Mind, Body And Soul - Wellness To The Power Of Infinity
While we continue to demand better access to healthcare services for every Indian citizen, each of you has a responsibility to take care of yourself
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Good health is achieved when there is an equilibrium between three important aspects of life: the body, mind and soul and not just by the absence of diseases. However, today, overall health has become a misnomer. We hear of stress and lifestyle diseases plaguing even younger people, and death due to cardiac arrest and heart attacks becoming par for the course. Teenagers and children are being diagnosed with conditions like diabetes. While several factors such as genetics, environment, relationships, and education determine our proclivity to health, a nourishing diet, regular exercise, periodic health check-up, and stress coping strategies are essential to further it. The last, especially, addresses mental and spiritual well-being.
Healing from within
The Vedas identify that life on earth exists at two levels: the particle and wave levels. The wave level symbolizes the concept of Purusha (consciousness) and particle is Prakriti (matter); they can also be understood as the unmanifest and the manifest. The unmanifest state represents the extreme parasympathetic state of the body while the manifest is the visible body, accompanied by the mind, intellect and the ego. As well as the manifest body and the mind, the unmanifest state too should be in a state of equilibrium.
While modern medicine takes care of the particle part of the body, yoga and meditation can help achieve that equilibrium at the unmanifest level. They in turn help relax the mind, and transform the body into a parasympathetic mode, which helps in healing. This is evident in the reduction in heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Therefore, while taking care of the needs of the body, paying attention to the subtle, unmanifest state is essential for a meaningful and comprehensive sense of wellbeing. Sufficient sleep, good relationships with family and friends, a sense of security - financial as well as emotional - also contribute to a sense of well-being and can be achieved through regular spiritual practices.
One of the tragedies today in India, which is the land of venerable science of Ayurveda, is that people have lost touch with their roots. This is exacerbated by various disorders and lack of proper access to quality healthcare services due to poor planning and investments in public systems.
India is a poor country with vast populations living below the poverty line. Even being above the poverty line does not mean much, given the cost of treatment for many lifestyle and chronic diseases. Healthcare is a birth right of every citizen of India. Many of us fall under the tax bracket, and already pay for services indirectly, including for healthcare. Public healthcare suffers from poor health infrastructure as well as staff - right from doctors and nurses to support staff. People do not get the right treatment, or the cost of treatment itself pushes them to BPL levels.
In many developed countries, public healthcare system, insurance, cost of medicine etc. are taken care of by the governments. India needs to progressively move in that direction to ease the pressure on the poor, who not only lose their savings during the period of treatment, but also their earning potential - especially daily wage earners - thus facing a double loss.
Without doubt, the government must increase its spending on healthcare from the current abysmal rate. The UP High Court recently made it mandatory for government officials to go only to the government hospitals for treatment. In case they need to go to a private hospital, and their expense compensated, then the common man should be extended the same facility. I think this is a good way to ensure the quality of healthcare in the PHS.
Wishing You Good Health
While we continue to demand better access to healthcare services for every Indian citizen, each of you has a responsibility to take care of yourself.
Develop Healthy Habits - Eat right, sleep right, exercise right
Everything in Moderation - Be it drinking, using the cell phone or even sitting in one place, remember to not overdo it
Ancient Wisdom - In addition to physical exercise, do Yoga and Meditation for your mental and spiritual wellbeing and maintain equilibrium. Allow your body to heal itself.
Periodic Check-up - Prevention is better than cure. Early detection of most health problems can help in correcting lifestyles to slow the degeneration process and lead a longer and healthier life.
Avoid smoking - Not only active smoking, but passive too is very harmful for the body. In addition, manage your blood cholesterol, blood pressure as well as diabetes and maintain optimum weight. Limit your salt intake and drinking.
Our own body, mind and soul are within our limited control. Let's do what it takes to keep it fit till the government deems it fit to provide better care.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.