We interviewed Ayurvedic Doctor, Lifestyle Consultant and Spa Manager Siddhartha Deshpande in Goa, India, last year. Read about his thoughts on the Ayuvedic lifestyle and medicine, and put his tips into practice to increase your well-being!
MATW: How would you define Ayurveda?
In a few words, Ayurveda is the science of life and longevity. Ayurveda tells us how to live a healthy and long life. It contains two philosophies, first how to maintain good health and prevent illness, and second, how to treat the ill. The first aspect, prevention, is more important in Ayurveda, and the Ayurvedic texts describe in detail how we can live healthy lives and avoid sickness.
MATW: How did you become an Ayurvedic Doctor?
Actually it´s a funny story, because initially I wanted to become a surgeon, and I started to study modern medicine. I come from a family in which everyone is a modern doctor or surgeon, and so that was the logical thing for me to do. But in between my studies, I met my Guru, and I started to visit him on a daily basis, and see how he worked based on Ayurvedic medicine. I saw true miracles happen in his consultation, and because I saw what Ayurveda can do with my own eyes, I decided to start studying to become an Ayurvedic doctor. And now I´ve been practicing for 15 years, and all my thanks go to my Guru, my God, because thanks to him I became what I am today. I have successfully treated over 22000 patients around the world, using purely Ayurvedic methods.
MATW: What is the main difference between Ayurveda and modern medicine?
It is always said, and everyone must have heard, “where allopathy ends, Ayurveda begins”. But I say it in a different way, because I have high respect for both modern medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine. I would say that the main difference is that modern medicine does not treat the root cause, while in Ayurveda we attack the root cause of the disease. So in Ayurveda the chance of recurrence is almost inexistent. Let me give you a simple example: if a patient comes to see me for fever, it is a symptom in Ayurveda, fever is not seen as a disease. So I would not give him medicines only for reducing his body temperature, I would rather prescribe him medicines for the root cause of the fever. So first I would need to analyze why he is suffering from fever in the first place, why has his body temperature risen? And then I would treat the cause of the fever, rather than the fever itself.
MATW: Any Ayurvedic tips for living well?
First of all l want to stress the fact that Ayurveda is not only meant for people in India; anyone can benefit from living according to its recommendations. Ayurveda provides us with many guidelines for living healthy, and one of them is to wake up early, between 4.30am and 6.30am in the morning, which is called the auspicious time. After waking up we should empty our bowels, and then do an exercise routine, before going to work. If we start our day like this, we are following our biological clock, and this will help maintain good health. Ayurveda recommends the practice of yoga and specifically the sun salutation, or Surya Namaskar, which is a great work-out for the entire body. Pranayama breathing exercises are also to be practiced early in the morning when the oxygen intake is at its best. With this exercise routine we will feel healthy and energetic throughout the day. Another health tip from Ayurveda is to do a “self-massage” before taking a shower, applying oil on the entire body. This oilation moisturizes the skin, lubricates the joints and helps us to prepare our body for the day. I used to be 20kg heavier and always feeling tired until I started to live according to the Ayurvedic lifestyle, and nowadays I feel healthy and I never fall sick!
MATW: Being a Spa Manager, what do you look for when hiring a therapist for your Spa?
When I interview a massage therapist, being an Ayurvedic Doctor, I start the “diagnosis” the moment the therapist enters my office. I analyze the body language, the appearance, the attitude, and so on. Of course also qualifications and experience are important, because when the therapist has good foundations and extensive hands-on practice, I will need less efforts to train him or her. The vibrations that a person emits are equally important, because when the therapist is working on a Spa guest/client, the vibes that the body emits may pass on to the client, and if the therapist transmits negativity, this might affect the client and the treatment. It is always preferable to hire a therapist that radiates positive energy, as this will support the interaction and healing process with the clients.
Our sincere thanks to Dr. Siddhartha Deshpande for answering our questions, we are sure that many people will find them interesting and useful!
If you want to learn more about Ayurveda and its treatments stay tuned we will be posting more articles and launching new courses in the near future!
Wishing you a wonderful day ahead,
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