Ayurveda practitioners fret over new ‘physical contact’ guideline

Ayurveda practitioners in the south India state of Kerala, where the ancient medical system is widely practiced, have demanded the roll-back of a “blanket ban” by the state AYUSH department on performing inpatient therapies requiring physical contact.

The direction was one among the five guidelines issued by the department as part of relaxation of lockdown restrictions and permitting the admission and treatment of patients in AYUSH hospitals.

“…All inpatient therapies requiring physical contact may be avoided,” Dr Sharmila Mary Joseph said in the order issued on June one.

However, the Ayurveda fraternity, while agreeing to strict precautionary measures against Covid-19, demanded the “ban” on treatments involving physical contact be eased, especially during the season of rejuvenation therapies.

“We whole-heartedly support all other safety protocols like patient screening and social distancing norms. But the guideline on physical contact is confusing as most of the inpatient therapies include ‘uzichil’, ‘Kizhi, ‘pizhichil’, massages and the like. The blanket ban should be reconsidered,” said Dr Raju Thomas, President, Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI).

Also, the monsoon (rainy) season, from June to September, is ideal for Ayurvedic treatments as the atmosphere remains cool, moist and dust-free. This opens up the body’s pores, making it receptive to herbal oils and therapy.  “There will be patients requiring fixed periodic treatment (every monsoon who will also be affected,” Dr Thomas said.

The ancient medical practitioners, though, said they will implement all remaining directions in letter and spirit. The same includes:-

--The patients with symptoms such as fever, cough, headache and respiratory tract infections should be referred to modern medicine hospitals in accordance with the protocols of Health departments.

--Over-crowding in hospital wards and in hospital premises should be avoided.

-- Social distancing norms and other safety protocols are to be maintained for prevention of Covid-19. Break the chain campaign and SMS (Social Distancing, Mask, Sanitiser) campaign are to continue.

Managed by ayurvedamagazine.org

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