Minding the mind, the way to a cure

Minding the mind, the way to a cure: Physicians ought to follow the adage, “Assess not only what the disease is but who has the disease”. The same disease may produce varying responses from different persons. The mind may govern the exp

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The Hindu, Letters, April 6,2016

The mind and the deceasse

It was thrilling to read about the extraordinary role the mind plays, if taken cognisance of by a physician, in expediting the cure of certain ailments (‘Open Page’ – “Minding the mind, the way to a cure”, April 5). In one of his essays, Dr. B.M. Hegde had cited the case of Norman Cousins — whose name figures in the article — of being a beneficiary of an unexpected miraculous recovery from his sickness due to induced laughter. Cheerful minds might spell healthier lives and one wishes that humanity grasps this magical truth, becomes more broad-minded, less self-oriented and immersed in universal love to live longer. I must cite the privilege I had in talking to Professor K.V. Thiruvengadam, the celebrated chest physician, on reading this ‘Open Page’ article he had co-authored with the late Dr. Kumaraswami. In publishing this, The Hindu has honoured him.
S.V. Venugopalan,

Excerpts from the article:
"Norman Cousins, the American author, narrates a subject with rheumatoid arthritis who was disappointed with his physician visiting him in his hospital room day after day with his troop of medical staff. The physician would first look at his case chart, speak a word or two and leave. On day the patient told the doctor when he was about to enter the room: “Doctor! Please stop there. You should know I am alone through the day. Your visit is what I look forward to. But there is only a momentary appearance – no words of comfort.”

He got discharged from hospital, got into a comfortable hotel room, had a number of friends with him for pleasant conversation and had music played. The result: there was a remission! The happy mind did the trick.
Of course, not all diseases respond to a mind in pleasure and peace.
(The author was director-in-charge of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai. He passed away in March 2016)"

Read full article.

M G Warrier


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