Why I find current medical practice less than complete
Over the last three decades that I have been studying and practicing medicine, I have realized that even though the current approach of medicine towards disease is quite methodical, it is still less than complete.
As I write this, two things come to my mind which need a fundamental review. One is that our current approach is disease centric rather than health centric. And the other is that it is limited to focusing on the physio-chemical equilibrium of the body and ignores the underlying principles that govern that structure.
Infact, it was not very long into my practice that I started to realize that medicine as a healing science should have much more to it. And my search ended when I came across the teachings of a great yogi of recent times – Paramhansa Yogananda.
Yogananda explained that health is our true nature. Good health is directly proportionate to the amount and quality of life force (prana) flowing within us at all times. When there is a weak flow of prana, or there are blockages to various organs and cells of the body, that particular organ or system starts functioning sub-optimally. This results in disease.
Both our physical and mental functioning abilities depend on the flow of this life force energy. Research shows that conditions like anxiety, stress and depression can quickly disappear with the right flow of life force to the mind. So, the fundamental job of a physician or a healer is to restore a harmonious flow of life force energy. Health and well-being, then, is the natural outcome.
How can we apply this
Now, in order to bring this into practice two things are needed: firstly, a physician should acquaint himself (by personal experience) with the science of life force which governs our existence. Then, when he shares this knowledge with a patient, the patient must implement it into his life with focus and perseverance to get the desired results. I call this model of healing a “Physician-Patient partnership” model.
“God wants His children to enjoy health and happiness, but they create disease and sorrow by breaking His laws. God is harmony, and when man, made in His image, leads an inharmonious life, he fails in everything.” – Paramhansa Yogananda
Just as there are certain rules that we have to follow while playing a game or on the road, there are also rules which govern our health. Yogananda explained that the non-observance of these rules leads to chaos, disharmony or disease. In-fact the very word dis-ease symbolises the unease or dis-equilibrium that comes with the non-obeyance of the rules of nature. But the good news is that the observance of these rules under the supervision of a physician well versed with that science, has the potential to restore that equilibrium. This is because our bodies exist in a dynamic state and have a tremendous potential to heal.
Modern medicine is continuously gathering scientific evidence on how the ancient wisdom of a yogic lifestyle brings therapeutic benefit to a large number of physical and mental ailments. One of my favourites in this category is “Reversing Heart Disease” by Dr. Dean Ornish, a cardiologist who shows that a disciplined Yogic lifestyle could restore the blood flow to choked arteries of heart patients. Another recently published book titled “The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Healthcare” by Harvard Professors Satbir Singh Khalsa, Timothy McCall and others has compiled research until 2018 in the field of Yoga as a therapeutic tool. It contains numerous studies that testify to the healing potential of yogic science for diseases like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disorders, arthritis, osteoporosis, anxiety, depression and so on.
I now feel that the time has arrived for like-minded people to come together, experiment in their domain with these ancient teachings and find ways to apply them into their practice. Spreading the awareness of this approach to medical practice, which is health centric rather than disease centric, has the potential to alleviate the sufferings of the masses.