Dr. Shashi K. Rai is a renowned Ayurveda acharya and panchakarma specialist with immense expertise in lifestyle-oriented disorders. His panchakarma therapies are considered one of the best in the world. He works from his jaggottam Ayurveda panchakarma hub based out of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Please tell us about your educational background and professional qualification briefly.
My father was in Indian air force, so I received my initial education from all over India. I studied in Bal Bharti School at Lodhi road, Delhi, then went to Kendriya Vidyalaya in the south, pursued my B.Sc. from the prestigious Lachoo Memorial College, Jodhpur. After that, I sat for the CPMT (Up) entrance exam and I topped that. I started my Ayurveda education at Jhansi (1988-1993). In those days, post-graduation in Ayurveda wasn’t a norm and hence I completed a specialization in panchakarma from Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala. Around 2000-01, I was the head of the department, supervising a 2,000-bed Jeevan Jyoti Group Health Facility. I have presided over several organizations and been the only Ayurveda practitioner who is part of the menopause society. I also keep conducting workshops from time to time.
Why did you choose Ayurvedic practices?
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. When I opted for this ancient medical science, it didn’t seem as interesting as modern medicine. Somehow I kept at it, perhaps it was in the making, after all. Primitive sort of buildings and infrastructure in terms of Ayurveda education and the overall laid-out atmosphere led me to reflect a bit in the beginning, but by the time I earned my B.A.M.S., I was already sure that this is the path of my destiny. I took up the accumulating negativity in me as an impetus rather than an obstacle and made it my strength. I focused in the right areas where Ayurveda was remarkably outstanding in comparison to modern medicine and made my professional forays into that. I have never prescribed paracetamol for fever while treating a patient. Ayurveda has its own medicines and we can prove that it works in a much better way, comparatively. I simply adopted the spirit of Ayurveda that is स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्यरक्षणं and the path became clearer and clearer.
What is your experience when it comes to treating patients? Do they trust the treatment?
It is all about the mindset. I have a 99.9% trust in rapport with my patients. You have to indulge your patient with the positivity of your knowledge. You cannot have self-doubt if you earned your medical wisdom well. The patients sense that. Once you go to see a modern Doctor, you’re going to be ill for most of your time since they look at your illness, rather than at you. Ayurveda doesn’t do that. it cares for the person holistically. Trust builds itself automatically when this happens. You have to talk to the patient, know them. You have to make them aware of the problem, the root cause, their own body, and so and so. I have patients who themselves are modern Doctors. There are judges, ministers, officers, and people from all walks of life.
Any challenge that you face as a practitioner?
I have meticulous planning for how I practice. Patients might come to you to be cured in a haste. I make them understand that there is no rush if you consider how long it already has been. I make them aware of the fact that Ayurveda would heal them entirely and take much lesser time than the disease itself (the lack of effective treatment in modern medicine thereof) could otherwise consume. I am often asked, ‘why are you so successful?’ I tell them that there are only four factors to success as an Ayurveda practitioner. First, you have to be a good vaidya, which means you have to be competent, focused and full of knowledge. Second, you should have a good compounder who knows how to carry their tasks and responsibilities well. Third, you should apply good mixing. Fourth, you should have a patient that can afford the cost, believe in the treatment, deserve the cure, and can adapt to the medicinal advice or wisdom that would heal them in turn.
How effective is traditional medicine as a cure? How do you see the counter-arguments posed by modern practitioners?
Whenever such a question comes up, I simply tell the allopathy doctors that I am a wellness expert. They don’t have an answer to that. Modern medicine doesn’t know anything about preventive care. It can only use its methods when the illness has already begun. I have a sense of how modern medicine and drugs work, but usually, no allopathy doctor knows anything about Ayurveda. Hence, the argument falls on its own head. Modern Doctors, who are my patients, never look down upon Ayurveda as far as I know, they just admit that they have not been made well aware of its benefits.
What do you think of Ayurveda's future and its role in integrated medicine?
I think integrated medicine has both its pros and cons. Integrating is in a way undermining the importance of Ayurveda as a complete medical science. This might hamper capabilities at the professional level. Ayurveda should become the first choice rather. I have patients from abroad too, such as London and Australia. They have realized that Ayurveda is the most authentic answer to health problems, today.
Do you think Nirogstreet is making a difference by striving to connect the mainstream society exclusively to Ayurveda practitioners through dedicated technology platforms?
I think the energy being invested by Nirogstreet in this direction is fantastic. Greatly passionate people, such as Ram N Kumar and Dr. Abhishek Gupta are proving to be a motivation even to people like us who have been so much active as professionals and industry leaders. You people are aggressive in your thought-process and endeavors and I think that’s justly called for. As they say, aggression is the best defense, and I personally believe it. After all, if you do not prove yourself worthy, no one heeds your efforts.
Any hobbies or activities you engage in, outside your professional life?
I am a sportsperson. I used to play cricket, kho kho, etc. during my college days in Jodhpur. I was also an athlete and a good debater.
What message would you like to convey to the people on Wellbeing?
I’d just like to say that stay jolly, stay happy-minded, stay focused, and follow the mantras of Ayurveda. Swasthya Badhega, Desh Badhega.
Video: Dr. Shashi K. Rai speaking on Diabetes
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