Q:Are there some physical issues that can be handled within oneself, while with others you need external help, meaning therapies, medicines and surgeries? How do you distinguish between those?

Sadhguru: Modern healthcare systems make a lot of people seek outside help even when it is not necessary. It has become a culture, but more than that, it is a huge commercial activity. Out of a nineteen trillion dollar economy in the United States, over three trillion dollars is healthcare. That is not a good sign at all. A whole lot of procedures, therapies and surgeries are largely unnecessary, but they happen because it is good for the economy – you have to keep it going.

An Expert Opinion

There are only certain things which need external intervention. How to distinguish? First, you must do everything possible. If that still does not work, then you seek outside help. This may look completely out of the purview of modern societies, but if you pay enough attention – suppose your hand is paining – it does not take a great expert to tell you this particular muscle is swollen, so this needs rest. If you just observe, you know which needs rest, which needs activity. But no one wants to use their mind; they want an expert opinion on this.


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I am telling you that you are the expert, because the doctor never knows where it hurts and how much it hurts.

I am telling you that you are the expert, because the doctor never knows where it hurts and how much it hurts. He knows it only by what you say or by poking you. You know best. But if you are living in such a way that the only attention is to the surface, the make-up, not to the body, then someone has to tell you which muscle should rest and which needs exercise. If you pay attention, you know. Even if you know, you may not do it because you are lazy, you do not have time or something else. That is different. But if you pay enough attention, everyone is capable of knowing this. You do not need anyone to tell you.

70% of Ailments Don’t Need Treatment

Of course there are things that you do not know, for which you need an expert to tell you what is going wrong with you. If your kidney is malfunctioning, you may not be capable of knowing. You cannot figure out why the symptoms are happening. Then a doctor comes in. But for a whole lot of problems that people have on a day-to-day basis, you do not need any external help. If you ask me, seventy to eighty percent of all therapies and sixty percent of the surgeries could be junked in the world and people will still be okay if they are willing to eat properly and do a few things about their wellbeing.

On an average, I would say, seventy percent of the ailments do not need treatment – they need discipline.

On an average, I would say, seventy percent of the ailments do not need treatment – they need discipline. About thirty percent need treatment and external intervention. If seventy percent of the treatment requirements in the world disappear because people are doing the right things with themselves, then we can say that humanity is healthy at an optimum level. A few percentage points may vary this way or that way, allowing some room for the lazy and the ignorant, but all others can fix themselves with a little attention and effort.

Whenever something is a little wrong with me, I always ask a doctor, “Okay, what is it?” They tell me, “This, this, this, you must take this medicine, that medicine.” I do not take that medicine, but I do something else. People around me get frustrated, “Then why do you go to a doctor?” I just want a second opinion. I know this is what is happening with me, but I am also checking. I am not so arrogant to simply think this is it. So I just check, but do I have to do what they tell me? No. I will do what works best for me.

A Natural Aspiration for Health

This requires a certain level of attention and awareness about oneself. Above all, this excessive concern about health is an illness in itself. If you see the number of books and the amount of printed pages on the planet about health, particularly in the United States of America, health seems to be such a big fetish. That itself is ill-health. Should you not be concerned? Yes, you should be. But you must understand that health is a natural aspiration for every cell in your body. It is not an intention you have to create in your mind.

Health becomes an intention in your mind only if you are eating wrong, living wrong, drinking wrong, breathing wrong, doing everything wrong. Now you have to hold this intention, “I want to be healthy, I want to be healthy.” If you are doing all these things properly, you do not have to think, “I want to be healthy.” Every cell in your body is striving and wanting to be healthy. Just leave them alone. Do not cancer them up. Just leave them alone, and they will do their work.

But we are living in a world where we may be breathing things that we should not breathe, drinking things that we should not drink, eating things unconsciously that we should not eat. A little more care may be needed because we are living in a poisonous world today. We have poisoned everything that we consume. But health is a natural aspiration of the body and every cell in the body. It is not something that you have to take up as a mission.