“I was born in Saswad City near Pune in India. My parents were secondary school teachers, but they are both retired now. My father was a headmaster and taught English, Sanskrit and History, and my mother taught Hindi. I grew up with my two brothers, and they now work in the pharmaceutical and IT industries respectively.
“From as early as I can remember I wanted to be a doctor. I would play with my friends and my brothers and they would have to be my patients when I gave them check ups with a toy stethoscope! It was my dream from a very early age and I always knew I would become a doctor.
“I took my Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and surgery as soon as I could. The course itself is almost five years long, with a compulsory internship year in a teaching hospital. The syllabus includes allopathic and ayurvedic subjects: anatomy, physiology, ayurvedic principles, diagnosis, pharmacology, gynaecology, surgery, ENT, paediatrics, and general medicine are all in there. The course is governed by the CCIM which is the Central Government of Indian Medicine. Then I continued and studied for my MD which was a further three years post graduate course, I specialised in herbal medicines at Pune University.
“The basic principles of Ayurvedic medicine are related to the human subtle energies called Doshas. They govern the body with elemental changes, we call them “humours”. Every body has a unique percentage combination of these doshas, if they are influenced to change through your lifestyle then this can lead to illness. You can be one or a combination of three different doshas: Vata people are usually thin, tall, skinny, always nervous with dry skin, they’re talkative and can’t tolerate the cold. Pitta people are usually always hungry, also they have short fuse, can’t tolerate heat and complain about digestive problems. Kapha people are usually bigger, calm, slow, although they may eat less than the Vata people, and they tend to complain about respiratory problems. But it’s normal for a person to show elements of two doshas, or sometimes all three. Understanding your dosha and how you need to treat it will help you to avoid illness, you have to be careful what foods you eat depending on your dosha and what you use to fuel the digestive fire, “Agni”.
“Ayurveda has a very big role to play in treating some very challenging disesases, and it also helps to prevent a person from developing ill health. I have seen good results using Ayurvedic principles in cases of infertility, PCOD, rheumatism, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, chronic pancreatis, NIDDM and many more. It is also a very good support system for people who are having chemotherapy, renal failure, cardiac disease, asthma and diabetes. It works well when Ayurvedic medicines are supplementing modern medicines. The side effects of chemotherapy can be controlled very effectively, and this has been well documented by scientists.
“In the West Ayurvedic medicine is still not very well known. The research and statistics are still not shared with the public in the West. Ayurvedic has previously only been known as a massage therapy for relaxing, but it’s much more powerful than that. The proper medicines are yet to be marketed in great quantity, some people still think that herbal medicine is some sort of magic, or a joke.
“You have to see Ayurvedic medicine as a lifestyle management system: I prescribe the proper diet according to your body type, recommend body cleansing procedures and rejuvenation therapies. These combined have a great effect to health and longevity.
“It was about twelve years ago when I met Chetana from Bodhana when she was in India. She came to me for a consultation and was very impressed with the results. We became friends and she started to bring me to Majorca to treat people there. She knew there were people on the island who were interested in the principles of Ayurveda who wanted me to go over and share my knowledge.
“I fell in love with Majorca as soon as I arrived. It has so many beautiful sights and people, and it’s quite accessible for me to get there from India. I visit Ibiza and Portugal as well and combine my trip with a little vacation. Sometimes my wife and son come with me for a few days as well.
“If you ask me if the people in Majorca have different diseases to the people in India I would say the causes are different, they are more related to modern lifestyle, precisely there are more stress related conditions here. Other than that it’s the same as the rest of the planet. Being a doctor is the most satisfying job in the world, knowing that I am helping people to be healthy. They have to follow some simple changes in their diets and lifestyles and the impact that can have is amazing.”
Dr Sandeep P Shirvalkar was speaking to Vicki McLeod
To find out more about his Ayurveda clinic visit www.bodhana.com. To find out more about Ayurveda visit www.researchayurveda.com To read more articles about people in Majorca visit www.mallorcastories.com
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