Leading developer of software and hardware kit VedaPulse™ Oleg Sorokin recently came back from his trip to the USA where he gave a workshop to Dr. Vasant Lad and his disciples.
While developing algorithms for VedaPulse(tm) computer pulse diagnosis, I was using ideas of a famous Ayurvedic doctor in the West – founder of Ayurvedic Institute and Advisor to National Ayurvedic Medical Association of the USA – Dr. Vasant Lad. And recently I had a chance to meet him in person in his Institute’s headquarters in Albuquerque, NM and to demonstrate my device.
It was a long journey to this meeting. After my thesis defense in 2005 I came across Dr. Vasant Lad’s book “Secrets of the Pulse”. During that period I was working a lot on different electro-physiological diagnostic methods and at the same time had already been studying Ayurvedic medicine for several years. At that time I realized I needed to create a tool that would serve as an analogy to palpation pulse diagnosis and will help make such diagnosis objective and quantified.
Currently in many Western countries (in particular Germany and USA) Ayurvedic medicine is getting legalized. Unfortunately, in Russia this process is at its infant state. This brings up the very important question of developing standards, based on objective diagnostic methods – which is a necessary condition for legal approval of authentic Ayurveda and its integration into insurance medicine.
For a long time being inspired by the only book available I was looking for an opportunity to meet this man in person. I was inspired by his approach – not just integration of Ayurveda into Western medicine (this is a dead end track which dilutes the essence of Ayurveda, as it happened with western reflexology), but, alternatively – description of well studied by Western medicine physiological processes in terms of authentic Ayurveda.
Vasant Lad’s academic and practical training include the study of Allopathy (Western medicine) and surgery as well as traditional Ayurveda. In 1968 he received the degree of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the University of Pune, in Pune, India and later a Master of Ayurvedic Science (M.A.Sc.). For several years he has served as the Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune and held the position of Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine. In 1984 after receiving a blessing from his spiritual teacher to spread the Ayurveda knowledge in the West, he founded The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque (New Mexico, USA).
Currently The Ayurvedic Institute consists of four buildings. The primary building houses administrative office, library, herb department and the main classroom. The Panchakarma Department is located adjacent to the main office. The second building houses a student clinic, education department, and publishing department. The third building is the newest addition that houses the new classroom, Ayuryoga studio, and seminar locations.
While talking with Dr. Lad’s students, many of which are also teachers of his Ayurvedic course, I found out that he has been dreaming that one of his followers would create a pulse reading device that would help objectify the teaching process and standardize methods for treatment prescription. We know that if three Vaidyas read pulse of the same patient, they will get three different conclusions based on their knowledge level. That’s why NAMA needs an internationally approved technology that could objectively evaluate patient’s condition based on Ayurvedic principles.
Vasant Lad giving a lecture
Several specialists from different American universities many times came to Vasant Lad to show him their developments. Without underestimating their capabilities, these developments were, unfortunately, rejected, as they either didn’t comply with generally accepted concepts of physical science, or the end results of diagnosis were introduced in terms far from Ayurveda.
Before meeting with Vasant Lad I was a little nervous. I knew that this meeting would be a validity test for my technology. Many Ayurvedic specialists question as how much VedaPulse™ algorithms of evaluating patient’s functional state and constitution comply with authentic Ayurvedic methods of pulse diagnosis. Classic pulse diagnosis is performed by palpation – using finger cushions to feel mechanical occurrences happening when blood moves through big vessels – pulse wave. VedaPulse™ uses cardiointervalography which means it analyses a different physical factor – heart rate variability.
The same question was asked by Wynn Werner, administrator of The Ayurvedic Institute. And the answer was given by Vasant Lad: “Heart is a mystic organ which connects all of our bodies. It’s like a very sensitive barometer which scans the state of the whole body and forms phenotype of pulse wave depending on different conditions”.
By saying this, he confirmed that my decision to research the initial heart rate was correct. Dr. Vasant Lad asked me how do we interpret the language of the heart and when I said that we use HRV (heart rate variability) method, he responded that this is a valid and approved method in the West. Now we just needed to compare the results of his diagnosis and readings of VedaPulse™.
The difficulty in providing diagnosis to the volunteer was that the symptoms which she was complaining of, at first didn’t seem to match specific Vikruti. Both diagnosis done by Vasant Lad and VedaPulse™ device showed high Pitta and subdominant Vata. The volunteer was complaining of heaviness in the stomach and indigestion. And this is with high Pitta!
The answer was inside sub doshas tab.
You can see a big tension in Kledaka Kapha (Kledaka Kapha is a nourishing moisture. It is located in the stomach in the form of secretions of mucous membrane. It is responsible for food dilution and for the first stage of digestion process). When this sub dosha is too high, it means that digestion function is disturbed. Besides, there was low Samana Vata which takes part in nervous regulation of digestion process (Samana Vata – balancing air. It is located in small intestines and is a nervous power that governs digestive system).
The main conclusion that we can make here is that high Kledaka Kapha and low Samana Vata led to weak Agni (digestive fire). This is the key moment of diagnosis. In order to help the patient, we need to restore their Agni.
Now, let’s move to Dhatu tab.
Here we see emaciated Rasa and high Rakta.
Rasa is the first of body tissues, the essence of digested food which is carried by blood to all tissues of the body.
Rakta is the second of body tissues which is formed out of rasa in liver and spleen. Literally, it is blood, but it’s more correct to associate it with cell elements of the blood.
It is important that Rasa feeds Rakta. Because of weak Agni and slow digestion, Rasa suffered first. Rakta then lost its nutrition from Rasa which caused it’s tension. This tension of Rakta is the response reaction to weak Rasa, the body’s attempt to compensate for weak function.
Thus, we indicated weak Agni in Sub Doshas tab when we saw high Kledaka Kapha. Now, in Dhatu tab we can see which tissue exactly suffered from weak Agni – Agni Rakta Dhatu is high.
Vasant Lad came to the same conclusion after reading the pulse. His diagnosis was Vishama and Manda Agni.
Vishama is an erratic digestion connected with Vata dosha imbalance. Manda Agni – low Agni – happens in case of Kapha dosha imbalance.
I’d like to mention again, that from Maha Dosha diagnosis only when we tried to determine Vikruti, it was impossible to identify Agni. Only after doing a deeper analysis on Sub Doshas level, we could see it. Let’s get back to screen shot of Sub Doshas tab and look at high Kledaka Kapha – this clearly shows the main problem in functional state of the body.
In conclusion Dr. Vasant Lad said: “Wonderful! You are the first scientist who created such accurate algorithm. Everything I found out in this patient, your device could also see. I’ve seen many devices that were said to be based on Ayurveda principles but none of them was good enough. We will keep working with you on a research with my students so that later we could publish some articles in Ayurvedic journals to tell other Ayurvedic professionals about your device.