FOUR LIMBS OF TREATMENT
The four limbs (factors) of treatment in ayurveda are as follows -
1) Virtuous Physician
2) Virtuous Drug
3) Virtuous Nursing Staff
4) Virtuous Patient
These four factors are responsible for treatment of all diseases.
The four factors of treatment have been mentioned here. Among these the most important is the physician, then drug, then nursing staff and then the patient. The physician executes his duty or performs action through the medicine. Without medicine there is no narrative of the physician. So the drug is of importance after the physician. The object of the drug, formulation of medicine, extract of medicine to drink with or after medicine and the service of patient is in the nursing staff's hands. That is why the third important factor is the nursing staff. If the patient doesnot exist the treatment doesnot make sense. That is why patient is the fourth important factor. Sometimes the diet is also considered to be of primary importance. The treatment given correctly by the three factors but in context to a patient who doesnot follow a proper diet or instructions as directed by the physician fails the action of the three factors totally. So all four factors are valuable in their own place. None is of prime importance or less importance.
Definition of treatment – Upon the imbalance of dhatu, the tendency of an excellent physician and the four factors of treatment to bring about balance in them is called treatment.
The tendency to cure disease has been considered treatment, meaning whether dosha, dhatu, mala come to balance or not but when the physician etc act with the intention to balance them it will be considered treatment and is called treatment. The action to bring about balance in dhatus is called treatment. When the dhatus come to balance the disease is cured, meaning curing disease is treatment. In this way, the action of providing medicine with the intention of curing disease is treatment as well as totally curing disease is also treatment. Both these meanings are desired in terms of the word 'treatment'. This treatment by its virtue is of two types – pure and impure. The treatment which cures the root illness but creates another illness is 'impure' and the one which cures the root disease but doesnot originate another disease is considered 'pure'.
Description of the four factors of treatment -
1) Qualities of Physicians -
a) To have good knowledge of science (shastras).
b) To have been a visible or evident proof of patient, drug-formulation and drug use many
c) To be skilled or dexterous, meaning, to be extremely clever in forming combinations in
in accordance to time.
d) Maintaining purity in practice.
2) Qualities of Drugs -
a) Drugs available in ample quantities.
b) Drugs capable of killing or curing disease.
c) A single drug capable of being imagined in many forms.
d) Drugs inherited with its own qualities such as rasa, potency, ripeness, maturity etc.
These four are considered to be the best qualities of drugs.
'Bahuta' means drug found in ample amount, because drug available in low quantities or measure is also a dosha. The best drugs are the ones found in ample quantities and in all places. So the drug capable of curing many diseases is called 'Bahuta'. 'Yogyatva' means, if in any disease, a drug is given with dosha, base, time, country, measure, age etc in mind and it is capable of curing the disease by the root, then it is considered to be good. 'Anekvidhkalpana' means that each patient is not of the same prakriti and taste. According to the prakriti and taste of the patient, if the drug can't take the form of swarasa, kalk, kwaath, churna, vati etc to be fruitful for the patient then the drug is considered to be incapable. 'Sampat' means the drug's availability is in harmony with the method which it is supposed to be obtained, meaning it doesnot grow in barren land, pathways, temples etc and it is not rotten etc. Such drug is considered to be high quality.
3) Qualities of Nursing Staff -
a) Full knowledge of the service work.
c) Immense love towards their owner (patient).
These four are considered to be the best qualities in the nursing staff.
Serving a patient is not easy for every person. By nature, only few have the qualities for this service work. That is why the one who naturally knows how to serve should be appointed to serve the patient.
4) Qualities of Patients -
a) Memory Power.
b) The tendency to obey the orders of the physician.
d) To be able to clearly communicate about the illness and complications.
These four qualities are considered to be the best in the patients.
Having memory power means that the patient can give away the reasons for his illness if he remembers them. And memory is also required for other works. A high quality patient should be fearless. According to some physicians, fear and memorylessness has also been considered a quality. In the exposition of fever, memorylessness has been considered a quality. This way fearlessness and memory power is considered quality at one place and a dosha at another place.
Having the right body postures is very important to prevent cervical spondylitis as well as cervical spondylosis and also back pain. One should try to sit, stand, lie down in the right postures to keep the spine straight and healthy. Whether you have cervical spondylitis or spondylosis, or not you should always have the right body postures. Below are few diagrams showing the right and wrong body postures in different situations.
The right and wrong body postures with green arrows showing the right ones and the red arrows showing the wrong ones.