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A version of this work was presented at the 2022 John Wesley Powell Undergraduate Research Conference.

Abstract

Dr. Ashlesha Raut is an Ayurvedic doctor practicing in Bloomington-Normal at her clinic, Ayurveda for Healing. Her role as an Ayurvedic doctor focuses on diagnosing and treating imbalances in the day to day life of patients in order to guide people to their healthiest, happiest selves. My research focuses on Dr. Ashlesha Raut’s relationship with Ayurveda and how she diagnoses specific, individual patients through a holistic perspective. The research includes a contemporary literature review of Ayurveda, focusing on the perspectives of practitioners and their diagnostic methods. I conducted research in collaboration with Dr. Raut, with ethnographic interviews and experiencing Dr. Raut’s diagnostic techniques. The experience is captured through photos produced collaboratively to represent the environment Dr. Raut provides for her patients. Understanding a patient through diagnosis is the first step for treatment and prevention of illness, and since Ayurveda focuses on the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the person, a deep understanding of how the physician understands her patients is necessary. The role of an Ayurvedic doctor is the total wellbeing of the patient, far beyond the physical symptoms that are the focus of western medicine. Studying the philosophy of Ayurveda, or the "the science of life" that defines Dr. Raut’s practice has the potential of not only changing the lives of her patients, but also the way some of us in the West conceptualize and practice medicine.

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Anthropology

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Anthropology Commons

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