It seems the world is awash with medications, and the more we tend to use them, the more dependent we become and the more we find additional meds are needed to cope with the side effects!
Despite enormous medical progress, doctors and scientists are often baffled as to what is going on at the fundamental level. They often have to resort to using trial and error to find something that appears to generate the best results. That’s fine on a tactical basis, and, in the absence of a better way, it can and does provide relief. But is that really the pinnacle of human knowledge, to keep guessing until we find something that makes it a little more bearable, but causes other biological dramas in the process?
Take medication for depression. Is it dopamine, serotonin, or noradrenaline that’s the problem? Is it too little, or too much? Do we prescribe tricyclics, MAOIs, or SSRIs? Each prescribing authority will have their favourites.
The Vedic worldview would very much be inclined to suggest that if we can just tap into our body’s natural creative intelligence and give it the resources it needs to find balance, it will allocate its own chemical resources in a way that is far superior to anything the pharmaceutical giants can give us.
We have the world’s greatest pharmacy right here within us all. So far we have counted over 200 different neurotransmitters that the brain produces and no doubt this will rise as our detection capabilities improve. The brain uses these like letters of the alphabet to build chemical words with different meanings. And even the same chemical wording can have different meanings to different neurons. The complexity of it all is absolutely mind-boggling, and thankfully, our automated functioning takes care of it, so we don’t have to don our lab coat and direct activities.
That is of course unless we’ve disrupted the process somehow. There are numerous ways we can do this. Through our inadvertent stress responses to all the demands of modern life which create chemical cascades of their own, through environmental toxins in our air, water and foodstuffs, or through recreational devices which are fun at the time but leave a jolly great hangover after the event. Whatever the cause, it’s virtually impossible to stay perfectly balanced and still be engaged in active life.
The best most people hope for is to stay somewhat balanced. But if we cross a key threshold, or we reach allostatic load (see metabolic syndrome), then we have now transitioned into needing external stimulants and medications to get us through our day. How many people medicate with tea and coffee every day for example?
And what happens if we cross a key threshold, or we reach allostatic load? Then we have now transitioned into a dependency relationship, either socially accepted or otherwise, and we may require medications to get us through our day.Learn to meditate
I came to Vedic meditation because I had a condition which caused me a lot of pain and was on medication which had side effects I would rather have avoided. Within a short time of learning, the pain cleared and I was able to come off the medication and I haven’t been on it since. It was a real relief. I have realised that I was suffering from chronic stress which was affecting the way I lived and experienced life. Things are different since I have learned – much easier and enjoyable. Everyday I meditate I know it’s going to be a good day.
Karen, Pilates Teacher, Brighton
How does Vedic meditation help?
Vedic meditation unlocks the potential of our pharmacy by cleaning out the nervous system and freeing up the lines of communication and making sure that the synthesis and transmission of our internal goodies is sufficient to keep everything ticking over nicely.
It also improves our cellular repair functioning so that we perhaps don’t need to keep calling for help because of a chronic problem. And it manages our stress response so that we don’t keep going into unnecessary stress shutdown, or worse, start programming ourselves to operate on a permanent survival footing, thus throwing all systems into disharmony.
As a result, we find ourselves becoming less and less dependent on pharmacological substitutes whose molecular structures are much less refined than our own. Whose quantities are often arbitrary. Whose use often only serves to quell the symptom and not the cause, and which is mostly only manufactured with active ingredients and not the buffering agents that nature always generates. By choosing a more natural approach, the outcome is an absence of malignant side effects. If anything, the side effects are nothing but positive.
If you are on medications and you wish to come off them, there’s a good chance we may be able to help. In many cases, after a few months of meditation, Vedic meditators find they can reduce their intake.
Naturally, this must always be done in consultation with the prescribing doctor, and it is essential to exercise wisdom when we do so. We must also manage our expectations if the situation is particularly chronic, although this needn’t necessarily be a barrier. At the very least, meditation may alleviate many, or perhaps all, of the causes of our imbalances. Check out the rest of the website and perhaps review the list of benefits as well as the glossary of terms listed below for more details of how Vedic meditation can help differing conditions.