By Deepak Kashyap December 2005 While the 20th century was dominated by allopathy and the 21st belongs to ayurveda, the 22nd century will be fired by homeopathy. here we give you an overview of the three major healing systems of our times. To be healed is to become whole. You can be free of all conceivable diseases, and yet not be whole as long as your latent abilities remain unexpressed. Diseases, though, are the first hurdle in your goal to realizing the ‘best you’. To grasp health, you first need to understand disease. Implicit in the karma theory is the notion that physical imperfections of all hues are but a fraction of your due share of existential suffering. You picked them up piece by piece across many lifetimes and now, after a sudden wake-up call, need to purge yourself of them. Diseases are convenient labels; the real toxins are deep-seated negativities: anger, envy, fear, lust, greed, and so on. A lasting cure lies not so much in freeing oneself of the labels, as in getting rid of these negative patterns to the extent possible. The process is by retracing your steps, described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as tanukarana, thinning out of the karmic grooves or samskaras. All doctors – allopaths, homeopaths, reiki masters, yoga exponents and the like – if they are to become true healers, need to acknowledge that man is not so much the flesh he measures, as the Spirit that he needs to unleash. While this realisation comes naturally in intuitive bursts to a genuine yoga practitioner, the physician has to gradually cultivate it through right listening and reading till he is able to deeply introspect. The best medical practitioners will now increasingly come from the ranks of those who, by instinct or training, are drawn to the Whole. Equally, patients who would benefit most from treatment of all kinds will be the ones who, without dropping their guard of reason and commonsense, will accommodate spirituality into their healing options. Open-minded scientists are, in turn, our best bet to steer medical science out of the emerging chaos. New Medical Science In the early 20th century, antibiotics gained a reputation for banishing killer infections and epidemics and superseded the idea of mind impacting the body that had dominated medicine since ancient times. It was only disillusionment from the physical and financial costs of the cure, including disturbing side-effects, frequent relapses and ravaged immune responses, that drew a few scientists and doctors to rediscover the mind-body connection. Some of them are now even open to the idea of a soul or the ‘silent witness’ as a major factor in health and disease. Success of ‘sham surgery’ in cardiac patients, the very real side-effects on cancer victims of ‘pseudo-chemo sessions’, incredible accounts of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and path-breaking research on rebirth have all combined to bring today’s medical science on the crossroads. Dr. Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry at University of Virginia, raised quite a stir through his landmark study of 2000 carefully sampled reincarnation cases: people reborn across centuries who carried not only unusual talents, cravings and memories, but at times even precise birth-marks on their person of mortal wounds from a previous life. Dr. Andrew Weil, medical scientist and author of Spontaneous Healing, senses a paradigm shift even as he favors rearranging medical education to include:o Emphasis on the philosophy of science based on quantum physics, downplaying the archaic notions of Newtonian mechanics and Cartesian dualism.o Awareness of nature’s own healing mechanisms and https://lifepositive.com/Mind/body interactions including placebos and sycho-neuro-immunology.o Lessons in spirituality and psychology together with conceptual models explaining physical events as arising from non-physical actions.o Basic understanding of alternative medicine.o Instruction in meditation and visualization techniques. While doctors and scientists have yet to come to terms with this new order, today patients have a wide range of therapies to consider. Which brings us to a critical appraisal of the major options that need to be carefully weighed in your search for the best cure. AllopathyToday we are conditioned to visit doctors at the smallest excuse, whether we need to or not. But ideally, the first steps towards health that you must take should be to talk and listen to your own body and untangle your needs from your desires. My own experience tells me that roughly 60 per cent of the surgeries and 80 per cent of allopathic medicines are positively avoidable. While there is no denying that allopathy is indispensable for the treatment of conditions such as peptic ulcers and tuberculosis, it would do well to back it with alternative therapy, if only to perk up the body’s natural immunity. When you do need to visit an allopath, be on the look-out for a doctor who is aware and tolerant of spirituality and alternative medicine. My own experience is that the more qualified among doctors are generally in tune with the new holistic approach. AyurvedaAyurveda is the science of life rather than of disease, wherein lies part of its appeal. Its chief drawbacks: high costs, slowness and suspect reliability. Contrary to what some medical experts might tell you, genuine ayurvedic medicine doesn’t have side-effects. True, it occasionally employs heavy metals, mercury in particular, that conventional wisdom tells us are toxic. But any good ayurveda text would tell you that the same toxic heavy metals, when burnt or processed suitably as directed by the seers, yield the finest medicinal properties for a range of ailments. Anyway, ayurvedic medicine relies more on herbs than on metals and any good vaidya would happily leave aside metallic preparations, should you tell him about your anxieties on this score. Because herbs and precious metal ashes don’t come cheap, genuine ayurvedic medicines can often turn out to be expensive, inducing some manufacturers to cheat on the quality and quantity of the ingredients. Even as I write this, news comes of a prominent North Indian ayurved-acharya on the run after an arrest warrant was issued against him for treating epilepsy with steroids and allopathic drugs! All these problems can be largely overcome, though, through adequate homework before taking to ayurveda. With improved technology, product hygiene and processing control are no longer the issues they once were. Some chronic complaints that have no satisfactory answer in allopathy, yet respond wonderfully to ayurvedic prescriptions are rheumatism, acidity, diarrhoea, insomnia, hypertension and blood sugar; patent medicines for these are marketed by many Indian companies. When I made my 65-year-old mother switch from allopathic drugs for hypertension, to a carefully chosen ayurvedic alternative, what followed was both reassuring and alarming. Thanks to a week’s overdose, her pressure plummeted to a low of 60/100 and had to be balanced by reducing the dosage to half. While opting for patent ayurvedic medicines, it helps to know about the role of some of the herbs and minerals used.Below is a list of some of these along with their effects.o brahmi (Bacopa monnierii): improves memory, alleviates stresso ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): rejuvenator, boosts immune responseo giloy (Tinospora cordifolia Will.): promotes immune responseo sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina Benth.): useful in hypertensiono mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra): manages acidity, peptic ulcers, chronic cougho malkangni (Celastrus paniculatus Will.): perks up the nervous systemo tagar (Valeriana wallichii): alleviates anxiety, induces sleepo shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis Chois.): improves memoryo vacha (Acorus calamus): improves mental alertnesso jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamans): alleviates anxiety, induces sleepo arjun (Terminalia arjuna): cardiac tonic, useful in strokeso guggul(Balsamodendron mukul): lowers cholesterol, useful in rheumatismo shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): aphrodisiac o kesar or saffron (Crocus sativus): rejuvenator, aphrodisiaco shilajit (mineral pitch): rejuvenator, useful in blood sugaro kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata): useful in liver disorders Amidst claims and counter-claims in this largely unregulated sector, I have seen ayurvedic medicine work less successfully in asthma, obesity, thyroid disorders, heart conditions and in advanced degenerative diseases. The main reason for the relative slowness and inability of ayurvedic medicine in coping with fast-spreading and advanced diseases is that, unlike allopathy and homeopathy, ayurveda is not medicine-centered. Like yoga, of which it is an offshoot, ayurveda is essentially a way of life. Strategic fasting, detoxifying through various cleansing practices (panchakarmas) and strict dietary discipline are nearly as crucial as the actual medicine. The big plus is that it is largely free of side-effects and can be combined with allopathic drugs that you were reluctant or unable to give up. HomeopathyWhile the 20th century was dominated by allopathy and the 21st belongs to ayurveda, the 22nd century will be fired by homoeopathy. I can say this with conviction for some of the most sublime cures for diseases incurable in allopathy and difficult to deal with in ayurveda, are found in homeopathy. The importance of energy is increasingly overshadowing matter in science, medicine and day-to-day life. The great thing about homoeopathy is that, more than any other system of medicine, it is energy-centric: restoring health by identifying and correcting energy-imbalances in the body. Before we go any further, a reality check on some myths doing the rounds. Myth 1Homeopathy is slow and Mild:Actually homoeopathy is the fastest and most potent medicine available to mankind. It is stronger than ayurvedic medici
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