|Year : 2012 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 123-125
Ayurvedic Point, translating tradition into modernity
Antonio Morandi, Carmen Tosto
Ayurvedic Point, C.so Sempione 63, 20149 Milan, Italy
|Date of Web Publication||20-Sep-2013|
Ayurvedic Point, C.so Sempione 63, 20149 Milan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Morandi A, Tosto C. Ayurvedic Point, translating tradition into modernity. Ancient Sci Life 2012;32:123-5
Śāstram tu vyāpino vidyat prayogam tueka deśikam
“Shastraa is universal but its applications are local,” is the motto underlying the history of Ayurvedic Point, the most relevant institution of Āyurveda in Italy established in 2001 by the authors.
Āyurveda, as the meaning of the word indicates in Sanskrit, is a science that deals with life in general and as such can be applied everywhere there is life, not only in India. Life is the same in every place, but the environmental conditions in which life affirms and evolves are different, leading to diverse expression of living beings. “Localisation” of Āyurveda has always been the policy of Ayurvedic Point: Using Āyurveda's logic to find its own principles in the local environment for a deep integration., Traditional medicine is composed of two parts: One refers to the local conditions that govern the expression of life and the other one deals with the basic principles of life. The last one is coded through the first one, and this is why, in order to learn Āyurveda, a westerner has to deeply enter in the mind and soul of Indian culture to decode the principles that then will be applied to western conditions. Āyurveda is much more than herbs, physical techniques or general lifestyle; it teaches us the “logic” through which nature and world phenomena can be observed. “Localisation” of Āyurveda is a crucial point for its diffusion worldwide and will allow higher level of contribution to the development of science.
Following the framework of “Āyurveda localisation,” Ayurvedic Point is developing a novel system of translating Ayurvedic basic principles in modern terms and concepts, without betraying the real tradition of Āyurveda. As a warranty of respect and adherence to the tradition, most of this work is developed together with Dr. A. N. Narayanan Nambi and the members of his family, one of the most ancient Ashtavaidyan families of India, in Thrissur, Kerala. A great contribution has been recently given also by Prof. Antonella Delle Fave of the University of Milan, Italy, specially in relation to transcultural aspects of health concepts and psychology. The basis of this method, which is not a specific topic of this article and is described elsewhere, resides in the combination of a deep analysis of guṇa, or qualities, and the field of complex systems. This allows to extrapolate general principles from Ayurvedic knowledge which are applicable in western worldview, leading to novel integrated views of health and well-being.
The main scope of Ayurvedic Point has been to establish in Italy and Europe, according to this framework, all necessary facilities for the development and promotion of Āyurveda as a discipline, and, particularly, Ayurvedic medical practice.
Ayurvedic Point's activities are channelled through its two divisions - the educational and cultural division, including the School of Ayurvedic Medicine, which has been awarded with the ISO 9001 international quality certification since 2007, and the clinical and research division.
| Ayurvedic Point Education|| |
An European-based education scheme in Āyurveda has to reflect the basic rules and logic of Āyurveda with local adaptations, and has to follow teaching and professional paths acknowledged by European institutions. In Europe, with a few exceptions, medical tradition is generally organised following the distinctive roles of medical doctor and therapist/nurse, very close to those described in Caraka Saṃhitā Sūtrastāna, IX. The education in Āyurveda in Italy and Europe needs to be designed as postgraduate training for professionals in modern medical field.
The Ayurvedic Point's school programmes are two distinct courses: One postgraduate course of 4 years for physicians and the other professional course for therapists, both following a common integrated study plan and syllabus. Its educational programme is of the highest standard in Italy and is the only one congruent with the WHO's guidelines published in Benchmarks of Training in Āyurveda. It has been taken by the council of MDs and dentists of many cities in Italy (Bologna was the first in 2006) as the template for the main requirement to be registered as doctor expert in Ayurvedic medicine. Moreover, Ayurvedic Point collaborates, through its teachers, with several universities for lecturing on Āyurveda in the faculties of medicine, pharmacy and sociology as well as in master courses, and has also become a collaborative centre and master course stage centre of the prestigious Milano-Bicocca University. The programme of Ayurvedic Point school has been used as a template, along with the Rosenberg European Academy of Āyurveda, Germany and the College of Āyurveda, University of Middlesex, United Kingdom, for the elaboration of an European educational standard programme in Āyurveda for medical doctors. This programme has been proposed to Department of AYUSH (Department of Āyurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), Ministry of Health, Government of India. It is noteworthy that Ayurvedic Point established, along with the Società Scientifica Italiana di Medicina Ayurvedica (SSIMA) - Italian Scientific Society of Ayurvedic Medicine, the Guidelines for Good Practice of Āyurveda, which have been published, and adopted by the Permanent Consensus Committee on Non-conventional Medicines. The guidelines, along with the educational programme, have been submitted to the Italian government for the study of a law proposal on non-conventional medicines.
Ayurvedic Point teaching strategy is based on the consideration of Ayurvedic medicine as a traditional medical science and it is managed by an operative unit of physicians and therapists working together. Its logic has to be “localised” in the European background in order to integrate and enhance western science.
Ayurvedic Point's Teaching Board is composed of 20 teachers with documented experience: 12 medical doctors, 5 therapists, 2 pharmacologists and 1 lawyer for legal issues connected with the practice of non-conventional medicine. The teachers are coordinated by a Dean, a Director of the medical doctors' course (both must have MD in modern medicine and Āyurveda degree as a prerequisite) and a Director of the therapists' course (therapist graduated in Italy and India as well as a Yoga teacher as a prerequisite).
Additionally, Ayurvedic Point students can follow an in-depth parallel 4-year study programme in India at the Āyurveda Research and Education Institute of SNA Oushadhasala, Trisshur, Kerala, directed by Dr. Ashtavaidyan A. N. Narayanan Nambi. This parallel programme is recognised by a joint Ayurvedic Point-SNA Oushadhasala Diploma of specialisation in Panchakarma Techniques. In this contest, the application of the above-said “Āyurveda localisation” seminal work has originated a novel teaching method for international students in Āyurveda, developed by Ayurvedic Point along with SNA Oushadashala, which allows a deeper insight and learning experience.
| Ayurvedic Point Research and Clinical Activity|| |
The efforts in translating Āyurveda logic and basic principles according to “localisation” form the basis of Ayurvedic Point's research activities. The aim is to create a network of scientific excellence in order to reach a distributed research power which may boost a generally accepted validation of Āyurveda, as well as vedic principles of science, health and well-being. The formation of this scientific excellence network will be also critical for international fund raising. With this scope, Ayurvedic Point collaborates with national and international universities, and hospital and academic institutions in research as well as clinical projects [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3].
|Figure 1: Ayuvedic Point Study Grup at SNA Oushadasala, Thrissur, Kerala, India.|
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|Figure 3: Practical demonstration at Ayurvedic Point School in Milan, Italy|
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Among the many projects to which Ayurvedic Point is actively collaborating, there is the “CARAKA Trial,” a multicentric, international, prospective, randomised controlled clinical trial of the effects of the multidimensional approach of Āyurveda on osteoarthritis of the knee, organised by the Division of Clinical Complementary Natural Medicine, Charité Medical University of Berlin and by India's Central Council for Research in Āyurveda and Siddha. Another important project, witnessing the interest and collaboration of conventional and Ayurvedic medicine in Italy, is the LCG Project for the study and therapy of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, developed in collaboration with the Misericordia of S. Mauro and Public Assistance of Signa (Florence), the Careggi Hospital, Florence and the University of Florence, Medical School. Other relevant ongoing projects conducted by the Ayurvedic Point are clinical study on chronic migraine, novel interpretation of neurodegenerative diseases biomarkers according to Āyurveda and clinical study on Uttarabasti in urological disorders.
Ayurvedic Point also runs its own outpatient medical centres in Milan, where it is possible to undergo Ayurvedic medical consultations and all the traditional physical treatments and therapies.
Of great relevance is also the activity of Ayurvedic Point in diffusing the scientific vision of Āyurveda through participation and organisation of Congresses. In March 2009, Ayurvedic Point with SSIMA and supported by the Indian partnership of Asthavaidyan Thrissur Thaikat Mooss' SNA Oushadhasala, Kerala, India, organised Italy's 1st International Congress on Āyurveda, “Āyurveda: The Meaning of Life.” This groundbreaking international scientific congress held in Milan, Italy was endorsed by the highest government institutions and attracted more than 400 global participants. The format of this congress was replicated in 2010 in Thrissur, Kerala by the same organisers, with the 2nd International Congress of Āyurveda, “Āyurveda Redefined: Essence, Explore, Expand.”
In order to reach the scope of its mission, Ayurvedic Point is actively participating, through the Permanent Consensus Committee for Non-conventional Medicines in Italy, to the ongoing political activity for the acknowledgement of Āyurveda and other non-conventional medicines by the Italian government.
aShastra is a sanskrit word meaning rule in general sense
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]