Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Medicine

Is there ANY competent doctor in the world? I’d like to meet him.

Please note, at the outset, that I’m the firmest believer in critical thinking and science (including medical science, without any doubt).  However, I also know that doctors are NOT scientists, merely dispensers of knowledge that sits on the shelves of libraries, knowledge discovered by scientists through hard work and discovery, each discovery often costing many lifetimes of scientific brainpower, each discovery approaching the truth, but almost never reaching it.

I would have had nothing against doctors HAD they not insisted on using coercive powers of the state to pad their pockets. But I know them through and through by now, as people ONLY working for money, not above twisting the arms of taxpayers and governments to benefit themselves.

In my entire life I've not come across a A SINGLE COMPETENT DOCTOR (by competent I mean a doctor who knows what he/she is talking about; who knows his/her discipline thoroughly, and who is able to humbly explain the limits of his/her discipline).

Today, in my refrigerator is sitting $600 worth of medicine purchased from USA through the Australian government through special prescription. It is taking up a third of the volume of my fridge. A great nuisance. The question before me is: should I take this medicine?

The medicine, called Restasis, is approved by FDA, but works only in 15 per cent of the cases. “In a clinical trial involving 1,200 people, Restasis increased tear production in 15 percent of patients, compared with 5 percent of patients in the placebo group”. Now, this is not a trivial medicine. “Allergan's Restasis earned $620 million in 2010”. Assuming an average user spent $300 per year, this yields 2 million users. A lot of people are getting VERY RICH from something that barely works.

How did I get this medicine, and why am I not taking it?

Here’s the brief story. I’m going to take names this time, to make this story totally real. Many of these things are documented in more detail either on this blog or at I don't want to give people like Dr Yadu Singh the chance to say that I've been exceptionally unlucky to get doctors who don't know their subject. I CHALLENGE THE ENTIRE WORLD this time. Is there ANY competent doctor? I'd like to hear of (or from) one such doctor.

My eye pain symptoms (which started in October 2010) are so bad I can't describe them without writing an essay. Let me summarise them. Imagine someone (a) sqeezing your eyeballs, (b) grating them with a grater, (c) rubbing them with a sand paper, (d) burning them with a scalding iron, then you can get a sense of the peak pain that I’ve been having. On top of that, if you imagine nausea that makes standing up virtually impossible on many occasions, and a headache and splitting soreness that doesn’t go away whether you are awake or asleep – that’s more like what I’ve experienced on many days over the past 15 months.

There's nothing like this kind of MADDENING pain and irritation to focus your mind. Everything becomes irrelevant. This becomes the dominant thing in your life. You are ALWAYS conscious of SEVERE pain. Anyway, after struggling with the symptoms (and reading up a lot of relevant medical literature – by now I've read a truly massive amount of medical literature on the subject) ) I went to a doctor. 

Dr. Sam Assad, MBBS.

Dr Assad is a very nice person, and has been my personal general practitioner (GP) for years, now. But he totally failed to diagnose the problem. He suggested I apply metsal, a hot burn/cream meant for athletic sprains. He thought I had some tense eyelid muscles. 


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time, and medicine at my expense

I had occasion to see Sam Assad again on this matter (I think thrice).

Dr. Feng Yang, MBBS

Another nice doctor (GP) whom I visit periodically from work (he works in the city). Dr. Feng Yang thought I might have dry eyes and prescribed LidCare, an eyelid cleaning liquid. His recommendations did NOT work.


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time, and medicine at my expense

Dr. John Manolopolous, MD

Referred by Dr Feng Yang at my request (to give me a specialist recommendation in case his prescription did not work).  I made two visits to John. He diagnosed general inflammation. Prescribed a steroid, Flarex (which seemed to work a little bit for a while) but then said it can’t be taken for long, so he recommended non-prescription drops. They did not work at all.

On my second visit to him I asked whether I needed Restasis, and he specifically said "No", particularly because it uses material that is used in chemotherapy.


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time (relatively big money for his consultation charges), and medicines – that did not work – at my expense.

Dr. Maged Atalla, MD, Opthalmic and Oculoplastic Surgeon

Referred by Dr Sam Assad (after nothing above worked, and based on my own possible hypothesis). Said I had some inflammation but the medicines prescribed by John Manolopolous were WRONG. He gave me Acular. Recommended omega capsules. None of this worked. I did not bother to go back to him.


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time (this was big money), and medicine at my expense.

Dr. ?? at the Royal Eye and Ear Hospital Emergency

Don’t know this doctor’s name, but he was so careless he signed a prescription medicine on the back of a slip of a writing pad, and the pharmacy refused to honour that prescription. I had to go back to the hospital next day when another doctor finally gave a proper prescription. I was told I possibly have blephritis. Gave me Patanol.  That did not work, either. 


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time, and medicine at my expense.

Dr Dan Lee, MBBS

Said I don’t have blepharitis. Ordered tests to identify any allergic response, and gave medicines (e.g. Telfast, Rani, Flarex, and Patanol). Result: No improvement.


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time, tests, etc., Medicine at my expense.

Dr Laurie Sullivan, MD, renowned eye specialist

Said I have minor mebomian gland dysfunction. Gave me a scrub/ hot compress for the eye. No improvement.


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time (this was big money), and medicine at my expense.

Associate Professor Mark Roth, Melbourne University

Conducted tear osmolarity test and said I have moderate mebomian gland dysfunction. Ordered “computer glasses” at good cost. Ordered Restasis. Have only taken for four days. Paid over $1K. Started restasis in early February, but it increased pain so severely that I decided to show doctor/s in India first.


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time (this was big money), and medicine at my expense.

Dr Anthony Hall, MD and Associate Professor at Melbourne University

Declared that there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH my eyes. Said pain could arise from sinusitis. Conducted CT scan, no significant sinusitis detected. Some medicines taken.


Cost: Taxpayer of Australia (including me) for the doctor’s time (this was big money), and medicine at my expense. CT scan put me back a few hundred dollars.

Dr M. K. Gupta, MS (eye specialist) (Gurgaon)

When restasis was aggravating the burning, I decided to show a few Indian doctors while I was in India. Dr. Gupta I saw twice. He said I have mild meibominitis. He said clerarly, however, that for my kind of problem restasis should NOT be taken. He gave a few antibiotics and prescribed hot compress. No result.


Cost: Cost to me.

Dr. J.S. Chilana, MS (eye specialist) (Delhi)

Showed him but his view was that I have nothing wrong with the eyes. Recommended omega capsules.


Cost: Cost to me

(Dr.) Yogesh Mittal BAMS (Ayurveda) (Delhi)

He had no instruments to test the eyes, but recommended aloe vera juice and triphla capsules. In my view, after experimentation (and consistent with my other experiments with aloe vera), this seems to have been pivotal in slightly reducing the symptoms. I am literally guzzling down aloe vera juice these days.


Cost: Cost to me

In addition, I've been consulting, over email, with a eye specialist friend from Guwahati. Won't give his name since he has not had the opportunity to diagnose me.

What's my point?

I have been left to my own resources in terms of taking restasis. Two doctors say I should take it (one of them includes my Guwahati doctor friend), two say I shouldn't. The FDA says it works in 15 per cent of the cases. It costs $600 ($100 [per month], needs to be taken for one's entire life, and hurts like hell.

So if the patient must finally decide, why give doctors such huge monopoly powers?

Second, and more importantly in my case, is there ANY competent doctor in this world? I've been forced to read and experiment myself. And to get antibiotics from India (btw, these didn't work either). Ultimately, it is clear that I'm ENTIRELY on my own on this matter.

If so, what's the point of the TOTALLY UNACCOUNTABLE medical profession that TAKES THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM TAXPAYERS AND PATIENTS and provides NOTHING in return?

And then has the temerity and impudence to attack "alternative" medicine.

The whole thing is a hoax. So little do we know about the human body. Why pretend to know more than you actually know?

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The MASSIVE failure of “modern” medicine explains the market for alternative medicine

I FIRMLY oppose "alternative medicine" which is founded on the placebo effect, not on genuine science. I agree that if the placebo effect is controlled for, then all the following "therapies" are likely to be found to be ineffective:

  • homeopathy
  • acupuncture
  • reiki, etc. etc.

However, I also (STRONGLY) oppose is any attempt to regulate the "medicine" market by governmental "experts". 

Everytime a person of the stature of Steve Jobs delays his "treatment" because he tries out alternative methods, there is an outcry among "experts" to ban these alternatives, or at least to regulate them.

But if a government steps in as a gatekeeper it MUST be a guarantor, as well. Else, if the medicine controlled by government is no better than placebo, either, then all we've done is to provide a rich monopoly to a set of self-declared "experts" who merrily make PILES OF MONEY from their monopoly powers, at the expense of the poor citizen, who is no better off in any real sense from these regulatory controls.

We need to be VERY CAREFUL before we hand over our powers of choice to governments. Any such power is a severe intrusion on liberty. That's a very serious matter. The "cure" (regulation by government) is likely to be FAR WORSE (restriction on liberty) than the problem itself.

Note that people are not fools. They KNOW that things like homoepathy are untested and do not work. But they STILL use these alternatives.


The reason is twofold:

a) "Standard" medicine has a failure rate of well over 80 per cent (I think around 95 per cent). I say this from experience. First, doctors fail to diagnose at all. Second, if they do diagnose, they diagnose wrongly. And if they do diagnose correctly, they prescribe wrongly. They are also beholden to large drug companies, and are essentially bought out by big business. WE ALL KNOW THAT. In other words, modern "medicine" is often an extremely EXPENSIVE FRAUD. And worse, most "standard" drugs are not just worse than placebos, they often have very dangerous side-effects.

b) On the other hand, there ARE cases where alternative medicine works. It works not just on the placebo effect. It works also, at times, on the REAL effect it has on the human brain. Alternative medicine sometimes taps into the hitherto unimaginable concept of re-wiring of the human brain. This is a REAL effect, having been confirmed after extensive neurological studies which have found amazing plasticity of the human brain. 

Everyone knows that modern medicine is literally INCAPABLE of diagnosing, let along curing chronic pain:

"by some estimates, 20 per cent of cases fit this criterion – but the "mystery" pain persists in an unrelenting form. Then the cycle continues: painkillers, depression and frustration at not being able to function normally or talk about the suffering with family and friends, whose sympathy has often worn thin. Some are sidelined by their employers – if they're able to continue work at all. Some may even consider suicide." [The champion cyclist, her mysterious excruciating pain and her unconventional road to recovery, The Australian, Christine Jackman, March 24, 2012]

My experience with chronic pain is a case in point:

RSI. The levels of pain and burning in the upper body/arms/hands were unbelievably high, yet all modern "tests" (MRIs and this and that – you name it!) failed to detect any problem. The fact that I squandered nearly $5,000 in useless payments to doctors before finally finding the cure (which cost me another at least $10,000), rankles more for the fact that these people continued with their arrogant approaches, without realising that they are TOTALLY IGNORANT about pain. In my case the causes were PURELY PHYSICAL. The solution has been purely physical.

But it is not necessary that the solution in all such cases of chronic pain be physical. It can often involve REWIRING the brain. For some very powerful examples, see Ramachandran's Tell Tale Brain. But also read what Professor Lorimer Moseley – a renowned expert and author on the phenomenon of pain – has to say about the power of the brain to re-wire itself: 

Patients, Moseley says, surprise him all the time. Like the woman with a 25-year history of debilitating lower back pain who turned up at his clinic a few years ago. He conducted a two-hour examination, explaining that her pain was unlikely to be originating in her back but that her brain was playing a "pain tune" of its own. The following week she arrived for her next session. "She looked like a different person," he recalls. "And she just announced, 'Well, my pain's gone.'?" Moseley allowed himself a moment of smugness: another satisfied customer. But then she continued: "After I came to see you last week, I had an appointment with my sister's psychic. It took me six months to get in to see her and she was brilliant."

The patient told Moseley the psychic had discerned things about her that "she couldn't possibly have known". And then, as she was walking out the door at the end of the session, the psychic had pulled her aside. "She said, 'Oh, by the way, there is nothing wrong with your back.' And it has been fine ever since!" Moseley's team followed the woman's progress for the next 13 months; she never regressed, happily reporting that she remained pain-free and active.

Moseley shakes his head in wonder for a moment and I ask if experiences such as this make him doubt his own theoretical framework or practical approach. "Oh no, not at all," he cries, breaking out of the reverie with customary ebullience. "I mean, if that isn't evidence of the power of the brain, I don't know what is." [Source]

Strengths and limitations of modern medicine

The reality is that modern medicine understands OBVIOUS defects in the human anatomy, and doctors, based on such information, can generally conduct surgeries fairly well, around 80 per cent of the time. They can sew wounds, for instance, and undertake other feats of manual dexterity.

Modern medicine understands a few other things FAIRLY well (around 40 per cent of the time), things like (a) ameoba, (b) bacteria, and (c) virusus.

Modern medicine also understands a few things a LITTLE better than pure placebo, things like (a) cancer, (b) chronic heart diseases or diabetes.

But modern medicine does NOT understand most complex matters such as the effect of nutrition on health, or complex disorders like RSI, dry eye/eye strain. ZERO PER CENT UNDERSTANDING. Its performance is NOT better than most alternative medicine on such matters. Indeed, "modern" doctors provide FAR LESS RELIEF in such cases than alternative options. 


We hate parting with our money, regardless of the recipient.

We don't like giving our money to YOU, doctors, equally as we dislike giving it to alternative practioners. We like to keep our money in our OWN pocket. Not in others' pockets.

People pay for alternative medicine because IT ACTUALLY PERFORMS BETTER THAN MODERN MEDICINE on most complex matters. At least to the level of the placebo effect. Modern medicine doesn't even do that.

The transfer of MONEY is the PEOPLE (the market) speaking. And the market is ALWAYS RIGHT. It is the voice of the people.

This is the bitter truth that modern medicine is UNWILLING to accept. That it is actually a TOTAL FAILURE on most chronic/complex issues, but keeps pretending that has solutions. It doesn't. And WE the people know it.

I strongly oppose attempts to give doctors and pharmacists monopoly rights over our lives.

Let them first become SO CONFIDENT about their diagnosis, that they will give 5 year warranties or our money back. If they can't give warranties for their diagnosis/cure, then they are NO BETTER than quacks, and let people decide whom they'll pay their hard earned money.

I GO TO DOCTORS VERY RELUCTANTLY now-a-days. I prefer to read the medical literature myself and understand the complexity involved, and prefer to use doctors as technicians to conduct various tests that I need. 

I am a SCIENTIST and appreciate the SCIENCE of our body and brain.

But I know that medical science is floundering in the midst of deep ignorance. No medical scientist knows virtually ANYTHING about his area of specialisation. All are stuck in uncertainties, confusions; unable to pierce the truth about our enormously complex body. Nothing about our body is simple.

Doctors, however, like the PRETENCE OF KNOWLEDGE. As if they know something. They don't!! Their incompetence is so chronic and universal that modern medicine deserves to be rightly classified along with quackery – in most cases.

Let me say this bluntly to "doctors": DON'T TAKE ME FOR A FOOL WHOM YOU CAN LOOT.

If you can GUARANTEE your purported diagnosis and cure, then you'll get my money gladly. But if you can't guarantee your cure but still want my money then I am unable to distinguish you from ANY ROBBER, and I'll oppose tooth and nail your attempts to loot my hard earned money through coercive government monopoly.

Whether I spend my hard earned money on a homeopath who doesn't guarantee a cure, or whether I spend it on you (who also don't guarantee any cure), is MY CHOICE AND MY LIBERTY. Stay out of my body.


Let me choose.

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The medical profession is in shambles. A farce.

By now I've begun to believe that the medical profession is a FARCE – or almost a farce, anyway.

Eye specialists, please read this ACADEMIC REPORT to update your knowledge about dry eyes.

Very little sign that doctors are capable of thinking. The more I meet "doctors" and "specialists", the less I now care for ANYTHING THEY SAY. How can we protect ourselves from IGNORANT doctors (and "economists")? That's the great challenge facing mankind.

What's the point of having "doctors" if every time I have a problem I am forced to figure out the solution myself?

If simple things are involved these people can generally solve the problem – although that is not something we can take for granted. The other day I read that a World Bank study by Das and Hammer found that more than half the treatments suggested by government doctors were likely to make patients worse, not better. [Source]

Well, I'm convinced that this is not just applicable in India or to government doctors. It is a WORLDWIDE phenomenon. More than half the doctors in the West are bumbling nitwits who will generally worsen your problem through their ignorance.

*  * *

Yes, I know that a lot of my friends are doctors so they'll probably object to my strong language. But when the doctor fraternity has PRIMARILY GIVEN ME PAIN – or little relief from pain – and I have been forced to find out solutions to my problems myself (after undertaking significant research and experimentation), then I don't feel much sympathy towards doctors.

I won't go into my the RSI issue. That was super painful, very difficult. And after being bumped around like a tennis ball from one "specialist" to another – each of them without ANY CLUE about the problem – I was forced to find out the solution on my own. For the past many years now my solution (yes, MY solution) is still the world's No.1 remedy for RSI on google (type in "rsi cure" to check for yourself; also join this FB group to find out how I'm helping others resolve their RSI problem).

But my RSI problem has been NOTHING compared with the SEVERE eye problem I developed last October.

Doctors and a specialist then did the usual rigmarole: giving me UTTERLY USELESS "remedies" and sending me on a wild-goose chase. I was forced – once again – to find out the solution myself.

Each of the "solutions" I initially found was imperfect. It is only now – after suffering this ghastly problem for nearly one year and after trying out all kinds of things (self-directed, self-discovered), and continuing to read ENORMOUS amounts of academic literature including journal articles (and watching tens of Youtube movies) – that have I finally figured out the basic cause of my eye problem and HENCE finalised the solution.

My earlier efforts to solve this problem were in the right direction but were not the FINAL solution since they did not identify the cause properly. It is so crucial to know the correct cause.

This time the story fits. Everything fits. The jigsaw has been solved. 

*  *  *

The eye specialist I went to laughed off my eye pain, saying that it should go away if go for a walk. This "specialist" didn't know the basic fact that ALL eye doctors should know like the back of their hand – that the cornea of the eye is SUPER-SATURATED WITH NERVES. It is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. My cornea was HURTING and making my entire head hurt badly. And this fool was fobbing me off.

I asked this "specialist" to analyse the cause and undertake relevant tests. I even suggested the names of the tests. He tried to fool me, saying that regardless of the cause there is only one solution: anti-inflammatory eye drops. A crass idiot!

The truth is that there are MANY different causes of eye pain and each cause has a different remedy.

What I have found by now is that I have (or had, till I found the cure) an EVAPORATIVE dry eye problem. This problem occurs when when the OIL layer of the tears is insufficient, which makes tears dry off quickly. 

When the tears dry off the result is ASTONISHINGLY PAINFUL. Why? Because RAW NERVES in the nerve-rich cornea get exposed to the air. That sends horrendous pain signals to the brain. Only when asleep does the pain switch off.

This "specialist" was making light of my pain, suggesting that it wasn't even necessary to conduct a test. This FOOL "knew" everything without applying his mind.

Had there been a deficiency in the watery layer I would have needed punctal plugs. Had there been a deficiency in the quality of the oil layer I would have needed nutritional supplements.

But my problem was LACK OF SUPPLY of the oil layer. That's what I know now. It had NOTHING (or almost nothing) to do with "inflammation".

To cut the long story short I found the cure on my own last weekend. I had to be like Sherlock Holmes. Each piece of the jigsaw came together. Then I knew I had the answer.

My earlier "solutions" (manuka honey and aloe vera) worked for a while because they were in the right direction. But they were not the complete cure.

The complete cure is now available here.

Only, I'm afraid that by now my eye glands might have got permanently damaged due to the significant delay in finding the cause (hence the cure).

Had the "eye specialist" conducted proper tests AND USED HIS HEAD he would have quickly identified the cause of my pain – as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. But he did not bother to use his HEAD. He was applying LAZY thinking, PREJUDICE. He assumed he knew my problem. He gave me a general-purpose eye steriod

This past one year has been sheer hell. It is difficult to describe what life feels like when one's head is CONSTANTLY swimming in pain. It is tragic that "SPECIALISTS" don't care to investigate such problems carefully even when the solution is actually quite simple.


I recommend that you treat "specialists" like mental deficients, retards.

First find out in advance from Mr. Google (spend a lot of time acquiring knowledge) about your problem. That way when you meet the doctor tell him or her EXACTLY what you want him to do. Don't let the "doctor" dictate the conversation. TELL HIM what to do.

Also, ASK question to check whether the "specialist" knows anything. Most likely he/she has forgotten everything he/she learnt in medical school, and has not read a SINGLE WORD since then.

If you rely on "specialists" you are doomed.

So START THINKING for yourself.

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Let’s merge Ayurveda and Unani medicine with general medicine

One of the obvious give-aways of the mental stagnation of at least some Hindus and Muslims is the continuing practice of outdated ayurvedic and unani medicine.

Looking back historically, western medicine was in a total mess till around 1600 AD: basically it was not better than witchcraft. Prior to that the only scientific systems known to mankind (after the Greek period) were the Indian ayurvedic system and, later, Islamic unani medicine. Both used a primitive form of the inductive method. (The Chinese also had a 'comparably robust' system).

But things changed. From roughly the time of Roger Bacon, Francis Bacon and William Harvey (I'm picking very selectively, and over a broad period), the Western mind shifted gears and became a questioning mind. Today in the West, nothing known in the past is held to be sacrosanct. Everything is up for serious interrogation and harsh scrutiny till the truth is finally "squeezed out", small bits at a time.

Ancient medicine had two fundamental shortcomings. It lacked rigorous instruments to test hypotheses, and statistics and research methods did not exist. Ninety per cent of the "knowledge" was GUESSWORK. Through guesswork, however, these ancient systems did find out some useful things and managed to slowly increase human longevity. Some of the things they discovered have stood the test of time (but these are very few): for instance, I find that putting castor oil (an Ayurvedic cure) in the eye at night provides at least some relief for my eyestrain problem.

But when instruments of modern science now exist, and statistical methods are available to distinguish genuine from spurious causes, why then do we still have practitioners of these outdated systems? Isn't it time to make it obligatory for "followers" of these systems to scientifically prove the claims they make? We must ONLY ADMIT THE TRUTH: all falsehoods should be rejected.  

Between 1400-1750, approximately, the rules of the human game changed. The new rules FORCE US TO THINK. They force us to find out the truth.Till these rules came in, 95% of what we thought we "knew" was FALSE. Today about half of what we know is still false. The key, therefore, is to question the theories underpinning these systems. Consider the Unani medicine theory (taken from this website):

The humoral theory presupposes the presence of four humors-Dam (blood), Balgham (phlegm), Safra (yellow bile) and Sauda (black bile)- in the body. The temperaments of persons are expressed by the words sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic according to the preponderance in them of the respective humors blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. The humors themselves are assigned temperaments: blood is hot and moist, phlegm cold and moist, yellow bile hot and dry, and black bile cold and dry.

Every person is supposed to have a unique humoral constitution which represents his healthy state. And to maintain the correct humoral balance there is a power of self-preservation or adjustment called Quwwat-e-Mudabbira (medicatrix naturae) in the body. If this powder weakens, imbalance in the humoral composition is bound to occur. And this causes disease. In Unani Medicine, great reliance is placed in this power.

The medicines used in this system, in fact, help the body to regain this power to an optimum level and thereby restore humoral balance, thus retaining health. Also, correct diet and digestion are considered to maintain humoral balance.

Or consider the theory of ayurveda (taken from here):

All matter (including the body) is composed of 5 elements which are the building blocks of existence. Living matter has three forces comprised of these 5 elements which govern all psychophysiological processes. These three forces are called doshas.

The term dosha means 'that which causes things to decay', reflecting the fact that when out of balance (with our constitutional nature or our environment), the doshas are the causative forces in the disease process. The names of the doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The doshas are the 3 primary energetic principles which regulate every physiological and psychological process in the bodymind. A harmonious state of the 3 doshas creates balance in the body, mind, and emotions, ~homeostasis~ and is the foundation of good health. Any longstanding imbalance in the doshas manifests as disease.

Vata means 'that which moves things'; it is sometimes translated as wind. Vata is comprised of primarily air with ether being a secondary element. It is the moving force behind the other 2 doshas, which are considered incapable of movement without it. It is responsible for all of the body's activities and sensations. It is responsible for the movement of air in and out of the lungs, blood through the circulatory system, and thoughts through the mind. It promotes mental balance and comprehension.

Pitta means 'that which digests things'. It is primarily fire with water as a secondary element. It is responsible for all chemical and metabolic transformations in the body, as well as for heat production. It also governs our ability to digest ideas and impressions and to perceive the nature of reality. It stimulates the intellect and kindles the capacity for enthusiasm.

Kapha provides support and substance to the body. It comes from a word which means that which holds things together. It's primary element is water with earth as a secondary element. It gives strength and stability, both physical and psychological, and governs human emotions such as love, compassion, forgiveness, loyalty and patience. Kapha can bestow resistance against disease and can support the healing process. Where Vata and Pitta effects are active on the body, Kapha acts to restrict these 2 forces and prevent their excessive manifestation.

Together the 3 doshas govern all the activities of life: catabolism, (vata), metabolism (pitta), and anabolism (kapha). When vata is excessive, there will be therefore excess catabolism, resulting in a breakdown or deterioration of the body's natural defenses. Excess pitta dosha results in disturbances of metabolism and heat production including infection. Increases in kapha dosha results in increased tissue growth and weight gain.

Another fundamental idea in Ayurveda is that of ama. Ama is the result of all undigested foods (and experiences; even thoughts!). It begins (usually in the mind, then) to accumulate in the GI tract, then overflows into other channels in the body such as blood vessels, capillaries, and lymphatics where it can cause obstruction. In addition to grossly physical effects on the body, ama also has subtler consequences on the vital energies, mental clarity, and emotions. If allowed to remain, it eventually becomes toxic and accumulates in tissues of the body where an individual has a predilection for disease. As a consequence a disease condition manifests and we give it a name: Arthritis, high blood pressure, gallstone, bronchitis, cancer, depression etc.

Disease manifests as the result of excess accumulation of any of the 3 doshas or ama. Pancha karma is the therapeutic means by which excess doshas and ama are eliminated from the physiology.

We should design rigorous experiments to test these (and similar) theories. Personally speaking, I am 100% CERTAIN that these theories will be rejected. But if I turn out to be wrong and if these theories are indeed found to hold true, then they should be incorporated into mainstream medicine. Either way, let us liberate the human mind and find the truth!

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