The World Health Organisation WHO is afraid that a veritable "epidemic" of so-called lifestyle diseases is coming to us. Diabetes, lung disorders and even a range of cancers are – according to the WHO report – "the cause of a far greater threat to public health than any other known epidemic of mankind".
How can Ayurveda counter the lifestyle diseases of our modern world and the consequent health cost explosion with scientifically verified solutions?
This question was continuously the focus of attention at the International Ayurveda Congress on April 11 and 12 in Roermond, Netherlands. With over 400 participants from 49 countries, more than 50 expert speakers, representatives from politics, medicine and society, international press, a delegation from the Indian government and highly interesting lectures: A great international top event in a unique atmosphere.
For two days, speakers and scientists presented their latest research findings, case studies, new research methods and experiences. Panel discussions were held, Ayurvedic therapies and approaches were presented and discussed, a deep insight into the ancient Vedic science of Ayurveda was given, the global perspective of Ayurveda and many other topics were discussed, and also training standards were presented.
The congress was held under the patronage of Dr. Tony Nader, an internationally renowned scholar of Vedic Sciences and author of the books "Human Physiology: Expression of Veda and the Vedic Literature" and "Ramayan in HumanPhysiology".
The presidents of the congress were: Padma Bhushan Dr.Devendra Triguna, president of the largest professional organization of Ayurvedic doctors in India, the "All Ayurveda Congress"; Professor Subhash Ranade, president of the "International Academy of Ayurveda" in Pune; and cardiologist Dr. Rainer Picha, president of the "International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation".
Many respected scientists travelled to Roermond. International guests included a three-member delegation from the AYUSH Ministry of the Indian Government. A central point was reflected in the contributions of all speakers and delegates: How the application of the prevention oriented, efficient, reliable and proven Ayurvedic health care system could help to reverse the health care cost explosion.
As Professor Subhash Ranade, leading Ayurvedic expert and author of 127 books on the subject, explained, "lifestyle diseases" can be difficult to cure, but easily prevented.
He said: "No health system recognizes as early as Ayurveda, when the homeostasis of the body falters. But with this we can advise and therapeutically intervene long before intractable symptoms appear."
Padma Bushan Vaidya Devendra Triguna also stressed that the WHO has now recognized this value of Ayurveda. He paid tribute to the accomplishment of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who has spread Yoga and Ayurveda worldwide and realised Maharishi Ayurveda as a complete and authentic form of Ayurveda.
The mental approaches of Ayurveda, including Yoga as a technique of consciousness, were repeatedly highlighted as preventive measures. Even the earliest works of Ayurveda such as "Charaka Samhita" mention Yoga as a very important starting point for health, happiness and fulfillment in life.
"Chrono hygiene" – a regular daily routine in accordance with the natural rhythms of the day, year and time of life (and especially including a regular bedtime) – can also have a major impact on health. Many studies showed that amazing progress in the health of many patients was achieved solely by improving Chrono hygiene. Thus, modern science confirms the ancient Ayurvedic texts: In the basic Ayurvedic works "Kala", time, is named as one of the three main categories of causes of disease, and provides detailed recommendations for sleep, meal times and physical activity or sport.
German speakers included, among others, Dr. med. Ulrich Bauhofer (Ayurvedic doctor, best selling author and one of the first Western Ayurvedic experts), Dr. Karin Pirc (Medical Director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre, Bad Ems) and Lothar Pirc (Managing Director, MAHC Bad Ems), Prof. Dr. H.P.T Ammon (University of Tübingen) and Dr. med. Christian Kessler (Immanuel Hospital Berlin).
As a fitting end of this successful congress 15 Ayurvedic luminaries from around the world were honored for their great achievements and commitment to Ayurveda.
Next year's International Ayurveda Congress is already under consideration. Prospective venues are Rio de Janeiro or London.
The congress was supplemented by poster presentations and an exhibition where Maharishi Ayurveda Products was represented with a stand.
And how did Matt Huntjens, the winner of an all-inclusive congress ticket in our draw, feel about the congress? He enthused that he completely enjoyed the International Ayurveda Congress, especially the gala concert "Best of India" with top musicians.
If you are interested and would like to know more about Ayurveda, you will find many current tips and recommendations on our website.
For reading on holiday or at home, we recommend the book "Ayurveda für jeden Tag“ (available only in German) by the renowned Ayurvedic physician and best selling author Dr. med. Ernst Schrott. He is a founding member and vice-president of the German Society for Ayurveda, the first and oldest Medical Association for Ayurveda outside India, founded in 1983.
Easy to understand Dr. Schrott explains the basics and most important principles of Ayurveda as well as selected therapies for home use, including many tips for self-treatment and delicious recipes.