When a child suffers from measles or small pox it gets immunity from the disease, second attack normally does not come. It is the survival of the fittest, children in the slums are normally immune to several ailments that could otherwise kill children in well off families.
With many infections, we get fever by rising the body temperature the antibody formation goes up and is twenty times more at 102 f. antibody formation takes place in 5-7 days. So do not get panicky when you get fever. But do not let it rise very high – say above 104 Celsius. You can use an ice cap and a cold sponge to bring it down. Normally in 2-3 days through rest and fasting it will come to normal. I you bring down fever by drugging you will hamper proper diagnosis.
Immunity is the self-defence mechanism by which the body protects itself form the invading germs and bacteria. It includes B and T lymphocytes, monocytes, cell in the bone marrow, lymph, nodes, peyers patches and thymus. Protective immunity is critical for survival of the humans in the sea of potentially pathogenic microorganisms in which we live.
We may be able to indulge in drinking, smoking, eating the wrong type of food, lack of exercise for some time and at the same time even can bear a lot of tension. But the body cannot tolerate injustice done to it if this goes on for long time. It had got its own adjustment and it tries to acclimatise the body to these wrongs to the best of its ability. At certain stage its adjustment fails. The body can no more bear the torture done to it. It starts breaking down and disease starts showing up. There is a limit beyond which the body will not bear “the load”, after that it says:’I give up……”. It is then the foreign activists pounce upon it and begin their nefarious work
There are two ways to keep healthy. First avoid indulging in the wrong food. Adhere to a proper diet, exercises every day, keep away from tension. The second is to make the body sensitive. Listen to the cries of the body carefully, look out for the warning signs when you feel unwell or suffer from a disease, change the style of living to help the body recuperate. Try to get rid of the disease by improving the health level. Food and drink habits should be in moderation, so that harm done to the body is limited to enable you to come out of disease as soon possible.
Many a time we do not listen to the body’s cries and carry on with nefarious habits. The way of high life to which we have been accustomed is so dear that we avoid listening to the small cries of the body and its warning signs. Disease goes on unabated and a time comes when it goes beyond reasonable help.
Not long ago the principal of a medical collage came to my clinic with his pain problems in the neck and in the shoulder joint. Twenty four years back, he was my Professor of Surgery, now he was ailing. In his more youthful days he was known for his discipline, and courage. A reputed surgeon, an excellent teacher, he was a chain smoker. He liked to see his students always dressed properly and in time for classes.
I was surprised to see him. More so when I found he had given up smoking. I asked him what had happened. His story: “I happened to get bronchitis. I consulted one of my colleagues who told me that the cause of bronchitis was smoking. I could not give up smoking, so the bronchitis kept on getting worse. I consulted him for the second time. He advised me once again not to smoke. I did not give up. Six months later I went to him for the third time. This time he was serious.
After a thorough examination, he cautioned me of the seriousness of my condition and added that if I continued smoking I would have about six months to live. It was then that I decided to do away with smoking. I did not smoke for 3 months. Later for 6months I carried a cigarette pack and a match box in my pocket. To give up smoking is easy but to get out of the temptation of smoking is more difficult. I then found that even if I had a cigarette and a match box I had no wish to some. That day I realised that I had left cigarettes for good.”
Self-denial goes a long way. Unfortunately people keep on doing the same wrong thing in spite of the fact that they know that is not good for them. If you have a sensitive body and strong mind, you may be able to change your ways of living to help the body to recuperate, to take it to a higher health level, so that you can once again, in a moderate way, indulge in your pursuit of pleasure. But we often become prisoners of our own habits. Our pleasure becomes superior to the needs of the body.
We become addicted to drinks, drugs, smoker or a particular type of good. During my practice I have found that addiction to food is one of our biggest ailment. Only under great pressure people change their food habits for a while and then they return to their old ways. They often remark that if they can’t eat what they want, there is no point in living. They prefer a doctor who does not recommend a change of diet. They are prepared to pay fat medical bills of doctors and hospitals and swallow any number of pills and potions.
But if they cannot listen to the warnings of the body and act accordingly this false support of pills and potions is not going to carry them for long. Ask any invalid millionaire whether he enjoys life. Ask the prematurely aged woman whether she enjoys her beauty. Ask the pain racked philosopher whether he enjoys life. Ask the lonely old maid who rejected love and motherhood to have a career whether she enjoys her success. These people have ignored the life of the body. They have failed.
Sooner or later there is a collapse and by the time you realise it, it may be late. You may take refuge in holding Karma responsible – that you may have done bad things in the previous life and so God is punishing you now. To enjoy good health you need not be a “Sadhu” (Saint) or a “Satwik” (eating all veg, non-fried food). You must have the knowledge of your body, which will quickly react to the bad effects of harmful food habits. Anything you do in moderation and, if you accordingly. When you feel unwell, first try to find out for yourself the wrong things, that you have been eating. Then ask yourself whether you take enough physical exercise and also whether you are free from tension. Read health books for basic guidelines o how to improve body health by natural means without taking recourse to tablets and medicines.
When your health is good, you are on the right track, you can enjoy life and have all the fun you want. Only recently have the people become health conscious and gained knowledge that health is something within our own control. So is the state of mind and heart and personal charisma. It is all within us. People in general have paid little attention to this aspect. They normally wait till they fall ill before seeking ways to take proper body care, keeping it fit and trim. When they are ill, they call the doctor and there they presume ends their responsibility, not that of the doctor.