Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Nature as a Cure for Our Ills
A good 95% of the people, can make do with change of mode of living, tranquillity of mind and some holistic healing techniques
 
Man has a radically different physiology compared to a machine. Nature is the healer for the human machine, which is built from a single cell, the zygote, the union of mother’s ovum and father’s sperm, into a 120-trillion-cell organism. This organism, additionally has 10 times more germ cells inside. It runs on sun’s energy, food and oxygen. It is dynamic and, like everything else in the animate world, it has a built-in healer called the immune system. Outside intervention for minor illness syndromes seems not only unscientific but also dangerous. 
 
That said, I must hasten to add that, in the unlikely event of the immune system failing, the person develops symptoms asking for some assistance from outside. Only then must outside help be used to relieve distress. It will again be foolish to claim that outside intervention will keep humans alive on this planet for a long time. The truth is that outside interventions by the medical fraternity can only “cure rarely, comfort mostly, but console always.” Nothing more and nothing less.
 
Today’s hi-tech medical world would want us to believe that they are here to prevent diseases in the ‘early’ stages, to save us from danger and premature death. This is a false claim and the sensible thing to do would be to see doctors only when one has some symptoms. Nature’s mechanisms are more than adept at dealing with most illnesses. 
 
If you have ever observed animals like cats or dogs, you will notice that when a dog has a stomach-ache it knows precisely where the remedy is in nature and looks for grass or leaves to eat. It is you and I who go to a hospital or a doctor when we have minor problems. In return, we get a drug (proven to be alien to the human system by sophisticated studies) or an exploratory laparotomy. There is no end to the cycle of drugs and testing as there is an ill following every pill. We get caught in this vicious cycle. I am reminded of what late Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari wrote to his friend Jawaharlal Nehru, the then PM who was the last Englishman to rule India. Nehru wanted to be one up on Nasser who built the huge Aswan Dam on the Nile, and so was planning the Bakra Nangal dam. “Dear Jawahar, Please respect and treat Nature as your mother, she will then feed you for all time to come, but if you mistreat her as your mistress she will kick you in the teeth!” 
 
If we keep to a healthy lifestyle, with respect to food, work, sleep, thought and action, we would remain healthy till we die. However, the food we eat, the water we drink and even the air we breathe are all severely polluted and our immune system has every cause to be overwhelmed by the stresses imposed on it. To live a long and healthy life, one must follow a rigorous way of life with pranayama and yoga to assist the immune system. This addition will help reduce our distress, to a great extent. 
 
In the first Western textbook of medicine, published in 1773 in Vienna, the Mecca of medicine, the author, Charles Scharschmidst wrote about the present-day killer diseases like heart attacks, hypertension and diabetes. He said that these were, “Diseases with intense agitation of the mind and spastic constriction of the vascular bed.” 
 
The best treatment plan he wrote was: “Change of mode of living, tranquillity of mind, and intervention rarely ever, if ever.” I fully endorse that even today, with factual and scientific backing.
 
Accidents are the only exception where Western hi-tech medical and surgical help for quick fix relief could be lifesaving. Most of the other times, a good 95% of the ill segment of society, can make do with change of mode of living, tranquillity of mind and some holistic healing techniques. God save mankind in the New Year 2015.
 
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.” —  Aristotle
 
(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

Ramesh Poapt

2 years ago

tooo goood,dr! pl give us more such articles. thanx....

Jagannath Chatterjee

2 years ago

The immune system keeps us healthy. When a child is born we bombard its immune system with a mind boggling range of vaccines and booster doses. We are creating disease for life. Who benefits from disease?

Narendra Nath Hazra

2 years ago

Medication, can it really help a human being to live long, as per me no when he is o die he will die , only for satisfaction we go for medication to help some professionals to survive. Result is dangerous, most of the cases man dies but after his death his family dies out of starvation or malnutrition.
It is fact of life that change of life style/ food habits and regular expertise like Yoga ill be more beneficial than any other method.

vishal

2 years ago

A unborn child or a just born child often hears the word paracetamol as if this wonder drug has given by God to cure fever. Modern day Doctors, I am sure learn more about drugs than about body immune resistance. The word antibiotic is known to everybody in the world even if one is a illiterate. What we need to have a healthy life, some times I wonder it is related to our past karmas.

Le Tour de France is Not a Tour

Le Tour de France stands for the most severe form of sporting activity on the planet. A short sketch of one of the most gruelling and unique sporting events of the world, by a former national cycling champion

 

Le Tour de France is not a sightseeing trip. Nor is it a picnic. It is a misnomer. It stands for the most severe form of sporting activity on the planet. It lasts three weeks and covers about 3,000 kms, give or take a couple of hundreds every year.
 
Think of a Bombay-Poona cycle race. Throw in some mountains three to four times longer and often steeper. Think of rising from the hot plains to above the snow line in a single day. Think of snowstorms and blizzards. And chilly rain. And 100 kms per hour mountain descents. All on a small, narrow saddle, with 20 mm width tyres inflated to over 150 psi, in a bunch of 100+ riders jostling for space on narrow roads.
 
It is not your day out; even though it’s called a Tour!         
 
Tour in French means a circuit, a journey that goes around. Le Tour de France is a cycle that goes around France. And of late, other countries too, including England across the channel.
 
Le Tour is a series of individual races where all the contestants start off together every day. Each day’s performance is individually timed and recorded and the winner is the rider with the lowest aggregate time. One race was won by only 29 seconds.
 
These days the race is composed of about 20 teams of professional riders; each team has nine members. The whole exercise is a concerted effort in just getting the team leader first over the line every day. In fact, so important is the team spirit that the other eight riders are called “domestiques”, French for servants. (For more on domestiques, check out Google on ‘Domestiques in Cycling’.)
 
This is professional sports at the highest level. In case one wonders why in God’s name should the others help the team leader, the reason is simple. Money. All the winnings are usually shared. Of course, the winner gets a lot more from ancillary contracts, promotions, and advertising. And, the glory and adoration rival that accorded to cricketers in India.
 
So famous are the Tour winners that a survey taken in the 1950s threw up some astonishing statistics. The members of the French Army and Legionnaires were quizzed about the winners and 92% correctly named the winner of that year’s Tour, as compared to the Head of State who came poor second, somewhere in the 20%s.
 
The success of the Tour has inspired other such races. The Giro d’Italia, The Vuelta in Spain, all named for circuits. The Tour of Britain was once called the Milk Tour, sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board. There are Tours in Switzerland, South Africa, America and many other countries. None compares to Le Tour in prestige or effort. The other races call for extraordinary prowess. Le Tour asks for superhuman effort.
 
Le Tour is over a hundred years old; held every year except when interrupted by the two wars. The finish is always in Paris, on The Champs Elysees. Crowds are ten to fifteen deep over the streets, as lakhs watch the end of three weeks worth of cycle mania. And go mad if a Frenchman wins.
 
To really appreciate the skill and effort that go to make this event, see a documentary called, “Pour Un Maillot Jaune”; French for “For a Yellow Jersey”, the colour of the race leader’s shirt. Why yellow? Well, that’s another story; for another day.
 
As this is being written, it is almost 25 years to the day when we had our own stage race. The Zandu-Blitz Bombay to Delhi race. Ten days and 1,400 kms. At that time the longest in Asia, with Rs5 lakh as prizes; when the cricketers were earning maybe a few thousand over five days.
 
(Advocate Bapoo Malcolm was national cycling champion in 1962 and 1964. He also formed India’s first Professional Cyclists Association in 1982.)
 

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RK Laxman: The creator of ‘common man’ and a crow lover
An eye for detail made RK Laxman an excellent raconteur and mimic. He would regale colleagues with his imitations of politicians that he met around the world. Laxman never suffered fools gladly and does not suffer from any false modesty. An excerpt from Laxman’s interview from the ‘Pathbreakers II’…
 
RK Laxman, the cartoonist who gave India’s ‘common man’ a voice, will always be remembered as the country’s best cartoonist and a crow lover. Laxman, the reclusive genius, died on Monday at the age of 94 after suffering multi-organ failure in Pune.
 
According to a message doing rounds on the social media, “RK Laxman, the creator of ‘Common Man’, chose 26th January, a day when there would be no one in a newspaper office to report about his exit”.
 
Creator of ubiquitous mute spectator 'Common Man', Laxman was admitted to the hospital in Pune on 17th January for urinary infection. Laxman, brother of late novelist RK Narayan, is survived by writer wife Kamala, retired journalist son Srinivas and daughter-in-law Usha.
 
Laxman’s fondness for crows is only slightly less known than his Common Man. His fascination for black extends to his trademark attire of black trousers and white bushshirt and black ambassador car.
 
In 2010, Laxman gave an interview to Moneylife’s Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu for the ‘Pathbreakers II’ in which he shared some unusual moments of his fascinating life. For example, the famous JJ School of Arts rejected to admit Laxman, saying, “you show no talent, we can’t accept you.” 
 
The creator of the immortal ‘common man’, Laxman travelled to many countries. After returning from UK he was even offered a job from a newspaper in London. “I thought about it and refused. Nothing like India for cartooning and drawing! The politics here give you plenty of ideas and there is a variety of characters. Over there, you have these dull politicians going up and down in their grey suits,” he said in the interview.
 
Read the interview with RK Laxman here…
 
 

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COMMENTS

SuchindranathAiyerS

2 years ago

Alas poor Laxman. I knew him well.

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