I once heard a quote that goes, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
I never quite understood how that applies to modern medicine but over time, I knew.
Western or Allopathic medicine is the type of medicine predominately practiced in the United States. Our technological advances in medicine over the years have helped to increase life span and have saved a countless number of lives time and again.
But if we were to look at the state of our health overall in the United States today, in 2013, I think it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to agree that, as a society, we are getting sicker. Yet, we have more advanced technology in medicine than most other countries. How can it be that we do not benefit from excellent health?
It goes back to my opening quote. Western medicine has looked at health from only one side and with one tool.
Western doctors are in the business of dealing with patients’ with symptoms. And their job is to fix the symptoms. So if you go to the doctor with five symptoms, you will receive 2-3 prescriptions to deal with those symptoms. Often, this creates more health problems because most prescription medications have side effects that cause other symptoms.
This band-aid effect treats only one aspect of the problem and doesn’t go to the root cause of illness. It’s most certainly helpful when an antibiotic is needed to get rid of a bacterial infection and fast for example. But it doesn’t help in the case of chronic or reoccurring health issues.
Ayurveda, which is a 5,000-year old medical system from India, goes to the root of the problem by searching for the source. And instead of being one-sided, it is multi-faceted. Furthermore, Ayurveda does not deny the validity of other medical systems. However, it does look at the patient as a whole person and not just a physical body with an ailment. Ayurveda looks to a patient’s emotional, psychological, spiritual state and his or her life in general including relationships, finances, living situation, and work. Based on an assessment of the whole person, an Ayurvedic practitioner can get a clearer picture of the root cause of illness cutting off disease at its base and helping to heal the patient for good.
A few ways in which Ayurveda works is through diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, daily routine, seasonal routine, detoxification of the body, emotional healing, and herbal medicine. Plans are very specific to the individual as one size does not fit all when it comes to rebalancing through an Ayurvedic practice.
Wishing you Perfect Health Always.
Founder of The Ayurvedic Path in Herndon, VA
Chopra Center Vedic Master