Tandavan, Devananda This month we introduce a new column on health and medicine by Dr. Devananda Tandavan, now retired from his long medical practice in the Chicago, Illinois, area. A highly-trained physician specializing in radiation diagnosis and therapy, Dr. Tandavan is also familiar with Indian Ayurvedic, Japanese Reiki and Hahnemannian homeopathy medical systems, making him uniquely qualified to address the medical problems of modern people with the best of the new and the best of the old.

Things are often not as they seem. This is especially true in the health field and in diet and nutrition. This is a new column on the healing arts and the science of good health. We intend to explore many of these areas in order to reveal the truth as much as that is possible. Advertising in this field often borders on falsehood, and "seals of approval" may be totally without merit or meaning. The layman cannot be expected to knowledgeably wade through this jungle of misinformation and half-truths to arrive at sound judgements.

Indeed, many professionals in the health-care industry do not have sufficient interest or background to give adequate advice on diet and nutrition. We hope to bring some common sense to this subject, in order that you may be able to make intelligent decisions for your health's sake.

We want this to be a dialogue and welcome any questions that you have. Send all correspondence to the offices of Hinduism Today [P.O. Box 157, Hanamaulu, HI 96715, USA] and they will be sent on to me. If for some reason you would desire a personal reply, be sure to include a self-addressed envelope. There are some time restraints, but we do intend that all correspondence will be answered in due time.

Individual diagnostic problems cannot be considered due to legal restraints and various licensing requirements. For the same reasons, no treatment or prescriptions will be furnished. This writer will not be in competition with your own health care professional. He will offer advice and suggestions for alternate therapy if indicated.

The etiology of disease is very complex. There are illnesses that are karmic in nature, others may be due to environmental pollution, some are infectious in nature, some are due to life style and inadequate nutrition. There are a great many illnesses that are psychological in nature; that is, they are "self-inflicted" or "self-serving." This does not necessarily imply any pathological condition of the psyche. These conditions are often produced by an ignored or frightened subconscious. In time, it is our intention to investigate and discuss each of these.

We firmly believe that health of the body is a natural birthright and can be attained and maintained by most everyone, if they but follow the natural law. No one system of health care, as we know it, has all of the answers; therefore, the approach will be eclectic. There often are viable alternatives to the conventional allopathic methods [the western "symptom-curing" system]. It is generally accepted that one's health-care practitioner must be not only scientifically trained but also psychologically attuned to the needs of the patient. In this time, everyone dealing in health care should also be trained in diet and nutrition, which has not been the case in the past. It also behooves each of us to take personal responsibility for our own state of health. Passive submission to another's care and direction is no longer acceptable.

Any disease or illness that is "caused" by the subconscious can also be "cured" by the subconscious which "he" (or "she") can be directed to do by an act of the will. Since we are in the body to develop our spiritual selves, a healthy and happy body is desirable. There is no need for us to punish the body or mind to expiate some "guilt." We will learn more about the subconscious and its efforts in subsequent columns.

Future columns will discuss stress and its relationship to disease, weight problems and dieting, circumcision and other common, but debatable, medical practices and approaches.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.