A physician's basic work is to examine a patient, make a correct diagnosis and accordingly treat the patient. A fruitful treatment needs a correct diagnosis. To aid the physician in making a correct diagnosis, some methods are depicted in Ayurvedic texts.
The understanding of the total nature of a thing does not arise from a fragmentary knowledge of it. Same is true for a disease. It is only after examining the disease completely and from all aspects that a correct decision regarding the diagnosis is arrived at. For this purpose two triads of assessment of diseases are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts.
They are called Trividh Pariksha:
- Darshana (by looking at the patient)
- Sparshana (making the assessment by touch)
- Prashana (by interrogating the patient)
Ashtavidh Pariksha includes eight points for examination. These are much more practical.
- Nadi Pariksha (Pulse examination)
- Jivha Pariksha (Tongue examination)
- Shabda Pariksha (Voice examination)
- Sparsha Pariksha (Skin examination)
- Drika Pariksha (Eye examination)
- Akruti Pariksha (General appearance examination)
- Mutra Pariksha (Urine examination)
- Mala Pariksha (Stool examination)
Though these examinations seem very much similar to modern day tests, the Ayurvedic Physician conducts these examinations keeping in mind the fundamental principles of Ayurveda and, therefore, these tests are different from modern day tests.
The check-up of the patient is done based on the following ten factors:
- Prakruti (Physical constitution)
- Vikruti (Pathological condition)
- Sara (Perfectness of body tissue)
- Samhana (Physical build)
- Pramana (Proportion of limbs and elements)
- Satmaya (Homologation)
- Sattva (Psychic constitution)
- Ahara Shakti (Digestive capacity)
- Vyayama Shakti (Capacity for exercise)
- Vaya (Age of patient)
(Pulse examination as per Ayurveda) - Pulse examination (nadi pariksha) is the ayurvedic method of assessing current status of doshas (energy imbalance) in the body. This helps in deciding the medicines best suited for the patient.
Taking pulse in ayurvedic perspective is more than counting the beats. The functioning and health of the entire mind body constitution can be determined from the pulse, including the status of the doshas, the health of the various organs, advance warning signs of potential problems that may crop up later etc. By detecting early symptoms of imbalance and disease reaction in the body, one can take preventive steps to correct the problem before it manifests into a major one.