A Clinic Like No Other

The "waiting room" outside of the screen door leading into the clinic. Most of these patients are farm workers.

We have completed two weeks of clinical training and suffice it to say it has been overwhelmingly satiating. We spend 10-14 hours per day split between classroom studies, clinical observations, and assisting the physician. We navigate this ancient land, in search of food that we can stomach, admiring the people, keeping our sunglasses on our bright western faces, with ankles and arms covered. There are 8 students, 1 administrator, and 1 physician.

Clinic is the most graceful of the experiences. As we sit and observe vast socio-economic strata coming and going, their purpose for visiting Dr. Vasant Lad, reminds me of our sameness. There are physicians from across the globe accompanying their patients with perplexing symptoms to the most impoverished farm workers exhibiting signs of malnutrition. We have seen typhoid fever, scorosis of the liver, kidney failure, cancer, schizophrenia, depression, servere anorexia (not the psychological type, but cause by internal mal-absorption), and the rarest of skin conditions.

We sit, in a small clinic, around physician and patient, as they speak any variety of Indian dialect and then, as if narrating, the Vaidya (ayurvedic physician), translates the health concerns of patient to us, without affect, and then proceeds to share his findings. We are taking pulse (the seven layers... not just the lub dub), assessing organ strength, dosha, and relationship between what is happening in one's psychology and one's physiology. We assist with basic treatments, including nasya (nasal oil treatments), netri-bindu (stinging, clearing eye drops), and marma therapy (like acupressure). Already, in these two weeks, I have witnessed the nonsensical. He integrates allopathy and ayurveda with clinical finesse. We observe the uncanny, yet unfaltering correlation between physical trait and disease. We witness how eye characteristics, nail shape, tongue color & landscape, skin tags, and pulse presentation clearly express the honest and innocent truth of what is happening within one's body and mind. These diagnostic processes, although dissimilar in many ways to our western medical approach reveal a direct correlation to mineral deficiency, presence of intestinal parasite, blood lipid profiling, history of thumb sucking and its impact on physiology, and so much more.

Probably the most profound, we are realizing how our mind is a valuable tool, especially when partnered with the intuition. There is a sensory skill that is developed through the practice of ayurveda. A way that we exhale, let go of what we think we know, and allow that which is true, in this moment, to reveal itself through pulse, intellect, tongue, and manifestation within body, mind, heart, and soul.

Until next time...