The Ancient Integration

Hitaishi Thakkar

Terna Medical College

It is now tough to imagine a world without drugs.

They are an integral part of modern medicine and form a major chunk of the treatment. The use of drugs is rampant and the industry is booming with the discovery of new and improved drugs.

But our mental acquisitiveness makes us wonder, what is the scope of medicine beyond drugs? Our quest to find this aspect of medicine takes us straight to our roots – Ancient medicine.

Thousands of years ago, our ancestors wrote a bunch of shlokas about various aspects of life, these books are termed as the “ancient scriptures” or simply “Vedas”.

One of the Vedas called “Atharva Veda” is a compendium of the various medical practices. It encompasses a major chunk of general medicine and integrates it with the umami, ayurveda, homeopathy and yoga i.e present day allied health sciences.

Today medicine has branched out to the major and the allied health sciences. It’s almost bewitching that our ancestors created a quintessential integrated medical manual without any technological advances. This complete module of health sciences gives us a holistic approach with an array of options to work with.

One of the most well-known examples includes the world’s first surgeon – Sushruta. He was an ancient surgeon and ayurvedic. It is believed that he used wine as an anesthetic to tone down the surgical pain and used ayurvedic ointments for surgical wound healing. While he integrated his surgical and ayurvedic knowledge perfectly, we in modern times fail to do so.

Our new curriculum of medicine has spraddled out into different allied health sciences and specialties that are hardly integrated. Whilst most physicians find these ancient sciences bogus, a lot of patients prefer to explore all of the available options and then decide their own treatment of choice.

As we move towards a new era in modern medicine, all these ancient methods are making a resurgence. For instance, yoga has been popular even amongst the youth these days. Many even opt for yoga and the yogic practice of pranayama ( regulation of breath through certain techniques and exercises) as an adjunct to normal medical practices.

Individually, all the sciences seem incomplete but when integrated together, they form a complete well-rounded system that is equipped with complete knowledge. Whether we actually need to integrate these sciences into routine practice still remains debatable to this date. (Kids, please don’t give wine as an anesthetic) Maybe we would also be able to pick up the various beneficial aspects of different practices and work in harmony instead of this cutthroat competition against each other.

Our ancient scriptures have a lot more to discover and recover that could possibly broaden our current understanding of the human body as a whole. While the ultimate ancient integration seems like a distant dream, its addition to the curriculum is being considered by the medical board which seems promising. As the new technological advances continue to revolutionize the future, the discovery and rediscovery of our rich ancient heritage have equal potential to transform our medical practice.

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