One of the issues with Medicine–Ayurveda and Western

I recently started studying Ayurveda, and am quite familiar with Western Medicine.
Ayurveda has concepts quite different from the school of thought of Western medicine, but I find it also similar in some ways.

One of the problems with Western Medicine is that it depends on an average at many places, and so a “normal” blood pressure range for you may be dangerous for me.
This fact is not embraced by medicine, and now therefore, we have a notion of personalized medicine, where medicine is applied based on an individual’s characteristics, but not based on a general treatment.

What is a disorder or disease falls on the ends of a bell curve, and medicine knows how to treat the patients falling in that bell curve, but medicine cannot really help the people outside it, really. I call this the 80-20 rule, where 80% of people can be treated, but you are unlucky if you are in the other 20%.

From what I see of Ayurveda, it is 5,000 odd years old, and it is a different beast.
Speech was mainly the form of passing information on till writing was used to do this.

I see a similar pattern of 80/20 in it.  Ayurveda first aims to slot one into a dosha or type. I have the many characteristics of a certain “dosha”, but not all, and so again, I may not fully belong to a certain type, and whatever the treatment, in fact, could be harmful to me. So, if I am in the 80% that are fully of one type, then the treatments will apply to me, but I see a big generalization in it.
One of the classic excuses for knowing if treatments work, is that it is slow-acting. That’s fine, but then I do not know if things work too. If I have a headache or in extreme cases, cancer, can I afford to wait? Not at all.

My point is that as long as you are healthy, you can try both forms of medicine, but if you have a critical problem and you are in the 20%, then I hope luck is on your side.


About Ra

Software Engineer (worked in corporations to healthcare start-ups), Geek, Musician, Artist, Fellow Human - living in the covergence space of healthcare, software, interaction design, the quantified self and genetics, music and spirituality
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