THE BUZZ… There is an Ayurvedic Proverb that says:
“When diet is wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.”
I just spent the last few days in Chicago for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association Conference. Ayurveda is the traditional system of medicine from India. In the U.S., it is now considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), since it includes things such as herbs, nutritional therapy, yoga, meditation, and massage.
The conference theme was “The New Frontier of Holistic Medicine – A Return to Wholeness in Healthcare.” It brought together the ancient disciplines of Ayurveda, Yoga and Jyotish (Vedic astrology). I presented on the Case Study Panel for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Dr. Partap Chauhan from the Jiva Institute in Faridibad, India presented the Ayurvedic view and the actual client case. Christina Collins, a well-known Vedic astrologer, gave the perspective from the Jyotish view. I provided an intervention perspective for IBS from a Yoga view. It was fascinating to see how the approaches came together on so many areas of the recommendations. Most of our suggestions were quite simple, and did not require allopathic medicine.
Our current U.S. healthcare system, which is based on a Disease Management Model, could benefit greatly from the wisdom of the ancient Indian system and how they apply it now. Ayurveda offers a model of well-care – actively promoting well-being versus waiting for something to break down. Diet, mental attitude and general lifestyle habits form a big part of the approach.
Since the $290 billion U.S. pharmaceutical industry is based on developing, producing and marketing medicinal drugs and our medical schools are focused on training Doctors of Medicine (versus Doctors of Healing), we may first have to re-align our priorities before a truly preventative approach takes hold.
There is a lot of money on the table. But we must also realize that there are a lot of lives at stake. It is my hope that we see that a focus on prevention – as well as the coupling of sick-care for acute cases and well-care for prevention and lifestyle-oriented diseases, will save even more money, and lives, in the long-run.
With Purpose & Power,