Health Promotion With a Traditional System of Natural Health Care: Maharishi Ayurvedaa
Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 1-27, 1990.
Robert H. Schneider,* Kenneth L. Cavanaugh,** H.S. Kasture, Stuart Rothenberg, Richard Averbach, Donald Robinson,* and Robert Keith Wallace.*
**Department of Physiological and Biological Sciences, Maharishi International University,
Fairfield, IA 52556
**Department of Management and Public Affairs, Maharishi International University, Fairfield, IA 52556
MAH Government Ayurveda Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Institute for Ayurvedic Studies, Maharishi International University, Fairfield, IA 52556
This study investigated the Maharishi Ayurvedaa Panchakarma§ program and its effects on self-reported mental and physical health. This program includes a set of physiological therapies that are recommended on a periodic basis for enhancement of physiological homeostasis and promotion of mental and physical health. In a first pilot study, 142 subjects were surveyed after a 1-2 week Maharishi Ayurvedaa Panchakarma program for changes in health symptoms compared to 60 control subjects who participated in a didactic class for the same period of time. In the second follow-up study, 62 consecutive subjects were tested before and after a similar Maharishi Ayurvedaa Panchakarma program with the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and compared to 71 controls participating in a didactic class. The results for the pilot study showed that the experimental subjects reported significantly greater improvements in well-being, energy-vitality, strength-stamina, appetite and digestive patterns, previous complaints generally, and rejuvenation and youthfulness than control subjects (p=0.05 to <0.00001). Sleep patterns changed nonsignificantly. In the second study, the experimental subjects decreased significantly more than controls on overall distress (p=0.003). On the POMS subscales, anxiety, depression, and fatigue decreased, and vigor increased significantly more for the experimental group than the controls (p=0.03 to 0.003). Confusion decreased marginally (p=0.06) and anger decreased nonsignificantly. These preliminary findings suggest that the Maharishi Ayurvedaa Panchakarma program is associated with improvements in mental and physical health symptoms, at least in selected subjects. This traditional program of natural health care may help to address current public health demands for efficacious and practical health-promotion and disease-prevention programs.
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