War and Symbiosis


Have you ever noticed that western medicine terminology functions on the premises of war? ‘Battling the condition’, ‘fighting the disease’, ‘combating acne’, ‘defeat the virus’, ‘kill the bacteria’, are common, ingrained phrases. Over time with this militarian language and attitude to our bodies and disease, I think, has created conflict and discourse within ourselves on a subconscious level and we’ve become conditioned to treat our own bodies as the ‘other’, the enemy.

Ancient eastern medicine functions on the premises of symbiosis between the mind, body and soul. It treats the discomforts and dis-eases of the body as signs of imbalance and works towards rebalance, and regaining energy and vitality. It works on the deeper causes rather than the symptoms and the causes could come from unexpected sources like grief, stress, anxiety as well as diet, injury etc. These alternate systems medicine treat a human body as a holistic unit of physical, mental and energy existence rather than separate parts.

This is especially true for the skin. It’s our biggest organ and reflects hormonal changes, liver & gut health, toxins in the blood, and even reacts to stress.

One of the biggest and the subtlest change you can do for your skin is that of perspective. If this resonates with you, reflect for a few minutes on your relationship with your skin. Have you ever considered what your skin does and goes through for you? Has it been a cause of frustration or disappointment? Why?

Try the following:

  • Reflect for a few minutes on how your skin, your body is in symbiosis with the rest of you, your health, well-being and your mind. Do this especially when you are following your skincare routine. Try asking your skin what it wants.  

  • Choose a small action like applying oil to your face or wiping your make-up, moisturising… anything which you do daily. Next time you do it, add some intention. Do it slowly, feel every stroke of your fingers, be mindful of the nurturing you provide for your skin, and about what your skin goes through. Focus on the sensation for a moment. Does it feel cool, tingly, dry etc.

mugdha sapte