special in nature used as aphrodisiac and fertility improving agents.
3) Practice of yoga - It is necessary to adopt Yoga therapy in order to keep the body and mind hale and healthy and to prevent diseases.
Curative Measures of Ayurveda
Curative measures are :
1) Internal Medicine- It is a major discipline in the practice of Ayurveda. The 2 aspects of Internal medicine are (a) Internal purification (b) curative treatment
Internal Purification or Sodhana consists of the 5 fold purificatory measures known as 'Panchakarma'. This includes Vamana, Virechana, Vasti, Nasya and Rakthamoksha (blood letting). This therapy has to be done before the administration of drug therapy, rejuvenation therapy and surgery. Ayurveda is of the firm opinion that no drug therapy will yield the desired results without purifying the body properly.
Curative treatment consists of drugs, diet and exercise.
2) External Medicine- It includes Oleation (Snehanam), Sudation (Swedana), bath, medicated gargles, application of paste, powders and other physiotherapeutic measures as an adjunct to internal medicines. These treatments are very popular and are in vogue even today.
3) Surgical Intervention- Ayurveda is the first in the world to practice different types of operations and sixty types of treatment of wounds, classification and treatment of fractures and plastic surgery. The earliest Sanskrit treatises on Ayurveda were the 'Samhitas' of the great ancient physicians Bhela, Charaka and Susrutha which date from around the Christian era. The Indian surgeons of that era excelled in operations and their achievements in plastic surgery had no parallels anywhere in the world. Susrutha is called the father of plastic surgery. Sources of the pre-Christian era, such as the Epic 'Ramayana', mention remarkable feats of surgery having taken place in the past. Thus we have reference to the transplantation of an eyeball. The legendary 'Jivaka' a famous physician during the time of Buddha is also reported to have performed remarkable cures involving deep surgery. The circulation of blood was first explained in Ayurvedic system of medicine 4000 years ago, although William Harvey got the credit later on. Even in the 18th century, the Indian art of Rhinoplasty (plastic surgery performed on the nose) was studied by European surgeons.