Ayurveda & Cancer I : A different answer
Ayurveda name diseases with infinite possibilities of terminology, yet the word cancer does not exist.
In fact, Ayurveda sees the world and the human body in terms of elements or forces constituting it and creating troubles when in imbalance.
Here are some key points to understand the Ayurvedic view on Cancer and how to restore the balance.
THE DIFFERENCES WITH THE ALLOPATHIC APPROACH
- Global or localized?
In Ayurveda, the cancer is approached globally. Considering that even it can be located in a specific part of the body, it is the whole that is to be treated. The body is a global entity whose parts cannot be taken individually. Everything in the body work in harmony and in inter-dependency where not even a single cell can work by itself without communicating. Hence, if one part is affected, it will affect the whole chain, including the mind.
- To reinforce or to weaken?
Chemotherapy, radiation and other common proposed cancer treatments aim at weakening the whole body to weaken the cancer and prevent it to spread. Indeed, the cancer cells are destroyed but…the healthy cells too…and there is no guarantee that it will not come back.
In Ayurveda, the aim is to reinforce all that is affected in order to bring back the normal functions. Obviously the immunity is a key point as well as harmonizing the Doshas and bringing clarity to the mind. That is the crucial and controversial question today regarding Cancer treatments in modern medicine, as chemotherapy makes the body weaker in order to get rid of the affliction and many people die not of cancer but of chemotherapy. This approach is at the opposite of Ayurvedic one, always aiming at making the body stronger to understand how to heal itself and realize the source of imbalances.
- The patient or the body?
In Ayurveda, the treatment is focused on the Patient ( Mind, Body and Soul ) and not only the body. The well-being of the person is very important, his/her state of mind is key and the comprehension of the disease and its manifestation is crucial. It is the person who is treated, the entire being, not only and merely the disease.
- The cause or the symptoms?
Ayurvedic medicine takes in account the body, the mind and the spirit and believe that cancer finds its roots and origins in the spirit or the soul, and ends up manifesting in the materiality of the body, imbalancing the Doshas.
Also, possible causes in Ayurveda that can be in charge conjointly or alone: emotional suppression, bad habits, improper lifestyle or diet, Karma (or consequences from past or recent actions), genetics and inherited predisposition, etc.
If treating only the symptoms, we are always leaving in fear, praying for cancer not to manifest again but remaining its prey. If we understand why it happened and we are willing to work on it, there is no chance for the disease to manifest again. Deeply and fundamentally, any disease’s role is to tell us something, bring something to our consciousness or provide us an experiment so that we can grow.
THE SIDE EFFECTS
Different treatments that Ayurvedic medicine offer can be used not only as main cure but also as complementary therapies also.
Yoga, meditation, pranayama (breathing), herbal supplementation, etc. can assist a patient undergoing an allopathic treatment for cancer that always goes with difficult side effects that can be particularly handicapping.
Deep treatments such as Panchakarma, can also be the main approach to cure Cancer.
- Depictive campaigns
Current campaigns against Cancer prone early diagnosis, regular follow up and analysis: mammography, colonoscopy, blood test, etc. and it is likely that if you are 60 years old and up you will receive those type of adverts in your mailbox. Theoretically, those campaigns goal is good, willing to discover the problems at their early stages. The thing is, it deeply brings the emotion of fear and it is yet to be proven that it reduces the chances to have a cancer in the end. Also, the diagnosis tools are often invasive and not enough advanced and sharp to detect it.
- Diagnosis methods
Usually, cancer is diagnosed post the manifestation of symptoms, which in Ayurveda is already an advanced stage of the disease and rapidly progressing if not taken care of. At this point it is more difficult to treat and to overcome it. Hence, prevention in all ways possible in a personalized routine is of upmost importance.
Ayurvedic physicians can diagnose the disease at its early stages before it can create more serious imbalances to the body and mind.Ayurveda classify the evolution of diseases in six stages ( Samprapti ). Modern diagnosis and equipment can only detect once it is in the 5th or 6th stage.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTION & CARE THROUGH LIFESTYLE AND SPIRITUALITY
- The food
In the Ayurvedic view, most of the diseases when imprinting in the body, starts with the digestion. Hence, food should be adapted to the constitution of the person ( Prakriti ) and health state ( Vikriti ) and many other factors. The use of healthy spices, fresh, cooked and easily digested food is important in order to avoid the creation of toxins, or Ama. Refined, industrial, fried, sugary, salty products are to be avoided.
While on cancer treatment, hospitals mostly give industrial food, reheated food or pre packed and not in concordance with the person constitution, current health state and digestive capacity, often also with improper food combination while diet should be one for the first thing to consider.
- The lifestyle and habits
Immunity and metabolism can be regulated with simple changes such as : sleeping early and rising early, never taking bath or shower on empty stomach, taking time to rest and meditate, encouraging positive emotions and thoughts, avoiding tobacco and alcohol as well as tea and coffee, avoiding to indulge in too much meat especially red meat. Also to avoid: hormonal supplements, electromagnetic fields ( Wi-Fi or mobile waves ) , pesticides, too much sun exposure etc.
Many strategies and personalized programs can be put in place by an Ayurvedic practitioner in order to promote the wellbeing of the body, mind, and senses.
- The spirituality
Depression, stress and anxiety are common troubles affecting many of us. Often, those troubles are put to explain body reactions that cannot be explained, and reverse, an unhealthy body can lead to mental disorders. Mind and body are intertwined and both works optimally only with a cohesive partnership, otherwise pathology starts to grow and over time, affect the entire being.
Cancer, this disease of the century, is mostly link to poor life hygiene and to lack of taking time to face and deal with our emotions. Those starts to develop within ourselves and a new life arise.
Without fixing the mental factor in each disease, that one will occur again. Nothing can last and remain in the body until the minds allows it. Modern medicine set aside and confuse spirituality with religion or alternative healing, while it is a central point. The source of all illness is not material: the physical manifestations are only the child effect of a deeper trouble. It is important to look into our personality, all our negative tendencies, acquired or inherited. It is important to reconnect with our divine and infinite inner self in order to heal.
Behind every fear lies a desire. Behind the fear of winter lies the desire for sun. Behind the fear of losing lies the desire to win. Behind the fear of cancer lies the desire to live.
It is that exact point that Ayurveda emphasize. Only life can nurture life. Ayurveda proposes multiple answers and strategies to help people face the plague of our century, either alone or in parallel of Allopathy’s protocols.
It is about time that we reunite two approaches which divergent methods.
It is about time that people take control over cancer, taking in the same way the control of their life in wise choices.
To read part II: Here
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-Dr. Manan Soni & Emmanuelle Dessaigne