Inspiration sprouts from unknown corners and every once in a while we find our strengths from our own challenges. Dr Kanika Verma grew up fighting a bout of childhood illnesses and went on to become an expert Ayurveda practitioner who now heals people from their suffering by treating their diseases. Dr Kanika Verma is also the author of several books and articles and she practices from thane, Maharashtra. Read her interview below.
Please tell us about your educational background and professional qualifications.
I did my B.A.M.S. from Govt. Ayurveda College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh in 2009. After that, I completed my post-graduation in Marketing MMS from Met Mumbai in 2011. I also have done a 1-year PG Diploma in health and hospital management from Symbiosis Institute of Health, Pune in 2010.
After completion of MMS, I joined Abbott Healthcare as a product manager and worked for 3 years. I left my job after my daughter was born and started to practice Ayurveda in 2014.
Currently, I offer online consultation to patients across the world.
Why did you choose Ayurvedic practices?
As a child, I remember falling sick many times. I have had a long chain of diseases afflicting me from time to time back then. What made it worse was that I was allergic to some crucial Allopathic medicines. I faced severe Allopathic side-effects as a child, which made me reflect later that medicine should not cause another disease, ideally. My Nanaji was an Amateur Homeopath and he had a huge collection of Ayurveda books too in his house. Being an avid reader, I read through all his books in my school days and that got me really interested in Ayurveda. I especially remember Nirogdham as one of the books that introduced me to Ayurveda.
What is your experience when it comes to treating patients? Do they trust the treatment?
I have always felt very sincerely that preservation of health is the primary aim of Ayurveda. In my days of initial practice, I strongly realized that people are falling sick because of wrong diet and lifestyle. There can be no permanent cure without an appropriate diet and lifestyle habits. Dinacharya and Ritucharya are two important preventive factors in Ayurveda. I am fond of writing; therefore in 2016, I started my website blog, ritucharya. My blog aims to bring back the simple preventive measures that have been effectively practised for ages. In 2016, I published my first unedited book “ageless body with ayurvedic ritucharya” which is basically a collection of my blogs.
While working on Ritucharya and in my private practice, I realized that stress, anxiety, pain and other mental factors are crucial in Pathogenesis of almost all diseases. 99% of diseases can be traced down to Psychosomatic causes. So, I started to study Satvavjay Chikitsa prescribed in Ayurveda. In order to get a better understanding of modern Psychology, currently, I am pursuing a PG Diploma in Psychotherapy from the Holistic Institute of Mental Health, Tirupur. I am also doing basic research on the effects of meditation on the human mind and body.
About trust, patients trust the treatment after the result! And I also don’t expect them to trust anything, especially in case of the patients abroad since they have no information or experience of Ayurvedic treatment. However, since my practice is solely based on word of mouth, they trust their referrers and their personal experiences with Ayurvedic treatment. And this helps greatly.
Dr Verma, any challenge that you face as a practitioner?
Availability of authentic quality medicines is a serious problem in Ayurveda practice. I have a few select brands which I very seriously recommend to all my patients; otherwise, the whole treatment becomes ineffective.
Any out of an ordinary situation that you have faced while treating a patient?
While treating a patient from the Netherlands, I was not able to prescribe Ayurvedic medicines to him because of its non-availability. So we started with the change in diet and lifestyle. And we saw an astonishing rate of recovery by just changing the diet and the daily routine. This reinforced my belief that we are what we eat!
How effective is traditional medicine as a cure?
Traditional medicine has the benefit of years of informal experimentation and it really works, whether it is Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, or Acupressure. However, the effects are clouded by the lack of scientific evidence and quackery.
On the other hand, I also believe that the efficacy entirely depends on the wisdom of the physician, whether it be traditional medicine or modern medicine. A tool when not used properly is not going to be effective.
What do you think of Ayurveda’s future and its role in integrated medicine?
Ayurveda has a great future. It is going to important as a curative medicine in times when the threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens becomes more real. As a part of integrated medicine, Ayurveda can significantly lessen the side effects of modern medicine and help to improve the quality of life in fatal diseases like cancer. Ayurveda is going to be crucial in herbal and side-effects-less management of lifestyle and autoimmune disorders.
However, Ayurveda has an irreplaceable role in preventive medicine. Ayurveda is the oldest science that prescribes daily and seasonal preventive regimen that not only prevents seasonal diseases but also slows the process of ageing. It is the oldest science that has an elaborate anti-ageing and potency enhancement therapies. Presently, world markets are flooded with Ayurveda based health supplements like Ashwagandha, Shatavari, etc. Future is going to be just awesome.
Do you think Nirogstreet is making a difference by striving to connect Ayurveda practitioners through dedicated knowledge-driven technology platforms?
I think that Nirogstreet is doing a great job by building a huge treasure of Ayurveda experience for the current and future generations. This is something that will help Ayurveda practitioners to grow in their knowledge and perform better. Nirogstreet is doing something which is crucial to the growth of Ayurveda and should have been done long back. My heartiest thanks and best wishes to Nirogstreet for doing such a great job!
Thank you, Dr Verma. out motivation comes from passionate Ayurveda experts like you. Tell us about any hobbies or activities you engage in, outside your professional life?
I always try to find some time to read stories to my daughter. Besides, I love reading, writing stories, active sports, and yoga. I am an ardent follower of Heartfulness meditation.
What message would you like to convey to the people on Wellbeing?
True health emerges from your mind. Prevention of Depression, Anxiety or Stress is still a regressive approach. Try to bring in more satisfaction, patience and love in your lives. Don’t run after more money, a better job, a bigger house, and the latest cars. Our ancestors were healthier without all these commodities. Most importantly, do what makes you happy!
It is an Ayurvedic proverb “the one who eats appropriate food needs no medicine, and all medicines are useless for the one who does not eat appropriate food”. Let us improve our basic food habits and lifestyle. This improvement shall be the mother of all preventive measures.