This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007

 

Ayurvedic approach to treating disorders of the mind

P. Ram Manohar — Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore

  

The human persona is a three dimensional continuum of the body, mind and self. The mind stuff entraps the individual in the clutches of matter and also serves as the tool to free itself and merge in the vast expanse of consciousness. The key to mental health in Ayurveda is a constant effort to awaken the mind to higher levels of awareness.

Ayurveda looks at the mind in health and disease from this conceptual framework. Every physical disease has a mental component and every mental illness a physical component.

The body and mind influence each other and therefore Ayurveda adopts a psychosomatic approach to treating both physical and mental illnesses.

Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest medical system in the world to have specialized in the discipline of Psychiatry and some traditions of Psychiatry have survived right into modern times in states like Kerala.

This paper will examine three cardinal approaches  subsumes seemingly varied techniques to treat disorders of the mind as elaborated in the writings and practice of Ayurveda, viz., treating the mind with the mind, treating the mind with the mind and treating the mind with the self.

Email the author, Dr. Ram Manohar, at rammanoharp@gmail.com