Saturday, 15 March 2014

Ayurvedic Sports Medicines in Kerala

Sports medicine is an interdisciplinary subspecialty of medicine which deals with the overall care of an athlete at all levels, both amateur and professional. The sports medical team includes specialty physicians and surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, coaches, other personnel and, of course, the athlete. Ayurveda is the traditional medical system of India that is primarily a health care system aimed at prevention and cure of illness.  

Kerala Government has worked out a scheme to explore the potential of Ayruveda and other indigenous healing systems as sports medicine. A special wing called Sports Ayurveda has been formed by the Department of Indian Systems of Medicines and Homoeopathy, a unit of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. The Sports Ayurveda wing has been formed to treat the ailments of athletes. With the Commonwealth Games and National Games approaching, the Sports Ayurveda wing is all geared up to face and heal sports-related injuries. Massage therapy also developed over centuries in Kerala as part of its martial art-cum-healing system.

Sports injuries are injuries that occur to athletes participating in sporting events. In many cases, these types of injuries are due to overuse of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. Sports injuries require special care while treatments. Modern treatment methods might require that surgeries be carried out, which shall prevent the sports person from actively pursuing the sport or require use of drugs which can get the athletes banned.

Sports medicine, as a separate medical specialty has a fairly recent origin and it is quite pertinent to ask how a medical system, that is more than five thousand years old, can  make any contribution in a field like sports medicine which, by any stretch of imagination, is not more than a few decades old.  

When we go through the Ayurvedic belief we definitely do not find direct references regarding a specialty called sports medicine nor do we have ready made management plans for sports related ailments. It requires a lot of close observation and correct perception of the implied meaning of the ancient words of wisdom to appreciate the scope of Ayurveda in this field. Hence a blind critique can easily shut the doors on any exploration on the topic concluding that Ayurveda has nothing to do with sports medicine. But when we observe with the open mind of a curious scientist, we find enormous possibilities. It makes us appreciate a very significant contribution that Ayurveda can make to improve the effectiveness of sports medicine as a whole. If a systematic and dedicated research happens in this direction, Ayurveda could revolutionize and contribute a great deal to the sports medicine.


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