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Advocate of 'natural cures'

THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE 2000 BC

Here, eat this root.1000 BC

The root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.1805 AD

That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.1940 AD

That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.1985 AD

That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic. 2000 AD

That antibiotic doesn't work anymore. Here, eat this root. (Anonymous).

KOCHI IS second home to Mr. Eric Kirchheiner. And he is in love with ayurveda. This renowned Danish Orthomedical Advisor served as principal of Delta Study for a short period in the seventies. His bond with this port city grew stronger after his marriage to Charlotte, a native of Fort Kochi. Back to Kochi, on a personal visit, Mr. Krichheiner waxed eloquent on the subject that he holds close to his heart _ medicine and the appropriate system for treatment.

"Ayurveda and other Asian healing systems are gaining popularity in the West. This is largely due to the growing discontent against the use and abuse of a few toxic and hazardous substances in allopathic treatment" says Mr.Kirchheiner, who is a medical consultant for many Scandinavian clinics.It was music that brought Mr. Kirchheiner to India. He happened to hear an album of Dagar Brothers and instantly fell in love with Drupad music. Fascinated by this refined form of music, he came to India somewhere in the late sixties hoping to learn it. It was during this time that Mr. Krichheiner was drawn towards Ayurveda and other Asian healing systems. "I only had limited medical education. So I had to study by myself," recalls Mr. Krichheiner. Then, when he went back to Denmark, he joined the Danish branch of `Bioforce', a naturopathic Swiss firm with a global network, founded by Dr. A.Vogel. "That was the time the orthomolecular movement was gaining momentum in the West."

It was Linus Pauling (1901-1994), the outstanding American scientist and Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry and Peace, who coined the word `orthomolecular' in 1969 to denote use of optimal amount of natural substances such as nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, natural fatty acids, enzymes etc. in the treatment of a disease and for maintaining health. Linus Pauling insisted that treatment of chronic and degenerative diseases should be with appropriate substances, which are compatible to human organism. He established that such nutrients are highly effective in treatment of cancer, schizophrenia and arthritis.

With his deep knowledge in various types of Indian, Chinese and Tibetan traditional systems of healing, Mr. Krichheiner further developed the concept and called it `orthomedical,' comprising lifestyle, ecology and recognition of each patient's bio-chemical individuality.

"The most important factor is that you cannot have a treatment without adjustment of lifestyle," Mr. Krichheiner explains. "Cardio-vascular diseases are generally preventable and in the early stages even easily curable. Cancer can also be prevented and often cured. Similarly, many varieties of arthritis can be neutralised and even cured in many cases. So called mental diseases, like schizophrenia, which I consider as chemical diseases, if detected early, can be neutralised or even cured in most cases," claims this orthomedical advisor, who prescribes safe and effective methodology for treatment.

"First of all we should understand the ecology of ourselves. Every human being is a nation consisting millions of cells. The society's health is a sum total of the health of individuals. The sum total of the health of cells inside us is the health of every individual. We should recognise the cell ecology. If you keep the cells happy, you will be all right," Mr. Krichheiner says with a chuckle.

"In the beginning, doctors were against this movement. But gradually, especially the younger generation welcomed it. Many medical practitioners now show great interest in this concept," Mr. Krichheiner adds.

There is a network of doctors in Scandinavia who regularly consult Mr. Krichheiner. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, incorporated in England, and an active member of the consumer movement called `May Day,' which fights against medical abuse, Mr. Krichheiner makes himself available for free consultation over telephone four hours a week, which always runs overtime due to the heavy rush. He has authored more than twenty books on health in Danish. His books are simple, small and cheap, as he wishes to reach out as many people as possible. He has also authored a unique Encyclopaedia, `New Natural Cures' in two volumes of 800 pages each, which many doctors use as a referral guide.

Mr. Krichheiner strongly believes that ayurvedic medicines are very effective for certain diseases, but its non-availability abroad prevents them from being prescribed. He plans to come back to the land he loves once again, this time to participate in the forthcoming `Ayurveda Congress'.

T.K.SADASIVAN

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