Friday, 5 June 2009

Ayuveda in my paper

The online version of my local paper carried a story today under the guise of its Lifestyle and Health section about a reporters experiences trying out some Ayurvedic "medicine". It seems at least to my equal parts horror or pleasure (horror that they paid to have this and pleasure that it was not a local reporter) that this story has been imported from the LA Times and/or Washington Post. Skimming over it immediately prompted me to leave a lengthy comment on the site which I will post below for your reading pleasure.

The article mentions that few "western" doctors espouse these types of healing methods due to lack of (or inability to conduct) scientific studies.

However, those in learned circles, or at least with a working knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and physics as well as a rational brain can clearly see that methods that have no basis in any scientific understanding of the body, such as the "doshas" (which cannot be shown to exist) have no point in being studied in clinical trials until there is a viable method for their mechanisms of action.

This is all very similar to the ideas (the four bodily humours) that science correctly discarded at the end of the middle ages as utter nonsense. Many feature of the Ayurveda and indeed traditional Chinese medicine are based on disproven ideas of how the body works.

And while more and more this sort of non-reality medicine creeps into the western (especial post-modern) philosophies, you find that in their native countries (in this case India - but it also applies to China) the locals are abandoning these methods for ones that actually work by methods other than relaxation and the placebo effects.

The statements about nutrition and the need to balance what you eat are not restricted to Ayurveda, and can be found just as readily in science-based medicine.

And as for food having energies - Yep it does... you might have heard of them they usually go by the name Calories.