And more important, how pairing modern medicine and ancient Ayurvedic thought can help both to heal.
Shankar Prasad Adluri is a unique medical practitioner—he’s fully trained in modern medicine and an internist at a major facility, Sunshine Hospital in Secunderabad. But he also has the degrees necessary to practice the ancient art of Ayurvedic medicine in the Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Thin and spry, Adluri looks younger than his 48 years, with a head of thick salt-and-pepper hair and a ready smile. He always appears in a checked button-down shirt. Over a few Skype conversations, he shared details about his life and his journey to becoming an allopathic doctor who is guided by both modern medicine and the wisdom of the Vedas.
Adluri’s parents were academics, teaching language and political science at government schools, and his brother trained in the United Kingdom to become a cardiac surgeon. His grandfather had been a serious yogi who stayed in a cave for 40 years in search of self-realization. (It’s been said that he only left the cave, which is still a temple to Shiva, to fetch water from a well half a mile away, or to confer with renowned yogis when they passed through the remote village nearby.)
Like many smart, privileged Indians in the late ’80s, Adluri considered only two careers: engineering or medicine. He ultimately followed in his brother’s footsteps. After passing the brutal medical school entrance exam (at the time, only 600 of the state’s 600,000 test-takers earned medical school seats), he was admitted to Gandhi Medical College, one of the top schools in South India. He loved the intellectual challenge of diagnosing patients—it was like a detective novel, he says—but he soon discovered that modern medicine had limitations. For example: If a patient had swelling in his feet, medical practitioners were taught to trace the problem back to the liver, heart, or kidneys. But Adluri wondered: Why did this person fall ill in the first place?
Adluri observed that modern science typically focused on treating pathogens and illness, instead of nurturing the body so that it could have a better chance at healing itself. He knew there were genetic and environmental factors at play in illnesses, but he wanted to learn more about what an individual could do to control for these factors. Were we humans passive victims? Or were there things we could do to enhance our resilience to disease?
One day in 1996, he was studying in a library when he was drawn to a large set of Ayurvedic textbooks. The books, English translations of the ancient verses, had been published in the 1930s, and were sitting on the shelves collecting dust. Poring over the information, Adluri realized that he was finally discovering answers to his questions.
“I began to see that I could remain healthy,” he says, “if I understood the nuances of the sciences of health.”
Adluri resolved to complete his medical training and study Ayurveda at the same time. But finding a teacher for the latter wasn’t easy. His medical school colleagues dismissed the ancient practice and discouraged him from pursuing it. In school, the only thing they were taught about traditional medicines was that they could be toxic, he says. Plus, while the caste system had been outlawed in 1950, those trained in Ayurveda, called vaidyas, tended to pass their knowledge from father to son. (Until recently, female vaidyas were rare.)
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Teachers Share Works - They Read at the End of Class
Shine by Andrea Gibson
Calm Amid The Storm
Physician and yoga therapist Ingrid Yang has been serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic since it began. Her preferred prescription? Pranayama
Serving up JOY
Ayurvedic ambassador and plant-based chef Radhi Devlukia-Shetty on her constant pursuit of a purposeful life.
Lose Weight, Feel Great
Nutrition expert’s advise on how to lose weight with a healthy shake
How Learning Bharatanatyam Classical Dance Helped Expand My Understanding of Yoga
Before last spring, I had a well-established yoga routine: my own daily practice, teaching three classes a week at a nearby community center, and a volunteer gig teaching inmates at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.
I Measured My Brain Performance. Here's Why You Might Do the Same.
I'm sitting on a leather couch in an unassuming warehouse in Denver. There's a Ping-Pong table behind me, but I'm not at a party—I'm having my brain scanned.
STRETCHING TOWARD GOLD
How Olympians Turn to Yoga to Benefit Their Minds and Bodies
Avidya: The Absence of Right Knowledge
I was recently watching a TV sitcom where a character had been deeply offended by her friend. After a full day of nursing her resentment, the character realized the rude event never happened—she had only dreamed that it had
Free Your Pelvis to Find Your Best Twist
One day when I was practicing Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend), I stretched to one side. I firmly anchored my pelvis, keeping my sitting bones on the floor, then I twisted toward my left leg and reached for my left foot with both hands.
Dancing with Fire: Flow through Pitta Season's Heat with Ease
According to Ayurveda, we're in pitta season, which brings warmth and activity. The summer's fiery energy fuels your desire to get out there and do things—like picnics, camping, and pool parties.
4 Herbal Tonics to Rejuvenate Your Health
Address imbalances in your body with these quick and easy healing waters made with dried herbs.
7 Herbs Everyone Should Consider Taking
Herbal medicine has been used to treat or alleviate virtually every possible medical condition. Here, we highlight the 7 herbs you should always have on hand
De India con amor
Es la ciencia antigua que inspira planes modernos de comidas, retiros de viajes y libros de autoayuda. WH se adentra detrs de los doshas para descubrir cmo y por qu el Ayurveda se ha hecho mainstream.
स्वास्थ्यवर्धक एवं उत्तम पथ्यकर ‘परवल'
ज्ञान की भूख लगे तो ब्रह्मज्ञानी के टूटे-फूटे शब्द भी ज्ञान बन जाते हैं।
एलोपैथी के विरुद्ध रामदेव के बयान पर आज होगी सुनवाई
दुष्प्रचार करने दिल्ली उच्च न्यायालय वर्तमान कोविड-19 महामारी के दौरान एलोपैथी के बारे में कथित रूप से को लेकर योगगुरु रामदेव के विरूद्ध सात चिकित्सक संघों द्वारा दायर की गई अर्जी पर सोमवार को सुनवाई करेगा।
एलोपैथ, आयुर्वेद को आपस में नहीं लड़ाएं, इन चिकित्सा पद्धतियों को बीमारियों से लड़ने दें
स्वामी रामदेव और एलोपैथिक चिकित्सकों में इस समय जुबानी जंग जारी है। रामदेव आयुर्वेद और एलोपैथिक चिकित्सक अपनी-अपनी पैथी की महत्ता बताने में लगे हैं। दोनों अपनी-अपनी चिकित्सा पद्धति के गुण गाते नहीं अघा रहे।
अश्वगंधा की खेती की ओर बढ़ा किसानों का रुझान
अश्वगंधा की खेती के लिए जरूरी है कि वर्षा होने से पहले खेत की दो-तीन बार जुताई कर लें। बुआई के समय मिट्टी को भुरभुरी बना दें। बुआई के समय वर्षा न हो रही हो तथा बीजों में अंकुरण के लिए पर्याप्त नमी हो। वर्षा पर आधारित फसल को छिटकवां विधि से भी बोया जा सकता है।
Ozone Therapy: The Gentle Healer
Studies show that when Ozone Therapy is used in conjunction with standard allopathic medicines, it can help heal moderate cases of Covid within eight days.
योग गुरु की याचिका पर 12 को सुनवाई करेगा न्यायालय
एलोपैथी पर रामदेव का बयान:
आयुर्वेद में पूरे विश्व को आगे ले जाने की क्षमता
मैं टेक्नॉलॉजी का विद्यार्थी हूं और मैंने यह देखा है कि पोलिटिक्स और टेक्नॉलॉजी में यह संबंध है कि आप टेक्नॉलॉजी का पैराडिगम बदल दीजिए, पावर का पैराडिगम बदल जाता है।