Friday, May 18, 2012

Autism, Ayurveda and Ignorance

Recently I came across a photo on Facebook that depicted the incredible changes to vaccines for kids in the past decades.  When I saw this picture, I clicked "Share" because I found the picture informative, and I think it is important to be informed.  Much like "meat eaters" do not always like to be informed of the topic of factory farming, the topic of vaccines can easily stir up an emotional reaction in people, in parents, and health care professionals.  On FB people can click "Like" or "Share" or "comment" and it allows people to be respectful and share, since it is an open forum.

Usually I post motivational quotes, comics, or upcoming yoga events of my fellow yogis or myself, but this particular post was different.  I was very proud of my beautiful cousin, who immediately wrote an eloquent response, which in my view takes more courage than speaking behind someone's back.  If only we take the time to calmly communicate, to respect and listen to each other, then and only then, can we learn and grow together.  Being that she is studying to be a health care professional, she was very quick to point out the endless hours of research, medical studies, and medical articles on this topic. 

While I agree that there may be no evidence linking infant mortality rates to vaccines, I also believe that their is no substantial evidence linking the incredibly high doses of vaccines that are administered by mandate today, for better health and disease prevention of kids.  If a new vaccine is administered nearly every year, how much sufficient testing has truly been done?

WHAT does this have to do with yoga?  Well it has to do with our body, our sense of unity, and Ayurveda.  For those who study Ayurveda, an ancient science, that inspired modern day medicine, they will understand how each unique body is diagnosed by it's individual prakriti or constitution.  When the individual is out of balance it is treated according to its dosha type.  For me, this makes me question the concept of mandating tremendous doses of vaccines in every child, when every child is different, unique and therefore has the propensity to react differently.  Much like various people react different to different antibiotics, Much like in Yoga certain dosha types resonate better with certain styles of yoga, because each of us are unique.....if we are in fact unique, why should we assume that it is appropriate to administer 3 times the amount of vaccines in 2012 as opposed to a few decades ago?

I did share a story of two of my yoga students in NYC who had healthy, vibrant children and immediately after they had their vaccination, their children reacted and had a form of autism.  There are a growing number of cases like this that spark the debate today about vaccines, and concern in parents.  Does this mean that Autism is caused by vaccines? I am no one to say so, but from an Ayurveda perspective, it is possible that not every child will react the same to each vaccine.  I also shared the story of my Godmother/aunt who took the flu shot and is now slowly becoming paralyzed.  Every vaccine comes with a disclaimer of potential harm to a small percentage of people, in her case potential paralysis, she is now that 2%, and yet we administer these shots & promote them.  These are not in medical journals, these are personal stories of people close to me.

Today a lovely fellow yogi and former student posted a brilliant post, "Autism is not a Tragedy, Ignorance is"...This is true.  It is sad when people would look at autism as a tragedy, but then again everyone reacts to situations different, and for some parents of Autistic children, they may view it different, especially depending on the place on the spectrum that the child is on.  I have been blessed to share yoga & work with Kids with Autism, Aspergers, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Willams Syndrome in India, NYC and Canada extensively, and they teach me more about JOY and Yoga than anyone I have encountered in my life.  The only tragedy is when people fail to realize how AMAZING these kids are!  Ignorance is a tragedy, so stay informed....Ask Questions.

It doesn't matter if Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Jenny McCarthy, Popular Medical Journals, Famous Yogis, Brand New Yogis, myself, my cousin or anyone online says a perspective about something, it DOES matter if we as individuals inform ourselves, educate ourselves, especially if the topic is of debate and affects our health and the health of the future generations.

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