The new age of anti-ageing
Dr R K Tuli, in an interview with Shivi Verma, reveals the reasons that led him to embrace the path of holistic medicine despite graduating as an allopath from the Armed Forces Medical College and why he thinks that it is possible to reverse the ill-effects of ageing
Longevity is desired by everyone. But it is important to not only live long, but live healthy, feel well, look good, be productive, and remain useful to others for as long as we live. Dr Ravinder Tuli has been working for decades to help human beings enjoy optimum health and well-being despite their advancing years. He shares the success stories of patients who have reversed diseases through his knowledge and expertise each month, in Life Positive. Dr. Tuli is the founder of The Society for Holistic Advancement of Medicine ‘SOHAM’. The centre is dedicated to the promotion of positive health and total wellness by optimum integration of modern medicine with various, officially recognised traditional systems of health. He has been rewarded with various national and international accolades, including the prestigious Oration Award for Professional Excellence by Indian Medical Association (SDB) and Delhi Medical Association.
You are a trained allopath from the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune. What stoked your interest in drug-free healing and alternative healing therapies?
It was ingrained into us as a part of our training programme at the Armed Forces Medical College. I vividly remember the dean of our college, in his welcome address, telling the freshers of the 1964 batch that though we had come to the college to become doctors, we would also be trained to play the role of a friend, philosopher, and guide in society. Besides, as we would be joining the armed forces as officers, we would be trained as leaders who lead from the front.
As a Medical Officer in the Indian Air Force doing post-graduate training in Aviation Medicine, my job was to look after the fitness of pilots flying high-performance aircraft, which requires the highest level of physical, physiological, and psychological fitness in a human being. This level of fitness could be imparted only through active, promotive, preventive, and conservative medicine without the aid of any drugs. In fact, a pilot on any medication would be rendered ‘Unfit to Fly,’ implying failure in doing my duty.
I also trained in sports medicine, and as a Medical Advisor to the Air Force Sports Control Board during the 1970s, my job was to bring out the best in sportsmen by enhancing their all-round performance. They would be banned if found to be consuming any of the common medicines. Thus, in retrospect, I can state that I was deeply convinced that we can bring out the best in a human being without the use of any legal or illegal drugs.
Later, my thesis for MD medicine during the year 1977–79 at Army Hospital (Research & Referral) titled ‘A retrospective study of ST-T wave changes in asymptomatic aircrew’ revealed that coronary artery disease can be reversed by drug-free corrections in the lifestyle of the personnel. It gave me the ultimate conviction and courage to not proceed to become a cardiologist but to dedicate my efforts to developing drug-free means to prevent and reverse what is today referred to as lifestyle or non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Exposure to the Chinese system of acupuncture as a PG student at Army Hospital R&R worked like ‘icing-on-the-cake.’ Acupuncture is drug-free, harmless, quick, and reproducible, and in many situations, more efficient than parenteral drug administrations. The philosophy of drug-free system of all acupuncture modalities, viz., acupressure, reflexology, Su-Jok, and auriculotherapy is the restoration of ‘Yin-Yang’ balance, which is akin to the ‘Ida-Pingala’ harmony in yoga. In modern medicine, this restoration is termed as ‘milieu interior,’ which instantly initiates the inherent natural healing process of an individual. The popular practices of reiki, pranic healing, and chakra balancing are all different methods of attaining oneness of the human microcosm with the universal macrocosm. Therefore, in addition to my expertise as a physician, I learnt yoga and naturopathy at many institutions and qualified to be a Reiki Grand Master as well as an Arhatic Pranic Healer. I found that all these drug-free modalities complement each other to provide the most comprehensive ‘synergy,’ like a balanced meal cooked with care.
I never forget that undergoing such broad-based training and acquiring unlimited healing skills could only be possible due to divine grace. The omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient intelligence only could have transformed me into such an expert physician, considered to be a global pioneer in a futuristic speciality termed holistic medicine.
Our ancient culture has so many holistic ways to bring the human body to a state of harmony and balance. Why do you feel that medical science which is alien to our demography and requirements became so popular in India?
Prior to the middle of the last century, epidemics used to wipe out the entire population of cities. The advent of antibiotics and the simultaneous development of vaccines helped to dramatically control and, later, prevent such deadly infections. Newer analgesics and development of corticosteroids offered quick relief from pain and suffering, so much so that the entire population was impressed and wanted to use them. The concurrent growth of modern diagnostics, surgical techniques, and emergency care in modern medicine made people swing from traditional therapy to modern medical care. Its increasing demand led to the growth of world-class tertiary care hospitals in the country. This progress was so overwhelming that a generation of traditional physicians would prefer to be called doctors instead of being addressed by respectable titles like ‘Vaid’ and ‘Hakim,’ and resort to illegal use of modern medicines promoting ‘quackery’ all over the country.
Why do you focus on integrative healing? Do you feel that allopathy in itself is not capable of curing ailments?
Every system of medicine has its advantages but none of the systems is perfect. Allopathy, for all its initial advantages, is today losing its glory due to the loss of efficacy in controlling infections as the germs have mutated to become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and have been replaced by viral infections, for which it has limited remedies. Its grave deficiency is exposed: that it only treats the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg,’ without ever going to the root cause of the sickness. Due to the breakdown in the family system in our country and a changed lifestyle, NCDs like anxiety, depression, insomnia, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, hormonal disturbances, poor fertility, cancer, and drug abuse including dependence on tobacco and alcohol have come to dominate the sickness pattern. Allopathy, at best, offers relief merely at the physical level, which comes with inevitable side-effects and toxicity. It also gives rise to progressive morbidity as well as the unaffordable cost of treatment, which the masses have to suffer. According to WHO statistics, it’s a major cause of mortality in the world and four per cent of the population falls below the poverty line due to the prohibitive cost of allopathic treatment.
Besides, it offers no cure for diseases attributable to ageing. Maximum illnesses happen during the last years of one’s life, and the treatment cost invariably exceeds the entire savings of the elderly. Therefore, Life Positive has taken a unique initiative by organising a workshop on anti-ageing, designed to reverse the ill-effects of ageing and allow one to enjoy optimal health till the last breath.
It’s the clarion call of the times to integrate the strengths of various systems of health. Allopathy is indispensable for surgical support, life-saving emergency situations, and its application in diagnostics. But, all NCDs can be prevented, controlled, and even cured simply by following the dictums of Maharishi Charaka and Maharishi Patanjali.
The medical authorities must understand that a human being is not merely a body or its parts but a complex of body, mind, senses, and the soul. While prevention of diseases remains the universal concern, the health of latecomers can be improved and their diseases reversed at any stage by optimum integration of all the systems of health.
Which modalities do you combine while treating patients? Which is the most effective modality in curing people completely according to you?
It may be highlighted that no one system of medicine is complete to take care of all kinds of sickness. Also, no two drug-based systems can be prescribed simultaneously due to the problem of drug interactions. Most people ignore their health, giving priority to everything else in life and realise it only when struck with a serious ailment or an emergency. In that situation, they rush for allopathic care to save their life first, as it the most advanced and scientifically endorsed system. However, even though it may save a life in an emergency, it never addresses the root cause of the problem and creates dependence on medication for the rest of one’s life. To eliminate this drawback, we need to complement ongoing medical management with drug-free modalities of traditional Indian and Chinese wisdom, including the New Age developments in health. This optimum harmony is termed holistic medicine.
I practise and support holistic medical care which comprises lifestyle management, Ashtanga Yoga, panchakarma, various modalities of acupuncture, and hypnotherapy. I classify the New Age modalities like reiki, pranic healing, mantra, mudra, and chakra balancing too as derivatives of yoga. I treat the person as a whole, and all diseases get cured concurrently as revealed by the testimonials appearing in Life Positive every month consistently for over 22 years.
You are doing a workshop on anti-ageing with Life Positive? Do you think it is possible to reverse ageing and stay young for as long as you want? If yes, how?
Yes, in a willing person, it is absolutely possible to reverse the physical damage that happens due to ageing by restoring the mind-body balance and nurturing the spirit of the person. It’s universally acknowledged that ‘You are as old as you think.’ Our yogis who have mastered the art of harmony of body, mind, and spirit are living examples. They live a life of bliss which ends in healthy departure and not death as for most mortals.
The process of ageing commences as soon as one is born. It’s possible to remain ever young by creating awareness among the youth of the long-term benefits of leading a simple Vedic lifestyle through the education system. The SKILL INDIA programme launched by the government of India in 2015 can be broadened to include the benefits of drug-free modalities of yoga, panchakarma, and acupuncture to enhance the performance of available primary healthcare workers and medical doctors. They should be trained to impart health and not merely treat sickness. Holistic medicine, as a speciality, must grow and physicians should be available at every tertiary care hospital to complement the best of medical care offered. After a life-saving event, each patient should, as a protocol, be offered secondary prevention to revert to positive health once again instead of being given more medication and life-long dependence on the hospital system.
I am often questioned why I do not train more doctors in my skill. Well, all the junior doctors who have worked with me to acquire the skills could not cut the ice due to the lack of demand caused by a lack of awareness amongst people that, with a little help, they can reverse their sickness and restore health by tapping into their self-potential. All the people, including the ones in the medical profession, have been conditioned to think that only ‘allo’ or external interventions can treat their sickness. We have to create awareness of the infinite capacity of a human being to self-heal, which is part of the natural intelligence installed within each one of us, to prevent or even overcome any kind of sickness. Let the whole world wake up to the fact that no antibiotic can help you without your own immune system and no surgery in the world would be possible without the patient’s capacity to finally heal their own wounds.
What do you think is the future of medical treatment in the world?
I always remember as prophetic the words of Dr Prathap C Reddy, the founder chairman of the Apollo Group of Hospitals, who stated in the year 1995 that holistic medicine was the future of the 21st century. This lead to the establishment of SOHAM, the world’s first-ever department of its kind at Delhi’s Indraprastha Hospitals. The likes of Dr Deepak Chopra have gained worldwide fame propagating this concept. Most of the aware people talk about it in their social chats but are compelled to resort to allopathy by the conditioning all around.
Life Positive’s initiative to hold a day-long workshop on anti-ageing sows the seed of a positive outlook—one of being young and productive forever, giving hope to everyone.
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