There is a vast difference in the perception of a disease between Western therapies and Oriental ones. Oriental disciplines of medicine, pathology, and therapies have been in existence for many centuries, and they have stood the test of time. The purpose of this article is to understand the manner in which Ayurveda, ancient Indian medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine view and approach disease with special attention to thyroid treatment.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes that disease occurs when Qi, the basic life energy present in all, is blocked or absent. According to this discipline, Qi is vital to overall good health for each and every individual. Therefore all attempts at treatment focus on revitalizing the flow of this energy. This process aims at restoring positive energy and restricting negative Qi.
The concept of Ayurveda is based on a belief that life is a combination of body, mind, and spirit. The ancient Indian texts have listed the characteristics and curative properties of natural substances like herbs, minerals, metals, chemicals, animal parts, cooked food articles, natural foods, and fruits. Ayurveda works on a keen understanding of the effect that each of these natural products has on the various body organs. It is also one of the rare ancient therapies that includes an appealing surgical system.
Chinese and Indian theories have many commonalities:
- They only use natural products and procedures to cure disease.
- They target the root cause of the disease.
- They treat vital body energy as being basic to good health.
- They refer to health and wellbeing as the flow of life energy, called Qi in Chinese medicine and Kundalini in Ayurveda.
Thyroid-related treatments in the Chinese system of medicine and in Ayurveda are also based on these principles. Alternative thyroid treatments do not treat the symptoms of a disease. The symptoms are used for proper diagnosis. This is followed by a holistic process of analyzing lifestyle, emotions, environmental, and hereditary factors. The combined understanding of these interconnected issues is the input that results in a customized solution for a thyroid patient.
Natural therapies attribute the current increase in the incidence of autoimmune diseases, like hyperthyroidism, goiter, and Graves’ disease to these characteristics:
- A fast-paced lifestyle that does not allow sufficient time for carrying out basic life processes like eating and sleeping.
- Improper diet.
- Over dependence on frozen foods, cold raw foods, and food that is riddled with pesticides.
- Lack of exercise and a dependence on recycled air provided by air conditioners as opposed to the natural environment.
- Pollutants that have infiltrated most of the products of daily use, like fluoride in toothpastes and drinking water from the tap.
There are no herbs that contain hormones that will supplement deficient thyroid hormones in the body. However, natural thyroid medication seeks to use herbs and natural ingredients as foods that will promote general wellbeing. For example, the thyroid hormones are exchanged by the liver and the kidneys. Alternative therapies enable a process that allows these organs to function in a healthy manner. Natural substances and herbs like ginger, peppermint, guggul (commophora wightii or Indian Bedellium) and triphala (terminalia bellirica Roxb ot Indian Gooseberry) are intrinsic to Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic thyroid medications. These are essentially used to strengthen the liver and kidneys to ensure proper functioning.