Overall a balanced discussion. Dr. Naresh Trehan, eminent Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Founder of Medanta Medicity, emerges as (and has been) a strong ambassador for Ayurveda and Yoga. Unfortunately, the stereotypes tend to predominate and we hope that in time the discourse will evolve into a much more rigorous discussion on the subject from both sides- modern and Ayurveda. Dr. G.G. Gangadharan, eminent Ayurveda physician from IAIM and a strong spokesman for Ayurveda, also makes the case strongly that integrative medicine is the prescription for the future.

How this integrative approach would play out on a national/global scale has to be delved into in greater detail by all stakeholders. At AyurVAID we use a term called 'appropriate integration' instead of 'integrative'- which implies intertwining or some level of mixing, while the former to me maintains distinctness of medical systems in diagnosis and in medical management. Appropriate means: not a hotch potch of a medical intervention under the guise of integration but with clarity about the role (what and how much) of each system in managing a given patient with a particular disease(s) status (rogi-roga avastha). AyurVAID also distinguishes between the use of modern diagnostics and imaging investigations from the use of modern drugs. i.e. WHAT is it that is being integrated? There is no contradiction in using modern diagnostics in the most classical Ayurveda intervention. Mixopathy is a tragicomedy in the making, however.

A similar discussion was slated on Wednesday night on a competing national TV news channel which got dropped at the eleventh hour. Let us hope that after the initial fervour of the media lapses the process of mainstreaming Ayurveda continues steadily and more discussions of this nature happen. The more Ayurveda comes to the attention of the 'lay-intelligentsia' the better.

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