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Approaches to Health and Disease

Health is a very sensitive issue for most of us. Still, it is remarkable that most of us do not
have an understanding of disease origin and the causation behind it.

Modern medicine asserts that disease originates as a result of alterations of tissues. This is
called pathology. It does not provide an answer to many fundamental questions.

Some of these are:-

1. What has caused the Pathology in the first place?


2. Is it possible to reverse the pathology to make the physiological functioning of the
organ in question once again normal?
3. What is the role of our mind and emotions in our health and well-being?
4. Why do so many illnesses exist e.g. Headaches, knee pains, back pains etc. which do
not have any observable pathology.
5. Does removal or alteration of a particular anatomical entity constitute cure? Does not
the disturbance of one organ create a ripple effect affecting the entire being?

It is rather unfortunate that Modern medicine does not provide answers to any of these
fundamental questions.

We shall try and answer these questions at different levels.

The Organization of the Human body and mind

The Human body and mind exists at the fundamental level of a cell. A disturbance to the cell
causes a disturbance to the tissues associated with it and ultimately this disturbance is
reflected in the organ and the body.

Modern medicine considers the disturbance in the chemical equilibrium of a cell to be the
causation of the disease. However, this disturbance at the level of the cell is the disease itself.

Treating a disease at the same level as it exists is not treating the cause. It is merely
complicating the disease.

The Law of Cause and Effect states that every material effect must have an adequate
antecedent cause.

If the causation of this disturbance is enquired into, sufficiently deeply we would reach the
elements which lead to the formation of the cell. It would seem obvious that an imbalance in
the cell was caused by the imbalance in the elements that make up the cell.
Now what are the elements that make up the cells –

These are in order

1) Earth element 2) Water element 3) Fire element 4) Air element 5) Space element.

Any imbalance in the above elements which make up the cell will have to create an
imbalance in the cells. This is in complete accord with the Law of causation.

At this juncture, let us say that a medical system exists which establishes a sense of balance,
in the organization of the 5 elements that make up the cell and hence the body. This medical
system would try to remedy the imbalance by correcting it through suitable means.

It would seem reasonable that such a medical system would have some element of Truth as it
is remedying the antecedent cause behind the imbalance.

This Medical system is called today in India as Ayurveda and in Greece as the Unani System
of medicine.

The Ayurvedic system recognizes that disease originates as a result of imbalance between the
“three doshas”.

The doshas are biological energies found throughout the human body and mind. They govern
all physical and mental processes and provide every living being with an individual blueprint
for health and fulfilment.

The doshas derive from the Five Elements and their related properties.

The three doshas are a combination of two of the five elements.

These three doshas are enumerated below:-

1. Vata – Comprising the elements Space and Air.


2. Pitta – Comprising the elements Fire and Water.
3. Kapha – Comprising the elements Earth and Water.

A brief description would be in order. Let us assume that a person has rheumatism of his
knee joint. A person who practices Ayurveda would recognize that this has happened due to
the imbalance of the “Three doshas”. He may prescribe a remedy Hingula (Cinnabar) which
is a compound of Mercury and Sulfur towards effecting a cure.

As one goes deeper, one might as