JUNE 2016
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Guest Column

Medical Application of Yoga

Dilip Patel


On the eve of International Day of Yoga on June 21 and the annual Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) June 30-July 4 in New York City, Dr. Aravind Pillai highlights the medical application of yoga.

Yoga as a healing method has been in practice in India for more than 5,000 years and in the last several decades, the U.S. National Institute of Health has been studying and verifying the ancient science to see how it benefits the healthy as well as those with ailments (https://nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga). With this in mind, AAPI, representing more than 90,000 medical doctors in the U.S. has proposed a plan to start and run yoga clinics all over USA. If the AAPI Yoga clinic plan is approved and recognized by the Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, AAPI will offer the service to communities for free.

Yoga, if practiced properly under guidance of certified physician/yoga teachers. will bring benefits to many people who suffer from chronic ailments such as: 1. Back and neck pain from various causes; 2.Chronic migraine; 3. Asthma; 4. Chronic sinusitis; 5. Hypertension; 6. Diabetes-Type 2; 7.Chronic anxiety and depression; 8. Drug addiction and dependence; 9. Irritable bowel syndrome and more.

Yoga therapy works on three areas: 1. Psycho Limbic System; 2. Neuro-Hypothalamus; 3. Endocrine: Pituitary Gland Adrenal Gland. In our opinion, toga qualifies to be included as a preventive and palliative measure to help millions of people by alleviating their suffering, saving billions of dollars and thousands of productive hours!

Yoga is considered the greatest gift of ancient India to the world. One of the eminent Vedic masters, Patanjali compiled the essential features of Ashtanga Yoga. A conscious process of gaining mastery over the mind, yoga makes the mind reaches its subtler state. It is dexterity in action: Dexterity is in maintaining relaxation and awareness in action. Yoga teaches us to be completely present in every moment. Several scientific studies have proven the health benefits of yoga: preventing and treating chronic illness. Practice of yoga will help maintain good health. Lifestyle changes are better than drugs in promoting positive health.

Stop diabetes yoga movement: Regular practice of yoga will result in good glycemic status maintained for long period of time. There will be a lowering of drug requirement, and the incidence of acute complications like infection and ketosis can be reduced. Beneficial changes in the insulin kinetics and those of counter-regulatory hormones such as cortisol have been noted. Free fatty acids and body fat percentage can be reduced while there is an uptick in lean body mass. Insulin sensitivity can be improved while insulin resistance declined. Yogic practices are useful in all age groups, including elderly.

Yoga therapy is relaxation: It gives rest and relaxation to the target organs. Yoga is a holistic practice using all paths and limbs of yoga! Pranayama promotes the healing power of breath control and relaxation of mind.

How to achieve relaxation: Sit in a chair with your spine straight and eyes closed to do yogic breathing and exhale twice, then inhalation (exhalation – parasympathetic, inhalation – sympathetic); and say “AUM”; this sound creates vibration in the brain and is considered as harmonic resonance: stages of Asana: Arambha (beginning), Sthiti (stability), Visharjana (surrender).

We plan to work with the Hindu University of America in Central Florida and the Art of Living Center, N.C. We are working to develop the infrastructure and logistics along with encouraging support from doctors who are already yoga teachers. In the beginning, we will open clinics in a few cities, including Orlando, Tampa, Dallas, New York and Los Angeles. AAPI President Dr. Seema Jain agrees that this project will demonstrate and enhance AAPI’s commitment to community service. An action committee has been formed to involve AAPI Board of Trustee members, 12 regional directors and leaders of local chapters.

We would like to involve Surgeon General Dr. Murthy, who will attend the AAPI convention on June 30 in NYC, from our project’s inception. We are sure our goals for establishing yoga clinics will resonate with Dr. Murthy’s declared items for preventive action since prevention is the best form of cure. We would like everybody’s active support in this drive to achieve the ultimate medical “nirvana” of pre-empting disease states.

To learn how you can help AAPI achieve this worthy goal, call me at (407) 718-8733 or email dpillai605@aol.com

Dr. Aravind Pillai of Orlando is the chair of AAPI Board of Trustees.

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