We all know that Western medicine has played an important role in the management and treatment of diseases. At the same time, we also know there are many gaps in Western medicine’s approach to health that leaves people vulnerable. This is the reason in the increase in new diseases despite all the research and innovation.
Now and then when a new ailment props up,Western medicine is seen struggling for the perfect solution. Although, Western medicine can suppress the symptoms of an ailment with new or existing drugs it is understood that they require new drugs to fight the ailments caused by the side-effects. This is thus an ongoing vicious cycle that even Western medicine has started to recognize. It is for this same reason that all, including the health departments of the Western world, are keen to find alternative solutions.
Another fact,which I am sure many Western medicine practitioners would agree, is that many of the existing ailments, whether they be a simple hay fever, obesity, blood pressure, heart problems, stress or depression, are all life-style related.This is another reason why everyone is looking towards Ayurveda for a solution to lifestyle-related ailments since it is believed that the Ayurveda healing approach is more holistic and wellness- oriented. Also, Ayurveda focus on bringing balance to the mind, body and soul. To achieve this goal, Ayurveda sees ailments as arising from incompatible life-style, diet, environmental factors and when one is not able to maintain balance and harmony of the mind and body.
Ayurveda’s basic principle that every individual has a unique body intelligence is widely accepted by modern practitioners. As long as this bodily intelligence is in balance, the body has the ability to flush out the toxins from the body of every individual on a daily basis. When one’s bodily intelligence is affected it won’t be able to flush these toxins and they will start accumulating at different levels and become the core cause for further ailments.
One’s bodily intelligence gets affected by following factors:
- Regular intake of incompatible food
- Erratic busy and stressful lifestyle
- When one’s digestive fire (Agni) gets affected or impaired. (This principle is now well accepted by Western medicine and various components of Western medicine or integrated medicine have started talking about this principle very clearly – Importance of gut in well-being.);
- Inability to process one’s daily thoughts. (An inability to process these thoughts, which lead to creating disharmony between body and mind.This is another area where Western medicine has started accepting the concept of mind, especially for physical ailments of the brain and nervous system.
As a complementary medicine, Ayurveda focuses on how we can achieve good health by maintaining a state of balance through our own efforts by enhancing awareness towards each action we take, whether it is our work, our relationships or our play. This is achieved by a profound understanding of how our life-style, dietary choices, our thoughts and behaviours and even the seasons can impact on our bodies and create imbalances that impact on our health. Ayurveda also provides a unique range of remedial methods to improve health by returning the body to balance.
What makes Ayurveda unique is its ability to offer practitioners a simple but integrated pathway to health that focus on achieving balance for their clients at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
So all this clearly shows that the future well-being of our community lies in a complete integration of Western medicine and Ayurveda. While respecting each modality’s strength and developing a programme with one focus – to help mankind and get rid of the ailments which are crippling our society at every level.
Dr. Ajit Singh (BAMS, PCAS)