When you visit an Ayurvedic practitioner, be prepared to talk about yourself. Because Ayurveda emphasizes balance in all areas of your life, a trained practitioner will not only examine your body, but will take an extensive personal and medical history, including questions about daily diet, profession and working conditions, exercise routines, relationships, and mental health.
This thorough intake process helps the practitioner identify key symptoms and potential causes of imbalance and determine suitable treatment options.
What is the initial examination?
Ayurvedic examinations generally consist of three parts:
- Observation (Darshan): The practitioner first evaluates general physical health by looking at the patient and observing his/her movements, body contour, color of the skin and eyes, facial lines and ridges, shape of the nose, and qualities of the lips, hair, and nails.
- Touch (Sparsha): The practitioner then employs touch, including palpation (pressing down on parts of the body, called sparshanam in Ayurveda), auscultation, which is listening for sounds made by the internal organs (shrvanaa), and percussion or tapping (akotana). There is special focus on the patient's pulse, tongue, nails, and speech. Laboratory testing is also included under this category.
- Questions (Prashna): The practitioner asks the patient about complaints and symptoms, as well as the duration of discomfort and disease progression. The practitioner also inquires about mental and psychological conditions.