Disintegration is the order of the day everywhere and in every realm, be it politics, diplomacy, and global transactions. Globalisation initiated earlier has been threatened now-a-days and nationalism has crept in, safeguarding parochial interests.
In various streams of medicine as well, there is selfishness, even outright arrogance sometimes, in accepting the other systems. Ayurveda and other complementary streams have been getting a facelift at the hands of the Government, and so there has been an onrush of various schemes to protect, sustain and improve the treatment procedures. One way to uplift Ayurveda and other streams of alternative medicines has been to try to tie up with modern medicine, that is Allopathy.
There is an attempt, initiated here and there, to integrate different streams of medicine like Ayurveda and Allopathy. It is easier said than done, but genuine efforts have been made to combine these for the benefit of patients in different ways.
By and large, modern medicine votaries are reluctant to accept other streams like Ayurveda into their midst. Allopathy practitioners generally do not concede interference by Ayurveda system of medicine, rather they are reticent to accept the modalities of other streams. No doubt, they do not interfere in the internal affairs of Ayurveda, all the same most of them are hell-bent on thwarting efforts made here and there to achieve some sort of integration of the two streams .However, there are silver lines appearing amidst dark clouds.
Some worthy achievers and leaders from Allopathy, especially a few who have an inkling of Sanskrit in which the texts are preserved, have understood the importance of Ayurveda, which is as old as the pre-eminence of sages in Indian history. It had dawned on those who were sitting in the forests in supplication and propitiation to empower themselves with greater miraculous faculties on the basis of years of penance and observance of austerity in their lifetime had access to the secrets of preventive and curative aspects of herbal medicine and the science of life as enunciated by hermits.
It is said that two heads are better than one, and therefore there could be some effort to synergize which is the habit of creative co-operation, which incorporates team work, open-mindedness and the adventure of finding solutions to old problems.
Well-begun is half done, that is the dictum, which in the case of Ayurveda and Allopathy co-operation and collaboration, initiatives for possible synergy have already been initiated.
Also there is a mighty wing at the disposal of the Government of India, called Ayush, to encourage and ensure the growth of various alternative streams, including Ayurveda.
It is not that medicines of Allopathy and Ayurveda are mixed in the treatment protocols and procedures. For, that would be preposterous and may be detrimental to the interests of the patients. I have never come across suggestions for mixing of medicines even as some people vociferously call for and campaign in favour of collaboration and tie-up. That is a good omen, so far as satisfying the detractors of fusion, as they won’t get a fool-proof case for opposing combination. As it stands, the die has been cast for some sort of rapprochement.
There are dime a dozen situations when one has to single-handedly proceed with modern medicine procedures, for surgery, heart attack, stroke and the like. In such situations there cannot be clamour for intrusion of alternative streams of medicine. But post- operative care is proved to be excellent, with minimal side-effects.
I know for sure one instance as one of my brothers had a stroke and he was rushed to the neurologist who administered an injection, following which within a few days of recuperation in the hospital, the modern medicine doctors themselves suggested he could be subjected to panchakarma (Medicated massage) of Ayurveda. After the procedure for a fortnight he could mind his own business like taking care of his daily needs without other’s help. There was paralysis of the right hand, but he could eat with spoon using the left hand. That was a wonderful experience for all of us.
Another realm could be cancer cases, as there is good scope for palliative care in the Ayurvedic system for those who have undergone chemotherapy, radiation etc. There could be many other areas where Ayurveda would function side by side efficaciously.
Herbal medicines are not taboo, for in Brazil, I read in an article that more than 50 per cent of the people take recourse to herbal potions and concoctions. That is a significant shift in the paradigm frame of prevention and treatment.
A lot of Chinese people resort to native medicines available there in plenty.
Prevention is the hallmark of Ayurveda and other alternative streams even as they take care of post-operative and long- lasting palliative care.
Many may have heard of Arogya Pacha (Trichopus zeylanicus) which is a herb accessed by tribals.
The herb builds up debilitated system into vitality and vigour. Scientists managed to gather the medicinal properties and information about this miraculous herb from the Kani tribe of the south-western Ghats of India. The tribal people consume the leaves and fruits of the plant when they get tired while criss-crossing the forests. The tropical botanical garden of the Government of India had made the products made from Arogya Pacha a successful venture, with the co-operation of the tribals.
There are umpteen number of medicinal products squeezed from herbs which are useful to variegated types of patients.
So, when collaborative efforts become fully fruitful, with one stream not deemed as superior or inferior as far as preventive and curative aspects are concerned, adding respect to all concerned, one would be pleased to hail this “Heaven on Earth”.