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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.

"The underlying concept is that the body knows how to maintain balance unless thrown off by disease."

Deepak Chopra, Quantum Healing, Part 3

There is as yet no scientific reason why any of this should work, except that it does. Ayurveda has hit on something deep in nature. Its knowledge is rooted not in technology but in wisdom, which I would define as a reliable under-standing of the human organism gathered over many centuries.

"I want you to go to a special clinic outside Boston for a week of two," I told Chitra. "Some things that will happen to you there will seem highly unusual. You are used to the idea of a hospital as a place with respirators, IV tubes, transfusions, and chemotherapy. By that standard, what we will do for you at this clinic will seem like nothing. Basically, I want to get your body into a deep, deep state of rest."

Chitra was a trusting person; she agreed to go. In part, of course, she had no alternative. Modern medicine had done all it could, using the strategy of physical assault on her cancer. The initial advantage of assaulting a disease is that you hope to wipe it out physically as soon as possible. The tremendous disadvantage is that the whole body is damaged in the assault on one of its parts. In the case of chemotherapy, there is the very real danger that the immune system will become so weakened that the door is opened for other cancers to develop in the future. However, untreated breast cancer is considered deadly, and today's medicine is good at wiping it out over the short run. In a climate of opinion ruled by fear, people prefer to run the risks of the cure rather than the disease.

I referred Chitra to the clinic where I work, the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts. She stayed for a week and received treatments; she also learned an outpatient program to use at home that included a change of diet, some Ayurvedic herbs, a specific daily routine including simple yoga exercises, and instruction in Transcendental Meditation. These measures look different on the surface, but underneath they all aimed at bringing her day-to-day existence to a settled, restful state, building a foundation for healing. In Ayurveda, a level of total, deep relaxation is the most important precondition for curing any disorder. The underlying concept is that the body knows how to maintain balance unless thrown off by disease; therefore, if one wants to restore the body's own healing ability, everything should be done to bring it back into balance.

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