Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Less is more – the Naturopathy way

When I quit my job about 8 years back, I realized, after 6 years of working, my accumulated savings were less than what I had paid as Income tax in these years. If you add to this the interest on the income tax and the indirect taxes, my savings might have been half. I felt bad about it. Really bad. Was I working to earn for our lousy government so that it can sue my hard earned money to build savings of ‘insiders’.
             Last 8 years have been very different. That ratio has changed significantly for better. Not by stealing taxes but by reducing my earnings and expenses. While I must admit, lot of it has been unplanned and unintentional; I feel better, lot better.
             Less money means one is less worried about property prices, stock market, bond prices, interest rates etc. That means a lot of worry free time that one can use for more enjoyable things. While I have been on this path by sheer luck, I know of several friends who have chosen this path after lot of deliberation. One recommended reading on the topic is ‘Subtraction’ by one of these friends.
             Ok. Enough of bhumika. This blog is about Naturopathy and I intend to explain its basic premise of “less is more” through an anecdote. Couple of years back, my then 3 year old son contracted conjunctivitis. He almost ignored it and by next day he was fine. Next was my wife’s turn. She tried some remedies but not too many and was fine by third day. And then it was me. I was very restless. Could not afford to waste my time just resting J  So, I tried several natural remedies and utilized free time to play games on computer, phone, and do whatever else possible. It took me full 5 days to recover.
             Naturopathy relies a lot on body’s ability to self correct and recover. We just try to help body in the process without obstructing its functioning. Key is to provide nutrition through easy to digest nutrient rich food (mostly raw fruits and vegetables), cut calories and provide physical and mental rest so that body can focus on making repairs. We try and aid this process through some treatments to improve blood circulation in affected areas or using external forces to do things that body might be finding difficult to do in its current weakened state.
Most of the time our patients insist on more treatments, thinking that would give them maximum bang for the buck. Sometimes we succumb to their arguments and recommend some ‘filler’ treatments. A clear observation is that patients who have a very hectic day at the center take longer to recover. Isn’t it obvious that to reach equilibrium or say to re-establish it, we need to do less. Intelligent doctors prescribe fewer medicines, not more. But mostly we try to bring the balance through active intervention. Suppressing that fever through a paracetamol, suppressing that infection through an antibiotic, suppressing that pain through a pain killer. Next time you get a fever just try taking the day off – resting and fasting. That is what my son does and perhaps most children would do if left to themselves. Hopefully, we’ll always have the courage to let him do it. Hopefully I’ll someday learn it from him J

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