It's what the doctor ordered

Unconventional.  But effective.  Either the healing touch of "OM" while this mantra has been

chanted since time immemorial, the medicine cabinet of the mind has now discovered its

therapeutic properties.


A recent report in Time Magazine reveals how patients enrolling for heart operations at the

Columbia Presbyterian Medical center in New York are offered in optional programme 

spanning massage, yoga and meditation.  An increasing number of patients are being urged by

 doctors to say "OM" before surgery as the utterance of this mantra has a relaxing effect.


"In my work as a cardiovascular surgeon.  I used the most sophisticated tools of modern

 medicine to separate patients from their diseased organs and replace these organs with

 healthy ones." Says Mehmer Oz, director of the Columbia Presbyterian Heart Institute.

 "While my training was in the science of the Western world.  I also rely heavily on this 

ancient Eastern technique of meditation to help my patients for surgery and to

steer them gently towards recovery. Why? because it works."


Minimal access surgeons P.K. Chowbey reaveals that the 'OM' technique is prevalent here

 as well-and not just because of the religion factor.  "In operation theaters, we have the 

'Gayatri Mantra' playing in the back ground.


If a patient is particularly disturbed before anesthesia is administered, we provide him/her

 with headphones, which play this chant.  The cardiac monitor shows that a high pulse rate

 130-140 stabilizes to 7-80 within minutes.  Having a chant such as 'OM' in the background,

 builds a feeling of confidence among surgeons and staff . " Heart surgeon

Naresh Trehan adds an interesting insight. "the use of a chart such as " Om prior to

 surgery helps patients think positively."


"By the sound of things, it's all in the mind" elaborates psychiatrist Sanjay Chugh, M.D. 

"When the body goes through native stress (distress), the level of steroids shoots up as

 the body experiences what we call the fight or flight response. Pre and post-operative

 meditation chanting or counseling reduces the level of steroids and is, consequently,

 good for the body.


So, even as conventional medicine takes on the task of the therapy, un-conventional techniques

 such as chanting are increasingly being prescribed by doctors.  Sometimes treatment starts

 with the self; When 'OM' is where the heart is, believing is curing.


                                                         Contributed by D.D. Sharma from U.S.A


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