With people increasingly leaning towards alternative treatments like Ayurveda, naturopathy, and homeopathy we thought of visiting one of the Ayurveda centers. We visited an Ayurvedic clinic called Ayushakti, which has its main center in Mumbai, India. This clinic was set up by Dr. Pankaj Naram and his wife Dr. Smita Naram. They follow the ancient form of Ayurvedic medicine to treat their patients. They have now even initiated centers in other parts of the world like U.S.A., Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Russia, Australia, etc. among others.
Dr. Naram can predict prior surgeries or accidents, past traumas, heart blockages, etc. just by reading the pulse of the patient. The highly trained doctors of this clinic can predict about 350 combinations of pulse. After the disease or illness of the patient has been configured, the doctors plan out an effective diet and treatment that the patient has to follow for a recommended period of time.
Our HealthJockey team has had the privilege of interviewing the visionary of the Ayushakti clinic herself, Dr. Smita Naram. Along with the honor of interviewing Dr. Smita, we have even spoken to some of their patients in the clinic. Before we get to the patients’ interview, let’s hear it from the doctor herself. Here are the excerpts of our interview with Dr. Smita Naram:
How does Ayurveda help your patients?
Ayurveda works from the roots and not on any symptomatic approach. Ayurveda can be defined as maintaining a balance between all the systems of the body. For instance, if there is excess heat in the body, Ayurveda cools the body down by reducing this heat, and vice versa, if the body has a lot of cold in it, Ayurveda increases the heat. Ayurveda removes the accumulated toxins from our body so that the body can regulate properly.
There are numerous subtle types of Vata or air in our body which are responsible for our movements. An imbalance in this air could result in stiffness and pain in the body. To calm this imbalance, the air has to be internally moisturized which can be done with the help of various foods and herbs. When the air subsidizes, a relief from pain, fear, arthritis, depression, etc. can be felt.
Pita, on the other hand is heat. For instance the heat provided by the sun rays is used to sow and reap grains. The next process, i.e., the process of grounding the grains also requires a certain amount of heat. This is followed by the process of cooking, eating and even digesting these grains which utilizes heat. Heat is necessary for every transformation. However, an increase in this form of heat in the environment could have disastrous effects. Similarly an increase of this heat in the body, could burn our nutrition. Excess heat or Pita in the body may produce certain symptoms like weight gain issues, acne, headache, rashness, red spots on the skin, acidity etc. In order to get rid of all these symptoms, the excess Pita has to be gotten rid of naturally.
The next element is Kapha. Kapha is very essential for the growth of children. An increase in Kapha could result in mucus in them. This mucus is then suppressed by giving the child an antibiotic, which in turn stunts the child’s growth. Excess use of antibiotics can seriously affect a child’s immune system which could later result in grave complications. The mucus in the body should be gotten rid of naturally and not through antibiotics. Mucus is cold in nature, so in order to balance the body temperature, only the required amount of heat should be provided. This balance can be brought about by consuming food stuffs that are hot in nature, like ginger, black pepper, garlic, holy basil (tulsi) etc. This way there won’t be any fear that excess heat may have an adverse effect on the Kapha, which in turn won’t affect the child’s growth.
In simple terms this is the way Ayurveda works to help patients. Through Ayurvedic medicines and specialized dietary regime, an improvement is tried to be brought about in our patients.
On an average how many patients do you treat in a day?
On the days that I have OPD (Outpatient department), I treat around 200-250 patients per day, while my husband, Dr. Pankaj Naram sees about 400 patients on an average in a day. In our absence, the other doctors see around 100-150 patients per day.
How much time do you allot to each of your patients’?
I don’t have any fixed time for seeing each of my patient’s. The time could vary from 2 to 10 minutes. The amount of time allotted to each patient depends on the time that the patient’s problem is properly understood and their treatment has been efficiently planned out. Generally about half a minute is required to read their pulse and predict the internal happenings of their body.
Usually for what kind of treatments do patients’ come to you?
Basically most of our patient’s have chronic problems like arthritis, heart problem, blood pressure, cholesterol, prostate problems, osteoporosis, etc. One of our patients, Elinor, who is from Germany, had come to us to treat her osteoporosis. She has been cured from the past three years and is now a practicing doctor who follows our form of treatment. Patient’s also come to us for skin problems, asthma, chronic cough and cold, concentration problem in kids, memory problems in adults, etc.
One of the specialties at Ayushakti is treating infertility. We have had great results in treating azo-spermia, oligospermia, tube block, fibroids, polycystic ovaries, no ovulation, etc. In this field we have gotten a lot of awards and acclaimed internationally as well. A Netherlands doctor had conducted a research on about 2500 of the couples that we had treated. There it was found that Ayurveda produces about 2.5 times more results than allopathy, in infertility. These statistics have even been published in the Netherlands University. Other than this, we have even produced good results in preventing cancer relapse in cancer patients.
Does it cure the disease completely, or does Ayurveda just prevent any further cancer relapses?
We prevent relapses. However there have been certain cases where cancer has even been cured. Having said that, I still can’t claim that, Ayurveda can completely cure cancer in a patient. There have been some people, having exhausted all their other choices, as a last option opt for Ayurveda. Some patients have even outlived the number of years predicted by their allopathy doctor. But you can never predict the outcome of treating patients suffering from such diseases.
Basically, on an average how many sittings does each treatment require?
It depends on what the patient is suffering from. Usually chronic problems take a longer period of time to treat. It also depends on the urgency of the patient’s disease. If a person is suffering from a non-chronic disease like diarrhea, then a treatment is given which immediately cures the disease. We had a particular patient who was suffering from ulcerative colitis for the past 20 years. So we asked him to at least give us 20 months to treat his disease effectively!
Can you name some celebrities and globally renowned people that you have treated in the past?
We have treated celebrities like Asha Parekh, Liv Taylor and Mark Victor Hansen. We have even treated Vaseliza, who is a Russian tennis player. She had come to us to treat her ankle and knee, which had gotten hurt while playing. She is fine now and has started playing tennis again in Russia. A lot of Swami’s from all over the world like Chidananda Muni from Parmananta Ashram and even top leaders from Harekrishna are taking our treatments. Several politicians and film producers also come to us.
What is your most memorable experience with any of your patients’? Can you recollect any such incident?
That is a difficult question. Actually I have quite a few memorable experiences.
My first memorable experience would have to be about one couple who had come to me for infertility treatment. Even after 13 years of marriage, they still didn’t have any children. The husband was suffering from oligospermia, for which allopathy does not really offer a solid treatment. This couple had undergone artificial insemination, as well as IVF, but to no avail. The wife was treated with so many hormones, which resulted in an over stimulation of them. Initially she was not suffering from anything, but when her hormones went haywire, she started suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome. This couple had come to us through their neighbor’s reference, who themselves had successfully gained a child through our treatments.
The wife was given Panchkarma or a cleansing therapy. After receiving Ayurvedic treatments for about fourteen months, she came to me suspecting that she was pregnant. On undergoing a urine test it was discovered that she was in fact pregnant! She didn’t believe it at first and insisted on a second test. On seeing that the second test was also positive, she came to me crying with unbelievable joy. That was an unforgettable moment for me. I am sure all the couples expecting a child go through this same emotion, but since that happened in front of my eyes, I was very touched with that experience.
My second unforgettable experience was about a 79 year old lady in Zurich. She was suffering from a 12 centimeter large malignant tumor in her stomach. This tumor involved her liver, spleen, kidneys, etc. The doctors had told her that because of her old age, surgery could not be conducted. This tumor could not be removed because practically every affected internal organ would have to be removed which would in turn make it impossible for her to survive. So she came to meet my husband, following which she started taking Ayurvedic treatments. After that meeting she wrote a very strong letter to her tumor, stating that, “My cancer, you are a very unwanted guest that I am carrying in my soul’s house. Now I have found Dr. Naram, who has successfully treated a lot of cancer patients. I believe that you will be gone after this treatment.”
After about three years of taking Ayushakti treatments when she went for a routine check up, she was told that her tumor had reduced. After five years of treatment, she went for a normal mandatory scan in Switzerland, where she was told that there were no traces of cancer in her body. She was so thrilled when she came to see me. She wrote another letter to her cancer stating that, “You are gone now. Thank you. Don’t even dare to come back.” She was a very courageous lady, with a very strong mind-set.
My third experience was about a man from Germany. He had come to treat his frozen-shoulder. While reading his pulse, I felt that he had experienced betrayal from a very close person, and following that episode he was suffering from a frozen shoulder. He confirmed that he had in fact experienced betrayal from a very close business associate.
Apart from physical treatments given for his frozen shoulder, he was also given heart dhara. Heart dhara treatments are mainly conducted for emotional betrayal, grief, etc. We were astounded to see that every time he was given heart dhara, he would cry out of grief and anger on his friend. It was later found out that in reality his friend had not actually betrayed him. He, himself had gotten mixed up in his emotions and had taken the whole episode as a betrayal. Every time heart dhara was conducted on him, he could make out the difference between reality and the earlier perception that he had about the issue. He even spoke on the phone with his friend and told him that all this time he was under the impression that he had been betrayed. His friend apologized to him, for his act that had led to the feeling of betrayal in him. And from that day itself, he was cured from his frozen shoulder pain. This was an unbelievable experience for me.
Do Ayushakti treatments have a 100% success rate?
I will be very frank with you, we are not God! Ayurvedic treatments are very different from allopathy. People have to follow a particular diet and treatment in Ayurveda. They have to follow a certain life-style and take certain herbs for a long period of time. Undergoing Ayurvedic treatments require a lot of effort on the part of the patients. Ayurveda works on a long term basis. If it is not followed properly, then lesser results will be obtained. However in comparison to allopathy and other forms of treatments, Ayurveda removes the problem from within. I have witnessed this fact innumerable times.
We believe you conduct seminars worldwide. What kind of response do you get there?
The seminars are always full. I personally conduct seminars with doctors. We also have workshops with the general population on a lot of laymen problems like fear, depression etc. I and my husband are very regularly telecast internationally on Zee TV. We also give health tips for regular problems.
So do you just do that internationally, or nationally as well?
We don’t do that nationally, because that particular Zee channel company is international in itself.
So you don’t conduct seminars on a national level?
No, in India we don’t conduct many seminars. Possibly if something comes up, we can consider doing seminars here as well.
Are these treatments more accepted nationally or internationally?
I would say both actually. We have more patients in India. In the initial 10-15 years, we didn’t have any articles about us or promoting us anywhere in the world, but we still had about 400 patients daily. This was mainly through the word-of-mouth. We believe people come where results come!
Can you tell us a little about Marma Shakti?
Marma Shakti comes more under my husband’s domain. It involves pressing of certain points to clear any blockage in the physical body. It helps remove a lot of pain and stiffness from the body; it can also help adjust the vertebra, slip disc, etc. It can help remove blockages from the sub-conscious mind to the conscious mind and to the physical body, so that a person can achieve their manifested dreams easily. It is good for retroverted uterus, hernia, etc.
What is your area of treatment?
I am more specialized on Panchkarma, diet and female problems. I have a lot of patients coming to me for various problems, but diet is my specialty. For years I have experimented a lot in the diet domain. The Swadshakti restaurant, in the clinic itself, is a by-product of those experiments. I have seen that if a diet is followed disciplinarily, then that in it self could form half the treatment. So actually by altering a patient’s diet, half of the results in the patient can be produced. Herbs formulation also comes under my domain. Most of the formulations are created by me. I even treat female problems, obesity, infertility, menopause or post-menopause related problems, obesity problems related to delivery, hormonal imbalance, or menopausal related obesity.
As you said Satwik food has an effect on the body. Can you elaborate on that?
Food is basically what you eat and what you should be eating. If you are cold you should take something hot, and vice versa. Similarly, if you are heavy, you should consume light food. If you have had a heavy food, then your next meal should mainly consist of moong soup or something light. Food is all about balancing. I have seen that recently a lot of people have heat or Pita in their body because of stress, exposure to chemicals, etc. or they have problems related to Vata or Air, like anxiety, stress, depression, back-pain, etc. Kapha is not a major problem in this period of time. For a healthy living, there should be a balance in the body without any increase in Vata, Pita or Agni.
The next, would be to add spices to everything that we eat to aid in food digestion. Spices like ginger, black pepper, coriander, garlic, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, etc. stimulate the enzymes in the body. I always tell people to add all these spices, instead of just using chillies in their food. Of course all this is applicable depending on your body type. If you are very hot then garlic won’t be suitable for you. Instead cumin and coriander is a better option.
We recommend people to avoid foods that as per Ayurveda form any blockage in the body, like yogurt. Certain type of combination’s if taken continuously over a period of time can block our system, like heart arteries, pancreatic chambers, diabetes, etc. So it would be best to avoid such foods.
Another criterion which we consider while preparing food, is the nourishment of tissue. Since the immune system is very important, we always need to take care of the nourishment of the tissue. All the cereals and grains that we have here have very high levels of nourishment values and are easy to digest.
The next aspect which we take care of is the mental and emotional aspect. Three basic qualities or gunas are found in nature and mind, they are tamas, satwa and rajas. Tamas is not very essential, whereas Rajas and Satwa are needed in our body. Some food stuffs like non-vegetarian foods are tamasic and thus should be avoided as much as possible. Otherwise in the long term people may suffer from fear, depression, and a lot of mental problems, apart from the physical problems that are known by modern science.
So basically these are the five main bases for the food that we prepare.
Has any new herb been developed with Ayushakti or such?
Yes. From the herbs point of view we use concentrated extracts, which are very much from Ayushakti itself. This is our own concept which we had started using some 20 years ago. When I started preparing formulas, I realized that each Ayurveda dosage was not lesser than 3 to 5 grams. So if a patient has to take about 10 different herbs, then the amount of herb consumption would be very high in quantity. At that point of time, since one pill could not contain different types of herbs in varying amounts, none of the companies provided the required amount of dosage. Thus we started the use of concentrated extracts, so that people could just take a tablet containing all the required amounts and varieties of herbs in it.
Apart from this, all our medicines are free from heavy metals. We take care of microbial counts to make sure that all the products are free from various herb related contamination’s. We have a very strict quality control in India as well as abroad.