A New Perspective on Ancient Systems of Healing

by Aruna Bakhru M.D.,F.A.C.P.
I grew up in India where several systems of healing coexisted and still coexist peacefully side by side. My parents would take us to whichever practitioner they thought was right for whatever ailed us. It was like this great river of healing that was always flowing and you could dip into it as and when you needed. I chose to become a Doctor of Allopathic Medicine because that was the established scientific paradigm. Throughout my education and my Residency in Internal Medicine, I studied the scientific method . Now, after being in practice for 20 years and having actively studied many other alternative systems for the last 15 years, I have come to the realization that many of the alternative systems are equally if not more scientific and sophisticated than the current paradigm.
The problem lies, not in the systems themselves but rather in our understanding of those systems. Even though quantum physics has progressed and is currently in the new paradigm, human thought as well as our current system of medicine is still existing in the nineteenth century. An example is the use of mercury (amalgam) fillings which were first introduced in 1832 and still continue to be used in defiance of all the research that proves that mercury is a known poison that shuts down many of the bodies defenses and has been demonstrated to out vaporize from fillings. Another, is the use of Thimerosal (the mer stands for mercury and how many of you knew that?) As a preservative in eye drops, vaccines etc. The effects of chronic low grade poisons occurs years down the road, so it takes a keen, scientific and open mind to acknowledge the effects. The human mind is a funny thing. It does not believe that anything exists unless it can touch, see or smell it. Yet, we know that electricity exists because we turn a switch and the light comes on. Have you ever watched a pot of water boil? The water molecules begin to move faster and faster until they disappear. The water has turned into invisible vapor. Similarly, an atom of uranium transforms into an atom of thorium by emitting an alpha particle. To form sodium chloride, an electron from sodium is transferred to the chloride. Quantum physics has proved that the very act of observing changes what is observed. So, you cannot have objectivity in the old way, yet that is what we rely on.
There is a new paradigm emerging. Rather, I should say, the new-old paradigm. For, this is the paradigm that the ancient systems of Medicine – like Ayurveda, Yoga, Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, Mayan cultures and other ancient cultures were based upon. This new paradigm is the paradigm of Electromagnetic Medicine. People say that change happens in small increments. I disagree, I think that change happens in paradigm shifts, when the mind set as a whole of a critical mass number of people changes. There is a flow of energy that is taking place all the time in the human body. The ancient chinese called this energy Chi and the pathways it flowed on, meridians. In Ayurveda, this energy is known as Prana and the pathways it travels on, marmas.
The Sanskrit word for mind is mana, the word for the heart is also mana. So, according to ayurveda, the mind exerts a great effect upon the heart. In Ayurveda, there are three doshas, that lie at the mind body interface. Vatta, pita and kapha. They exert their different effects upon the body and they are affected in turn by emotions, environment, nutrition, vibrations etc.
Dr. Candace Pert is a researcher of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center. Her research has shown that emotions and memories are carried on peptides to different receptors on various cells and organs of the body. The more negative the emotion, the more the energy is going to be blocked at the cellular level. Now, in Ayurveda, prana is synonymous with the mind and also with the breath. So, if one nostril is blocked for instance, it is indicative of blocked energy that needs to be corrected before it manifests as disease. Irregular breathing is the sign of a disquiet mind, that again will lead to disease. Ayurveda, places emphasis on pranayama or breathing exercises to help clear energy blocks. As, a matter of fact Yoga is more than just a stretching exercise. It helps bring the mind under control, clear energy blocks, massages internal organs and promote lymphatic flow etc The current trend in Medicine today is to treat the body as if the mind does not exist and the mind as though the body does not exist. We are one large healing loop. Disease is partly due to burying emotions or denying them. Our bodies are a super highway of internal information at the molecular level. The body in its wisdom tries to send us signals and we suppress them and drown out its voice. Like taking an H2receptor blocker when the body signals dyspepsia in response to a food that it is rejecting.
Disease is diagnosed by the Chinese and Ayurvedic physician by the use of clinical examination. Pulse diagnoses ( that is a means of detecting the energy flow ), tongue, skin, breath, extremity, urine examination etc. Treatment uses several steps. The first and most important step is detoxification or Panchakarma. Now, I am a Doctor of Internal Medicine, and I am trying to rack my brains and no matter how hard I rack, I am unable to come up with a single example of detoxification in Medicine except for the methods used in acute poisoning. I am talking about the routine detoxification to clear the channels of the body so that energy may flow freely. All disease in Ayurveda happens because of the accumulation of toxins in the body usually in a base of mucous known as Ama. So for example, the accumulation of Ama in the joints will cause arthritis. Various methods are employed for this, like yogic postures, panchakarma, herbs etc. There are various herbs used for different conditions that unlike our 20th century drugs which block biochemical pathways, these herbs cooperate with the body in its effort to heal itself.
Gemstones, crystals are said to hold and transmit energy. Crystals are used in radio transmitters so you cannot deny that they do transmit energy. Homeopathy is another elegant healing system that uses the power of vibration to effect healing. So, Homeopathic remedies have only an energetic or vibrational imprint of something and this energy if it is the right one will cause the cells of the body to start vibrating in harmony with itself and thus effect seemingly miraculous healing.
Sound therapy or the use of Mantras also are based on the power of vibration. I have personally used tuning forks on painful knots of muscles to see the knot and the pain dissolve before my eyes. Sound healing is currently used in Medicine to disintegrate kidney stones. Ultrasound is used in diagnosis and physical therapy. Pulsed electromagnetic fields are currently used in Orthopedics to heal non uniting fractures. Now, I am not negating traditional medicine, rather I am trying to say that we need to open our minds to all the healing modalities that are available to us. If you have a blood pressure of 160/100 you had better go on anti hypertensive medication unless you would like to invite a stroke or a heart attack. However, high blood pressure is not from a deficiency of anti hypertensive medication. However, it could be from a magnesium deficiency. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will also provide the potassium that is needed to keep the BP down. The mind and personality again have a role to play. Dr. Hal Huggins says High blood pressure could be from heavy metal toxicity from the amalgams in your mouth. A serious allegation but one that has merit in my mind. I have read his books and his research and it needs to be taken seriously. Many cardiologists are now performing chelation therapy with EDTA for heavy metals. Why would that help if heavy metals were not there in the first place? So, they are there. Studies now show that heart disease possibly originates from the bacteria in your gums and Dr. Huggins says these bacteria multiply because the mercury overwhelms the bodies defences. It is now undisputed research that heart disease originates from the mouth. It is only a matter of time before the whole truth comes out. Again, traditional healing methods have a lot to offer here. Traditional methods of healing and detoxification will help to keep healthcare costs down and offer a better quality of life as well.