Unani-Tibb meaning ‘Greek Medicine’ in Persian, is the foundation of present day allopathic or conventional medicine. It was the mainstay of Western medicine until germ theory and chemical medicine became dominant.
Based on the original principles of care applied by Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna, which recognizes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual origins of both health and illness, Unani-Tibb is a total system of health. What makes it unique is that it is a system that promotes early diagnosis of possible pre-dispositions to disease, well before physical symptoms appear.
Unani-Tibb, like most of other ancient systems, focuses on ‘wellness’ rather than ‘illness’. According to Hippocrates, the ability to digest the environment and effectively eliminate waste is what constitutes good health. Any disease is ultimately a symptom of our failure to assimilate and use the various environmental factors effectively.
Health is an expression of the harmonious balance between the various components of our nature, the environment that surrounds us, and our adopted lifestyle. When we are born we have an ideal temperament. Our life style, along with how we respond to our external environment at all levels, determines our state of health. The fuel we put into our body determines the state of our body, mind and spirit. We experience health and wellness when we regulate our lifestyle factors according to specific needs of our own individual constitutions. Dr Raniga will evaluate your individual constitution or temperament and evaluate any humoral imbalances you may have, to prepare a management regimen specific to your needs.
PRINCIPLES OF UNANI-TIBB
Unani-Tibb philosophy is largely based on four key axioms:
- Temperament, which reflects the uniqueness of each individual. This is important in both diagnosis and treatment.
- Physis is the body’s innate power for self-healing. The prime objective of Unani-Tibb therapy is to support Physis,
- The Qualities, an old concept given a new perspective in Unani-Tibb, taking into account recent developments in clinical science. Disturbance in the person’s qualitative balance is the source of body disharmony and therefore disease.
- The life style Factors Unani-Tibb strongly believes that lifestyle diseases – for example, cancer, diabetes and heart diseases – are often the result of, or aggravated by, imprudent or even self-destructive lifestyles. Sound practical advice is offered on lifestyle – modifying the patient’s diet, improving sleep patterns, encouraging exercise, for example.
THE MAIN ASPECTS OF UNANI-TIBB HEALTHCARE
The focus is on achieving optimum health, rather than suppressing disease.
Unani-Tibb therapy targets the underlying causes of the person’s disorder, rather than concentrating mainly on symptoms. Health is the body’s natural default position.
- It supports the mantra: “Treatment comes from outside; healing from within”.
- Unani-Tibb regards the body and mind as being strongly interconnected. It has always accepted that virtually all diseases have physical, emotional and environmental elements. Unani-Tibb is a legitimate, holistic system of healthcare.
- Unani-Tibb views the patient as a unique individual, rather than a living specimen of a particular disorder. Every person is treated according to his or her own unique signs and symptoms. Considerable time is taken for diagnosis, especially when assessing the patient’s temperament. Unani-Tibb regards this as crucially important in both diagnosis and subsequent therapy.
- Diagnosis is carried out bearing in mind the patient’s temperament, which is, in brief, an amalgam of personality and constitution. Unani-Tibb diagnostic methods include both traditional techniques such as pulse and tongue diagnosis as well as standard conventional medical tests and pathological measurements.
- The foundation of Unani-Tibb therapy is lifestyle reform. This embraces changing a person’s diet where necessary, encouraging more physical exercise, better breathing methods, improving sleep quality, and more effective detoxification. The value of this, apart from dealing with the immediate clinical disorder, is that it encourages a more prudent lifestyle. This reduces the probability of the disorder recurring.
- Unani-Tibb employs a number of ‘hands-on’ therapies, such as massage, acupressure, aromatherapy and therapeutic cupping. There is also an extensive range of natural herbal medicines registered for specific ailments.
- Empowering the patient is an important aspect of Unani-Tibb, as this improves motivation and so brings a better outcome.
- Unani-Tibb relies exclusively on natural approaches. The use of new-to-nature substances, such as conventional drugs or chemical modifications of existing natural products, is eschewed. Similarly, lifestyle reform only adopts techniques which are nature-based and not requiring complex, expensive man-made equipment.
- Unani-Tibb accepts that disorders which have had months, maybe years, to develop are not likely to be cured rapidly. Suppressing symptoms can be achieved quickly, but restoring harmony takes time. There is no quick fix with Physis. The patient is made aware that achieving optimum health is a medium-term process.