This book gives readers an unprecedented insight into the common focus of all natural health approaches-the body's inner intelligence. It presents a comprehensive framework for understanding how nature's self-organizing intelligence emerges and how it can be harnessed for greater health and well-being.
The book shows how both modern science and the ancient Vedic science of India point to wholeness as an essential quality of existence. Based on this understanding, the text provides a model for moving beyond treatment approaches that focus primarily on symptoms of disease. In this model, the seed of disease is sown at the level where individual consciousness, mind and physiology emerge from "undifferentiated wholeness." If the self-organizing intelligence of the body becomes disconnected from its source of wholeness, the disease process begins.
The book goes on to introduce a wide range of therapeutic measures offered by the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health, to bring about healing with deep and lasting results. These therapies provide a unique way to understand and prevent chronic diseases, and to transform health care as we know it.
Dr. Sharma's career represents a synthesis of knowledge of Western medicine with the ancient Vedic knowledge expounded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. As Professor Emeritus in the Department of Pathology, College of Medicine and Public Health at the Ohio State University, Dr. Sharma is keenly aware of the crisis of health care in this country and the limitations of Western medicine. He brings his deep experience with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Approach to Health to illumine and resolve this crisis.
The field of medicine is undergoing dramatic changes that affect both our understanding of how disease originates and how it should be treated. The days of finding a cure for particular illness simply by locating the agent that gave rise to it are long gone. The causes of disease are clearly multidimensional-stress, lifestyle, diet, per-sonality factors, and genetic predisposition all interact with diseasecausing agents in the emergence of disease. This is especially the case for the modern day scourges-the chronic, degenerative diseases which afflict a large percentage of individuals who seek a physician's help. Of special importance in this development is the increased appreciation of the role that mind and emotions play in the development of disease. It has become abundantly clear that disease cannot be understood or treated in isolation from the overall context of the individual who is suffering from it.
The multidimensional concept of disease is of recent origin; as a con-sequence, its therapeutic implications have not yet found their way into standard medical practice. Certainly, the search for more comprehensive therapeutic approaches is on. Open-minded medical practitioners are in hot pursuit of healing modalities that address not only physiological, but also psychological and social factors. Health professionals are experimenting with support groups, stress management, imagery and visualization, biofeedback, hypnosis, and other healing modalities in an effort to reduce pain, relieve tension, or slow the progression of chronic or even terminal disease. Since many alternative, or complementary, treatments are inherently holistic and multidimensional, they have become a center of interest.
These trends occur against the backdrop of what many view as a seriously ailing system of medicine. High-tech diagnostic rnethods, sophisticated surgical procedures, and high-priced drugs have driven health care costs through the ceiling. The U.S. in 1993 spent almost 14 percent of the gross domestic product tin health care-about 2.5 billion dollars per day.' At the current rate of health expenditure growth, this number is projected to increase to 4.7 billion dollars per day by the year 2000.2 Yet, health outcomes have not improved in step with expenditures. Total mortality races for most diseases have remained unchanged for the last 30 years.‘The U.S. has greater infant mortality than most industrialized countries and ranks behind in life expectancy as well.' Despite the marvelous achievements of allopathic medicine in the treatment of acute trauma, critical care, and diagnostic technologies, successes in treating chronic degenerative diseases have been few and far between. A 1996 study showed that 90 million Americans had one or more chronic conditions in 1987, and over 45 percent of noninstitutionalized Americans had one or more chronic conditions.' The direct health care costs for this segment of the population accounted for three fourths of U.S. health care expenditures. Total costs for people with chronic conditions projected to 1990 was reported by the authors to be 659 billion dollars! Under the current medical system, physicians' best efforts at treating chronic illnesses often fall short of the mark, and in many instances worsen the patient's health status. Up to 40 percent of people undergoing medical care experience negative side effects from drugs.' Obviously, the allopathic system of health care has grave deficiencies which must be addressed. Americans have grown discontent with the course of this medical system. A 1988 survey showed that 89 percent of Americans interviewed want a change in both the direction and structure of the U.S. health care system."
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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