Ayurveda is a very logical medical science based on the basic principles of body mechanism and organ functioning. More than healing a particular disease through external means, it focuses more on eliminating the root cause of the disturbances so that the body can regain its normal strength and endurance to function properly. Before prescribing any treatment for any kind of symptom, any ayurvedic practitioner goes through a three stage thorough examination of the patient’s body to find out symptoms and discrepancy that the patient body is exhibiting. The threefold examination or trividh pariksha is carried out in systematic stages like - Prashana, Pratyaksha and Anumana. The second of these three stages ‘Pratyaksha’ is the method of direct observation.
The Stage Before Pratyaksha - Prashana (Questioning)
It is the stage where the doctor questions a patient about the symptoms of the ailment he is suffering and his basic routine. It is done in order to find out a way to lead the examination procedure.
Pratyaksha is the stage of direct observation. Here the doctor checks the discrepancies in the patient’s body through direct methods of observation. He checks the pulse, heart beat, breathing pattern, skin color, nails and hair of the patient. It is then helpful in drawing logical and clear reasons behind the ailment.
The Stage After Pratyaksha - Anumana (Interference)
It is the stage where inferences are drawn out the visible and described symptoms of the patient. It also includes the stage of Aptopadesh i.e. looking into the saying of seers in authoritative classical and other texts, so that one can draw a logical inference based on scientific principles.
Types Of Pratyaksha (Observation)
There are two types of Pratyaksha (observation) done - the observation of patient and the observation of the disease. The observation of the patient is done in order to find out the visible symptoms of ailment in his body. The other observation is that of disease to find out its intensity and seriousness. The body of the patient is thoroughly examined in order to find out what is wrong with the body of the patient and to what extent has the body been gripped by the disease. Here are the two steps of observation.
Observation of Patient