Confluence on Integrative Medicines in the NHS

 The All Party Parliamentary Group – Indian Traditional Sciences in partnership with High Commission of India in UK, The Nehru Centre London and High Commission of Sri Lanka in UK celebrated Confluence on Integrative Medicines in the NHS @ 70 and UN Int’l Yoga Day 2018 on Monday 18th June 2018 from 10am to 5:30pm at prestigious The Nehru Centre, London.

A galaxy of scholars and academics shared the importance of Indian Traditional Sciences working alongside the NHS. The power of prevention understanding and therapies would lessen the financial load on the NHS and equally importantly target the root cause of disease.

Amarjeet S Bhamra the Secretariat at All Party Parliamentary Group – Indian Traditional Sciences gave a brief overview to the original parliamentary group that promotes and facilitates informed discussions on Yoga, Ayurveda, Sangeetam, Unani, Vastu and Jyotish since its inception in 2014, by providing a forum for cross-party parliamentarians, policy makers, academics, practitioners, leading community and thought leaders, practitioners of Indian Sciences and other stakeholders.

Srinivas Gotru, Director of The Nehru Centre and Minister in-charge of Media & Cultural Relations at the High Commission of India in the UK, officially welcomed all speakers and delegates. He said this was the second year he was supporting the celebrations to mark the UN Int’l Yoga Day at the Nehru Centre and thanked the efforts of the APPG Indian Tradiional Sciences to bring the health values of Yoga to the wider UK population.

The day was spread with three main themes that were addressed by a list of powerful speakers spread from 10am to 5pm.

1.UN Int’l Yoga Day 2018 and Confluence on Integrative Medicines in the NHS: Chaired by Praveen Anand who is a Professor of Clinical Neurology and Head, Centre for Clinical Translation, at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London and is a honorary advisor to the Secretariat – APPG Indian Traditional Sciences.

2.Health Literacy: Chaired by John Porter who is Professor of International Health, Faculties of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and Public Health and Policy and Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Public Health England (PHE). He is a honorary advisor to the Secretariat – APPG Indian Traditional Sciences.

3.Prevention in Action: Chaired by Professor Madan Thangavelu who is a Genome Biologist and a honorary advisor to the Secretariat – APPG Indian Traditional Sciences. Following a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Cambridge, his recent academic affiliations have included Research Fellowships at the Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Medical Research Council Cancer Cell Unit, Cambridge and Leverhulme Research Fellow, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.

Sri M is the author of “Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master – A Yogi’s Autobiography “, which became an instant bestseller. Over the years, his mission as a spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist have given rise to many initiatives worldwide. He kicked off the first session on the science of yoga he said ‘begins to work on the physical body, then the mental and emotional levels, leading to more subtle levels of existence, soul and spirit. It also gives us the method to cope with stress. We must try to heal and restore nations, to create an entity fit enough to be bequeathed to future generations.’

Professor Darshan Shankar arrived specifically to this event from his university town of Bangalore in India. He is a Vice Chancellor at Institute of Trans- Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology, Trans-Disciplinary University (TDU). He is also a managing Trustee, of Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and has led many other prestigious organisations. As an advisor, to Health Division, Planning Commission Government of India, he worked on AYUSH 5-year plans. He shared his contributions on conceptualisation and development of strategic research and outreach programs for demonstrating contemporary relevance of Indian medical heritage. In 2011, India Government conferred its civilian award Padma Shri to Prof Shankar and the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences bestowed the prestigious Ayurveda Ratan Award to a first Vice Chancellor of an Indian University.

Dr Sreekantan Gopakumar was on his first visit to London representing Somatheeram Ayurveda Group from Kerala, in India who are a foremost resort group in the world for authentic Ayurvedic treatments, Yoga and Meditation where he is a visiting professor. He is also an Associate Professor, Gov’t Ayurveda College, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. He shared his paper on Ayurveda Clinical Research in India.

Dr Naga Venkatesh Jayanthi graduated from the respected Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute and undertook research at Oxford University. He is a Consultant Surgeon and Cancer Lead at Essex Upper GI, Regional centre for Oeosphago-gastric surgery. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Queen Mary University London. He spoke eloquently about East meets West – A Surgeon’s Perspective’ and his passion to carry out a study involving Pranayama.

Dr Eleni Tsiompanou is the founder of ‘Health Being Institute’ which aims to promote a healthy and harmonious way of being. She is also a Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Woking Hospice and the Palliative Care Lead for the College of Medicine and spoke on Social Prescription.

Vaidya Professor Venkata N Joshi is a PhD recipient in Ayurveda, currently teaching and practicing in UK and Europe. He was principal for postgraduate education and training in India during 1997-2000 at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore. He spoke articulately on the Science behind Science. He has been honoured by the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences with the prestigious Ayurveda Ratan Award and is a honorary advisor to the Secretariat – APPG Indian Traditional Sciences.

Dr Natalie Tobert is a Medical Anthropologist, Education Director of Aethos Training.  She specialises in social inclusion education, facilitating participatory workshops on spiritual and cultural awareness, for front line staff at hospitals, medical schools, and universities. She conducted original fieldwork research in Sudan, India, and in UK with the NHS and Kings Fund. She spoke on Dilemmas in Understanding Mental Wellbeing.

Dr Subodh Kamble is a Urologist with a special interest in Robotics and minimal invasive surgery. He has also completed a fellowship in Prostate Brachytherapy for prostate cancer from The Royal Surrey Hospital, Guilford. He received his undergraduate medical degree from BJ Medical College, Pune and undertook his postgraduate training in General Surgery from the same institute and qualified as a General Surgeon. He spoke passionately about Healing touch: A confluence of Allopathy, Yoga and Ayurveda.

Dr Vijayendra Murthy – The role of integrating Yoga in supporting children with Autism was the tile of his speech. An internationally acclaimed ayurvedic physician, researcher, and director at Ayuwave London, UK.

Suzanne Newcombe is a Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University (UK) and a Research Fellow at Inform, based at King’s College London where she researches modern yoga from a sociological and social historical perspective. Since July 2015, she has also been part of the research team on a 5-year project funded by the European Research Council (Horizon 2020) entitled ‘Medicine, Immortality and Moksha: Entangled Histories of Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy in South Asia.’ She presented 1923 Usman Report on Indigenous Medicine Suzanne Newcombe

Khushboo Mehta-Parekh an interior designer spoke on Astrology, Yoga & You. She very intricately weaved the art of Jyotish into the science of Yoga.

Selina Van Orden is in her fourth year of studying Ayurvedic medicine at the College of Ayurveda UK. She spoke about her interest in exploring the world of Indian Traditional Sciences and Eastern philosophy for the last 15 years, with teachers across Europe, India and the USA, and her passion about developing ways of sharing this much-needed ancient wisdom with the west.

Dr C Bernard Colaço is an experienced Rheumatologist with a strong research base in the immunopathology of Rheumatic Diseases. He conducted and published the initial studies in Anti-Phospholipid antibodies at Hammersmith Hospital and Middlesex Hospital in the early 1980’s leading to a massive interest in international research in SLE and APLS, with all the basic principles covered in his pivotal studies. He has also undertaken family studies in the immunogenetics of Rheumatoid disease. He has championed patient involvement in care throughout his career and established a Patient Led Self Help Group in 1998, which is leading in Patient Public Participation and Collaborative Research. He spoke of the project Patient led surveys and audits and is promoting Yoga Therapy as a means to reduce medication and medical intervention at a local health service level, with plans for RCT trials in yoga for low back pain. He is also the Academic Patron for the Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation and a honorary advisor to the Secretariat – APPG Indian Traditional Sciences.

Vidhi Sodhi is an acclaimed Yoga Therapy practitioner spoke on Indian Traditional Sciences as applied in the Healthcare. She has over ten years’ experience as a yoga teacher/yoga therapist and developed unique clinical leadership skills as well as an empathetic communicative style which is highly patient-focused. Vidhi organised the first in the UK, Shared Care Yoga-Therapy pilot study for persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis funded by the LNWH trust in collaboration with University of Westminster and Board member (Yoga Therapy) for the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council providing expert advice on issues such as the development of CNHC policies related to Yoga Therapy; clinical governance and setting standards as required by the professional standards authority for yoga therapy.

Dr Lakshmi Vyas, a student of Shri B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga since 1983 is the president of Hindu Forum of Europe. She bought a yoga mat to perform her Yoga in action. Dr Vyas is widely travelled and has authored three books and more than 30 research publication is journals of International repute.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Health Practitioner, Human Performance Scientist, creator of I-Yoga: Interoceptive Yoga® and Founder and chief innovator of Organic Apoteke. She is a holistic physician incorporating medical physiology with a variety of allied therapeutic modalities. Nitasha shared her goals not to only relieve symptoms but to optimise human performance. She researches the neuroscience underlying interoception (the ability to know what’s going on inside your body) and has developed Interoceptive Yoga© to improve this ability.

Richard Johnson from Maharishi Yoga began teaching Transcendental Meditation in central London, founding with others, the Victoria TM Centre. He led the team which planned, designed and then built a landmark development of 57 houses and apartments in Rendlesham, Suffolk. This is a specialist estate built according to the ancient principles of Maharishi Vastu and incorporating many ecological features.  Richard shared the development and course structure of Maharishi Yoga Asanas which features Maharishi’s unique contribution to the study of Asanas as a complementary adjunct to Transcendental Meditation.

Joanne Avison is an advanced Yoga Practitioner and Certified Yoga Therapist, directing the Yoga Teacher Training School (AOCY), teaching a 500-hour course in the Art of Contemporary Yoga & the Science of Body Architecture. Joanne is acclaimed author of the semi-academic book:  YOGA, Fascia, Anatomy and Movement. She passionately presented her paper and spoke on her dedication over recent years in the field of Fascia and Biotensegrity has led to her becoming a renowned presenter in these fields, pioneering, with her esteemed colleagues, the New Science of Body Architecture.

Dr Carlos Pittol spoke on Using Data based evidence to increase adoption of Traditional Medicines. He heads investments and partnerships at Pangaea Data Limited which is headquartered in London and supported by teams from Munich, Stanford University and Imperial College. Carlos has 15 years’ experience working as a financial analyst and consultant in the biotechnology and medical technology industry.

Tom Mullins a renowned lawyer from Dublin with immense interest in the spiritual sciences of India, made his address on his continued enthusiasm on the immaculate work being conducted by the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences.

Professor Sanjay Kinra is a Clinical Epidemiologist with education and work experience in Paediatrics, Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine. He works mainly in India (Public Health Foundation of India) and the UK, dividing his time between the two. He has emerging collaborations in Brazil (Bahia University) and USA (Duke and Stanford Universities), where he is a Visiting Faculty. He is also Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Obesity at the University College London Hospital, where he helps very overweight children and adolescents to manage their weight and live healthier lives. He exemplified his contribution as the final speaker of the day long programme talking about Yoga and Heart Health/Cardiac Rehabilitation.

All participants were served a hot vegetarian meal and a special cake made by Ms Yash Patel of Tempting Sweet Treats was cut by all the presenters led by Ayurveda-Ratan Professor Darshan Shankar, Ayurveda-Ratan Prof Venkata Joshi, Ayurveda-Ratan Dr Shantha Godagama, Deputy Director B K Guhare The Nehru Centre, Secretary Sam Cooray Sri Lanka High Commission, along with Dr Anjali Joshi and Dr Mahesh Mathpati.