By Sujit Chakraborty
Published: Monday 15 July 1996

About 900 doctors from all over the country attended the seventh National Holistic Health Conference which opened here on June 17. The conference was held in Gyan Sarovar, one of the country's most modern and aesthetically designed complexes. Organised by the Brahma Kumari World Spiritual University, which has its headquaters in this city, the conference was part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the organisation. What the organisers here offered was the amalgamation of known medical techniques with the techniques of Raj Yoga meditation.

As Girish Patel, renowned psychiatrist and the organising secretary of the conference said, the concept of holistic health care includes not just diagnosis and medication, but the whole method of medical practice. "There is definite need for improving doctor-patient relationship, because that is vital in ensuring better cure," he said. Holistic health care, as Patel pointed out, includes preventive health practices, eventually leading towards "an elimination of the need for doctors". During the first two days, many doctors themselves admitted that medical practitioners have become exploitative. It is here that the organisation felt the need for doctors to practice meditation to improve upon their own human qualities and therefore, the quality of medical treatment.

"Meditation cannot replace traditional medicine, but it augments the latter's effects, and in some cases, even by itself becomes curative," Ashok Mehta, senior surgeon with the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, told DTE. The Global Health and Research Centre, a few kilometres from Gyan Sarovar is another institution run by the Brahma Kumaris and is doing pioneering research into the science of meditation. Documentation through state-of-the-art equipment, including multimedia, is establishing the psychophysiological impact of meditation, and literature linking spirituality and science is selling like hot cakes.

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