With around 20 years of experience as a practitioner, Dr. Harshita Sethi is a recognized name in Ayurveda today. She also served as a lecturer in Kaya Chikitsa at Mayur College, London. She is registered and associated with Delhi Bhartiya Chikitsa Parishad, the central council of Indian medicine, national integrated medical association, Ayurvedic practitioners association, and Vishwa Ayurved Parishad. Dr. Sethi has presented several research papers and won the prestigious Atreya award 2016 for excellence in Ayurvedic practice conferred to her by the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA).
Here are the excerpts from her interview with Nirogstreet:
Please tell us about your educational background and professional qualification briefly.
I finished my schooling from lady Irwin school, canning lane, Delhi 91.3% in PCB. I started studying a Bachelor of Ayurvedic medicine & Surgery (B.A.M.S.) at Ayurvedic and Unani Tibia College, Delhi in 1992. I completed my B.A.M.S. in the year 1998, joined Kaya Maya Ayurvedic Research Institute under Guru Shishya Parampara but could not continue as I got admission to the State Ayurvedic College, Lucknow to pursue my M.D. in Kaya Chikitsa. I completed my M.D. in 2003.
Why did you choose Ayurvedic practices?
Since childhood, I grew up on Ayurvedic medicines for any kind of ailment, whether it was for tonsillitis, stomach pain, fever, or even jaundice. So, I was very well aware of the taste and efficacy of these medicines. I never felt that these medicines did any harm to me (as in any side effect), rather it was like a part of my diet. So when it came to deciding on a career, I chose Ayurveda due to my close affinity toward it. Later on, when I went into the depth of its history and basics that are described in the Vedas and Upanishads, I learned about how the beginning of this world was explained beautifully, how each element came into existence, what the body is made up of and how it will merge back into the same element from where it has evolved. I was amazed to learn all that. I started developing more interest during my 51/2 years of studies.
What is your experience when it comes to treating patients? Do they trust the treatment?
After completing my B.A.M.S., I started private practice for a short while until I went for higher studies and started full practice after completing my M.D. in 2003. I got good responses while treating problems like obesity, arthritis, urti, uti, etc. From the beginning which gave me confidence and full conviction in Ayurveda that if it is followed 100% by the patients in terms of taking medicines and following diet charts according to their constitution, then the success is sure in case of any kind of ailment. In my 20 years of practice now, I have also practiced in the U.K. for 8 years and in the beginning, it was quite challenging to get the medicine over there and to get accustomed to the rules that are followed there. But gradually it got easier and I started making a few medicines by mixing the available ingredients in the supermarkets only. Later on, after associating with few organizations like Mayur, which was an Ayurvedic college where I taught for some time and then started my own practice near London, it was not difficult to get powdered herbs and some classical formulations too. I practiced mixing a few herbal powders and got very good results. To make people understand about Ayurveda was far easier in the U.K. than in India.
Any challenge that you face as a practitioner?
I did face a few challenges after coming back to India in 2013 when I began my practice again with a new start and broader experience. I opened my clinic with ayurvedic treatment facilities too, this time with the name of Avedna Ayurveda Panchakarma Center in Noida, then in Gurgaon too. The treatment response got only better when I started giving medicines along with Ayurvedic therapies like Vasti Chikitsa (which is purification procedure and a part of panchakarma treatment), Potli massages for musculoskeletal and neurological problems like chronic arthritis, cervical spondylitis, sciatica, and backache.
How effective is traditional medicine as a cure?
I believe Ayurveda can solve all health problems. The response time is really quick if the patient follows the instructions of taking the medicines regularly and avoiding the triggers to their problems of which I advise them after a complete evaluation of their body constitution. Sometimes if there is some problem persisting for a long time and the patient has already taken too many modern medicines, then it takes a little bit longer for the Ayurvedic medicines to work. But if everything is followed religiously by the patient and well supervised by the Ayurveda physician, then the results come out truly positive.
What do you think of the future of Ayurveda and its role in integrated medicine?
Our ancient science of Ayurveda has lots to offer to us in terms of curing any health problem. Moreover, this is the only science that tells you about the precise principles of preventing any disease. It is a spiritual science too that educates us on the purpose of human birth and how to keep our mind on the right path in order to avoid various Psychosomatic disorders.
Do you think Nirogstreet is making a difference by striving to connect the mainstream society exclusively to Ayurveda practitioners through dedicated technology platforms?
I really appreciate the efforts being done by Nirogstreet in spreading awareness about our own medicinal science which is kind of lost amongst the modern show-off business trends.
What message would you like to convey to the people on wellbeing?
I just want to say, please listen to your inner instincts when your body gives you the first, slightest signal of something going wrong inside you. Don't ignore that first itch and give your body the benefit of healing up with natural medicines and herbs rather than loading your body with heavy doses of synthetic chemicals, hazardous substances that pervade our life in many aspects.