Readers of newspapers, both broadsheets and tabloids, publishing informative and illuminating articles on health issues and also valuable guidelines in capsule form hinting which diet protects wellness of the body and what hurts the proper functioning of its different organs are beholden to the periodicals. If only a minuscule fraction of the reader mass take note of this Good Samaritan act by the print media while the rest are devouring the printed matter in abundance about the goings on in the worlds of vote-seekers and criminals with popping eyes, it only testifies the sad slide of society from enjoying sound health to suffering illnesses of both body and mind. The number of diseases afflicting the human kind is learnt to have exceeded 1,600 and counting. The doctor fraternity seem to be at their wits end in their daunting work of diagnosing the afflictions and their underlying causes despite advances in diagnostics aided by tools and procedures.
According to Charaka (3rd century BC), who provided the foundation of the practice of medicine, health and disease are not predetermined and life may be prolonged by human effort and attention to lifestyle. He averred that a Physician who fails to enter the body of a patient with the lamp of knowledge and understanding can never treat diseases. It is more important to prevent the occurrence of disease than to seek a cure, he postulated. That is the heart of the matter of health.
Dr. Henry Gray and Henry Vandyke Carter published Gray’s Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice in 1858, creating the text for their surgical colleagues. The latest revised edition of their work, with the shortened title Gray’s Anatomy, the 41st, published in Sept. 2015, is considered as the most authoritative text on the subject in English. Although it may sound to be a tall order, all lay people with even a cursory familiarity with English should browse through the nearly 1,200 page text priced at Rs. 2,495 (International students paperback edition) and stand immensely rewarded by getting enlightened about the various organs of the body working 24×7 to keep them going. They are sure to appreciate the human body’s exemplary status as a highly organised system unless tampered with.
Of the different organs of the human body, only some of them incorrectly perceived as vital organs, the heart seems to be the most focussed upon with awesome respect, mostly due to the fear of its stopping to beat abruptly. Lack of physical activity, in addition to leading stressful life, are known to be risk factors for this amazing organ. Despite advisory by cardiologists on adhering to disciplined lifestyle, emotion concerning health of the heart seems to stump action prescribed by the healing fraternity.