#TJOH (The Journey Of Healing, April 04, 2015):
SynTalk thinks about health & healing, while constantly wondering whether health has a fixed meaning. Is health an anxiety? The concepts are derived off / from Hippocrates, Charaka, Patanjali, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Foucault, William Osler, BKS Iyengar, Dean Ornish, & Atul Gawande, among others. When & why did the health of the population become a concern for the state, and why was this a significant historical turn? How, when & why did health enter national budgets, and create an industrial force? What is the difference between healing (subjective?) and cure (objective?)? Is healing largely phenomenological, & subjectively realized? Is ‘cure sometimes, relief often, and comfort always’ a possible underlying ethical principle? How the ‘breath’ (prana), as the universal entity within us, unifies the body and the mind when both have a history (situated in time), and are ‘ours’? Is the body a river of energy, & is it possible to understand this energy more specifically & at the molecular level? Does the medical system address the ‘whole self’ and not just the body, & what is the journey from yama to samadhi? Does every part of our body have an expression? How can we make effective therapy safer? Is the doctor a facilitator for nature to cure the person, & is Placebo Effect the most significant healer? How then is the physician the king (& not the consumer), unlike in other transactions? The distinction between the legal & the ethical responsibilities of the doctor? Is it a part of the modern condition to be perennially anxious, & the scope is then extended to treat the ‘risk’? Are the alternatives such as ayurveda & yoga also being recycled under the framework of ‘healthism’? Is it important for the alternatives to have their own systemicity, and not be read solely in terms of the dominant system? Is the crisis of medicine external to a ‘good central core’? Why is cure more important than healing for the modern medical system, and is the underlying logic solely commercial? Is the iatrogenicity (in some ways) a part of the design of the healthcare system, and does this design have to change? Is internal intervention as (if not more) important than the external intervention? The links between witches, apothecaries, acupuncture, Nitric Oxide, endorphins, 21600 breaths, 2 pegs of whisky, statins, ether, and laughter. In the journey of healing, is comfort the starting point or the ending point? Does healthcare need to integrate the notion of ‘space’ into its metaphysic? Is health a personal challenge or (largely) a technical issue? Does the system currently have our complete faith, and does the equivalent of the ‘God is dead’ need to happen? Is it possible to be a non believer of the current dominant industrial medical system? The SynTalkrs are: Dr. R.D. Lele (nuclear medicine, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai), Prof. Susie Tharu (cultural studies, philosophy, EFLU, Hyderabad), & Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh (yoga, Iyengar Yogabhyasa, Mumbai).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TJOH show.
Dr. R. D. Lele (medicine) works in the fields of medical education, research, practice and hospital administration. He isone of the pioneers of the practice of Nuclear Medicine in India. He is currently the Honorary Chief Physician and Director of Nuclear Medicine at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai. He is also the Director of Nuclear Medicine and RIA Department at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai. In 1973, he was invited to join Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, as Chief Physician and Chief of Nuclear Medicine, where he created the first full fledged hospital based Nuclear Medicine Department in the country, including radio-immunoassay of 75 ligands of clinical interest. He pioneered the intravenous use of Technetium-99 m based radio pharmaceuticals in India. He also led the introduction of nuclear cardiology in 1978,nuclear stethoscope in 1982, and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) in 1988. As a clinician, he has attained the status of a super-consultant, as someone who practices scientific as well as humane and compassionate medicine, emphasizing the need to consider the patient as a person. His books ‘Clinical Science and Clinical Research’ (1993) and ‘Clinical Approach’ (1997) have been widely acclaimed. Notable amongst the many awards conferred on him are: Homi Bhabha Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Nuclear Society (2008) and the Padma Bhushan (1992) by the President of India. He is also the 1st recipient of ‘Gifted Teacher Award’ instituted by Association of Physicians of India (1991). Dr. Lele is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India).
Prof. Susie Tharu (cultural studies, philosophy) is currently Eminent Professor at the Departments of Literature and Cultural Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad. After her initial training in literary studies in Uganda (King’s College & Makerere University College), she ventured into the social sciences at Somerville College (Oxford) and returned to literature and philosophy for her Ph.D. (on embodiment) at EFLU, Hyderabad. She has been a guide to research students, for nearly 3 decades, exploring questions of contemporary culture with a focus on India. She has alsopreviously taught at IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur, and done short stints at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, New York University, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg. Both her research and teaching focus on feminism, issues of minority, literary and visual arts, and social medicine. Prof. Tharu has published sixhighly regarded books, with her most well known work being the two-part anthology titled: ‘Women Writing In India’. Herother notable publications (co-authored) are: ‘Towards a Critical Medical Practice: Dilemmas of Medical Culture Today’(2009), ‘No Alphabet in Sight’ (2011, new dalit writing from Kerala and Tamil Nadu), and ‘The Exercise of Freedom: An Introduction to Dalit Writing’ (2013). She is also one of the founders of Anveshi (a Research Centre for Women’s Studies in Hyderabad). Anveshi is known for its subtle and engaged work on the intersections of gender with caste, class & religious affiliation.
Zubin Zarathoshtimanesh (yoga) is the founder of Iyengar Yogabhyasa, a thriving Iyengar yoga studio center inMumbai. Through this centre, he imparts yogic education to more than 350 pupils, who seek to benefit from theancient teachings of uniting body, mind and soul. Zubin was introduced to yoga (and his Guruji) fortuitously when he was very young by his father (who suffers from ankylosing spondyylytis). After completing early education (Bachelor of Arts), Zubin committed himself to the path of yoga, and soon became a full-fledged teacher under the tutelage of B.K.S. Iyengar. He trained under B.K.S. Iyengar for nearly 30 years and travelled widely with him to different countries and participated in International Iyengar Yoga Conventions in the USA, UK, Spain and France. His teaching commitments have also regularly taken him to Rishikesh, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Canada, U.S., China, Singapore and Korea. Zubin is deeply aware of his responsibility to spread the ethos of yoga to communities and society in general. In his over 17 years of teaching yoga, Zubin has given several lecture-demonstrations and has also authored over 250 articles and columns for publications such as the Sunday Mid-day (The Yoga Way), The Times of India, Sunday Review, Indian Express and The Afternoon.
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.