Recently I came across a patient who is suffering from hernia. She is in early 30s and got operated for Intestinal Hernia once. During the surgical procedure, parts of her intestine were removed. After the procedure, she always feels nauseated and is hardly able to eat anything. Still she gained weight at an incredible rate, around 20 kg in 8 months’ time. Now she is massively overweight. Unfortunately, she is faced with another incident of hernia. But because of her weight and improper BMI, she cannot get operated safely. Now she is trying to find other options.
What are we trying to treat? Half of the diseases treated produce another set of diseases, either as side effects or complications. Treatment of disease is mostly an attempt to suppress symptoms or cut out the trouble making organ. Ayurvedic approach however has a positive primary aim – maintenance of health. Treatment of sick comes after that. Ideally, no one should fall sick if the first aim is achieved.
Ayurvedic Treatment approach is based on the concept of return to the original state or regaining the balance. What is the fundamental reason for hernia? The outer abdominal wall and supporting structures (ligaments, tendons etc.) are not able to contain the internal mass, thus the protrusion called hernia. Even if one incident of hernia is treated, there will be more such incidents because the reason remains. Surgical treatment in most cases is inadequate. It is like the attempt to fill a leaking container. The container will never get filled till the leakage is repaired. Similarly, the disease will never be permanently cured till the root cause is eliminated. If the cause is eliminated, the abdominal wall and supporting attachments become immune to repeated Hernia. Surgical procedure is more of an emergency relief procedure than a permanent cure.
Another case that I would like to discuss is a person with pleurisy. He has very painful breathing and has gone through thoracentesis recently. He has a pipe inserted in his chest cavity which removes the excess liquid from the intermediary space between two layers of pleura (covering of lungs). The cause of his pleurisy is Lupus, which is an incurable but manageable disorder.
Pleurisy occurs due to some infection (TB, pneumonia etc.), Heart, liver or kidney disease and can be cured permanently when the cause is eliminated. For elimination of infection, the regular method is to do carpet bombing of antibiotics on the body tissues, which kills both culprit and civilian cells of the body. It creates massive damage which might take a long time to get healed. Treatment for heart, liver and kidney is either maintenance based, creates disease reoccurrence or leads to removal of the diseased organ as the final cure, but which again might create other complications.
What if the disease process itself is reversed and the organs return to normal?That is successful treatment. In case of pleurisy, the lungs stop exuding liquid, instead suck back the extra liquid, wash the intermediary space between the two layers of pleura with fast renewal of tissue fluid and regain health. Even in case of infection, what if the body cells facing infection grow stronger and are able to fight back the pathogens to elimination? No need for foreign military aid. It does more harm than benefit. What if the heart walls lose their thickness and rigidity in case of congestive heart failure and start pumping the blood again with full force? That is return to normal, to original! That is the real treatment!
Ayurveda helps the body to cure the disease. Every other approach is artificial and temporary. Let’s get back to roots because everything starts with the roots, so should the treatment.