Friday, August 28, 2015

Medicine and Mind in 21ST Century (Part 2)

Swami Vijnananand vision.

In series of Blogs under “Disease Cure”, we saw in details the relation of Health with Emotions directly and Mind indirectly. The theory of ‘Recipropathy’ is also explained in details. The advice of Swami Vijnananand to “add peace to the prescription” is seen to be acceptable as per the latest findings in the field of human health. Swamiji often mentioned while he put forward his analysis fifty and odd years earlier, that “I am telling the facts which shall be appreciated in 21st century”.

While the mental stress related reasons have assumed major base for the ill-health and as depression has become the second largest disease of 21st century, thinkers in the field are required to go into the details of remedies and peruse the policy makers to evolve suitable policies for implementation.

In the first part we reviewed latest research in this field. We shall see some more developments in the field of health in light of the information provided under the articles in this series.

From the book: Mind over Medicine: Foreword By - Kris Carr New York Times best-selling author. (Author – Lissa Rankin, published 2013)

As technology and science continue to make remarkable advances, we have so much at our fingertips, advantages our ancestors never had. And yet, it’s common to experience heightened stress and anxiety. We feel separate, afraid, and alone. These feelings and more lead to tangible physical changes in the body. Contrary to what we previously believed, our genes are not fixed. The study of epigenetics proves that our genes are actually fluid, flexible, and highly influenced by our environment. External life- style triggers like nutrition, environment, exercise, positive or negative thoughts, and emotions literally affect your DNA.
About gratitude and appreciation, or belittlement and abuse? Change your thoughts, change your behaviors. Change your behaviors, change your biochemistry. As Lissa explains, our minds can make us sick and they can make us well. Our feelings and beliefs impact our every cell. She explains, using some of the latest scientific research.

Excerpts from book: 

“The peer-reviewed medical literature, where I sought scientific proof that you can heal yourself in journals like the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association”. Is there scientific data to support the seemingly miraculous stories of self-healing that float around?

There’s proof that you can radically alter your body’s physiology just by changing your mind. There’s also proof that you can make yourself sick when your mind thinks unhealthy thoughts. And it’s not just mental. It’s physiological. How does it happen? Un- healthy thoughts and feelings translate into disease and healthy thoughts and feelings help the body repair itself. One positive shift in your mental attitude can make you live ten years longer, one work habit can increase your risk of dying, and that a pleasurable activity you probably never linked to a healthy life can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer. These are just a few of the scientifically verifiable facts shared in this book.


Other findings in the latest research substantiate role of Mind in Health.

1 Happiness and Satisfaction Might Lead To Better Health.

2 Patients' perceptions of illness make a difference.

3 Sincerity Can Improve Our Health.

4 Mind with Purpose Preserves Brain Health.

5 Health-care providers are prescribing nontraditional medicine: Use of mind-body therapies on the rise.

6 From Bruce Lipton May 2015 Newsletter. On Medical profession and death.

1 Happiness and Satisfaction Might Lead To Better Health

Date: September 2, 2008. Source: Center for the Advancement of Health

It's the opposite of a vicious cycle: Healthy people might be happier, and a new study shows that people who are happy and satisfied with their lives might be healthier.

“Everything else being equal, if you are happy and satisfied with your life now, you are more likely to be healthy in the future. Importantly, our results are independent of several factors that impact on health, such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and age,” said lead author Mohammad Siahpush, Ph.D. Siahpush is a professor of health promotion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

“We found strong evidence that both happiness and life satisfaction have an effect on our indicators of health,” Siahpush said.

Paul Hershberger, Ph.D., a professor at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, said he found it interesting that the researchers were able to isolate happiness and life satisfaction out of all of the other factors that can influence future health. Hershberger was unaffiliated with the study.

Story Source: The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Center for the Advancement of Health.

2 Patients' perceptions of illness make a differenceJanuary 27, 2012, Association for Psychological Science

Whenever we fall ill, there are many different factors that come together to influence the course of our illness. Additional medical conditions, stress levels, and social support all have an impact on our health and well-being, especially when we are ill. But a new report suggests that what you think about your illness matters just as much, if not more, in determining your health outcomes.
In the February issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Keith Petrie, of the University of Auckland, and John Weinman, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, review the existing literature on patients' perceptions of illness. The authors find that people's illness perceptions bear a direct relationship to several important health outcomes, including their level of functioning and ability, utilization of health care, adherence to treatment plans laid out by health care professionals, and even overall mortality.
In fact, some research suggests that how a person views his illness may play a bigger role in determining his health outcomes than the actual severity of his disease.
The bottom line, says Petrie, is that "patients' perceptions of their illness guide their decisions about health."

3 Sincerity Can Improve Our Health. The Templeton Report, September 30, 2014

Telling the truth is good for your health, and conversely, lying can undermine it, studies in the science of honesty suggest. The work has been conducted by Anita Kelly and Lijuan Wang, professors at the University of Notre Dame, and is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

Reporting to the American Psychological Association, Kelly showed that a “sincerity group,” who told fewer lies over five weeks, described having fewer physical health complaints, such as sore throats, headaches, and nausea, than a control group. “Because the only difference between the two groups was the sincerity instructions, we can conclude that these instructions actually caused the health benefit,” Kelly writes in Psychology Today.

The research also implies that there seems to be an element of training oneself to be more honest. Those who take part in the studies report that there is no longer a need to exaggerate when describing their daily accomplishments. They may also sense they do not need to make excuses. “Being sincere is a process and you will get there with practice,” Kelly says. “And when you do, you will see that you are becoming more humble, more open to learning, and less sensitive to rejection.”

4 Mind with Purpose Preserves Brain Health, The power of purpose

To study the connection between purpose in life defined as having goals and objectives that give life meaning and direction, and brain health during aging researchers collected information on psychological well-being from 951 dementia-free older people. After seven years of annual tests, researchers found that compared with people who expressed no sense of purpose in life, participants who had a sense of purpose were:
  • 52% less likely to develop Alzheimer disease
  • 2 1/2 times more likely to remain free of dementia
  • 29% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, a diagnosis given to people whose brain function is below normal for age, but does not interfere with daily functioning
Purpose in life remained the most important predictor of healthy brain aging even after taking into account other things that affect brain health, such as gender, education level, depression, chronic medical conditions, and social network.

5 Health-care providers are prescribing nontraditional medicine: Use of mind-body therapies on the rise
May 11, 2011, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Prior research suggests that mind-body therapies, while used by millions of patients, is still on the fringe of mainstream medical care in America. New research suggests that attitudes are changing.
More than a third of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and that number continues to rise attributed mostly to increases in the use of mind-body therapies (MBT) like yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises.
In a study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School, researchers found that one in 30 Americans using MBT has been referred by a medical provider.
"There's good evidence to support using mind-body therapies clinically," said lead author Aditi Nerurkar, MD, Integrative Medicine Fellow, Harvard Medical School and BIDMC. "Still, we didn't expect to see provider referral rates that were quite so high." The results of the study appear in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Nerurkar and her colleagues collected information from more than 23,000 U.S. households from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. They found that nearly 3 percent (representing more than 6.3 million Americans) used MBT due to provider referral and that these Americans were sicker and used the health care system more than people who self-referred for MBT.
"What we learned suggests that providers are referring their patients for mind-body therapies as a last resort once conventional therapeutic options have failed. It makes us wonder whether referring patients for these therapies earlier in the treatment process could lead to less use of the health care system, and possibly, better outcomes for these patients," said Nerurkar.
6 From Bruce Lipton May 2015 Newsletter. Medical profession and death

Firstly, taking the truths of the medical profession as being equivalent to the “Word of God” is patently inappropriate considering that even the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article condemning the medical profession as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. (Barbara Starfield, JAMA. 2000;284(4):483-485,  Read article. While this conclusion was based on what the author described as “conservative estimates,” a more recent assessment using actual statistics completely contradicts that conclusion, for it reveals that conventional medicine is actually the leading cause of death in the States. (Gary Null et al, Death By Medicine 2003, Read article.

We observe from above several latest findings that due role of mind has to be given importance in the disease cure. That is what Swami Vijnananand has emphasized in his visionary writing way back in 1960s. While concluding we may say:

-         We located emotion as an immediate cause of disease in scientific terms.
-         What is the way out to avoid this abuse of emotions?
-         Obviously a non-emotional state of mind.
-         Which in simple words, mean a ‘truth-patterned’ behavior.

Recipropathy proves its hypothesis that there specifically exists a causal link between emotion and disease. And if there are some difficulties in actually observing the intermediate phenomena between emotion and disease that constitutes a limitation from which science itself suffers.

“Recipropathy provides an excellent frame-work. Details can be allowably replaced or altered by medical science. But let no one lose sight of the aspects, positive aspects brought about by Recipropathy. Experience, again and again, shows that Recipropathy is the only method which relieves the patient of his disease in the real sense. It radically, scientifically drives home the fact that health protection lies in supposing that desire for ease is disease, while real cure is the process of disease.”

(This blog concludes the series on Dis-Ease – Cure.)

Vijay R. Joshi.


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