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Ayurvedic physician brings women's health perspective to renowned centre

Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center - Lancaster, USA    Translate This Article
9 August 2011

Vaidya Radhika Priya Prassannatma, an expert Ayurvedic physician, is now in residence at Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts, USA.

A native of India, Vaidya Radhika was introduced at an early age to many cultures and systems of natural medicine. After receiving her Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) degree from Rajiv Gandhi University, she practiced in regional hospitals and Ayurveda clinics. She is widely appreciated for her comprehensive knowledge, warmth and insight, and skill in enlivening the health of the whole person.

In a recent interview, Vaidya Radhika talks about her views on women's health and Ayurveda, her training, and her vision for prevention-oriented health care.

L. It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Is this your first time visiting the United States?

VR. My family lived in San Diego when I was a child, and several years later I returned to the US for college in the San Francisco area. My family also traveled frequently when I was young, so I have also visited several countries.

L. So you have a broad cultural perspective?

VR. Yes, I am at home everywhere!

L. How did you become interested in studying Ayurveda and becoming a practicing Vaidya (Ayurveda physician)? Did you have someone in your family that was an Ayurveda practitioner or a role model for you?

VR. I think my interest came from my mother. We moved a lot, and wherever we went, she made use of the natural systems of medicine that were available, such as Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and of course Ayurveda when we were in India. So I grew up with natural medicine as a part of my daily life.

L. But what drew you to want to study and practice Ayurveda?

VR. I have always mainly wanted to help people. Ayurveda has so much to offer in the area of ''Swastha'' or health. There are many components of health in Ayurveda. ''Ahar'' (diet); ''Vihar'' (activity, behavior, daily routine); ''Aushoudhi'' (herbal medicines or supplements); etc. I want to help people prevent illness from arising. I was most attracted to the prevention aspect of Ayurveda, and to education. I really enjoy educating people about lifestyle and healthy living.

L. You have a degree in Ayurvedic medicine. Where did you receive your training?

VR. Yes, after I attended college in the US, I returned to India and enrolled in a five-year course in Ayurvedic medicine at Rajasthani University in South India, where I  received the B.A.M.S. degree—a Bachelor's of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery.

L. After this training is there any further training you need in order to become a practicing Vaidya?

VR. Yes, after the five years of study, you have a minimum one year internship with a practicing Vaidya and also spend time working in a hospital. You also have hands-on experience during your five years of study, so you are well trained in clinical practice as well as medical principles and theory.

L. Do you feel that there is anything different or unique about Maharishi Ayurveda as compared with Ayurveda in general?

VR. Yes, what I feel is different in Maharishi Ayurveda is its comprehensiveness, and the integrated use of the different healing modalities such as Vedic Sound, Aroma Therapy, Gandharva Veda music, Panchakarma (rejuvenation therapy), ideal daily routine, Transcendental Meditation, and the importance of state of mind. Healing the mind is as important as healing the body. In Ayurveda there are three pillars of treatment. The first is the treatment itself, and the other two pillars are eating and lifestyle. So medicine itself makes up only one third of the field of health in Ayurveda.

Global Good News will continue to feature the interview with Vaidya Radhika Priva Prassannatma.

For further information on the Center's health programmes, please contact:
∙ Email:
∙ Tel: +1 877-890-8600 (toll-free in North America), or +1 978-365-4549
∙ Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center, 679 George Hill Road, Lancaster, MA 01523 USA

© Copyright 2011 Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center Lancaster

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