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A Diagnostic Tool

Yoga is a useful tool in diagnosing many problems in clinical medicine. Yoga has its own logistics in this. Medicine, too, trains us to look for certain signs in the patient, both on the surface and internally. The investigations are correlated with the clinical diagnosis. Nowadays, bio-medical engineering has produced a vast array of diagnostic tools that are used for accurate and fast investigations. Unfortunately, we tend to rely more and more on them, often unnecessarily and expensively. Our innate skills and intelligence in diagnosis are being lost in the process. It is important that a right balance is maintained for, as an eminent doctor has put it: With all our varied instruments, useful as they are, nothing can replace the watchful eye, the alert ear, the tactful finger and the logical mind.

Yoga identifies diseases at the embryonic stage, several years before the symptoms become obvious. An easy example is the orthopaedic disorder of low back pain. Medicine has no method to predict who will suffer from this problem. Yoga analyses a person in terms of the ability to perform certain postures, and predicts the probability of the person suffering from low back pain in the future. It is difficult to understand this further unless one has practised yoga for many years. No doubt we medical professionals understand anatomy and physiology, but there is much more to be learnt. Yoga fixes different parameters to determine which body is a fertile breeding ground for ailments.

Another example is that of a person sitting in a chair, with the spine doubled up and with the rib cage compressed. Medical science does understand that such persons will suffer from back pain; but yoga states that because the heart and major blood vessels are compressed in such a posture, healthy and pure blood cannot flow into the muscles of the heart itself. Just as sitting in a chair for prolonged periods will reduce blood supply to the pressure points, the inner organs also suffer the same fate if the posture is incorrect, says yoga. Sure enough, all these can be proved by diagnostic tests.

Many such examples can be given. A blend of yoga and medicine is the best. Western medicine and its investigational facilities help diagnosis; treatment can be either by yoga or medicine or both, depending on the ailment.

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