Definition - What does Vaidya mean?

Vaidya is a Sanskrit word meaning “physician.” Specifically, it refers to a practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient form of healing with roots in India. Traditionally, a senior practitioner was called a vaidyaraja (physician king), while the personal vaidya of Indian royal families was known as raja vaidya (king's physician). Today, students of traditional Ayurvedic medicine train for up to 12 years before being conferred with the title of vaidya.

Ayurveda balances the mind, the body's inner energy and a yogi's lifestyle in order to heal and maintain the physical body. Among it's healing tools, Ayurveda includes regular yoga practice, meditation and nutrition.

Yogapedia explains Vaidya

Ayurveda treats disease on a mental and emotional level, as well as on a gross physical level. A vaidya has studied all three aspects of healing. Illness and health are seen in the context of a person's overall personality and circumstances, including family life and daily habits. Vaidyas must study not just medicine, but all aspects of life – individual and cosmic.

The vaidya diagnoses imbalances through observation of the face, eyes, skin and through pulse diagnosis, known as nadi vigyan. The pulse is taken with three fingers representing the three doshas (basic energies): vata, pitta and kapha. The vaidya also observes the patient's personality and asks questions about lifestyle and diet.

Once a diagnosis is made, the vaidya recommends changes in diet, lifestyle and daily routine to correct imbalances. The vaidya may also suggest herbal remedies and other natural healing methods.

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