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Posts Tagged ‘Allopathy’

Abstract
All of us strive for perfection. Achieving and maintaining a state of perfect health is a primary concern for many amongst us. There are various kinds of ‘pathies’ which are on offer to help us to do this. But the real help could also be sourced from within us. The faith we have. The willpower we exercise. The actions we take to help our bodies heal themselves. We could strive to be our own doctors.

On one of our luckier days when we happen to be in front of the idiot box, or when the latest internet-savvy gizmo is Health Monarch femalenestling in our palms, we are apt to run into a beautiful documentary which captures the birth of a Monarch butterfly. The radical transformation – from an egg to a caterpillar, then into a chrysalis, and finally into the Monarch butterfly – leaves us somewhat awe-struck and mesmerised. The universe appears to have programmed all living beings to strive to attain a state of perfection, balance and harmony.

When we speak of perfection, most of us refer to our external appearances, actions or conditions. Better inter-personal relations. Better status in society. Better harmony with our environment. Better compliance with laws, rules and regulations. Basically, we envisage a better, wealthier, happier and more humane kind of living.

The harsh slings and arrows of life make us aware of something we invariably take for granted – our physical selves. Those amongst us who have faced a medical crisis of some kind would often be found seeking perfection of the physical being through all the means available.

A rainbow of choices

We would be found tapping into the resources of the allopathic stream which offers diagnostic tools of high standards.Doctors Day We would be spell-bound at the capacity of this stream of medicine to look at the universe within us in a highly mechanical manner. We would be amazed at the extent of division of various organs which function within its complex confines. A cardiologist would declare that our heart continues to beat in a rhythmic manner befitting a piece of classical music. A neurologist would put us under a scanner and tell us that our brain is firing on all its twelve cylinders. A gastroenterologist would put our digestive system under the microscope and assure us that it is discharging its assigned functions in a prompt and regular manner.

Nevertheless, we would still be feeling tired and exhausted and, well, not up to the mark when it comes to physical fitness. As patients, we would then be told of the virtue of psycho-somatic diseases, with broad hints that we could be suffering from some such unidentifiable ailment. Oh, the feeling of smug satisfaction we derive when being told that we appear to suffer from some mysterious disease which the scientists of today are yet to properly catalogue and name, let alone devise a treatment protocol for!

To some of us, the relatively older system of homoeopathy may sound better. We would find that it is more intuitiveHealth Hahnemann in nature. The medications are milder, with lesser side-effects. These might temporarily increase the severity of our symptoms, thereby indicating that a real cure is on its way. After a detailed one-to-one with the physician, we would be back to our ‘popping-the-pill’ routine.

Same goes for the Ayurvedic or Unani streams of healing. The physician would check our pulse and arrive at the disharmony in our bodies. Dietary restrictions would need to be followed.

Our pursuit of perfection does not end here. A brief stint at a health centre run on the principles of yoga, meditation and naturopathy might revitalise our physical and mental systems and show us the way to get out of our ‘pop-the-pill’ syndrome. The focus of this approach is on detoxifying the body and also training us to give up the luxury of indulging our taste-buds. Overall, it brings us closer to Mother Nature, a factor which is sorely missed by those of us who live in highly congested urban settings.

Sure enough, we enjoy the more holistic way of treatment offered under the alternate streams of medicine. TheseHealth Dhanvantari treat us as a composite whole of the body-mind-vital and not merely as an assembly of several parts which continue to function in their individual isolated glory.

We try our hands at flower therapy, colour therapy, magneto-therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, and several others. When it comes to healing, we have a wide range of choices of systems to choose from. Many of us try to take an integral approach, using the best treatments from diverse streams of medicine. We do it based on the faith we have in the physician as well as in the medicine. This plays a crucial role in the healing process.

Building up our inner resilience

When we push ourselves to do something we essentially like doing, we do not get tired. The body and the mind do not revolt. Instead, they bask in the inner glow of satisfaction and happiness. Scientists would call it ‘eustress.’

However, most of the times, we experience distress. We face situations in life which do not allow us to exercise an option of either ‘fight’ or ‘flight.’ Stress built up over a long time tends to be disastrous. The good news is that if stress is directly proportional to external factors, it is also inversely proportional to our internal resilience. Some people tend to take an event very lightly. For others, the same event could be highly demoralising. It depends on how strong we are from within.

How do we build up inner resilience? How do we achieve a better level of harmony between our inner and outer selves and between our heads and our hearts?

The Divine within us can guide us in this respect. If we were to live in harmony with nature, it would help. If we could Technology MEDITATION-ENTREPRENEUR-SUCCEEDchange our dietary habits, we could enjoy better well-being. If we were to control our negative emotions and live only in pure and positive ones, our cells would get healthier. If we smile, it would take away a lot of stress from our poisoned systems. If we feel a deep sense of gratitude within us – say, for simply being alive – positive vibes would generate the soft glow of self-fulfilment inside us, helping us to recover earlier. We would radiate happiness all around us.

The mind exercises a great deal of control over our body. It is surely within our powers to train it to give a positive message to the diseased cells within us. This, compounded with faith in the remedy, could work miracles.

What happens if we fail in our attempts, one might well ask. Not to despair. One, no effort goes waste. Perhaps, we shall not suffer as much as we might have done had we continued in our state of blissful ignorance. Two, the purpose of our birth might just be to reduce human suffering. We might end up bringing succour to others who suffer from a similar ailment. Three, by offering ourselves as a guinea pig and a living human laboratory, we might make a modest contribution towards advancing the knowledge about a particular disease afflicting mankind.

Of Nature, nurture and niftiness

As patients, we aim to gain two kinds of freedoms – freedom from the ailment and freedom from the remedy. How doFeatured Image -- 1211 we become and remain independent of all kinds of doctors and healing systems? Can we become our own doctors?

What we are and what we shall become is only controlled by our actions. The science of epigenetics shows that genes are not only inherited and transferred to our progeny; these also get altered by our actions and the environment. It is not only about what Nature has provided us with. It is also about how we have been nurtured and how clever we are in the actions that we take.

We can will ourselves to heal faster. We can open up ourselves and tap into the infinite energy swirling about in the universe. We could draw a lot of inspiration this way. Our intuitive faculties also come into play and help us in gaining freedom from ailments as also from medications. The potential of our bodies and minds can be tapped better.

The change has to come from within us – from the core of our psychic being. The aspiration has to be genuine. It hasHealth Monarch_Male to permeate all our thought processes and even our actions. A constant remembrance of the divine power within us can be the panacea for all our ailments – a key to achieving perfect health.

In ‘Gitanjali’, Rabindranath Tagore proposes: “Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection (1)”. Even though ‘perfection’ may not be attainable in reality, what matters is the ‘tireless striving’, which could well prove to be a reward in itself. ‘Perfection’, like happiness, need not be a station one arrives at, but a mode of travel, making the journey interesting and worthwhile.

Reference

1. Tagore Rabindranath. Tagore for You. 3rd ed. Kolkata: Deep Prakashan; 2011, p. 45.

(Published in NAMAH, the Journal of Integral Health, Vol 22, Issue 4, dated the 15th of January, 2015)

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I recently had the uplifting experience of being confined to a public hospital of repute. I call the experience “uplifting” because of the simple reason that if I were to forget the medical problem and just concentrate on the overall experience, both the body and the soul were truly enriched by the time my confinement had ended.

I have stayed in private as well as in public hospitals. We often speak of the latter in deprecatory terms. The term “government hospital” invariably leads us to imagine dingy corridors, dust-covered wards, negligent and indifferent doctors and nurses, and equipment which is seldom found in working order. Well, a recent experience of mine has been rather different. The doctors have a richer exposure, and commercial considerations do not overtake health issues.

I found that staying in a public hospital eventually disperses the pall of gloom which envelopes one on knowing of a medical problem. Moreover, the experience has its funnier aspects which leave one convinced that a brief stay of ten days not only changes one’s outlook on life but also reveals its sunnier side!

In Safe Hands!

The pre-admission check-ups led me to various “speciality” departments of the hospital. Even though my problem pertained to the abdomen, my eyes, teeth, heart, lungs, kidney, liver as well as my feet were all subjected to a complex battery of tests. Surprisingly, the doctors did not think there was anything wrong with my grey matter, so the brain was – thankfully – let off the hook. All the brisk walking that I had to do within the hospital campus left me in a much fitter shape than I ever was.

Interspersed with social distractions, it took as many as ten visits spread over six weeks before I could secure the coveted admission slip. I confess this feat would not have been possible without a strong will-power. Of particular help were the juices of patience and perseverance sloshing about within us. The underlying spirit of perfection which permeated the whole pre-admission process left me in awe of the robust systems which are in place. The fact that an allopathic view of the body is highly segmented and organ-centric did lead to inconvenience. However, at the end of it all, I felt that I was in safe hands!

An Unjustified Feeling of Being Lucky

Once diagnosed and advised to get admitted, I needed the support of two able-bodied relatives for a week to get a room allotted. The endless running from pillar to post made me learn the value of team work. When entering the hospital with our bag and baggage, we had to negotiate our way through the over-crowded corridors. Our experience and skills in weaving our car through the arterial roads of the metropolis we live in came in handy. It took us some time for our nasal faculties to get adjusted to the all-pervading smell of disinfectants.

On the way to the room allotted to me, human suffering in various forms was clearly visible. As a result, my own ailment paled into insignificance. Suddenly, a realization dawned that I was luckier to have a sickness which was much more manageable. Looking at people of all shapes and sizes with hopelessness oozing out of their sullen eyes, I thanked the Almighty for having been kinder to me than to quite a few others.

Being in a Medical Zoo

Once I and my wife had settled down in the room, we had a feeling as if we were either in a fish bowl or in a zoo. Just like the hapless animals confined to their cages, much away from their natural habitat, we were in a room, temporarily uprooted by fate from our home and hearth. In a zoo, the poor animals get ogled at, teased and harassed by the visiting public. Likewise, it was pretty normal for us to be visited by a group of enthusiastic as well as not-so-enthusiastic doctors, nurses, paramedics and other staff.

I dare say that the animals in a zoo are much better off; they at least have fixed visiting hours. We had no such luck. Late in the night, when we had switched off the lights and believed ourselves to have earned a night’s reprieve, a group of interns walked in, asking all kinds of questions regarding my medical history and current predicaments.

Animals get fed at random by some naughty kids, egged on by their cheering parents. In the hospital, I was fed medicines from time to time by the visiting nurses. I dare not call them naughty, because some of them wore a stern look which would have put a Hitler to shame.

Suprabhatam

Early morning, we would get rudely woken up by the cleaning lady at some ungodly hour. Her concept of playing “Suprabhatam” was a loud and unending banging on the door. The rude banging, reminding me of the percussion beats of a broken tabla would continue till the time my wife gingerly got up and switched on the lights.

Throughout the day, at frequent intervals, nurses would waltz in, either drawing a blood sample, or taking body temperatures, or simply reminding us to arrange our things tidily since the doctors would be on their routine rounds soon. A single doctor would pop up, aiming to check my blood pressure and pulse rate. A gang of doctors would then troop in, shoot a couple of perfunctory questions, and leave us wondering what would happen next. Specialists from various disciplines like cardiology, orthopaedic and ophthalmology would keep turning up in an endless stream throughout the day.

A Delighted Better Half!

Cleaning ladies, maids serving three meals and milk, coffee etc. in the day, would make a beeline for our room, ensuring that we both were well fed. This kind of dietary pampering left my wife in high spirits after a very long time. She no longer had to worry about the cooking and household management issues that plague her at home.

Experiencing Medical Tourism

We had several Good Samaritans supporting our unique venture in medical tourism. Delicious home cooked meals were just a call away. Internet connectivity was never an issue, though we never got leisurely time to enjoy the same. Supplies like newspapers, fruits, snacks and biscuits kept pouring in automatically.

One afternoon, a charming friend walked in and we had a leisurely chat on spiritual matters. Another evening, a friend walked in with piping hot samosas. Wife volunteered to use her electric kettle to produce a few cups of tea. A senior acquaintance walked in, only to find a rather boisterous tea party in progress. Overcoming his surprise and amazement, he lost no time in joining in!

Absolute Surrender

On the day of the surgery, it was as if my physical body had been forced to surrender, albeit not to a higher force but to an angel doctor who played God at that point in time. Post-operative care was compassionate and even small complaints were promptly attended to. On our request, the nurse on duty ensured that we were not woken up very early, but only at a more decent hour when it was absolutely necessary. This speeded up my recovery.

Why Public Hospitals Score Over Private Ones

By the time my treatment got over, I was not only healthier but also wiser. Having dutifully paid my taxes all through my working life, I realized the good silent work the government was doing in running these institutions of excellence, where the best possible medical care was being made available to the public at a minimal cost. Due to a much better exposure to various kinds of ailments, the technical knowledge of the doctors was much better than in privately managed hospitals. Above all, the patient is only expected to fall in line with the system and be “patient”, rather than being viewed as yet another money-making apparatus for the hospital.

Home, Sweet Home!

At the end of the ordeal, I look outside the window of my bedroom and notice that the birds are chirping merrily, the sun is shining brightly on a lazy winter morning, flowers are in full bloom, colourful butterflies are flitting about seeking their daily dose of nectar and the bees and the ants are going about their daily chores with much zest and vigour. Sipping a cup of tea, I fondly remember the efficient doctors, caring nurses and empathic staff I had come across during this unique medical sojourn!

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