After being coined as a term in 1895 by John Scheel, naturopathy found its true essence when Benedict Lust, Father of U.S. Naturopathy purchased it to be the name for the science of self-healing. Jindal Naturecure Institute has been leading this domain of alternative medicine for more than four decades now. To know their process and the science of this drugless healthcare in detail we spoke to KR Raghunath, the Chairman of Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bengaluru. Edited excerpts...
JNI has been treating its patients successfully for the past four decades now. How did it all start, and how do you see the graph for yourself now in 2020?
We started out as a small charitable hospital on the outskirts of Bengaluru. In the first few years, a number of patients who suffered from chronic diseases or those who had experienced little relief from the conventional allopathic treatments and medication responded strongly to naturopathic treatment methods. We started getting referrals by word-of-mouth, and we had to double our capacity by the late nineties. The expansion of assistive facilities happened in phases–gym, physiotherapy, acupuncture, pathology and imaging were made available with the help of Manav Charitable Hospital, a fully-fledged allopathic hospital adjacent to ours. As the demand of patients started to grow, we also came up with accommodations for patients who were also looking for luxury during their stay. At present, we treat over 15,000 patients annually. Most of them suffer from both acute and chronic diseases that are not curable by conventional medicine. Our dedication to promoting drugless and non-invasive treatments combined with a preventive approach has helped countless patients lead better lives.
What is the typical process of diagnosis of a disease and the choice of therapy at your centre?
Typically, a naturopath will go through a patient’s detailed medical history and try to understand the physical, environmental, psychological and social factors that are responsible for their condition. Our approach is more patient-centric and holistic and we believe in addressing the root cause of diseases rather than addressing just the symptoms. Once the diagnosis is made, we prescribe a combination of non-invasive naturopathy combined with Yogic Kriyas, Yogasanas and Pranayama along with lifestyle modifications and counselling to make sure that patients follow the treatments we recommend even after they go back home in
How can naturopathy help in modern lifestyle diseases such as diabetes? Is it helpful in treating chronic diseases, those related to the nervous system especially?
Over the last two decades, the disease burden of non-communicable diseases has gone up. These group of diseases, that include but are not limited to Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke, are usually associated with poor lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise, bad eating habits, smoking, and alcohol abuse among others. Treatments for such diseases are usually expensive and naturopathy offers a more effective and cost-efficient alternative. Naturopathy based treatment is also highly sustainable since it helps the patient get off drugs or reduce their dosage with natural management of the disease. In most cases of chronic diseases, modern medicine does not offer treatment. Rather, it just treats and soothes the symptoms without treating the underlying cause of the disease. In Naturopathy, we do the opposite; we help identify and treat the underlying causes to help improve patient’s overall condition. As for nervous system disorders, naturopathy has holistic treatments to help avoid conditions like headaches, insomnia and migraine. These include, but are not limited to colon cleansing with warm water enemas, steam baths, yogic kriyas and asanas, specialised massages, hydrotherapy, mud baths and a lot more.
What are the various programmes available at your centre for overall well-being, which is open for one and all?
We have a whole host of naturopathy treatments at our facility, along with yoga, physiotherapy, and acupuncture. Once you make a visit, a naturopathy doctor determines the best course of treatment to improve your health; you will be given a treatment regime that is tailor-made to your health constitution and condition.
Are there any hazards or risks related to the therapies that one undergoes during naturopathy?
There are no hazards or risks associated with naturopathy since it is a drugless approach to treatment. Essentially, naturopathy works by using different therapies and herbs to clean the body of toxins and boost its self-healing mechanisms. Naturopathy is therefore very safe and non-invasive if practised by a trained and licensed physician. However, if you have a serious medical condition that needs allopathic medication, you must not get off your medications unless suggested by your treating naturopath. In such cases, naturopathy helps complement your regular treatment and improve your quality of life. Many people with chronic and serious diseases do experience a reduction in drug dosages after going through a naturopathy treatment.
What education, schooling, or skills are required for becoming a certified expert of this drugless therapy?
If you need a bachelor’s degree in Naturopathy and Yoga Science, you need to undergo a 4.5 year undergraduate course in Integrative Medicine that covers both modern medicine and naturopathic medicine. You get direct admission to colleges, with a few exceptions where you need to give an entrance test. As for yoga certification, there are two recognised levels. The first is a 200 hour certification, which is the bare minimum that all prospective yoga instructors must complete. No credible facility will hire you without this basic certification. If you are more career-oriented and ambitious, you need to go for the 500 hour certification. Only then can you open your own yoga facility.
Have you ever come across any misconception about your work?
One of the most common misconceptions about naturopathy is that it is not evidence-based or scientific. That is not at all true. Naturopaths undergo a very rigorous undergraduate medical education at an accredited institute. They spend a mandatory two years studying fundamental biomedical sciences that every medical student