Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Approaching Health with Love, Kindness and Compassion - Interview with Dr. Arvind Hirpara Patel -

Maria Teresa De Donato, Ph.D.,

Traditional Naturopath, Homeopath, Life Strategist, Author

Approaching Health with Love, Kindness and Compassion

-         Interview with Dr. Arvind Hirpara Patel  -

Allopathic Physician

In some of my previous articles, we have discussed some fundamental differences between allopathic/conventional/mainstream (western) medicine and holistic/natural/complementary/integrative medicine. We have also examined some specific holistic methodologies such as Homeopathy, Herbalism, and Reiki, and also focused on some major failures of conventional medicine.

Today it’s with my greatest pleasure and honor that I introduce you my dear friend and colleague Dr. Arvind Hirpara Patel.  Despite practicing allopathy, Dr. Patel seems to have a pretty holistic and even spiritual approach to life in general and health in particular.

T: Arvind, Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Patel: Thanks to you as well Teresa. As such you are a gem. You are so vibrant, inspiring, highly intelligent and enlightened personality. It is really my pleasure that you are taking my interview.

T: Thank you, that’s very kind of you. Arvind, What led you to enroll in Medical School and become a physician?

Dr. Patel: Life in itself is a happening and my becoming a physician is a happening as well. Yes, there was an unexplained affinity to serve sufferers and poor, from the school days of my life and that led me to study Medicine.

T: I read some great comments about you and your loving and caring attitude towards your patients. They are really blessed to have you as their physician!
Generally speaking, the approach that the West and the East have towards Life in general and health in particular is quite different, with western medicine focusing on symptoms and disease as enemies to fight and destroy and eastern health care systems such as the Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – just to name the majors – being more patient-oriented and approaching health from a mind-body-spirit perspective, while seeing symptoms and disease as part of the body’s alarm system and its way to communicate with us. What is your personal understanding and consequent approach to health, symptoms, disease and healing?

Dr. Patel: Health is our basic state of being. Each and every person has the right to be healthy and is healthy in their true nature. Sometimes some physiological, psychological, environmental (including bacteria, virus, fungi etc, ), traumatic factors make us diseased. So disease is just a disturbed state of our health. Once that disturbance is taken care of, health is always there in its basic state. And that is probably healing for me.  Now in this world there is no medicine that basically has any power to heal our body. Healing is always being done by our body. If anybody does have a fracture then the doctor’s role is just to put and keep those broken bones together for some period of time so that the body can heal itself in proper alignment.  If a surgeon performs a bypass surgery on heart, the success of the bypass consists in the fact that he is only re-joining some arteries and then waits healing to take place on its own. A physician may prescribe some drugs to keep some bacteria or fungi away from the patient’s body, but actual healing is being done by the body itself. So our body in itself has an amazing healing system. I do my work with much respect towards this healing system inbuilt in each of us.

T: Although you do not practice Ayurveda but rather allopathic medicine do you believe that, due to your Indian cultural and spiritual heritage, Ayurveda might have, nonetheless, somehow influenced your vision, understanding and approach to health? And if yes, how and to what extent?

Dr. Patel: Yes, as an Indian, I always believe that our mind always rules over our body and that we are being constantly governed by our higher self or infinite intelligence. So, though some of Allopathic medicines have given us wonderful health benefit, we still are taking baby steps in curing a person as a whole. Here Ayurveda does have that vision of treating a person rather then the disease or symptom. I personally try to give my patients psychological guidance and emotional support and to make them know that Disease comes from within (though it looks coming from outside, in case of bacteria, virus, fungi etc.). So I recommend and encourage them to develop their inner strength, to be positive, to keep themselves physically active and mentally at peace.

T: As a physician, How would you personally describe health, and what suggestions  
would you give to our readers as overall recommendations to maintain health for as
long as they can and to restore optimum health once problems arise?

Dr. Patel: For me being healthy is to be free of any disease of any kind and more to that be reasonably active both mentally and physically.  To maintain health I recommend few points as follow:

1) Be Positive, visualize yourself of keeping yourself healthy, slim, active etc. no matter what picture may be at this time. Your inner self is your real doctor and it does know what to do, to keep you healthy. Trust your inner self and let it work to keep you healthy;
2) Keep yourself physically active by walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc.;
3) Eat moderately and healthy food;
4) Avoid addictions;  
5) Do meditation and relaxation exercises.

T: In your personal view and according to your own experience as an allopathic physician, which are some major areas in the medical field that do need to be reviewed and corrected and how can we accomplish that?

Dr. Patel: In my view, doctors need to be personally caring towards patients, going thoroughly in a patient’s personal wellbeing approach. Once we understand a person, we can better understand cause of a disease and so we can treat a patient very thoroughly but in this fast paced life neither doctor nor patient has that time so each and every one is in hurry to get/make so called ‘healthy’. Here a human approach to patient is very much needed.

T: As a medical professional living and working in India, have you noticed or are at least aware of some major differences and approaches to patient and to health existing between western and eastern allopathic physicians? And if yes, which ones?  

Dr. Patel:  As such I have never worked with any western physician. So I cannot say anything about western physicians but we do treat the patient as a human and are very economical in our way of treating patients.

T: This has been quite an educational and informative interview, Arvind.  Thank you so much for your dedication and for being with us today. I wish you all the success you deserve in your profession.

Dr. Patel: Thank you to you too, Teresa. It has been a pleasure. I wish all the best to you too.