A Blessed Life
(From the book Ayuveda — The Power to Heal)
You hold in your hands a book that is the result of a most blessed life. Through it you will become part of a quiet revolution in health care. I write these words with a profound awareness of what a blessed life I have lived. I have seen incurable diseases cured, the permanently crippled walk, and the infertile give birth. I have seen patients hobble into a clinic with debilitating back pain and walk out pain free. Through these amazing experiences, I have seen the great potential ancient medicines hold for healing and transforming the lives of people everywhere.
The profession of a physician has not been without its tragedies. I have seen more people die in a few short years of training than most will ever see in several lifetimes. I have seen people cut down in the prime of their lives by cancer, leaving young children and successful careers behind. I have seen men in their early forties die of heart attacks, and I have seen a three-year-old die as a result of complications of a tonsillectomy. Having experienced such tragedies, I now hold in my mind the blessing of how precious and delicate life is. It has also steeled my will to do everything in my power to prevent such tragedies from ever occurring and to finding less invasive ways of healing.
Having lived within two cultures — within the modern medical system and the alternative medical world — I have been given the fortune of a unique, first-hand perspective on the problems confronting health care and the solutions that are being overlooked. When I read about the numbers of people injured by medical errors, for me, these statistics are more than numbers. I remember faces and names, friends and colleagues, patients and families who have suffered from these mistakes. When we learn about the number of deaths that occur each year from prescription drugs, I am once again reminded that each of these numbers represents a precious human life that could have been spared.
Year after year, what becomes clearer to me is that these tragedies can be avoided. I am increasingly convinced that we have not even scratched the surface of the potential that the ancient systems of medicine hold for modern life. With the great blessings I have had, I can no longer simply focus on my own private practice integrating modern and ancient medicines. The time has come for the miracles I have witnessed to be commonplace. The time has come for the tragedies to cease. The time has come for a transformation in the practice of medicine.
When David Eisenberg showed in his 1993 New England Journal of Medicine article that there are more visits to alternative medicine practitioners than to primary care physicians, it was a wake-up call for the medical profession. We, the people, create the medical system by our passive or active use and acceptance of it. And we are creating an alternative system of medicine through our interest, demand and practice of ancient medicines such as Ayurveda. With our energy and will directed toward a more enlightened approach to medicine, we cannot fail in transforming medicine. No other approach to medicine is so comprehensive and readily understandable as Ayurveda.
Ayurveda recognizes that we cannot be healthy in isolation. As long as a large proportion of society is ill, we will all be ill. The reality of human existence is that we do not live in isolation. Those with an enlightened perspective know that all life is interrelated. As long as illness exists in the world, none of us can be truly healthy. If we wish to be healthy, if we wish our families to be healthy, our only choice is to create something better. Rather than reinventing what has already been given to us, we are truly fortunate to have the ancient secrets of Ayurveda revealed to us in this modern age.
What you hold in your hands is an introduction to this marvelous system of health and longevity. By learning about your power to heal through Ayurveda, you are participating in one of the most important transformations in history – the transformation of modern medicine. Never before has there been a time when the hidden secrets of health and longevity have been made so widely available. Never before have the advances of one group of people been so instantaneously visible and available to the whole world through modern communications technology. Never before has there been such an opportunity for change and transformation.
The time has come to end the tragedies of modern medicine. The time has come to create real health. The time has come for us to take our health into our own hands and to learn a more enlightened medicine – the natural medicine known as Ayurveda. The time has come for you to fulfill the potential you hold for making perfect health a reality. My hope is that the book you hold in your hands will be the key to a marvelous transformation for yourself and the world. You are the future of medicine.
It is indeed a blessed time and blessed life.
Paul Dugliss, M.D.
From the Preface of Ayurveda – The Power to Heal, by Paul Dugliss, M.D.
New World Ayurveda Founder, Director, and Academic Dean