This section is from the book "Holistic Medicine", by Shriniwas J. Kashalikar.
Diagnosis is a Greek word It means discerning or distinguishing 'Dia" means apart or through and 'gnosis" means inquiry or investigation. Another possible root of this word is "gignoskein", which means to learn or to know. In general most of us and even the dictionaries interpret the word diagnosis as 'the act or process of finding out what disease a person or an animal has by examination and careful study of a person.
However, it must be appreciated that this interpretation is not adequate enough The word Diagnosis actually should be interpreted as a careful study of the facts about something (in this case a person) to find out its essential features, faults or other characteristics, |though this interpretation is included in World Book dictionary as figurative meaning).
One can easily understand the importance of this interpretation, if one recognizes the tendency in the medical world to 'identify' the name of the disorder or syndrome. This tendency is an intellectual error. Another point to be noted is, a diagnosis can also be N.A.D. ie. No Appreciable Disease. This also shows, how, merely pointing towards the name of the disease is not a diagnosis, or at least not a proper diagnosis from HOLISTIC point of view.
Of course one can argue that identification of the name of the disorder almost always entails the associated aspects of that disorder Moreover it may be argued that with advent of super specialties in investigative and diagnostic techniques, the diagnosis has become far more precise.
These argument; ere true in some cases, where there are clearly defined disease processes but NOT TRUE in the wide variety of poorly defined processes leading to ill health.
Hence diagnosis has to be interpreted as the act of learning about the persons life This would include anatomical, physiological, pathophysiological, pathological, etiological aspects responsible for the ill health Besides, vector, predisposing factors (familial or environmental) have to be searched for Lastly therapeutic 'diagnosis' has to be made in an appropriate manner.
Prognosis also becomes an important part of diagnosis But most importantly this i.e holistic diagnosis would include study of those phenomena/processes in die person's life which form the background 'Playground" or 'battleground" for the disease processes.
Having understood what comprises 'diagnosis", it maybe easy to appreciate that a more complete diagnosis can he made if different planes of human existence are studied. This can be possible if I carefully study the concepts of life propounded in HOMEOPATHY, AYURVEDA, YOGA, CHINESE MEDICINE etc. This will enable us to appreciate with increasing clarity the disorders at different planes in a human being This would also enlighten us with respect to the hitherto neglected or hidden aspects of the disease processes.
This concept of diagnosis is more complete and hence is important for clearer comprehension of community ill health also Thus epidemic, endemic, pandemic etc., or even prevalence of certain types of ill health, e.g diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, lassitude, absenteeism etc can be studied and understood more fully.
One of the most important aspects of diagnostic methodology and equipments is the discerning eye of the physician However, this is NOT emphasized even by die often quoted aphorism "what die mind does not know the eyes do not see". It is obvious that knowledge of the subject is important equipment in the diagnostic process But I wish to point out here die importance of subtler aspects of the perception of the physician, such as lack of selfish motives, prejudices, preoccupations, biases, etc. and ability to relate oneself with the person concerned, with concern' These qualities are absolutely essential and can be acquired by chanting the holy name of God either silently or loudly.
One of the greatest saints and seers ShnBrahmachaitanya Gondavalekar Maharaj from Gondavale, dist. Satara, Maharashtra State (1S44 to 1913) has advised a physician to chant the holy name hi improve diagnostic ability by clearing the vision.
I should comprehend the wisdom in this advice so as to achieve clearer vision which is so fundamental to our diagnostic ability This is especially important in view of the increasing dependence of the medical community on the technology and simultaneously deteriorating sense of judgment, discretion and also blurring acuity of the inner vision The chanting of the holy name transforms ones vision from mechanistic and crude into realistic arid subtle, by opening one's inner eyes. The readers can verify this with themselves instead of at once accepting or rejecting this view of the authors.
The next equipment in the diagnosis is the ability to communicate This is vital to the ability of eliciting the otherwise hidden history. All the qualities described above are essential for accurate history taking This is because the accuracy of the history depends upon how much confidence the patient has in his doctor and this in turn depends largely on the qualities of the doctor described earlier.
I wish to point out that history is not merely a window to the disease process as is usually thought to be.
Like smell of the flower the history is smell'of the disease.
It should be treated as a subtler and inseparable part of the disease process [or processes] and its background, playground or battleground viz. the patients existence I therefore feel that homeopathic history taking should be adopted after careful and thorough study at least in chronic, relatively subtler and functional disorders. In other disorders also after die acute stage is over one should combine homeopathic approach with the allopathic.
One can easily be convinced of our view about history if one realizes that history and symptomatology is actually a conscious concomitant of the neurological, neurohormonal effects of the disease process/ or its background/playground/battleground. It is known that the so called symptomatic treatment is actually THE COMPLETE TREATMENT in many instances This again confirms our view that the symptomatology is integral part of the disease process & patients existence.