An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Influence of Body Types in Medicine

Deepak Chopra speaks  about the influence of the Body Type in medicine… Here is what he said:

Despite the fact that many people had a typical lunch of sandwich, French fries, and coffee, the food is sitting heavily in some stomachs, tossing nervously in others, and passing unnoticed in most of the rest. In some bodies, hearts are beating faster because the sidewalk feels too crowded; others are pouring out excess gastric acid or experiencing a rise in blood pressure. It takes all types to make a world – but has medicine really noticed what types there are?

In conventional medicine we pay much more attention to differences among diseases than among people. If a patient complains of a twinge of arthritis in his hands, a physician realizes that this common complaint may be linked to over a hundred diseases, all of which lead to sore, stiff, inflamed, painful joints. It is known that some people inherit the tendency to become arthritic, but a bewildering number of things also seem to contribute – hormonal changes, physical and mental stress, diet, lack of exercise, and so on.

Ayurveda points out that diseases differ mainly because people are so different. Although biology does acknowledge that all of us were born with “biochemical individuality,” this has a few practical implications in the doctor’s office. Biochemical individuality means that no one is average. At any given moment, your cells and tissues do not contain an average level of oxygen, carbon dioxide, iron, insulin, or vitamin C. Instead, they contain a precise amount unique to that moment, to the physical condition of your body, and to the state of your thoughts and emotions. Your body is a three-dimensional composite of millions of tiny differences, and by learning about them you can make dramatic improvements in our health. At this level, perfect health is a very specific biological phenomenon.

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These are my thoughts on this:

It is said in various science/spiritual texts that the basic component of all creation is the same. 

As far as the “Individual based” medicine as opposed to “disease-based” medicine is concerned – I guess DNA based medicine may be changing that paradigm.

Now, I believe that the “same basic component” creates “individually different” structures due to the way this component and its derivatives are combined together.

Ayurveda Rishis may have “categorized” these combinations (which at individual level are “burnt” in DNA) into a few generic types and this “taxonomy” may help us “direct” the cures as the combinations require!

I cannot but keep going back to the statement of Swami Vivekananda that the Vedanta mind revelled in creating very profound generalizations from the minutest of issues.. leaving the specifics to be figured out later.  But these generalizations are profoundly useful to get the best of results!

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