Alternative therapies – Level of action

Alternative medicine landing

1. Introduction to a comparative study of alternative therapies at the level of action

Here we compare the maximum possible depth at which each of the therapies can act. The therapies have been arranged in ascending order of depth of action. Each subsequent therapy acts at all the levels of the previous therapy, in addition to the new action mentioned for that therapy. This means that Allopathy acts only on the physical body, Yunani medicine on the physical body as well as on the energy flow in the physical body, and so on. Thus, Āyurvēda acts on the gross body (sthūladēha), the subtle body, as well at an even more subtle-level, i.e. at the level of the spaces between the organs and cells. The deeper the level of action, the more comprehensive and effective the therapy is. Below is a diagrammatic representation of what we are comprised of and the relationship between the physical and subtle body.

Alternative therapies - Level of action

2. Allopathy

Allopathy This therapy acts at the level of the physical body. This means that:

  • At a preventive or curative level, Allopathy is directed at the cause of the illness limited to the physical body. Hence, psychosomatic illnesses that have an associated cause deeper than the physical body, e.g. in the mind, like heart disease and stomach ulcers, cannot be comprehensively and completely cured by Allopathy.
  • As the therapy is directed at the physical body, i.e. the grossest of all our bodies, it does not treat the effect the illness has on the subtler bodies, like the mind. This is because action directed at a gross body cannot cure the illness in bodies more subtle than it. However, an action directed at a subtler body can influence the bodies grosser than it.

3. Yunani (Unani) medicine

Yunani (Unani) Medicine
This therapy, in addition to acting on the physical body, also acts on the energy flow in the physical body. The energy referred to here is the gross or physical metabolic energy in the body. Thus, Yunani medicine acts at a deeper level than Allopathy.

4. Acupressure

This therapy is directed at the chētanā in the energy flow of the physical body. Chetana is that aspect of Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) that governs the functioning of the body and mind. As Acupressure acts at a level beyond gross energy, its action is even deeper than that of Yunani medicine. However, to be able to actually deliver the therapy at the chetana level, the therapist needs to be highly skilled, experienced, and doing the procedure with utmost concentration.

5. Mudras

This therapy works by activating the energy flow in a certain part of the body or set of body organs depending on where the mudrā is directed. For example, if one has a stomach ache and the mudra is directed at the point of pain, then the energy flow in the stomach will be activated. However, if the mudra is directed at the navel chakra (Manipur-chakra), then the energy flow in the organs related to this chakra, i.e. the entire alimentary system (oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestine) as well as the excretory system (kidneys, ureters and bladder) is activated. Yunani medicine also acts at the level of energy flow in the body; however, mudra therapy is placed higher because the same effect is achieved without using any medicine.

6. Homeopathy

This therapy acts on the physical body along with the energy flow as well as the subtle-body.

7. Ayurveda

This ancient therapy acts on all the aforementioned levels as well as at an even deeper and subtler level, i.e. the level of spaces between organs and cells.