By Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya
People enamored with the usual way of living in the modern world do not choose Ayurveda as a healing option in the first stages of the disease. They use the conventional options which are surgery, drugs, expensive tests, and bloodwork. They follow the doctor’s recommendations blindly because they have been educated that health and disease are not their responsibility. The disease is accidental and is the expertise of the doctor. Once disease occurs, we must surrender our bodies, and our power to the doctors, who know what to do, and who know our bodies better than we do.
When the treatment plan of the doctor fails, when there are side effects, or when the costs become prohibitive, only then do people lose their blind love and reliance on the doctors and begin to search for other solutions. In the parallel universe of alternative healing or indigenous medical systems, they will find an array of people claiming miraculous benefits. These are also difficult to follow when they do not connect with our instinct for true healing.
Those who find Ayurveda learn that it is a nice wellness pathway. It is good for prevention and offers daily routines and scraping of the tongue and nice advice for sleeping earlier or eating healthier foods. It is often confused with yoga and homeopathy and naturopathy. It is full of unclear Sanskrit words like vata, pita, and dosha.
When we engage the mind-body connection, we connect to good living because we help the entire factory of operations become efficient, with less latent heat and less production of trash. In the body latent heat shows up as inflammation and trash shows up as colon residue and toxins that hide in fat.
Daily conditioning of the brain-gut axis occurs through quiet mind, today known as meditation, and through yoga, which means the union of two separate things, such as the mind and the body. A daily dip into the space of the quiet mind allows the gut and tissues to inform the mind what it needs, which foods to eat when, and the entire regulation of diet, nutrition, and intake, known as kaalabhojanam – kaala means time and bhojan means meal, in Sanskṛit.
People who approach Ayurveda often ask, does it have a cure for treating deadly diseases in advanced stages? And they demand instant results after years of polluting the body. They arrive with immature emotional navigation, anger, expectation, and a demanding tone. Ayurveda actually advises the vaidya to turn such patients away, because Ayurveda also has the wisdom to remember that vaidyas are humans too. The physician who is not ready for such patients should not treat them.
The importance of mental and emotional connectedness is inherent to the system of Ayurveda. Instead of entertaining inability as a type of neurodiversity, Ayurveda asks whether the person’s emotional and mental ability allows them to competently exist in the world around them. If they can make a wholesome life of good relationships in which they can learn, teach and share, work to earn what they need to sustain, and have an environment in which they can live peacefully inside and outside, then they have what they need. Today’s world does not invest in this mental and emotional connectedness, and people who know better do not push back, insisting on clear communication, the energy of honesty, and the demand for Integrity in the transactions around them. Thus, when they approach for help with the tangled knots of disease in their body, the world around them does not deliver.
If they are connected in relationships, mental and emotional maturity, and physical space and time, they find the people who help them heal. Modern medicine calls this magic because they cannot logically understand it. Ayurveda calls it health — mental, emotional, social, physical, financial, and community well-being.