Friday, May 18, 2018

National Commission of Homeopathy to replace the existing Central Council of Homoeopathy

The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to replace the existing Central Council of Homoeopathy with a National Commission of Homeopathy to regulate and standardize homeopathy education and treatment in the country, as reported in the TOI, May 16, 2018. The ordinance is yet to receive the approval of the President.

Along the lines of the National Medical Commission, the National Commission of Homeopathy will include seven eminent homeopaths and administrators (VCs) nominated by the government. A bill to back up the executive order is proposed to come up in the Monsoon session of Parliament.

The Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Ayush. It was established in 1973 by the government as the apex body to regulate homeopathy education in India. Any institution desiring to grant a qualification in homeopathy is required to apply to the Council, which prescribes course curriculum and maintains central registers of homoeopaths.

The Niti Aayog had proposed to replace CCH with the National Commission of Homeopathy in its draft National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2017. It has also proposed replacing the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) with the National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine covering Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Sowa-Rigpa, Yoga and Naturopathy in its draft National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine (NCISM) Bill, 2017.

CCIM is also a statutory body under Ministry of Ayush. It was set up in 1971 under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act to monitor higher education in Indian systems of medicine including Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani.

In March this year, the Union Cabinet approved the amendments to National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill as recommended by the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DRPSC). The National Medical Commission Bill, if enacted will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) and will be the regulatory body for medical education and practice in the country.

Will this trend be followed for other councils?

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Non-violent vs violent communication

Most of us engage in violent communication every day and this is one of the main reasons for any conflict.

A violent communication can be in thoughts, action, speech or writings. It is based on judgment and not observations and finds fault with others. The components of a violent speech are Condemnation, Complaint and Criticism (3Cs). Hostility, aggression, anger can be called violent communication.

A non-violent communication, on the other hand, is either based on observations or on individual opinions. These observations or opinions are always written or spoken as quote-unquote.

Gossip is a way of violent communication and is common cause of misunderstanding between people and relational harmony. It is a stress-related risk factor for heart diseases. The three main characteristics of gossip are:

·         One talks about others.
·         The talk is in their absence.
·         It is invariably without source.

This means talking about somebody in their absence, without verifying the facts. Gossiping always distorts the message. A typical example of this is the game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ where each person whispers a message to the other in a large circle and when the last player speaks the message aloud, it is quite different from the original message - it is totally distorted.

Gossip should therefore be avoided as it invariably reaches to the person whom you are criticizing, condemning or complaining about and creates misunderstanding or controversy

One should practice non-violent way of living, especially non-violent communication.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hospitals should not insist upon patients to buy disposables and drugs only from their pharmacy: PIL

Dr KK Aggarwal and Ira Gupta

A PIL bearing Writ Petition (Civil) No. 337/2018 titled as "Siddharth Dalmia & Anr. versus Union of India & Others" has been filed and the same was listed for hearing on 14.05.2018 before the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. 

The said PIL seeks Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, banning the Hospitals from compelling and forcing the patients and their attendants to mandatorily purchase medicines, medical devices and implants, and medical consumables from the Hospitals or hospital pharmacies only, and further declare and direct that the patients and their attendants shall be free and have the choice to purchase medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from the vendor of their choice and the Hospitals cannot compel the patients their attendants to buy medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from Hospitals or hospital pharmacy, and give appropriate directions to the Respondents ban the above malpractices and protect the interests of the buyers of the medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables.

Also, the PIL seeks  Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, directing the Respondents to ensure that appropriate notice boards are put at appropriate and prominent places in the Hospitals and the hospital pharmacies that the patients and their attendants are free and have the choice to purchase medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from the vendor of their choice including the hospital pharmacy

A Bench of Hon'ble Mr. Justices SA Bobde and Hon'ble Mr. Justice L Nageswara Rao which heard the matter on 14.05.2018 has been pleased to issue notice to the Central and State governments.
The case of the petitioners is that Hospitals and hospital pharmacies compel and force the patients to buy medicines from Hospitals and hospital pharmacies at MRP, or manipulated and artificially inflated prices leading to looting and profiteering at the cost of human life and suffering, when the medicines are available at lesser and heavily discounted prices in the open market from medical shops, retailers, dealers and distributors duly licensed and regulated by the Drug Control Department of state and central governments, by taking advantage of the ignorance,  plight and adverse circumstances of the patients in the Hospitals all over India, and the Respondents despite knowing all these malpractices adopted by the Hospitals, have shut their eyes and totally ignored the interest and well-being of the patients, which they are bound to protect as the hospitals over which the Respondents have complete power and authority, and these acts of financial malpractices by the hospitals all over India are against the humans, humanity, morality and the right of the citizens of Indian to live a dignified and respectable life, and die in a dignified and peaceful way as mandated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Also, it is obligatory on the Respondents to provide best and affordable health care to the citizens of India, and such practices by the Hospitals, who are under the immediate control of the Respondents are against morality, public health, right to live a dignified and healthy life and public interest. And  there is no law or policy framework to prevent this misuse, fleecing and looting by Hospitals, and the Respondents have left the people of India in the unscrupulous hands and the regressive regime of Hospitals. 

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spiritual Prescriptions: Synchronicity or Meaningful Coincidences

We all have experienced coincidences that hold some special meaning or significance, and appear to defy the laws of probability. We tend to ignore them as something amusing or insignificant. If you bump into someone you haven’t met for a long time, then it is advisable to stop and talk to him or her. Remain aware of a message from the universe that they might be carrying for you. Follow the coincidence through, and you’ll be amazed to find where it takes you.

These coincidences have been termed as “Synchronicity” or simply as “coming together of seemingly unrelated events”.

Carl Gustav Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst said, “We talk about synchronicity when two or more seemingly ‘pure chance’ events coincide to form a connection that has a special meaning for the perceiver.  Heraclitus put it as, “The unseen design of things is more harmonious than the seen.” 

Deepak Chopra calls ‘Synchro Destiny’ as the inherent Power of Meaningful Coincidence (present in everyone) to manifest ‘Abundance’ in one’s Life. ‘Abundance’ may include material wealth, emotional well-being, spiritual fulfillment, ability to fully experience love and compassion, and feel the joy and being able to spread it to others. 

Synchronicity or meaningful coincidences can be explained by quantum physics.

Matter can be sequentially broken into atoms and then to subatomic particles (protons, electrons and neutrons), photons, quantum and wave. A photon is both a wave and a particle at the same time (wave particle duality). When two photons particles interact or become ‘entangled’ and then separate, they are connected at a speed much faster than the speed of light and act similar even when separated by huge distances. In this entangled state, the two photons (or quantum bits – qubits) share an existence or characteristics (quantum information measured as quantumbits ‘qubits’) and are interdependent. When one is altered in any way, the other too is altered even at a distance. Einstein called this connection as “spooky action at a distance” as according to him this was impossible. This phenomenon answers many of the mysteries of consciousness because at the level of photon, we are connected to everybody in the universe.

Synchrodestiny occurs when wave and wave meet or both the sender and receiver are in a parasympathetic state of mind. In such a situation, the receiver will catch the signals; the two are likely to get connected and have a dialogue. It is this connection, which we call coincidence.

To understand the genesis at Synchro-Destiny, one needs to know that that our lives are truly connected at every moment to the creative power of the universe (called ‘Brahman’ in Vedas). These connections require acquiring a state described in Vedic description as ‘Ritam bhara pragya’ [Ritam (rhythm), Bhara (full of), Pragya (mind), or in other words “a mind full of rhythm”]. It represents that state of mind where the thought waves are synchronous with the order of the universe and where the microcosm and macrocosm are in coherence with each other.

Consciousness or the ‘soul’ is the silent state of mind with full powers. These powers are hidden under the smoke of mind, intellect and ego which is controlled by the software of action, memory and desires. The interface between the two layers, the disturbed and the undisturbed state of consciousness, is what the “ritam bhara pragya” is. Once you cross into this state, the intentions becomes powerful and one start experiencing spontaneous fulfillment of desires.

In Vedas, this term is loosely translated as “a state where only truth is known”. It is said that if one can be conscious in this state, a desire can be manifested as it is right at the level of manifestation onto the physical plane. This is also the level where one experiences the Siddhis or super normal powers as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.

Deepak Chopra in his latest book on this subject describes seven key principles for mastering Synchro-Destiny.

  • The existence of the conscious energy field: It indicates the presence of an underlying intelligence within and outside the body. The whole universe can be called as an extended part of our body. (Sri Ramanuja, the proponent of qualified dualism). When one lives one’s life with an appreciation of coincidences and their meanings, one has connected to the underlying field of infinite possibilities.
  • Creating cosmic connections: Creating Cosmic Connections means creating a human environment in which Synchro-Destiny can take place. In mastering Synchro-Destiny, the ability to create positive human relationships is much more than a tactic or a manipulative necessity, and is rather very fundamental to life, in the same way as ‘gravity’ or ‘having air to breathe’ is fundamental.
  • Mastering inner dialogue: Controlling the disturbed state of consciousness.
  • The art of penetrating the conspiracy of improbabilities: It means learning to recognize meaningful coincidences and to see them as opportunities rather than just little breaks in your daily routine (synchronistic moments).
  • Harnessing emotional turbulence: Once we understand that the universe really is our extended body, it becomes very clear that negative energy within ourselves is very self-destructive. Emotional Turbulence is a major barrier to the spontaneous fulfillment of desire. Transforming negative energy into a higher level of awareness is the fifth principle of mastering Synchro-Destiny.
  • Learning to use the infinite organizing power of intention: Understanding that beyond known forces like gravity or electromagnetism that control the universe, there is a strong internal thought force called ‘intention’.
  • Celebrating the Cosmic Dance: When you have mastered Synchro-Destiny, and have learned to synchronize your life with the universe itself, you are Celebrating the Cosmic Dance.

Once you follow these principles, the following transformations take place.

o    You see the world as an extension of your inner self, as part of the bigger biosphere.
o    Through relationships you learn about your non-local self (spiritual, soulful self) and the higher realm that connects us.
o    You become aware of when your thoughts are coming from the spirit and when they are coming from the ego.
o    You understand the power of intention and how it works.
o    You let go of the grievances and resentment which overshadow your spiritual self.
o    You value both the masculine and feminine aspects of your being.
o    You start appreciating the wonders of the universe and stay alert to coincidences. 

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

Monday, May 14, 2018

MCI expands the definition of ragging in its amended anti-ragging regulations

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has amended its anti-ragging regulations vide a notification No. MCI-34(1)/2017-Med./182799 dated 28th March this year - Medical Council of India (Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges/Institutions) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 - by adding the following in Clause 3 under the heading “Definitions:- for the purpose of these Regulations”, the following shall be added after first para of sub-clause 3.3.

“Any act of physical or mental abuse (including bullying and exclusion) targeted at another student (fresher or otherwise) on the ground of colour, race, religion, caste, ethnicity, gender (including transgender), sexual orientation, appearance, nationality, regional origins, linguistic identity, place of birth, place of residence or economic background.”

·          ‘Colour’ means pigmentation of skin, which can be indicative of the person’s race or complexion e.g. white, brown or black skin

·          ‘Race’ means a group of people who share some inherited physical features, such as stature, skin color and facial features e.g. Caucasian, Negroid, Mongoloid

·          ‘Religion’ means a particular system of faith and worship e.g. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity

·          ‘Caste’ means division or class of society based on wealth, rank, or occupation e.g. Brahmins, kshatriyas, farmers, traders, artisans, merchants,

·          ‘Ethnicity’ means group of people with shared social, cultural and historical values and behaviors e.g. Dravidians, Aryans, Hispanic  

·          ‘Gender (including transgender)’ means male, female or the third gender

·          ‘Sexual orientation’ means preference of a person with respect to heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual behavior

·          ‘Appearance’ means outward form as perceived visually

·          ‘Nationality’ means belonging to a particular nation by origin, birth, or naturalization e.g. Indian, Canadian, German, Italian

·          ‘Regional origins’ mean a person belonging to a large geographic region e.g. South India, Northeast India or a particular region e.g. Purvanchal

·          ‘Linguistic identity’ means the distinct ‘accent’ way a language that belongs to a particular culture is spoken e.g. Marathi, Bangla, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil.

·          ‘Place of birth’ means the place where a person was born

·          ‘Place of residence’ means the place, especially the house, where a person lives or resides

·          ‘Economic background’ means position or standing of a person based on income

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Spiritual Prescription: Kayotsarga

Shavasana or corpse-like posture is a term used in Hatha Yoga. In mind body language, it is called mind body relaxation. In terms of psychiatry, it is called progressive muscular relaxation. Mahavira in his teachings called it as Kayotsarga or a total relaxation of mind, body and speech with self-awareness. 'Kaya' means ‘body’ and 'Utsarg' means ‘to drop’.

Kayotsarga does not only mean lying like corpse but also abandonment of the body. It is a state of restful alertness where the mind is alert but the body is at rest or relaxed. All meditative practices begin with Kayotsarga. It is the very foundation of spiritual sadhana.

In terms of physiology, kayotsarga increases alpha rays in the brain and in the language of neurology, it creates a parasympathetic state of the body.

The process involves lying still and being aware of each and every part of the body getting relaxed gradually and in turn. Awareness or the concentration is on the body being relaxed and the process of relaxation. In yogic language, this is also called as yoga nidra as before completing the process most people fall asleep. This is one procedure, which is often used by counselors in patients with insomnia. As Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Preface to “Yoga Nidra”, 1982, Bihar School of Yoga, Monghyr, Bihar, India) says: “When awareness is separate and distinct from vrittis - mental modifications, when waking, dreaming and deep sleep pass like clouds, yet awareness of Atman remains, that is the experience of total relaxation. That is why, in Tantra, Yoga Nidra is said to be the doorway to samadhi!”

During the process of Kayotsarga, one is neither in the past nor in the future. Awareness is in the present and hence, it detaches one from attachments and desires and prepares one for the next phase called meditation. 

One of the mind body principles is that during a state of relaxation and restful alertness, the mind become suggestive. This principle is also used in hypnosis. In fact, the initial trans-state is based on this principle.

Kayotsarga is the state of the body required to win over any pain and this is one reason why during any painful procedure the person is often asked to relax and give way. All physical and mental sufferings are relieved as the body is in a deep state of relaxation. With relaxation of the body most pain would disappear.

There are several studies, which say that yogic shavasana or Kayotsarga can reduce blood pressure by 20/10 mmHg. The 10-day Vipassana meditation is also based on prolonged Kayotsarga.

Slower and deeper breathing is another way of achieving the same benefits as that of Kayotsarga. Both balance prana. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali involve both before going into meditation. If one practices Kayotsarga, breathing automatically slows down. Kayotsarga is often done in the beginning of dhyana and at the point of culmination of dhyana.

Kayotsarga is a state of making body completely free of motion and tension. The fundamental principle of Kayotsarga is slower and deeper breathing. Unless the breathing is slow it is not possible to relax the body. One cannot do Kayotsarga successfully if the breathing is fast.

It is also combined with many visualization techniques. Once the full body is relaxed concentrating on a mantra or on a particular portion of the body may help in healing. Dean Ornish in his book ‘Reversing Heart Disease’ also used this technique with focus on heart and showed that even heart diseases are regressible. Many people use this for relieving migraine.

Kayotsarga is the process which distinguishes the body from the soul. The detached feeling of the body is what the first stage of meditation is.

Afternoon nap is nothing but Kayotsarga. The best way to rest for a heart patient is to practice Kayotsarga. During the process of Kayotsarga, the immunity develops and the prana becomes balanced.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Understanding Right Speech & Right Action

All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed towards two basic goals; one, to provide happiness to others and secondly, attain self-happiness in consequence.

Our ancient texts and scriptures - Upanishads, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - have discoursed on “the right speech” and so did Buddha. According to Gautam Buddha, the right speech has three components:

  • It should be based on truthfulness.
  • It should be necessary, and
  • It should be kind.

All the three components have to be in the same sequence with truthfulness being on the top.

For example, a patient asks a doctor, “Am I going to die in the next few weeks or will I survive longer”? The truth may be that he is critically ill and may not survive but it is not necessary to speak the truth and also it is not kind. Therefore, that truth should not be spoken.

Lord Krishna in Mahabharata explained when not to speak the truth and when to speak a lie. The truth which is going to harm the society may not be spoken and a lie which can save the life of a person without harming others may be spoken.

  • A truth which is necessary and kind may be spoken.
  • A truth which is not necessary but kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is necessary but not kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is neither necessary and nor kind may not be spoken.

Vedic teaching says that one should live according to dharma or “the right action” to achieve good karma. This means doing what is right for the individual, the family and for the universe.

According to the Bhagavata Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four pillars: truthfulness (satya), austerity (tap), purity (shauch) and compassion (daya). While, adharmic or unrighteous life has three main vices: pride (ahankar), bad company (sangh) and intoxication (madya).

Manusmriti also prescribes ten essential rules to tread the path of dharma: Patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self-control (dama), honesty (asteya), sanctity (shauch), control of senses (indriya-nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (krodha). Manu further writes, “Non-violence, truth, non-coveting, purity of body and mind, control of senses are the essence of dharma”.

The very first word of the Gita is “Dharma” - “Dharmakshetre Kurukshetra Samavetayuyutsavaha”, which means the battle of dharma and adharma. The Gita concludes with the word “Mama”. The essence of Bhagavada Gita is contained in these two words ‘Mama’ and ‘Dharma’. Combined together, these two words become “mamadharma”, meaning ‘your true Dharma’. This is what the Gita teaches us, “What is your Dharma?”

To live your life as per your dharma signifies the right action in every moment of the life. To inculcate the spirit of Dharma, practice random acts of kindness. Do not follow the dictates of body and do not indiscriminately follow the mind, for the mind is like a mad monkey. Follow the conscience.

Follow Buddha’s principles of right speech: Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it the truth? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If the answer to any is ‘no’, do not speak.

Follow Buddha’s principles of right action: Before doing any action ask yourself: Is it the truth? Is it necessary? Will it bring happiness to me? Will it bring happiness to others? If the answer to any is ‘no’, do not do that action.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA