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October 20, 2011
The Power of Ayurveda and Healing From Within


If we broadly divide the various systems of treatment of disease into external and internal, the traditional approach, as with other old world cultures, has been a judicious mixture of the two, with the larger emphasis being on the internal route. Ayurveda does depend on externals like organic drugs and herbal formulations, but its core is the belief that prevention is better than cure.

The Body Changes


Our body is continually undergoing change. Our stomach lining changes every five days, the skin every four weeks and our liver gets a complete overhaul every six weeks. After every 12 weeks, major changes appear even in the skeletal structure. As guru and philosopher, Deepak Chopra says, "You create the body you live in...you are constantly reincarnating a new body in yourself. Just as you cannot step into the same river twice, as the water keeps flowing, so also you cannot possess the same body."

A body that changes its physical structure and schemata cannot possibly be reduced to mechanical deductions of the sort that the allopathic system of healing presupposes. Pop a pill, and are you sure it will have the same effect on the liver, the spleen, the skin today as it did a week ago when the doctor prescribed it? Also, the traditional healer asks: "How do you know what side effects it will cause, not just at the time of consuming it, but for the weeks thereafter when it will stay in the body; its chemical nature making it indissoluble, imperishable, challenged by the body's continually changing nature?"

Neuroscience

What is the connection between aryuvedic concepts and changes in our brain? Consciousness appeared in humans as the result of the interaction between evolutionary and cultural pressure. This interaction takes place not only with the world but also with people with whom we communicate. It is essentially an interaction between the brain and culture, the one using a neural language and the other a spoken one.

Brain scientists like V S Ramachandran explain that all artistic and creative activity happens because of a rare and irregular behaviour pattern in the brain called synthesia. What this does is accidentally crosswire unrelated parts of the brain in ways never before seen. In other words, the artist connects things in ways that are not 'normally' seen. Art, then, naturally, becomes a key route to attaining individual and community health.


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