Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar (M.D.)
Medical Director, Prajna Institute of Yoga & allied Sciences (PIYAS)
Outsourcing even your health… Seriously?!
In the so-called name of modernism, we have created a lot of problems for our generation. Nobody wants to take ownership of anything. It is very easy to outsource everything. Today is an era of outsourcing, even health we have outsourced.
Hi! I am Satish Rao from ProHolisticHealth. Listen in to my conversation with Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar, Medical Director of PIYAS Hospital.
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Here is the conversation only slightly edited for text:
Satish Rao: So, over to Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar! Greetings to you from Proholistichealth.com, Dr. Mahendra Balar!
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: Thank you!
Satish Rao: So what would you say ails today’s modern lifestyle? And what would be your take on it and what would be your suggestions to people?
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: See we have been tuned or schooled to believe that everything can happen at a fast pace. Today is a fast food generation, instant noodle generation! So everything should happen in an instant and with the advent of the smartphones, mobiles and the likes, everything has to happen instantly. The same mind-set has been carried on even to your well-being or health or disease management. Which is not true.
So that’s the reason, exactly the reason why medicines become so important. Because they can give you instant satisfaction but long-term what damage they can do, yes. For example, you have pain, you take a medicine, instantly it will remove the pain but what next? Will the problem be taken away permanently? Or can it come back? That nobody thinks about.
True, modern lifestyle everything happens instantly which is against nature’s laws. Basically, everything takes its own time and space to do. But that’s the way we live, the way we eat, the way we think, the way our relationships are. Everything adds to the problems and that’s about it. And the so-called name of modernism, we have created a lot of problems for our generation. Nobody wants to take ownership of anything. It’s very easy to outsource everything. Today is an era of outsourcing, even health we have outsourced to doctors, to hospitals, to medications, to procedures .
Satish Rao: Very true, Very interesting perspective. So Dr. Balar tell me, what is the uniqueness of your approach in PIYAS Hospital? And what do you do to help people with their health conditions?
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: See personally what my take on this is that with the advent of development or specialization creeping into modern medicine, super specialization even more.., we have now defined a human being as a conglomeration of different organs and tissues; forgetting to see a human being in totality. And we end up treating diseases, not the person. And that’s a very skewed view of looking at a thing. Whereas, if you look at even the WHO definition of health or human being per se, in total or with a Holistic approach if you take towards healing; human being has to be taken in context of what he is at a physical level, psychological level, social level nutritional level, environmental level, spiritual level all these aspects.
Unless any management program especially concerning health or well-being doesn’t take all these into account, you can never achieve the right health. It is not possible. And right now what we are doing is only looking at the physical part of the health and all of us know that beyond physical realm of the health there are so many aspects to diseases and humans. And this is where we differ. For us a person is important not the disease which he carries. In short I can say, our approach is person-oriented than disease-oriented. Whether a person has cold or cancer or any other issue, it is the person who is important. So when you are treating a person everything along with it gets treated. And when you are treating a disease in isolation only that part gets out, forgetting that, that part is a part of your whole, so you can never do actual justice to whatever you are trying to do in the long run.
And that’s where we differ and that’s why we say that we start with a holistic evaluation. We try to understand the whole environment of the person along with his so called diseases symptoms, taking care of modern aids and diagnostics, of course we do all that. Along with that we try to understand what kind of a person he is? What kind of food does he eat? What kind of family does he have? What kind of a work environment does he have? What kind of thinking does he engage? All these are taken into consideration when we design a program for them. And that’s where we say that we do a holistic evaluation. We do a holistic or customized program for him and a customized execution for him.
Satish Rao: Very nice. So it’s truly holistic.
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: Truly holistic holistic to the extent that or customization to the extent that, if there are two diabetics who come to us, the programs may be different for both the diabetics. We don’t have a common diabetes program because two diabetics will have different physical level food requirements; his activities are different, his mental status is different, his emotional state is different. So how can you have a single program for both of them? Not possible.
So you have to take all this into consideration especially when you are managing chronic diseases. And that’s where we differ from other people or other centres because we look at all these in totality. And that is one of the reason why even a rare or a critical case is handled with same kind of, or level of enthusiasm as, for example a cold, because here the person is important. When we are trying to look at a person, then everything around that person becomes important to us and because of that approach we have had excellent results. From our experience people have had excellent results.
Satish Rao: Very nice. According to you is mind-set important? And ideally what should be the mind set of people when they come to you? Or when they are at looking at their ailments or their health conditions, or their challenges what should be their mind set that typically a person should have?
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: See right now what is happening is that things are changing fast. But right now what happens is that a person is a diabetic or hypertensive or has respiratory issues or skin issues for quite many years and he has taken all kinds of medications and seen all kinds of specialist. He has not got the intended benefit. Then he starts looking for other therapies And then he gets in touch with us and then we take on from there. So our challenge becomes that, because he has been doing certain things only for disease management, we have to make him understand that what have you have been doing till now, why it has not helped you? And what we will be doing now, which will help you and how we will do things differently.
So one of the important requirements for a person who approaches us is that he has to have an open mindset. And which most of them do have, because they have already tired with doing everything and they want now some solution. They want some permanent solution so they are open-minded. But if they are open-minded to do what we tell them to do, then results are excellent. So then here also what we do is, we don’t make them instantly jump. Because most of them are on medication for a long time so we have to be very scientifically taking them through a tapering process. But if they are ready then we see to it that in next 3 months / 6 months / 1 month depending on the chronicity of their disease or depending on how they respond to this treatment, how they show sincerity in their practices, we can take them through the tapering process and wean them off their medicines. And help them to live a good life without that particular problem forever.
Satish Rao: Very nice. So you would say that it all begins with mindset.
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: Absolutely. Have an open mind and readiness to hear which most of them have. Now what is changing a bit is that, now people are starting to look at this as a primary option. Earlier it must be that they have tried everything else and it has not worked for them and then they come to us. Now people are looking at it as a primary option as well. Younger generation, with the advent of Internet and information being available and all kinds of things you know and dissatisfaction with whatever is happening to their previous generation with medications. So they are looking at it as a primary option nowadays, which is a very good trend. And we say that, start early, if you want to really have good benefits. So that is happening now and I am sure with time, coming times it is only going to grow.
Satish Rao: So what typically are the treatments that you recommend to people? What are the ailments that your address here at PIYAS Hospital? And what are the results that people can expect from these kinds of treatments?
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: See basically like I was telling you our approach is person-oriented and not disease-oriented. So that’s why, for us it doesn’t really make a difference, we take all kinds of diseases. At least in our centres we take patients with all kinds of diseases, all chronic diseases, even acute conditions. Except in a very emergency kind of situations or accidents and traumas, we don’t take them. But apart from that, most of them.. And statistically all of us know 90% of the problems fall into those categories. And we can accept those categories. So our approach is very simple. What we do is, we start with a holistic evaluation of the person, customize a program. In that all our therapies, we don’t use any medications or drugs. And our overall aim is to wean them off all their present medications also over a period of time.
So our therapies can include a mix of all ancient sciences. But what is the uniqueness of our programs is that we have in a very unique way and based on our experience of the last 25 years have been able to blend the wisdom of ancient sciences with the knowledge of modern medicines. Not everything with modern medicine is wrong, diagnostic techniques actually make a lot of sense because numbers make, statistics make sense to people. If a diabetic comes to me and if we can demonstrate a reduction in his blood sugar levels or HbA1c level it gives them motivation and it’s a good tool to use. So we do all that, with the aid of all these modern diagnostic tools or any other things but with the wisdom of ancient sciences.
So all ancient sciences, like specially our core is Yoga and Naturopathy and of course with individuals and group counselling, diet nutrition is a big part of it. Because it is said, you are what you eat. So try and do that and of course based on conditions, acupressure, acupuncture can be a part of the therapy, Chromo therapy, Heliotherapy, Magnet therapy all of these therapies uniquely can be blended. But the core is Yoga and Naturopathy. With the base of nutrition and counseling; emotional management is one of our strengths in management of diseases. And a lot of modern research has shown how the chronic diseases are related to your emotions and unless you take care of your emotions you can never get away from your disease per se, from the root cause per se. So what we try to do is address the root cause of the disease so that it is taken care of. And then because of timely intervention or early intervention we see how you can promote your health and prevent any future mishaps or diseases coming your way or those kind of things.
Satish Rao: Very good, that is a very unique approach I see there is a lot of passion in you in terms of your educational initiatives that you take. And I hear that you do lot of educational programmes for various groups, for corporates, for various communities. How did that come about and what is your take on that and what is the reason why you started that?
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: See, when my wife Dr. Neetu, she is the inspiration behind all this. When she started about 25 years back, I am a medical doctor I had no exposure to this (Yoga & Naturopathy). But I myself suffer from a very rare disease and because of that my doctors had not given me much longer life. I was not supposed to be surviving beyond 18 / 20 years of age. That was the actual situation and to tell you, it might surprise you, I have not taken any medication for the last 23 years. Zero medication. Not that I have don’t have problems now, but I don’t suffer. So my body has now learnt to live with all this and learnt to live it well.
And here mind and emotions have played a huge role in this aspect, huge role in this. So this is my personal experience and when I saw as a medical doctor I used to see a lot of diseases being cured which was seeming impossible to explain medically, seemingly impossible to explain. And I used to think how can this happen? It is not possible, I mean my science cannot explain this, what I have learnt in my books or my medicine cannot explain this. Then I went into a little more depth and then we understood that the body doesn’t work on the laws how the doctors or the hospital define. They have their own way of doing it and over a period of time what now is becoming more and more strengthened in us is the feeling that health is natural to humans. Actually to be unhealthy or diseased, it takes a lot of effort actually to be disease takes a lot of effort. It takes years of wrong eating, years of unhealthy lifestyle, years of wrong thinking, to actually get a disease. Whereas health is your natural state, it doesn’t take much to be healthy actually. So that actually makes us very strong.
So all your process in your body, all the things that happen in your body and mind, are all tuned to take you towards the end, towards the balance of health. It is just that we should allow it to happen, we should not become a barrier to it. And all our practices are surrounding to that only. So when we saw all this we thought we should take it to the world at large. Through our programs, by which at least the initial level of awareness can happen, the education can happen, that yes there is an alternate way of living, alternate way of handling their problems, alternate way of handling their diseases if you may call so. So we want to do that. Once they have that awareness then they will seek for it later.
That’s why we started this initiative where we do this programs, our program customized program called Utsav. Where our whole crux is that why should you wait for any festival to celebrate life? Why should you wait for your birthday or anniversary to celebrate life? Why cannot every moment of your life be a celebration? And that can start with right physical health. If you have the right health, then life is a celebration. So we designed this program called Utsav, which in Hindi means, Celebration! Where we do multiple levels of program, we have an introductory talk which lasts for one and half to two hours which we go and give at various forums, on invitation or we organize it ourselves. And we have done it across and we have given talks attended by at least about a million people till now, for the last 20 years.
And then next level we do a basic program which is a one-day program and then intermediate level program which last for 3 days. Then we have advanced level programs so this is more like where we give them a taste of all what we are doing. How right diet and nutrition, right practices, right these things in life, right thinking in life and small practices which they can do anywhere anytime. Because for most of our people now, biggest thing right now is that, I don’t have time. Specially the IT generation, younger generation, working generation, that we don’t have time. I have to go to office, I have to leave home by 7 o’clock, reach office by 8 o’clock, I don’t have time.
No problem, you don’t have 30 minutes, you don’t have 60 minutes but you have 2 minutes every hour, that much anybody can afford in 2 hours. Yes, we have practices for that, we do 2-2 minutes every hour. Cumulatively you have done for about 30 to 60 minutes in a day and we have these practices which can be done irrespective. You don’t need any special arrangement for that, you can do it anywhere anytime. So those practices, we take them through some, we give them a glimpse of those practices. In fact, some people, only with that basic level course, people have transformed their life.
And we have a lot of people experiences who have transformed their lives just by doing this basic course. They never needed to come to us for any full length program. Because probably their readiness was there. And this we are doing across now, we are trying to do it in schools, we are doing it for women groups, we are doing it for people at large, we are doing it for organizations. We have done multiple programs under the head of JEETO and a variety of them, we do in corporate settings. So once we do and then if they like further then they approach us and then we go into the depths of that. And this program, last one year we have done it on a monthly basis in our centre in Ooty.
We used to do a three-day program, and we used to do for 30 / 40 people at a time. About 500 people attended in about 12-14 sessions which we did on a monthly basis and we got some tremendous results. People from worldwide have attended this program, from US, UK, Dubai, Kenya and every part of India basically.
Satish Rao: And that is a three-days program and you normally conducted in Ooty?
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: Yeah we conducted it in Ooty but now that we have Bangalore facility we have a provision to do it in Bangalore as well. But we advise them to do it in Ooty because it’s a serene and it is a very different kind of feel which we have there with open space full of greenery and all that. But it can be done in any setting. It can be done at your place also if somebody wants to organize in Mumbai or Delhi. We can advise them the right place and our team can go and organize it there also. So we have a full-fledged team ready to manage the whole thing. We have done actually, we have done in Dubai. There it was a four-day program, we had arranged in one of the resorts, Ras-al-Khaimah we had done, so about 45 people had attended that. We did one single day program in Kolkata, we did one-day program in Delhi, so lot of programs were there.
In fact, for the Kolkata program about 200 people had attended. It was done by one of the patients who had come here and experienced some tremendous benefits. He actually got away from problems which he was facing for almost 20-25 years and now he is totally off medications and is doing very well, and now he is promoting our concept.
Satish Rao: So I really like and appreciate your idea of empowering people with knowledge, with the right perspective, with the right mind-set and empowering them to see and lead a life which is much more natural, and much more inherent to themselves, which is intrinsic to them.
And like you said, what really caught my attention.. That being healthy is your natural state, whereas being unhealthy takes a lot of effort. That is a very good, key takeaway for me. Dr. Mahendra Balar, thank you it was a pleasure talking to you and very insightful conversation with you.
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Balar: Thanks, thanks for having me.
Satish Rao: Thank you
PIYAS centre’s uniqueness is in making a person independent in all his / her health aspects. PIYAS is a centre which has blended the ancient wisdom with modern science to provide the best treatment for the people who are in need of it through its unique programs which are totally free of any side effects. The centre believes in providing long lasting health, through its side effects-free and holistic treatment approach, through various health disciplines like yoga, nature cure, meditation, ayurveda, physiotherapy, acupressure, acupuncture, diet counselling, de-addiction & de-stress programs.
The fundamental principle underlying Holistic Treatment is that the natural defense and immune system of an individual when strengthened, has the potential to heal and prevent diseases. This approach nevertheless combines the pick of the past, interlaced with the best of the present and prepares one for the future.
Website: www.piyas.org | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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