Mindful eating in a blog by Haripriya Suraj in When Spirit Meets Science
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Life Lessons in Mindful-Scientific Eating

Thanks to Reiki, I took to the practice of ‘mindful eating’ quite effortlessly and practiced it for years. Reiki helped me tune in to my body completely, knowing exactly how much I ought to feed it and when to stop.

Of late though, the responsibilities of parenting a young child have thrown me off track. I have not been practicing mindful eating and my body has been acting up. I have been trying to schedule my meals around my little one’s nap times so I can enjoy eating in silence. This need to enjoy solitude at any cost has taken a toll on my body. I have had episodes of acid reflux and have needed to pop antacids to soothe my tummy.

My husband Suraj, who has been observing my lifestyle for a while now, brought my attention to the fact that my eating habits have become less than ideal – both from the scientific as well as energetic perspective.

Some points that came forth from the discussion include –

Eating Small and Frequent Meals – I had gotten into the habit of allowing myself to go hungry until my baby slept. The hidden unconscious agenda behind this was that I could relish huge meals at one go (without needing to attend to anything else). I was helped to understand that this strategy isn’t working in my favour and that smaller, more frequent meals are best for the tummy. Eating up to 80% of the stomach’s capacity at a given meal time and leaving some room was recommended to me.

Relaxed and Mindful Eating – As I reflected on Suraj’s observations and suggestions, I also realized I had been eating in a state of hurry and worry. I was constantly anxious to finish eating before my little one could wake up. Add to this the fact that I was gulping down large meals, anyone looking would think I was deprived of food! From an energetic perspective, anxiety isn’t the best energy to put into your body while you nourish it with food.

I am so grateful these insights were brought into my awareness.

I recently resumed the practice of ‘mindful-scientific’ eating. Since I was very mindful, I noticed initially that every time I got ready to eat, my hands tensed up in preparation to grab and my tongue salivated at the mere sight of food on the plate. I realized I must have been approaching meal times in this unconscious manner for the last year or so.

When I became aware of the way my system was responding to food, I took a deep breath and told myself that I have all the food I need. I told myself I will be alright even if my little one wakes up in the middle of my meal. I stopped eating when my stomach was 80% full and ended the meal with a word of gratitude. My tummy feels light now and so does my mind.

Very often, we are unable to see our own blind spots. It is OK for others around us – family and friends- to show us the light!

This image shows medicine/surgery in a blog post on Modern Medicine authored by Haripriya Suraj and Suraj Manjunath
modern medicine, science, when spirit meets science

Modern Medicine : A Science And An Art

Everyone knows modern medicine is rooted in science but did you know that it is also an art?

I didn’t until I met Suraj and we co-authored the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’

This post is an extract from the chapter ‘Medicine Calling’ in the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science.’

It highlights the principles upon which modern medical practice is based.

So what makes medicine a science and an art?

  1. Medical training enables one to gain firsthand experience of the scientific method. From dissection of the human body in the first year to the delivery of babies in the final year, plenty is available for a medical student to see, experience and learn hands on.
  2. The treatments offered are largely evidence based and scientifically proven.
  3. The benefits as well as potential side effects of every medicine/treatment are well documented. There is no sugar coating.
  4. The skill of a clinician lies in making a reasonable accurate diagnosis and offering a suitable treatment plan for an individual patient.
  5. A treatment is offered only when its benefits to the patient far outweigh the risks that it poses – and this often requires clinical judgment.
  6. Medicine is a combination of science and art. Diseases are as complex as the human body and their diganoses and treatment can be quite challenging. Every treatment is offered in context, after evaluating the benefits and risks.
  7. Finally, medicine is so much more than just treating a disease. It also involves interaction with human beings, which means interpersonal skills, empathy, ability to build a rapport with patients are part of the job too.

I always look for the Yin and Yang in every scenario. I believe both components are essential to complete the circle of life. To me, the science in medicine is the Yang while the art is the Yin!

energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, science, Spirit, when spirit meets science

What Happens When Spirit Meets Science?

Science is working wonders in our lives today. Travel back in time to your childhood and compare the role that science played back then to what it does today. Now go back further to when your parents and grandparents were children. What was the role of science during those times?

It is a known fact that scientific advancement has been happening in leaps and bounds. Human intelligence has been working hard to create marvel after marvel. Isn’t that amazing?

The world of Spirit has existed since time immemorial too. Different people resonate with different spiritual paths. Many paths include a quest into realms that lie outside the concrete physical world. This apart, spirituality also includes elements of love, compassion, peace, oneness, service and the like. New age spirituality, often has concepts of energy medicine blended in and places much emphasis on wellness, mindfulness, self-love, emotional well being and a whole range of such concepts.

Is there a need for the world of spirit to meet the world of science?

Not necessarily. They both can exist independently and progress perfectly well.

But….they can also choose to meet.

Let’s explore what could happen if they do choose to meet.

  1. Life could be more well rounded. While science is primarily based on logic and rational thought, spirituality is rooted in philosophy and intuition. When we embrace both these aspects within ourselves, we find a whole new level of strength and wisdom. We know which strength of ours to apply in different scenarios and make the most of both sides of our brain.
  2. Healing sciences may become more holistic and focus on healing body, mind, and soul. For instance, modern medicine is rooted in the science of evidence based practice. This brings structure, strength, and precision to modern medical treatments. Intuitive therapies like Reiki focus more on going with the flow and staying flexible. This brings in subtler elements of softness and self-care to help maintain overall well being. I often recall times when popping paracetamol brought down a viral fever and helped me feel comfortable, while Reiki helped me relax deeply and give myself space and time to heal.
  3. Human intelligence can take on a whole new definition. EQ receives as much importance as IQ. Apart from applying our classical intelligence to create breakthroughs in the outer world, we also nurture our emotional intelligence and create many inner breakthroughs. We may go deeper into our human experience and live life more fully.

Making spirit meet science is not a lofty unattainable goal destined for a future time. Its principles are simple and can be easily practiced in our day-to-day lives. It is all about embracing logic as well as magic and knowing what to choose when!

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The Marvels of Modern Medicine

Modern Medicine is one of the greatest offerings of Science.

As a child, I looked up to modern medicine. I loved being checked on gently by my kind-hearted physician. I knew that a visit to his clinic would often involve receiving a bottle of colourful potion, drinking which would help me feel better!

I watched my grandparents with multiple health problems lead long lives of fairly good quality, while the generation prior to theirs succumbed to simple illnesses in their forties and fifties. Thanks to the support of modern medicine, my grandparents lived into their eighties.

My own life was saved by modern medicine when I developed a pregnancy-induced life-threatening condition. Had I developed the same condition a century ago, I would have been one among millions of women who lost their lives to pregnancy.

Much of what we take for granted today posed a huge threat to our ancestors – smallpox, typhoid, cholera, rabies, snakebites, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and the list goes on.

Appendicitis meant death in the past whereas today it is no big deal at all!

Anaesthesia for surgical procedures is another feather in the cap. It’s hard to imagine how terrifying it may feel to be cut open without being put to sleep!

The life-saving measures offered by modern healthcare, both in the form of medicine and surgery, are one of its greatest contributions to humanity.

Certain common health conditions like diabetes and hypertension may not have a cure yet but they can certainly be managed well through a combination of medicine and lifestyle measures.

Vaccinations are another significant contribution of medical science. All of us reading this have witnessed the havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. While some are not for vaccines, the fact remains that vaccination has been a safe and reliable solution for several million people in the last few decades and more recently during the Covid outbreak.

I am sometimes asked why science must focus on the remedies to illness. Why not teach people to be well so we can prevent illness from developing in the first place?

My answer is that illness is part of the world we live in.

As wellness practitioners, we can certainly teach people about how to stay well.

But does that guarantee that illness will disappear?

All of us need the support of healthcare from time to time, even if just for simple health concerns.

Let’s intend and work towards creating a safe and disease-free world.

Let’s work towards helping people embrace wellness.

At the same time, it is important to be awake to the fact that illness is as much a part of the current world as wellness.

Opposites co-exist on this plane of duality called Planet Earth.

For as long as this is the case, healthcare is required.

Wellness can go hand in hand with medical care (where required).

Medicine has always been part of humankind’s history.

The Native Medicine of the past has evolved into the Modern Medicine of today.

When we take a moment to see how far we have come due to the progress made by medical science, we may find ourselves feeling grateful for it.

Thank you, Science!