Nadi Pariksha – A Traditional diagnostic approach for Natural healing
Ayurved is the system of traditional and scientific medicine that evolved in India with a rationale logical foundation that has survived as a distinct entity. The fundamentals of the Ayurvedic system are precise and do not change from age to age. The origin of Ayurved is attributed to Atharva Veda where several diseases with their treatments are mentioned.
Ayurved has eight ways to diagnose illness, called Nadi (pulse), Mootra (urine), Mala (stool), Jihva (tongue), Shabda (speech), Sparsha (touch), Druk (vision), and Aakruti (appearance). Ayurvedic practitioners approach diagnosis by using the five senses. For example, hearing is used to observe the condition of breathing and speech. The study of the lethal points or marman marma is of special importance. In this article we will talk in detail about Nadi Pariksha.
The science behind ‘Nadi Pariksha’ is Ayurved, the ancient Vedic science of (natural) medicine, that now receives recognition across the world. The word ‘nadi’ refers to channels of the subtle life-force energy called ‘prana’ in Ayurved , much like nervous system, but more subtle. ‘Pariksha’ means ‘diagnosis or examination’.
Nadi Pariksha gained its significance during the 17th century in the classical text named Yogratnakar through 48 shlokas, detailing the science of Nadi. The scripture highlights details of methodology to examine pulse, such as the appropriate time, rules for the Vaidya or Ayurvedic physician to be followed before and after Nadi Pariksha. The traditional texts Sarangadhara Samhita, YogaRatnakara, Basavarajeeyam and Bhavaprakasha have discussed the details of Nadi Pariksha in the form of slokas.
Nadi Pariksha is an ancient ayurvedic technique of diagnosing physical, mental and emotional imbalances through the pulse of the sufferer. Through Nadi we can determine the Normal/Prakruti- Abnormal/Vikruti, the status of Doshas (Vata- Pitta- Kapha) in each organ, effects on Dhatus (Body Tissues), Manas (Mind); that affect health as per their current status. This technique helps to get to the root cause of the disease and aids to treat it by combining the findings of signs and symptoms that are being seen or felt. The significance of Nadi Pariksha is well understood and effectively used by Ayurved practitioners for assessing various physiological and psychological states of the patient.
Many intellectuals in the field of Ayurved have contributed towards the science of nadi pariksha. A doctor will find out about the things or activities that cause or may cause troubles to the body and then designs patients’ personal wellness regime. It can range from therapeutic massages, personalised diet, rigorous detoxification and exercise programmes.
Ayurved has thousands of years of rich experience in Nadi Pariksha with strong literature support but is subjective in nature and the need for studying nadi with a more objective scientific approach. Recently, pulse wave velocity has gained significant research interest as it is considered to be a strong indicator of cardiovascular disease; however, the relevance of pulse wave analysis to Nadi Pariksha has not been studied. As per classical texts, qualities or properties of pulse such as pulse movement (gati), speed of the pulse (vega), stability of the pulse (sthiratva) and hardness of the artery (kathinya) play major role in Nadi Pariksha and in the current review these properties were analysed and compared with the modern pulse parameters namely pulse wave velocity, pulse rate variability and arterial stiffness.
Nadi Pariksha is also a science which has been passed on from generations to generations resembling the Gurukula system of Vedas. I am blessed and fortunate to take birth in such a traditional ayurveda family having the legacy of Nadi Pariksha and Ayurved from last 11 generations. I am very much thankful to my beloved Guru, Guide, Philosopher, and Father Vaidya Sadanand Prabhakar Sardeshmukh for teaching me this precious traditional knowledge of ayurveda.