Friday, September 29, 2017

When Consciousness Becomes The Basis Of Structure

Since the structure-consciousness link can work the other way round, one can postulate that changes in consciousness can produce modifications in the gene structure.

I have explained in my previous articles how consciousness acts as the engine of our life. What is the basis of consciousness? Is it the individual's body the brain, the nervous system and its connections? Modern science believes it to be so. Accordingly, structure is the basis of consciousness as well as the feeling associated with a particular state of consciousness.

We have seen how one can modify one's state of consciousness by the method of meditation.
One's life can be positively influenced and the state of health improved. This implies that physical manifestations of disease are also positively modified by sustained maintenance of the state of consciousness at a blissful level. Thus consciousness becomes the basis of structure of the body.

Therefore the assumption that structure is the basis of consciousness is not always true. It can be the other way round. When it is understood that the state of consciousness can lead to changes in structure, it opens a new way of understanding the basis of disease and health.

Presently science is discovering the genetic basis of several disease processes. The gene mutations responsible for specific diseases help in tracing carrier states and in predicting the likelihood of an individual or his/her offspring to develop a particular disease.

Since the structure-consciousness link can work the other way round, one can postulate that changes in consciousness can produce modifications in the gene structure. When a person develops a particular behavior due to social circumstances, with no family history of similar behavior, it is possible that gene modifications take place.

For example the habit of smoking has a genetic basis. However when a person develops the habit of smoking when there is no family history of smoking, it is possible that modifications in gene structure take place. The liking for smoking may then be transmitted to his off-spring genetically.

 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Intuitive Medicine


In this present age of evidence-based medicine, the value of Intuition in medical practice is under-rated. Generally, it is regarded with indifference if not contempt. An experienced doctor will know the importance of an intuitive approach to the patient and the patient’s problem. He can differentiate between intuition and a blind guess. Delving into and understanding Intuition is essential to make the best use of it.1

What is Intuition and where does this come from? From the medical stand-point, Intuition can be considered to be the feeling within oneself about the nature of a disease or its management. It is based on one’s past knowledge and experience. This knowledge or experience might have been acquired in the recent or remote past and one may not be consciously remembering as to when exactly it was acquired.

The process of acquiring knowledge may vary from being purely logical (based on evidence), to being intuitive and corroborated by the intuitive experience of others. In the present day, most of the medical knowledge in use is apparently of the first type. However, much of the knowledge we presume as being evidence-based can be shown to be intuitively acquired in the first place.

An example is the use of several drugs that are derived from herbs. For centuries, they have been used intuitively (e.g. ginger, turmeric, aloe vera).2 Only recently the active ingredients have been isolated and their chemical structure and mechanism of action understood. Here we see that logic has merely fine-tuned the knowledge acquired by intuition.

In fact, any new discovery is first ‘intuitive’ for the discoverer but later is put to test and accepted, based on ‘evidence’. Intuition precedes logic. ‘Knowledge’ is acquired when the understanding is ‘meaningful’, whether by intuition or logic. The present tendency to glorify logic at the expense of intuition smothers creativity, makes the academic approach mechanical and reduces learning to mere acquisition of recorded information. At the field level, this allows medical practice to be converted into protocols that are convenient for use and can be legally and commercially exploited.

The flawed approach to academic and consequently practical medicine entails setting up of logic-based goals, while dampening intuition and freedom of the creative spirit. Curricular evaluations tend to become stereotyped and reproduction of known information accepted as evidence of learning. Inevitably, doctors are being ‘produced’ through a conveyor belt process where the students are made to ‘learn, reproduce and forget’ on their way to become ‘qualified doctors’. Even practical and clinical exams tend to become stereotyped. Instead, actual work-based evaluations help encourage creative and intuitive learning.

Predominantly evidence-based medicine makes clinical practice mechanical, distancing the doctor from the patient and contributing largely to physician dis-satisfaction. Intuitively applying whatever knowledge one has acquired allows creativity in clinical approach, makes it patient-friendly, ensures physician satisfaction and is cost-effective. Being open to Intuitive medicine allows the seamless practice of Body medicine (that constitutes only about two-thirds of medicine) alongside Mind-Body and Mind-Body-Spirit medicine (constituting the remaining one-third of medicine).3,4

While logic cannot be sacrificed and there is need for basic fundamentals, medicine needs to be open-ended in theory and practice with a fine balance between logic and intuition allowing creativity at all levels. Excessive emphasis on evidence-based medicine tends to worsen the problems plaguing the field of medicine, while increased emphasis on Intuitive medicine tends to simplify them. The paradigm of Intuitive medicine needs to be strengthened at all levels.

Key words: Evidence-Based Medicine, Intuitive Medicine, Logic, Intuition.

REFERENCES

1. Trisha Greenhalgh. Intuition and evidence--uneasy bedfellows? Br J Gen Pract. 2002 May; 52(478): 395–400. [Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1314297/]

2. Boca Raton (FL): Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011.

[Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92771/]

3. Vijayaragh P. Becoming Aware of Mind-Body-Spirit Medicine. Future Health, Apr 2014; (Accessed on 5th March 2017) [Available at: http://www.futurehealth.org/articles/Becoming-Aware-of-Mind-Bod-by-Vijayaraghavan-Pad-Attitude_Body_Compassion_Comprehensive-140426-607.html]

4. Vijayaragh P. Fixing the Basic Flaw in Medical Education and Health Care; Opednews, July 2016; [Available at: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Fixing-the-Basic-flaw-in-M-by-Vijayaraghavan-Pad-Doctors_Empathy_Health_Health-And-Fitness-160710-26.html ] (Accessed on 5th March 2017).
[Published in March 2017 issue of IJMRP www.ijmrp.com]