The physics of mind­ful bal­ance

Financial Chronicle - - EDIT, OPED, THE WORKS - RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR (The writer is a well­ness physi­cian, in­de­pen­dent re­searcher and au­thor)

OUR an­cient philoso­phers al­ways ar­tic­u­lated the in­ten­sity of our whole­ness in their own unique modes. While some of them la­belled the idea as a vi­sion that ex­pressed the sparkle of the ce­les­tial spirit within our be­ing, some called, or re­ferred to, the ac­tual prin­ci­ple as a mir­ror that re­flects one­self — not just in our face, but at the core of our be­ing. To cull an­other ex­em­plar — the eye, in the philoso­pher’s mind, is not merely an eye. It is a per­pet­ual “prompt” that up­holds the view that we are more than in­di­vid­u­als and much more than a com­po­nent of the cos­mos. As any sub­lime poet would ver­balise — our eyes do not see what the mind does not know. This is pri­mar­ily be­cause our eyes are the win­dows of our soul and vice versa. They do not just con­vey what we think; they cel­e­brate the divine stim­u­lus, or the vast ex­panse of the cos­mos that is glow­ing deep within our soul. This is pre­cisely the fun­da­men­tal el­e­ment that in­stills in us our com­pos­ite whole­ness, or the quin­tes­sence of our con­scious aware­ness, in­clud­ing the kalei­do­scopic syn­the­sis of our be­ing — day-in and day-out.

Mind sci­en­tists re­late to whole­ness in other ways — they con­nect our in­ner calm as our har­mo­nious re­la­tion­ship with each and ev­ery tis­sue, or mi­to­chon- dria, the “pow­er­house of the cell.” This also in­cludes our body’s in­ter­nal bal­ance. This nour­ish­ing equilib­rium is not only in­nate to our be­ing, it also cor­re­sponds to na­ture, the uni­verse and bal­ance. It equates, no less, to sev­eral scales in our mind —where each part of the whole, or the sum of the parts, strives to sus­tain bal­ance. The most amazing part is ev­ery scale, or pat­tern, is in­ter­re­lated — and, what’s more, they also in­te­grate into a seam­less whole, in health and ill­ness, the dif­fer­ence be­ing of de­gree and (im)bal­ance.

This is a sim­ple premise that con­tex­tu­alises the whole frame­work that ex­ists be­tween psy­chol­ogy and im­mune func­tion — in health and ill­ness, or vice versa. Where there is har­mony of the two, it de­notes op­ti­mal health and well­be­ing, while any im­bal­ance be­tween them is of­ten the trig­ger, or cause, of ill­ness — small, or big. You get the point — any dis­tur­bance in our im­mune func­tion is ex­pressed by the body in the form of psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tional symp­toms, aside from phys­i­cal syn­dromes.

The equa­tion is un­pre­ten­tious — while viruses and bac­te­ria may cause cer­tain ill­nesses, sin­gu­larly or in iso­la­tion, it is equally un­am­bigu­ous to think of changes in our im­mune func­tion as the source of such ill­nesses, or dis­ease states. This is sim­ply be­cause ill­nesses have sev­eral causes, not just one, or two. What also tips the scale in favour of any emerg­ing ill­ness, in one in­di­vid­ual, may not lead to any ill-ef­fects in the other. What does this sig­nify? That most ill­nesses tend to have a far greater im­pact on the health and well-be­ing “weigh­ing scale” of the el­derly, chil­dren, and the un­well — not so much in healthy, youth­ful, or ac­tively fit in­di­vid­u­als.

The im­pli­ca­tion is ob­vi­ous — a change within our im­mune sys­tem in­flu­ences not only our psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal states, but our be­hav­iour too. You name it — right from com­mon cold and al­ler­gies to feel­ings of com­pro­mised health, loss of ap­petite, de­pres­sion, and gross fa­tigue. What this means is — we should lis­ten to na­ture’s warn­ing sig­nals at all times, no mat­ter the sta­tus of our health, or ill­ness. It also means con­sciously re­ject­ing sud­den leaps of “brow sci­ence” so­cial me­dia- pro­pelled mes­sages that are a smat­ter­ing of skewed dogma. The in­fer­ence is ap­par­ent. There is a “de­mon” in our psy­che and we need to deal with it — prag­mat­i­cally.

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