Treatment Method

Ayurveda consists of several components. As in traditional Chinese medicine, pulse and tongue evaluation are important for diagnosis. Diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and specific supplements are used therapeutically. Yoga, breathing exercises, massage, and meditation, discussed elsewhere in this book, are also components of Ayurveda. One type of Ayurvedic meditation, transcendental meditation (TM), was popularized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Another important aspect of Ayurveda, panchakarma, is used for disease prevention. Panchakarma means "five processes" and includes massages, sweat baths, vomiting, enemas, and bloodletting (through the use of leeches).

One specific Ayurvedic supplement, known as ashwagandha, is sometimes specifically recommended for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). This supplement is derived from the roots of the Withania somnífera plant.

Two primary types of Ayurveda are practiced outside India. Maharishi Ayur-Veda was started by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and relies heavily on meditation. The other Ayurvedic school, advocated by Dr. Deepak Chopra, uses meditation in conjunction with other Ayurvedic methods.

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