By Suma Varughese June 1998 Dr Rathna Alwa brings to India the controversial ozone therapy, which has even been used in treating AIDS and cancer, as well as other systems from the cutting edge of medical science and stirs a hornets’ nest Alwa’s futuristic treasure boxOzone therapy is merely one in a large spectrum of therapies that Dr Alwa practices. She says: ‘We offer the patient complete evaluation, detoxification, desensitization, nutritional and diet counseling, and appropriate treatment which may include chelation, ozone treatment, craniosacral therapy, orthomolecular therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, heavy doses of vitamins-all based on the patient’s unique needs.’ Here’s how Dr Alwa’s treatment works: When a new patient enters her clinic, he is put through a thorough examination. This includes checking reflexes, heartbeat, pulse rate, and noting down personal history. The patient is then put through the biotron, a rectangular box with two cathodes, one of which is held by the patient. Dr Alwa takes the other and gently uses its tips to probe various acupressure points on hands and feet. This gives a good picture of the state of your organs, and therefore, health. The next step is to check out toxins within the system. Tiny vials of mercury, lead, etc are placed on the biotron. Your body’s reaction to these substances is then registered via the cathode into a calibrated meter. The same technique is used to identify allergies within the system. According to Dr Alwa, almost everyone is allergic to something or the other. These allergies, when neglected, cause toxins to build up within the system, eventually leading to ill-health. Finally, a few drops of blood are analyzed on a fiber optic neutron microscope. This is known as live cell analysis, for the blood is analyzed while it is still ‘alive,’ rather than after being contaminated through preservatives. The microscope is connected to a TV monitor which presents a blown-up picture of the state of your blood. The sight is fascinating, as Dr Alwa points out red blood corpuscles and white blood corpuscles. My RBCs were slightly elongated, a sure sign of exhaustion, and clumped, which meant poor circulation. Dr Alwa traces these shadowy images with an expert’s ease, building up an accurate and detailed picture of the patient’s health. The treatment is outlined on this basis. An elderly couple were sitting in the main hall, with what seemed to be a drip-like device attached to one arm each. This is the chelation-a treatment that involves being fed intravenously with a solution of EDTA (a synthetically produced amino acid), minerals, vitamin and longevity supplements. ‘Chelation rids blood vessels of plaque and prevents aging,’ says Dr Alwa. ‘It also neutralizes free radical damage.’ The husband, M.V. Nath (62) is here seeking relief from a 70 per cent blockage of arteries. On to his sixth chelation, Nath’s nightly chest pains have ceased and he feels more active. However, he hasn’t as yet had a medical test to determine any actual reduction in the blockages. Nath’s wife Gita (52), an amateur singer, suffered from a damaged voice and ulcer after taking an antibiotic. That she is at all audible is thanks to chelation treatments and the simultaneous detoxification. Other treatments that Dr Alwa specializes in are oracular therapy, acupuncture on the ear, hypnosis, and cranio-vascular therapy. This last involves manipulating bones of the cranium to treat autism and attention-span disorders. The crux of Dr Alwa’s treatment, however, lies in detoxifying and desensitizing: she administers drops to rid the body of accumulated toxins as well as to desensitize it from allergies. Her recipe for healthy living is: ‘Detoxification, nutrition, hydration, oxygenation and exercise.’ Her idea of a nutritive diet is free of processed food, cola, pork and beef. It’s one of the crowning ironies of the 20th century that in our vaulting aspiration for a higher quality of life, we have systematically destroyed the basics of survival. There’s a global shortage of water, and what little there is, is polluted. Our ravaged and despoiled earth is a straw away from annihilation. As for air, well, hear Bangalore-based Dr. Rathna Alwa, MD, MRCP (Edin) etc, on the subject: ‘When we started out as oxygen-breathing organisms, the atmosphere contained 30 per cent oxygen. Today, the oxygen content is only 14 to 15 per cent. And a recent newspaper report put the oxygen level in Indian metros at 11 per cent. We are being continuously poisoned!’ So there we are. No water, no earth, no air. Mobile in one hand, laptop in the other, wired to the web—is mankind gaily prancing into the sunset of life? Possibly. But when it comes to air, Dr. Alwa has a solution. Ozone therapy. ‘Ozone is the treatment of the 21st century,’ she says presciently. The concept is virtually unknown in India. Even doctors smirk at its mention. ‘There’s a hole in the treatment,’ quipped one, referring to the protective ozone layer in the earth’s atmosphere which is developing a hole, thanks to global pollution, and is letting in ultraviolet rays harmful to humans. Certainly ozone therapy has the outlandish air of a California fad. But extreme situations call for extreme solutions. We may be better off ascertaining its efficacy rather than questioning its conventionality. Responses are mixed. Ozone therapy has a respectable lineage dating back to a century. In 1885, the Florida Medical Association published Ozone, by one Dr Charles J. Kenworthy, MD, detailing the use of ozone for therapeutic purposes. After nearly a century of usage, ozone therapy is a recognized modality in 16 countries. Over 3,000 municipalities the world over use ozone to clean their water and sewage. The Net is overflowing with sites singing praises for this miracle cure. Cuba is a leading user of the therapy, followed by Germany. Ozone therapy is practiced in Russia as well. All of Dr Alwa’s assistants are required to have the treatment they administer. Dr Alwa herself has an ozone bath every alternate day and pronounces herself to be in perfect health. ‘I can still do shoulder stands,’ she says. On the other hand, conventional medicine has set its face firmly against it. In the USA, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are opposed to the therapy, so much so that practitioners such as Dr Alwa have been virtually driven out. ‘Ozone generators, which produce a toxic form of oxygen gas, have been touted as being able to cure AIDS. This is still unproven, and FDA considers ozone to be an unapproved drug and these generators to be unapproved medical devices,’ says a statement from the FDA. Adds Dr Tarun Sahni, senior consultant in internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi, India, which canceled a plan to introduce an ozone therapy chamber because of its unrecognized status: ‘Ozone is an element which neither exists in nature in that form, nor is it a component of the body. Thus most scientists believe that it has no business being in the body. It may help in treating diseases caused by proliferation of anaerobic bacteria and heal wounds. Beyond this, I don’t believe that ozone has any beneficial effect, and I would not prescribe it for any patient.’ Dr Rathna Alwa, however, affirms that: ‘Ozone can help in any condition—from abscess to cancer.’ Indeed, there are documented instances of ozone being used to combat diseases like AIDS, cancer, hepatitis, sickle cell anemia, multiple sclerosis and other conditions caused by malfunctional cells. In 1911, Dr Noble Eberhart, MD, head of the department of physiologic therapeutics in Loyola University, Chicago, USA, used ozone to treat tuberculosis, anemia, chlorosis, tinnitus, whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, pneumonia, diabetes, gout and syphilis. During World War I ozone was used to treat wounds, trench foot, gangrene and the effects of poison gas. Dr Albert Wolff of Berlin, Germany, also used ozone for colon cancer, cervical cancer and decubitis ulcers in 1915. As if to corroborate its validity, Dr Otto Warburg of the Kaiser Institute in Berlin, Germany, announced that the cause of cancer is lack of oxygen at the cellular level. For his research on the subject, he won two Nobel prizes in 1931 and in 1944. Indeed, agrees Dr Jayant Doshi, a liver specialist based in Mumbai, India- disease itself can be said to be caused by the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. It seems only logical, then, that an infusion of oxygen should restore the balance of health. So what is ozone and how does it work? Ozone is an activated, unstable, trivalent (three atoms) form of oxygen. Oxygen is O2; ozone is O3. Over a period of 20-30 minutes, ozone breaks down into two atoms of regular oxygen by giving up one atom of singlet oxygen (O). This singlet oxygen is a powerful oxidizing agent. When ozone enters the bloodstream and separates into O2 and O, the healthy cells, armed with antioxidants, absorb the O2 and repel the O, which zeroes in on the diseased cells and neutralizes them. At one shot then, ozone nourishes healthy cells and destroys malfunctioning ones. Ozone therapy, thus, provides all the benefits of oxygen therapy—which is believed to have anti-aging properties, improves body functioning and promotes longevity by preventing cell death. Ozone is also gradually but silently finding non-medical applications in India. An ozonized water bottle brand ICE was launched in 1994 by Renee Brar, a Delhi-based, Indian businesswoman, with Canadian collaboration. Water is passed through an ozonator to ozonize it. ICE sells 500 cases (12 bottles each) a
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