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Excerpted from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 1989 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"If there was a spiritual tradition in the family, she would have begun to meditate."

Deepak Chopra, Quantum Healing, Part 2

No one can say that he knows a cure for advanced breast cancer. Conventional therapy had provided all that it could for Chitra. Given that her cancer had already spread to another organ, the statistics said that her chance of surviving for five years was less than 10 percent, even with the most intensive routine of chemotherapy that could be safely administered.

I asked her to start a new course of treatments, as prescribed by Ayurveda.

Like me, Chitra had grown up in India, but she had little idea of Ayurveda. Her grandparents' generation was the last to "believe" in it, I would imagine; today, every progressive Indian living in a big city would prefer Western medicine if he could afford it. To explain to Chitra why I wanted her seemingly to turn her back on progress, I told her that her cancer was not just a physical disease but a holistic one. Her whole body knew she had cancer and was suffering from it; a tissue sample taken from her lungs would show that malignant cells had migrated there, while a sample from her liver would be negative. Yet, her liver had the same blood coursing through it, and therefore it picked up the signals of disease that were coming from the lungs. This in turn affected its own functions.

Similarly, when she felt pain in her chest or had to sit down owing to shortness of breath, signals were racing throughout her body, going to and from her brain. Sensing the pain, her brain had to respond to it. The fatigue she was feeling, along with her depression and anxiety, was a brain response that had physical consequences. So it was wrong to think of her cancer as just an isolated tumor that needed to be destroyed. She had a holistic disease and for that she needed holistic medicine.

The word "holistic" which tends to offend orthodox doctors, simply means an approach that includes the mind and body together. I believe Ayurveda does this better than any alternative, although it may not be very apparent on the surface. In fact, many well-publicized mind-body techniques such as hypnosis and biofeedback are far more flashy than Ayurveda. If Chitra had gotten sick at home in Bombay, her grandmother might have fixed her some special meals, brought home medicinal herbs in a brown paper sack from the Ayurvedic pharmacy, and insisted that she stay in bed. Various purgatives and oil massages might be prescribed to clean the body of toxins generated by the cancer. If there was a spiritual tradition in the family, she would have begun to meditate. In essence, I was going to have her do these same things, with a few additions.

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