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  • Corona, Immunity and Struggle for Existence : A different thought

    Published on May 12, 2020

    Dr. Debasis Bakshi

                                Dr. Debasis Bakshi

    Now Sky is smiling. It is bright blue and clear. No smell of Mobil in air, no smoky surroundings. Occasionally we used to see this picture in rural areas, but never in city or town for many years in the past. Whenever I walked on the roof of our four storied apartment, I used to see the surrounding buildings covered by a layer of smoke. I would wait to get a little sunlight, and then start walking by around 6.45 a.m. and even couldn’t wait much time as the thoughts of my office compelled. Even during the months of March and April, the sky would look hazy, with milder streaks of sunlight. But since last 4 weeks this scenario changed. The days when ‘lockdown’ started, I see the silvery streaks at 6 o’clock, and feel the bright simmer at 6.30 hours! The surroundings look clear, no layer of smoke.”- Sutapa, resident the city of joy says with an un explainable glow of comfort. She has been in Kolkata city for long. Now you may wonder, what at all is the relation between these words and Corona or Immunity where is the struggle for existence? Yes, definitely there is a relation to what Sutapa said and a struggle for existence too.

    As the recent phenomena continue in our lives and the words  ‘Lockdown’and  ‘Immunity’ are frequently used, the meaning of these words are much understood by the people. Due to the attack of ‘Corona Virus’, almost whole world is locked down since the World Health Organization has announced it as Pandemic.  In recent past ‘SARS’, ‘MERS’, ‘Bird Flu’, ‘Swine Flu’ etc. variety of viruses attacked us with much severity causing quite a good number of deaths. But they were not pandemic. Now, Corona virus attack had already affected more than 42.3 lakh people, killed 2.85 lakhs and still the numbers are increasing every day. We hope, this storm will stop after a few days or months, all of us will go back to the usual life. But if the human civilization does not change the present attitude towards Nature and Life, no one can assure about the possibility of relapse or repeated attack of this type virus in future. So there may be again repeated loss of lives, pandemic, lockdown and such painful events as of today.
    Now the whole world is in danger. A man becomes ill, when his holistic equilibrium is disturbed. Global equilibrium is in disorder, better to say, we had been doing harms for decades together. Now lockdown continues and we do not know for how many days! A continuous struggle has befallen amongst the different aspects of past, present & future possibilities of the globe as a whole –how we will finally win, survive and exist?  But this fight for existence is not the fight for one day or for few days. It is the fight to survive for a sustainable healthy future. Yes it is a “Struggle for existence”!
    Now it is high time to practice a few healthy habits daily. To keep one’s health, every person should practice these healthy habits throughout the life in all aspects: physical, mental and social. So struggle for existence is not only for oneself or one’s own family. Also to keep the health of the society as it is also the people’s responsibility. The society, the nature has given a place for us to stay. So, by not damaging the nature, rather protecting and maintaining equilibrium, we can utilize nature’s treasures – sunlight, air, water, mud etc. and keep ourselves healthy.
    Let’s get used and start a few simple daily routines from Today:
    Walking half an hour in morning sunlight is very much useful. It helps to form Vitamin D & A in the body which strengthens the Bones and Immunity. People know it, even students read it in biology books in their classes. But what is the benefit of this knowledge if not practiced in life? This habit is almost absent in modern civilization. Walking, exercise, yogasana, outdoor games in out-fields; skipping, swimming etc. must be part of daily routine and should be imbibed from childhood. Parents or guardians of children pay least importance to these; they are rather more interested to build up their children’s career. As a result, their resistance to diseases (immunity power) is not developed properly. On account of this, Seasonal and Weather changes cause children to suffer from cough- cold, fever etc.
    Actually the upper respiratory passage is directly exposed to Air within the environment because of the inhalation exhalation process and hence this part is affected first. So regular exercise, pranayama or other respiratory exercises and Jalneti will strengthen the respiratory system and its main organ Lung. In present grave situation, the Corona virus attacks first the upper respiratory passage. So to fight against Corona virus, the respiratory system must be strengthened. In future many new viruses may attack after changing their genetic character (mutations). So to prepare oneself against such attacks, these healthy routines must be part of lives. This is the Struggle for existence. This awareness should start from the elders, down to the younger generations with a sustained learning and following. Now readers may feel and relate the statements by Sutapa  and the title of this write up.
    Now I want to discuss regarding daily food habits. Everyone knows very well about junk food and fast food since they had been consuming them since childhood.  They need to know that addiction materials are greatly harmful!  Still if one consumes addictive Junk food and Fast food, there will be more sufferings. Rather I want to pay attention to positive sides of food habits. During this ‘Corona’ episode we are preparing nutritious and immune enhancing food to defend ourselves. Yes, it’s true. But it is never possible within a day; Immunity is not developed in a body within one or a few days. It is developed through a sustained practice. So in daily diet charts, the effective nutritious and immune enhancing food items must be included. Some examples are given here: one small piece of raw turmeric, sprouted whole moong and chana and /or peanut, sattu sarbat, seasonal fruits and vegetables, leafy vegetables available in habitats, the useful cereals like flattened rice, puffed rice, dalia, millet, oat etc.  In our regular food menu along with rice, wheat chapatti, veg. and non-veg. type protein rich foods, the above mentioned items should also be added. It is better to avoid harmful outside junk foods.  In modern culture throughout the world it is a trend to consume more animal protein, usually half boiled or half roasted. This is an unhealthy culture. More natural and organic is the diet, more it contributes to health and Immunity building – naturally.
    Already it is important to keep oneself healthy to keep the environment also safe. The more we pollute the environment, the more we invite our dangers. So, be happy with essential and minimum livelihood and commodities. First, one should control the mind and ultimately mind will be cheerful. If the mind is happy then physique will also.  All are interrelated, the physique, the mind, the society. Any single thing or any single one is not a complete phenomenon or individual.
    Few more techniques to maintain health:
    Drugless preventive treatment procedure for diseases may be adopted. Pressure may be applied on some fixed points called Acu points over the body surface or heat produced by igniting one kind of herbal stick called Moxa may be applied. These are drugless, without side effects, low cost, easily taught treatment processes. After proper training, if these are applied properly, then resistance power or immunity will increase, to defend against diseases. In this way, one can march towards the existence in nature step by step by defeating the virus. Disease preventing treatment is mentioned in Acupuncture medical science. It is scientifically proved and discussed with more importance in recent times.
    In this context, I am giving two examples
    A person was infected with Tuberculosis in young age; As there were no signs and symptoms, it was not detected in the early stage. Later he coughed out blood and then the disease was diagnosed as TB Lung after proper investigations. Chest X-ray showed a cavity in the lung. Anti- Tubercular Medication started along with Acupuncture treatment based on definite Traditional Diagnosis and Prescription. He recovered rapidly much before the scheduled period of medicinal effect. Repeated chest X-ray after a few weeks showed that the cavity in lung had healed completely. There is no relapse after 42 years had passed.
    A middle aged woman suffering from breast cancer had undergone surgery with routine chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Along with these, acupuncture and other natural treatments were also integrated. She responded positively to this integrated therapy with the full course of the conventional treatments without any side effects. For more than 10 years she had been completely healthy.
    In both the cases it is seen that an ‘Improved Immunity’ combined with the regular treatment, led to a rapid recovery process without side effects and relapses. Throughout my 50 years of clinical life in various disease types, I have experienced the ‘Efficacy of Acupuncture’ and other ‘Natural Therapies’ and ‘Diet’, in which the disease prevention and curing role, especially  by ‘strengthening  the Immunity’ is either protecting one from falling sick or supporting quickest recovery, if diseased.
    Nature did alert us through the attack of Corona pandemic. It has taught us that damage to the equilibrium making the nature ill, will turn against us to take revenge with severe threat. So it is better to live altogether as an united one force in the globe, shedding  the so called concept of ‘conquering the nature’. As a result of harmonious lives, the holistic equilibrium will be maintained, mankind will also continue its  existence with a balanced health and peace.
    (Author  is MBBS  (Cal), P.G. Cert. in Acupuncture (China) and Registered Acupuncture & Yoga-Naturopathy Physician; Director, Indian Research Institute for Integrated Medicine -IRIIM )
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