Biochemical imbalances and genetic vulnerability can increase the risks of many diseases like obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer. The number of people affected by these diseases, which are mainly related to a faulty lifestyle, is increasing at an alarming rate. Also, the number of people who have a genetic pre-disposition to develop these diseases is still higher.
As mentioned earlier, these diseases and many more that we see today have their roots in faulty lifestyle which is, improper food habits, lack of exercise, stress and overload of environmental toxins. Hence medicines alone cannot cure these diseases and neither can they prevent them.
A recent study demonstrates that integrative interventions focusing on diet, exercise, Yoga and meditation can reverse the disease conditions permanently. Moreover, these lifestyle programs can correct the biochemical imbalances in an individual and can alter one’s susceptibility to diseases by altering the behavior of hundreds of genes that affect our health. When these lifestyle modifications are done according to an individual’s unique needs, they can turn off genes that can lead to diseases and turn on those, that can fight them.
But, how do we know our susceptibility to diseases? How do we know that we stand the risk of developing a certain disease in years to come?
Modern medicine’s answer to this is ‘Genetic Fingerprinting’. Decoding an individual’s DNA can precisely diagnose our genetic susceptibility to diseases. Lifestyle modification programs that are tailored to a person’s unique genetic type or genotype can help in overcoming these risks. But here is the cliché -the price tag!
Genetic fingerprinting can cost thousands of dollars in terms of the technology used and the fees of professionals involved in conducting it. This puts it out of reach of majority of the people. The importance of Genetic medicine is certainly undisputed, but it is also a fact, that most of us cannot afford it.
But, there is method which may not be as glamorous as “genetic fingerprinting” but is certainly more time tested, easy, reliable and also affordable. This has been part of Ayurveda, since thousands of years ago.
This method is ‘Prakriti assessment’ or body type/ body constitution assessment. It is an effective tool used by Ayurveda physicians in assessing an individual’s Prakriti – which is nothing but ‘Phenotype’. It is the physical expressions of a person’s genetic makeup or Genotype. Studying a person’s Phenotype can provide important and unmistakable clues to his or her genetic makeup. They are unique to every individual.
Ayurveda has given detailed and systematic classification of physical and psychological characters, based on which every person’s Prakriti can be determined. Types of Prakriti are based on the dominance of Doshas or energies in our body namely – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Assessment of Prakriti is always the first and the most important part of Ayurveda therapy. Various research studies have successfully linked Prakriti analysis to the genetic traits of a person. Just like genetic fingerprinting, Prakriti is responsible factor for a person’s susceptibility to diseases and internal imbalances. Ayurveda strongly advocates that depending on their Prakriti, each person should follow specific diet, exercise, and daily routine. They should also undergo unique cleansing therapies in specific seasons of the year, in order to maintain internal balance of Doshas and prevent diseases. Also, in the treatment of disease conditions, Ayurveda uses therapies that are uniquely tailored to a person’s Prakriti.
Assessment of Prakriti requires no technology and can be done easily by a well trained Ayurveda professional. It is easily accessible and very cost effective too. This certainly gives it an advantage over its pricey version of Genetic finger printing.
The benefits of knowing Prakriti can be life changing for every one of us. Hence, more and more people need to know about the benefits of knowing their Prakriti, which can helps them to take their first step towards better health. There are a large number of people who do not know about Ayurveda and its unique, time tested philosophies and therapies. But with persistent and relentless efforts that are being made by many Ayurveda professionals around the globe, very soon Ayurveda will reclaim its position as major healthcare system.