Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Made in the Mind
Time and again, the placebo effect is healing people. Now, meditation shows the way
 
“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.” — Hippocrates
 
Knowledge that we acquire from books, journals, Internet, and so on, especially during our school and college days, is all second-hand. In my early years as a doctor, I had to answer the wife of a young man brought dead to our hospital due to a massive heart attack. A simple question: Why did her husband, who was apparently very healthy, drop dead? My curiosity increased. I did not have any answer to her question. That brought back to memory the things I did not understand from my school days about this universe and the enigma called the human body. My journey to unravel that mystery got me thinking; I still do. In this process, so many things came up that have made me wiser. I call the latter wisdom, since it emanated from my own mind aided and abetted by other thinkers, foremost among them being the late professor Rustum Roy whom providence brought into my life. He encouraged me to think and gave me courage saying that I was on the right path. Up until then, all my associates were only critical of my ‘funny’ thoughts.
 
I have seen, time and again, people getting healed by the placebo effect. I have tried it on many patients who had, what I call, patient-thinks-s/he-has-a-disease syndrome, with excellent results. People have tried magic, sorcery, witchcraft and faith in God, to heal people where Western medicine failed or did not have anything to offer. A recent exhaustive study using even fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) in Oxford, Cambridge, Hamburg and Munich universities, led by prof Ulrike Bingel (in Oxford), has proven the reality of the placebo effect. Placebo effect is truly possible. If that were so, people’s thoughts could affect their health and wellness, for sure. I was wondering if we could use that to keep people healthy, without falling sick.
 
Now meditation has shown a way to attain this state of mind. “Time will soon come when you have a headache: instead of reaching for the drug cupboard, you sit in a quiet place and meditate to raise your consciousness to a higher level to release pain-killer opioids from your own forebrain.” This thought was expressed by Candace Pert, an ace researcher at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) in the United States, in her book, Molecules of Emotion. Research has also shown that meditation could even change your gene penetrance and increase the length of the telomeres (an essential part of human cells that affects how our cells age). If that were so, elevating the level of one’s consciousness to heal any illness should not be a faraway unattainable goal. Medical textbooks and the conventional journals might not be stressing this part of the new wisdom as the latter does not perpetuate the medical business.
 
This is why I have serious doubts about the Newtonian-Descartes model of linear deterministic predictability model of science. In the Western model, this world came into being, from nowhere, some time by a Big Bang. Life evolved mysteriously. That has been seriously questioned now! Up until quantum physics came on the scene, Western science did not make any sense, although it brought, in its wake, all our so called life-enhancing facilities which have made the common man respect Western science and treat it with awe. All these, while making me feel happy that I am on the right track, make my responsibility greater, to find ways and means of healing diseases with the help of our own inbuilt immune guard. This will be devoid of the dangerous iatrogenic illnesses and the disabling adverse drug reactions.
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)

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COMMENTS

J Pinto

1 year ago

Many Doctors have signed the "Hypocritical" Oath ?

J Pinto

1 year ago

After practising "toxic" allopathy for 40-50 years of one's life one needs to similarly practise and preach against it for another 40-50 years.

OR simply give away the income and profits earned from the previous 40-50 years malpractise.

Nifty, Sensex may rally - Weekly closing report

Nifty must stay above 7,700 to go higher

 

We had mentioned in last week’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex may rally and that If Nifty stays above 7,700, it may rally up to 8,100. During the week’s trading, the Sensex and the Nifty gained 1%+ and the Bank Nifty made a marginal loss. Clearly, the market has been moving sideways on a weekly basis and is not able to rally.

 

 

The Indian equity markets opened on a lower note on Monday, following a sharp downward revision of Chinese industrial profits. Observers pointed out that negative Asian market cues coupled with anxiety over the upcoming monetary policy review kept the Indian markets subdued. 
 
The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) on Tuesday cut repo rate (the rate at which the RBI lends money to banks) by 50 basis points to 6.75% from 7.25%. At the same time, the central bank has made a pitch for passing the rate cut to consumers in the form of cheaper personal and commercial credit.  The cash reserve ratio (CRR) has been kept unchanged at 4%. However, the market which was clamouring for a rate cut was surprisingly ambivalent about it after it actually got one. Fears of bank's ability to transmit the easing of monetary policy kept the bellwether indices subdued. The indices had opened deeply in the red, following a huge decline in US markets on Monday night and Asian markets on Tuesday morning. After the rate cut, the equity indices staged a recovery on the back of an unexpectedly high interest rate cut, but strong selling took over later in the last half hour on Tuesday.
 
On Wednesday, with global cues from Asian markets being favourable, and Tuesday’s RBI rate cut in the hand, there was a rally in the main stock indices, leading to the major indices closing with gains of more than 1%. Analysts cited that more than expected monetary easing coupled with a dovish outlook by the country's central bank, strengthening rupee value and stable Asian bourses supported the Indian markets. However, Bank Nifty struggled to rally.
 
Furthermore, the Supreme Court's verdict in favour of Mauritius-based foreign fund Castleton Investment offered more clarity over the applicability of minimum alternate tax (MAT) on foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). The verdict is expected to restore FPIs' confidence in the Indian markets and smoothen the nerves of anxious investors. The government has already accepted the Justice A.P. Shah Committee's report on MAT that says the levy should not be applicable on FPIs.
 
On Thursday, the markets made healthy gains within minutes of opening and continued their upward trajectory on the back of Tuesday's monetary easing by the RBI, overnight rally in the US markets, supportive Asian markets and strengthening rupee value. However, the upward momentum lost its steam as the latest Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Manufacturers Index) for the last month showed a contraction. The PMI was at a seven-month low of 51.2 in September 2015. Markets analysts said the less-than-expected PMI data impacted sentiments and erased the gains made during Thursday's trade, as profit booking was also witnessed. The Indian markets remained closed on Friday on account of Gandhi Jayanti.
 
Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:
 
 

 

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Manohar set to be named BCCI chief at Sunday's SGM
Former president Shashank Manohar has emerged as the sole candidate to be elected to the top post of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which has fallen vacant with the demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya, in the Special General Meeting (SGM) to be held here on Sunday.
 
The chair has been lying vacant since Dalmiya died in Kolkata on September 20. As per BCCI's constitution, a notification for a SGM to nominate a successor has to be issued within 15 days of the incumbent's death.
 
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said Manohar is the only candidate for the top post.
 
A SGM will be held here on Sunday where a decision regarding the vacant chair will be taken. Manohar, a lawyer by profession, earlier held the post from 2008 to 2011.
 
"Shashank Manohar is the only candidate for the BCCI president's post. A decision regarding it will be taken in BCCI's SGM in Mumbai on October 4," Thakur had said on the sidelines of the T20 practice match between India A and the visiting South African team in New Delhi on September 29.
 
Manohar emerged as a consensus candidate among East Zone units whose turn it is to nominate a president till 2017. Any candidate for the BCCI top job will need a proposer from the eastern region.
 
It was earlier believed the Tripura Cricket Association or National Cricket Club will propose Manohar's candidature. But it is now believed former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, who succeeded Dalmiya as the new Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president, is likely to propose Manohar's name for the post.
 
But Ganguly dodged all questions in a recent event when he was asked if he would support and recommend Manohar’s name for the top post.
 
Manohar is known to be close to former BCCI and International Cricket Council (ICC) chief Sharad Pawar. The senior lawyer has Pawar's backing and after Indian Premier League (IPL) chief Rajiv Shukla opted out of the race, he is likely to be supported by Anurag Thakur as well.
 
Jharkhand Cricket Association (JCA) chief Amitabh Choudhary had emerged as a possible candidate earlier, but his chances slimmed considerably as the Sharad Pawar and Anurag Thakur factions wanted their man at the top.
 
Manohar is unlikely to face any rival since the faction led by ex-BCCI chief N. Srinivasan doesn't have the majority among 29 votes to counter the former's candidature.
 
Srinivasan is ineligible to attend the meeting on Sunday but he can cast his vote at the SGM in the scenario of an election.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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