The Pill of Knowledge

My yoga teacher, Vijesh Krishna, incorporates Kalaripayattu techniques, customised meditation and even Carnatic music in his classes. “With yoga, you can unleash a storehouse of power within yourself in all aspects of your life, not just health,” he believes. A former banker from Standard Chartered in Dubai, Krishna realised he was destined for a different path when he found himself teaching yoga to his loan-defaulting clients to help them de-stress! Eventually, the Kerala-born 30-year-old gave up the corporate pursuit to devote himself to the path of health, healing and spirituality. “Yoga is not just exercise for the body. It is a conditioning of the psyche and the medicine for all disorders,” he says.

Years ago, I noticed an indisputable link between the condition of my life and that of my health. When my external conditions were conflicted, my little kids and I were constantly ill, rushing to the doctor almost every week. Around the same time, I happened to work in a publishing house that brought out some of the world’s top medical dictionaries. My job back then was to edit and update the content for every new edition based on new studies and findings.

What I noticed, with some alarm, was that much of my work involved deleting medicines and treatments that had been prescribed in the previous edition, because new research found them unsafe. “What happens to all the patients who took those drugs or those therapies all these years before the findings came out?” I used to wonder. “Are their bodies damaged for life?”

Thus set in a certain disillusionment with chemical medication. I began viewing my strips of tablets and vials of synthetic hormones with suspicion – how long before research said these were harmful for me?

By a stroke of destiny, my kids and I were removed from our stressful circumstances. In all the chaos, I forgot to take the kids for their various vaccinations. Yet, miraculously, our health improved almost overnight. And thus began my fascination with the mind-body connection. I substituted pills for grandma’s kitchen herbs. I went for alternative healing techniques for both day-to-day issues and deeper, childhood disorders. I delved into spiritual literature and newage philosophies. Soon, my kids and I stopped taking medications altogether, except for emergencies. And we were fine.

And oh, some new research does suggest that many vaccinations are unnecessary and overhyped. Some rookie editor is probably deleting them from a medical dictionary right now.

This is not a critique of the medical industry – we owe them our lives. But dominated as it is by a few powerful players who may not be as interested in spontaneous inner healing as in healthy profits, it would do the consumer well to probe into his or her own health issues with compassion, objectivity, courage and – when required – acceptance. External medications and chemical-based treatments mostly address symptoms; they cannot holistically remove the root cause. Like yoga, the real healing power lies within.

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