Allopathic vs. Other Treatments – The Choices Today
In the hurried and harried times that we live in, allopathic treatment rules the roost. Popping a pill appears to be a panacea for all ills. My experience has taught me that the diagnostic tools available in the allopathic realm are invaluable; so is its support in case a surgery becomes necessary. However, in most other cases, alternative systems of medicine offer not only a better cure, but also a better probability of prevention of a disease. As a layman, I feel that an ideal treatment is one which uses allopathic diagnosis, but follows an alternative route for treatment!
Amongst the alternative streams, I find that each one has its own unique advantages. Ayurvedic stream offers a treatment based on herbs and minerals, linked to a diagnosis of the patient’s vaata-pitta-kapha mix. Homeopathic system is primarily based on the type of personality a patient has, and the basic premise that like kills like. Homeopathic treatment could either be constitution based or symptom based.
A unique feature of both these systems is that they tend to treat the patient holistically. This is in sharp contrast to the allopathic system which has by now become so super-specialized and fragmented that a hapless patient has to run from one expert to the next to get a health issue addressed.
I have no knowledge of other systems like Siddha or Unani, but I am sure they have their own unique way of looking at a patient or disease.
Of all the alternate systems, Naturopathy stands apart. The human body is made up of five elements, and this stream offers a treatment which is based on the same. Controlled exposure to all the elements by rotation, as prescribed by an experienced naturopath, put the physical body on a path of regeneration and restoration. Coupled with yoga, which relaxes the mind and also the muscles, one gets a truly refreshing experience.
Health Challenges Faced by Me
As a senior manager in the Indian private sector, till the age of 55 years, keeping fit and healthy had never been the uppermost concern in my mind. Career concerns were centre stage, and so were the needs to see children getting settled in their respective lives. The body was taken for granted, as a lowly instrument of fulfilling one’s materialistic ambitions. Mind was supreme – controlling all the body’s actions and coaxing it into living a life which was mentally challenging but sedentary.
However, Mother Nature has a way of tapping one on the shoulders and reminding that one’s physical body was not designed to last forever! Some reminders are gentle, and some are abrupt. The abrupt signals come up because more often than not, one is not in the habit of reading the body’s early signals when it starts creaking up in protest. This is more so in cases where one leads a sedentary life style, spending at least 12 working hours on one’s desk, followed by being a couch potato in front of the idiot box at home.
Possibly around five thousand years back, Yudhishtira told the Yaksha that the most surprising thing in life was people seeing death all around them but still chugging along with their lives as if they were immortal! True to form, I was under a delusion that my body will continue to take commands from my mind!! Until one day, when I was advised complete rest by my doctor. Some tests later, a cardiac bye pass surgery was declared to be the only route to survival. Within a few weeks, my life was in disarray and I was facing the surgeon’s scalpel!
I picked up the threads of my life, moved onto a less stressful working environment and got back to an office routine, enjoying the comfort of the familiar hassles which come to one as perks of being a senior manager.
Four years later, my body came up with another surprise. Within three months, I lost my appetite – even the sight of food became revolting. My weight was down from 70 kgs to 57 kgs, and hemoglobin from 12 to 7.7. I had no strength left in me and even simple tasks like shaving became arduous.
Several doctors and tests later, it was found that there was a patch of cysts in my pancreas. It could have been responsible for my health problem, though nothing could be said conclusively. Doctors advised me to go for a surgery, so the growth could be examined to check if it was malignant. I was told that pancreatic surgery is pretty complicated, as the organ to be operated upon is not easily accessible. The result could be loss of some vital tissues in the abdominal region, reduction in the size of the stomach, and possibly a worsening of my diabetes.
The Miracle of Alternative Streams of Treatment
This was the time when I had to take recourse to the alternative streams of medicine. Much against the advice of prominent surgeons, my family decided to take the homeopathic route. We were lucky to come in touch with an experienced Homeopath, who literally reversed the decline in my vital parameters and put me back on the path of recovery. Prodded by my wife, I also went in for naturopathic treatment.
When I started looking out for hospitals which offer a naturopathic treatment, I discovered Arogyadham. It is located at Sewagram, near Wardha in Maharshtra. It is managed by the Kasturaba Gandhi Trust, with a professionally qualified doctor heading the outfit. Along with family, I enjoyed two sessions of (ten days each) residential treatment at Arogyadham, and found it to be a useful experience. The campus is designed well, with independent cottages which are functionally furnished. Staff is well behaved, courteous and efficient, taking personal care of residents.
Arogyadham is located in the vicinity of Mahatma Gandhi’s abode during the penultimate phase of India’s independence struggle. Vinoba Bhave’s ashram at Pavanar is also nearby, and so is an imposing Bouddha Vihar at Wardha. Overall, the vibrations are pretty positive and invigorating.
Over a period of nine months, my health was restored to normality. Thanks to a combination of homeopathy and naturopathy, I am back to enjoying life, living it to the hilt.
Sir William Osler once said: “One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicines.” Surely, if one has time and some patience, alternative therapies can do wonders!