Neurologist and Ayurveda doctor
Antonio Morandi is a neurologist and Vaidya (Ayurveda Academy, Pune (India) / Joytinat International College of Ayurveda). He also has a specialization in Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy ( Ayurvedic
Institute Ashtavaidyan Thaikat Mooss',Thrissur). He has been Director of the Ayurvedic Point, Milan, for many years and is President of the Scientific Society for Ayurvedic Medicine Italy (SSIMA). In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious IASTAM ZANDU Award for Research in Ayurveda. In 2019 he received the ECIM Award for the best clinical publication as co-author.
The multidimensional mode of therapeutic intervention in Ayurveda stems from its particular understanding of the relationship between body and mind. Each therapy carries out actions on a physical, mental, and emotional level, and treatment takes place for the entire body-mind-spirit system. The therapeutic refinement of Ayurveda allows the effect to be modulated at one level rather than another according to the individual patient's needs. However, the therapies dedicated to purely psychological, mental, and also spiritual disorders are of particular importance and are very special in their practical application. This expert discussion will examine some of the more unique aspects of Ayurvedic therapy dedicated to dysfunctional problems of the psyche and spirit.
Dr. Ram P. Manohar will expound on the founding principles and current practices of Daivavyapāśraya Cikitsā, the so-called divine therapy and one of the therapy modalities described by Caraka, which uses peculiar modalities of intervention aimed at the recovery of psychological and spiritual disorders, Dr. Stephanie Bunk will talk about the relationship between Ayurveda, Yoga and meditative practices in the management of psychological problems, while Dr. Antonio Morandi will discuss the psychological and mental effects of physical treatments in Ayurveda, and their potential in the reprocessing of emotional and traumatic information.
According to the Vedic concept, the Universe is formed by five elements or states of matter that derive from the primordial imbalance in the form of OM sound. Sound is the primordial energy that is organized in the forms of concrete reality.
Sanskrit is the language that expresses this vibrational code with its sounds and is therefore intrinsically linked to the structure of reality. The relationship between sound, words and the associated elements of reality define the structure of thought and is a concept widely explored in all cultures. The work of the grammarian Bhartrhari in ancient India and that of linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf in the contemporary world bear witness to this. Modern scientific studies unequivocally demonstrate the reality of their hypotheses and place Sanskrit as a language capable of shaping modern conceptual patterns towards an expanded perception of reality.
Ayurvedic perspective of microcirculation
Antonio Morandi, M.D.
The function of blood and its flow were well-known to the ancient ayurvedic Ṛṣi well before Harvey's demonstration in 1628. The blood flow and the pumping function of the heart are clearly mentioned both in the Atharva Veda, one of the four Vedas, and in the main classical Ayurvedic texts. The word itself "Hṛdaya", which in Sanskrit defines the heart, has an etymology that clearly describes its function. Hṛ, in fact, derives from Harati meaning "to receive", Da comes from Dadāti meaning "to give", while Yā means "to move", "to go" "circular movement", thus defining as a whole the function of heart as a pump that can give, receive and circulate blood. Caraka described the general organization of the cardiovascular system by specifying the importance of the heart and how it pumped the nutrient fluids into all body parts. In yurveda what we modernly call blood is actually described as the set of four components needed for life or: Rasa, fluid that results from complete digestion and absorption of food, Rakta, which derives from the elaboration of Rasa and represents the red and corpuscular part of the blood whose state is closely related to health and life (the modern description of Anemia can be found in Pāṇḍu in the condition called Pāṇḍu), and Ojas whose function is closely associated with the concept of immunity and Prāṇa which includes elements derived from breathing. It is really amazing to observe how this description corresponds to the functional aspects that are modernly attributed to the blood.
Due to its profound knowledge of the cardiovascular system, Ayurveda gives the same importance to microcirculation as Modern Medicine does, although everything is observed from a wider and articulated perspective, as its holistic vision does not limit the attention to the single organ microcirculation. The description that ancient ayurvedic texts report of exchanges at thinner levels of blood circulation is of great interest for surprising detail and conceptual modernity. Both Suśruta and Vāgbhata describe how vases become porous as they become thinner and pervade the whole body. Caraka had already described the srotamsi system as channels from which and exudation happens and that the phenomenon is bi-directional, providing nourishment and removing wastes.
It thus appears clear how the knowledge of anatomical and functional cardio circulatory aspects, of the importance of blood, blood circulation and vascular network were clearly present in Ayurveda from the earliest times. Of course, this physiological knowledge also corresponds to a profound understanding of its pathologies.
Although the Ayurvedic and the modern knowledge systems are undoubtedly different and seemingly far apart, however, they are only different perspectives of a single reality. In fact, a careful analysis and proper contextualization and the subsequent "conceptual translation" of the two systems will make it possible to highlight important similarities and convergences that will allow subsequent elaboration. It is important therefore that there be the real possibility of an evolutionary, equal, and without prejudice dialogue between such diverse epistemologies, because only this will allow the emergence of an unpredictable and superior cultural and scientific paradigm that will lead to a new vision of reality.
One of the most obvious differences between Āyurveda and Modern Medicine concerns the anatomical description of the human body. Modern Medicine meticulously describes the shape of the body and its constituents, dividing it ideally into systems, organs and tissues, parts to which it then attributes specific functions. On the contrary, Āyurveda describes the functioning of the organism as a whole and it is described only when the function is intimately connected with the expression of a form, see for example the description of the skin or the development of the embryo. This difference is one of the expressions of the diverging representation of the world and consequently diverse epistemology to which the two systems of thought refer. This is why there is no trace in the ayurvedic classical texts of anatomical descriptions of the thyroid gland. The function attributed by Modern Medicine to the thyroid is, according to the functional vision of Āyurveda, that of Agni in its various forms. The concept of Agni is very broad and determines in a profound way not only the functioning of the whole organism but the persistence of life itself. Modern medicine tends to compartmentalize functions according to organs or systems and does not make a general relation, this is particularly limiting especially when analyzing the metabolism which is the basic function of life itself. Āyurveda, on the other hand, implements a transversal vision and functionally binds all organs and systems in a network, highlighting their interrelationships and interdependencies. The analysis according to the criteria of the Collaborative Medicine and Science Co.M.S. of the various functional modalities of Agni in relation to Modern Medicine can offer the latter valuable elements to better understand the general metabolic models and in particular, those related to the thyroid gland and suggest new therapeutic strategies.