Over-dependence on a single system of medicine has broken the backbone of human health. People are largely dependent on allopathic system of medicine. The truth is that no medical system is perfect but is an approximation of perfection. Our health sector is as fragmented and complex this day as it never was in past centuries. The solution primarily lies in an inclusive path of health wherein drawbacks and limitations of every system are accepted and worked upon. Segregation has to be replaced by inclusiveness.
What is Inclusive –
Inclusive means all-embracing. Inclusiveness brings a sense of belongingness, which means all knowledge is mine. Exclusive means restricted, which is choosing between ‘this’ or ‘that’. Healthcare becomes more effective when it is inclusive. Exclusiveness segregates the knowledge into ‘mine’ and ‘theirs’. ‘Not mine’ or ‘Theirs’ does not mean it will not have effect. All knowledge has effect. All the ancient paths of knowledge, including Ayurveda, are inclusive. There was no conflict or clash between the health sciences of ancient civilizations. Extensive trade routes of ancient world helped the physicians of those times to learn from one another. Ayurveda texts were being translated into Greek by the time of Hippocrates (460 – 370 B.C), who was familiar with the works of Indian physicians. Although Hippocratic Oath still exists, the basic principles of Greek medicine that integrates body, mind and soul have been assigned the footnote status in the medical schools today. The healing therapies of the East were also inclusively interwoven. They shared many common principles for long and healthy life like ethical conduct, healthy diet, daily as well as seasonal routines. The innovative and inclusive approach of Ayurveda is evident from the fact that this science is as relevant today as it was at the time of its inception.
How to proceed –
The drawbacks and limitations of any system of healthcare can be worked upon by creating an inclusive path of health. This can be done by officially introducing Ayurveda in all medical schools of India. It is found that a subtle integration of the two systems has always existed. We’ve witnessed an underlying use of Ayurveda by allopathic physicians wherever and whenever the modern medicine limits them. The limitation of allopathic system is that, besides emergency management and surgical interventions, there is no finite treatment for most of the chronic diseases. Be it hypertension, diabetes or any other, the medicines are to be continued throughout life. The underlying use of Ayurveda can be exemplified from the fact that, even about three decades back, ‘Liv52’ – an Ayurvedic medicine – was conveniently used in prescriptions by allopaths in India. Majority of people, till date, think that Liv52 is an allopathic drug. It is common to find at least one Ayurveda herb in 90% of prescriptions by allopath specialists. A majority of these doctors apply the concepts of holistic wellness (Ayurveda) for themselves. This subtle and veiled acceptance needs to take the shape of a gross integration.
Ayurveda is synonymous to wellness. Relevance of Ayurveda is of extreme value in management of current scenario of health, but at the same time it is important to make it understandable, so that people are able to associate with our ‘Indian approach to health management’. There is a need to translate the tradition of Ayurveda in day-to-day life. Ayurvedic medicines and lifestyle not only act as catalysts for modern medicines but they also reduce their side effects. Along with investment in allopathic system of healthcare, it is equally relevant to create a technologically sound space and investment for Ayurveda. In this age of over-specialization, where patients get treated by multiple specialists, official acceptance of holistic approach of Ayurveda can bring on an inclusive path of health.