The Hegde Paradigm

The Hegde Paradigm

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

Dr B M Hegde is a pre-eminent cardiologist, professor of medicine, author, former Vice Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, and recipient of a host of top awards and honours. I admire his monumental work, writings, books, and memorable lectures, organised by Moneylife Foundation and others — all of which are dotted by riveting thoughts, witty sonority, and interesting anecdotes. Well, I may not always agree with him — but, there is something special about him that makes us think, while separating the chaff from the grain and vice versa.

I was fortunate to attend one of his fascinating impromptu talks. I’ve also watched — like his legion of fans — a handful of his videos on YouTube. They have a common programme — illustrating, in detail, the downside of modern medicine and Dr Hegde’s refreshing experiences in treating patients using complementary and alternative medicine [CAM].

Dr Hegde emphasises how people are ill-advised about various medicines and treatments, because our minds have been ‘schooled’ to think in the ‘conventional medical way.’ He also highlights that ‘popping a pill for every ill’ is more than just grist to every pill mill. He articulates, “Most people think that swallowing a pill gives them instant relief. Rather, one should remember that behind every ill, there is a pill.” Not the other way around.

“Wellness,” Dr Hegde notes, “happens from within.”

CAM To The Fore

Dr Hegde stresses on the importance of complementary and alternative medicine [CAM] systems, such as Ayurveda, aside from homeopathy, for common illnesses. He observes, “There are all kinds of tactics used to suppress homeopathy, for instance, as a form of treatment. Homeopathy is one useful medical system available. It defies certain norms, or ‘accepted’ wisdom, all right; but, it is much more ‘scientific’ than one acquiesces to think. Well, even if critics call it placebo, it is still important as most modern medicine is worse than placebo.”

He often lambasts the Flexner Report, a commentary on the condition of medical education in the early 1900s, in the US, which ‘catapulted’ modern medical education — funded by business tycoons. He observes that Abraham Flexner was not a doctor, but a secondary school teacher. His Report obviously had a sturdy ‘elitist’ bias and mandate. It led to the closure of medical schools, where homeopathy, for one, was taught, among other alternative practices.

“Modern medicine,” Dr Hegde outlines, “claims to be based on science, but research has found that the majority of health problems stem from the mind — and, modern drugs offer but temporary relief.” “If one has a happy mind, their body is largely free of illness, or disease.”

He suggests that walking a mile is one of best mantras to leading a healthy, disease-free life. He also observes that Ayurveda, for instance, recommends a smorgasbord of seasonal foods — like eating additional spices, for one, during winter. He emphasises that one would also do well to follow a balanced diet, consisting of primarily organic food. He avers that people should switch over to a predominant vegetarian diet — this was, and is, he explained, the best natural approach.

To pick another example. “For a long time people were told that coconut oil was dangerous, nay bad. Now, American investigators say, ‘Sorry; we were wrong.’” This is simply because, in reality, coconut oil is one of the best natural remedies, for a host of disorders — from skin ulcers to Alzheimer’s disease. The coconut tree is called kalpavriksha. “There is no other tree more useful than the coconut tree — all of its parts are useable and biodegradable.”

Curry Cure

Dr Hegde often pulls the ‘plug’ on conventional medical research and clinical trials too. He observes how ‘research’ to find the ‘factual’ cause of common cold in the UK, to highlight one example, among others, went kaput. Worse still, is the story of how the research centre was closed down after forty-plus years — to pave the path for AIDS research, within the same premises. He observes, “In fact, people in Britain were told to eat curry in Indian restaurants as a cure for common cold — after the Great Common Cold-UK£10-Billion Research Saga ‘flopped’ in finding a treatment for the illness.”

Dr Hegde, through his writings, articles, papers, and enthralling lectures, aside from his books, often provides a host of references — to lend substance to the politics of modern medicine. This includes several landmark books, and articles, written by the ‘best minds,’ that ‘bust’ the ‘myths’ of modern medicine. This may include some questionable ideas and documents — not bereft of Dr Hegde’s own prejudices to scoring a point — including some equally questionable random clinical trials [RCTs], ‘funded’ by ‘pharma-groups’ and ‘doctored research.’

He amusingly calls evidence-based medicine, “evidence-based surrogate medicine.”

His bottom line, or prescription for good health and wellness, is simple, also profound — “Aim to be healthy till death.” “Eat natural food and in moderation, sleep well, exercise, meditate, and try to be a happy person — always.”

This is, of course, timeless wisdom — a back-to-the-future paradigm, which modern medicine has now begun to slowly accept, albeit grudgingly.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360. 

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