If anyone in the last decades has had a major impact in the holistic medicine it must be Dr Deepak Chopra.
Born and raised in India, he had his medical education in the Unites States. It was after a personal meeting with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that he was persuaded to study the 4000-year-old traditional Indian Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is Sanskrit for the ‘the science of life’. After his meeting with the Maharishi he went to take the train where he met a friend who handed him a book about Ayurveda.
One and one makes two and Deepak knew there was a message here.
After reading the book, he became convinced that there was more to Ayurveda than commonly believed in the West. Dr Chopra had become frustrated in his medical career because he could do so little for his cancer patients.
A patient of Deepak’s diagnosed with lung cancer got medical advice to quit smoking and the man replied:
‘Thank you doctor, my mother in law can give me that advice, but she doesn’t charge me 50 bucks!’
In his book ‘Quantum Healing, exploring the frontiers of mind/body medicine’, Doctor Chopra explains the relation between quantum physics and Ayurveda.
Ayurveda teaches that all is spirit and that also the body is created by the mind. In this respect the mind must have all the power to heal the body. Notice that there is no ‘hard problem’ to be solved in Ayurveda, there simply is no bridge to cross between the immaterial and the material world since there is no duality in mind and body.
According to Deepak Chopra our deepest thoughts and feelings play a significant role in the healing of a patient. This has been seriously underestimated in western medical practices. The body is constantly recycling every atom in every cell. In a year’s time the body is completely renewed and every atom in every cell has been replaced.
Then what exactly is it that keeps that tumor in its place if the whole body is rebuilt every year?
Deepak explains that the blueprint for the physical body is the subtler quantum body. Diseases appear in this quantum body before they manifest in the physical body. As long as the disease is not removed from the quantum body, the blueprint, the body will continuously reconstruct the body along with the tumor.
According to Deepak the mind has the capability to produce every drug that Hoffman La Roche sells only at no expense, in the purest form and in the perfect dose.
The ability of the mind to heal the body may explain the well know placebo effect, the effect whereby a patients is cured by his own suggestion since he has been administered only a dummy. The ability of the mind to heal the body could also be at cause in the miraculous spontaneous remissions of cancer that have been reported so often in the medical files but for which there is no medical explanation.
The nocebo effect is the opposite effect of the placebo effect; it is the negative effect that the doctors’ diagnoses have on the cure of their patient.
Therefore the doctor-patient relation is of a crucial importance in the healing process. It is a western ethical code that the patient has the right to know his medical condition in all cases, however the drawback is that when a doctor straightforwardly gives a patient the diagnosis ‘you have an incurable cancer sir’, he has actually given his patient the death sentence.
The diagnosis ‘incurable’ kills the patient’s last hope for a cure and along with it his mental abilities to heal himself, besides that he will probably have a mental shock as well.
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Deepak Copra is a New York Times Best Selling author, Founder of the Chopra Foundation and a Gallup Senior Scientist. He has written more than 50 books. Time magazine heralds him as one of the top 100 heroes of the century.