Is there an Ayurvedic view of plastic surgery?

by: Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Dear Deepak,

Lately, out of my insecurities, I have been toying with the idea of doing plastic surgery for my nose.  Yet at the same time, I am aware that  I want to develop my spiritual life (I have been practicing yoga for 11 years and I’ve been teaching it for the past three years) in more depth.  I am starting to meditate again.  However, being so self-conscious physically (especially as I age) and being drawn to the spiritual life are creating a lot of chaos in my mind as I don’t know what the drive for either is, although obviously the drive to meditate seems to make more sense to me.

Can you let me know what the yogic/Ayurvedic/and your perspective is about the subject of changing one’s physical appearance?

Thank you so much for your help.

Deepak Responds . . .

I don’t know if there is an official Ayurvedic position on plastic surgery, but the basic idea of yoga philosophy and Ayurveda is to restore balance and wholeness – physically, mentally, and spiritually.  A treatment such as plastic surgery would only be considered if it were essential for the overall wellbeing of the patient. Certainly in cases of disfigurement, reconstructive plastic surgery would make sense. In fact, in India  rhinoplasty has been practiced for well over two thousand years for severed noses.

In your case, since you state that your motivation arises from insecurity and concerns over the effects of aging, you will probably gain more lasting benefits by addressing your underlying insecurities, fears, and beliefs than you would from plastic surgery.  Making an effort to draw your self-value and worth through your essence rather than your outer appearance will have a profound influence on all aspects of your wellbeing.

Love,
Deepak

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About the author

Deepak Chopra, M.D.
April 19, 2013 - 4:19am,

Deepak Chopra, M.D is the author of more than 65 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a Distinguished Executive Scholar at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization.

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