India is an ancient land that has indigenously developed several medical sciences throughout its existence as a civilization.
Most of the traditional medical systems in India follow a holistic approach. Moreover, these medicinal systems are closely linked to nature. Thus, it would not be wrong to term Ayurveda as a science of life, which is its literal meaning. This science of healing and wellness developed between 2500 BC to 500 BC and continues to advance to date.
This is a holistic system that protects healthy life and thus accords longevity. Its wellness programs offer to rejuvenate the human body with careful implementation of a nutrition-rich diet. Though considered pseudoscientific by those who adhere rigidly to allopathic traditions, the criticism is myopic and impractical. Over eighty percent of people rely heavily on this system, which is widespread, prevalent for ages. Therapies are inclusive of:
• Herbal Medicine
• Enema & Laxative
• Special Diets
Herbal medicines are complex formulations that comprise herbs, roots, shoots, minerals, and metals. They are available in tablet, liquid, and powdered forms. Surprisingly, the ancient medical texts also mention surgical techniques for rhinoplasty, extraction of external objects and kidney stones, sutures, besides many others. However, the invasive techniques have been overtaken by modern medicine and are no longer practiced as per the books.
One of the recognized surgeons and doctors of ancient India is Sushruta. He practiced plastic surgery, and he is accredited as a pioneer. These holistic health systems have their manner of ascertaining human physiology, and these are scripted in detail in ancient texts. Therefore, understanding body functions using principles of human physiology is vital for practicing medicine.
Since the cures and effects are not immediately noticeable and get mired in time, the curative properties of these medicines are considered doubtful by the detractors. Also, the use of metals in formulations is not appreciated since many of them have been classified as toxic.
India contains an excellent infrastructure to deliver a cure using various means that match modern allopathic systems developed in the West. The alternative healing, especially Yoga and Ayurveda, have been developed in Ashrams of Yogis or Hindu sages who had a tremendous bent of mind towards research. This is in process for more than five thousand years, from Indus Valley Civilization to the present.
When surgical and nonsurgical treatment costs are rising sky-high, the World can look towards our country as a destination that provides high-quality, state-of-the-art medical services at a much lower cost. Even where high-end technological infrastructure is involved, especially in life-threatening ailments, our services are quite competitive.
The country’s ability is not restricted to modern medicine; it is also adept at providing alternative or traditional health care. The traditional systems abound in a country rich in cultural heritage, and the most popular ones are Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. Though the latter did not originate in the country, its popularity makes it a part of the AYUSH Ministry. The focus of the AYUSH Ministry is to develop and sustain alternative healing systems that provide preventive recourse and relief to a large number of people. Indian systems are popular all over the globe and attract practitioners and believers in good enough numbers.
The institutions, including the government, are propelling global inbound medical travel from many countries. Four ministries now promote health tourism, with a focus on overseas patients. The impetus is accorded to traditional systems, which have a strong foothold in the country.
Ministries and organizations Involved in promoting medical tourism in India are as follows:
• Ministry of Tourism
• Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
• Ministry of Commerce
• Ministry of AYUSH
SPEC is an acronym for Services Export Promotion Council, and NABH stands for National Accreditation Board for
Hospitals & Health Care.
Popularity of Ayurveda
People have immense faith in Ayurveda, not only in India, the proponents are growing overseas as well, especially in the developed Nations. This increasing popularity is due to promising results in treating deadly and chronic ailments like cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes, bone and lung disorders, to name a few. One palpable aspect of this system of medicine is less incidence of after-effects. This benefit arises from the fact that the herbal extracts comprise wholesome compounds, some of which contain curative properties while some are instrumental in preventing after-effects.
The holistic approach is being increasingly appreciated in the West. With an impressive number of hospitals and institutions providing this alternative treatment, the outlook for enhancing medical travel is very high. The reliance on this alternative healing is very high, not only in India but globally. With awareness and proper promotion, many overseas visitors are expected to arrive in the future for treatment.