Watch Online the Live Sessions of ISWWTA 2015 Rishikesh on Youtube.Visit:
Previous issues of AYUSH DARPAN in Hindi is now available online visit:

Search Engine

Friday, 4 March 2011

Naturopath licensing bill worries alternative healers in US

Naturopathic doctors are hoping the 12th time will be the charm as they push again for a bill licensing their practice, but healers from other traditional or natural disciplines worry they'll be squeezed out of the practices they've spent years training for and building.
The bill would give patients a way to distinguish between naturopathic doctors -- N.D.s -- who attended four-year accredited programs and those with mail-order degrees and would open the door for insurance reimbursement. Proponents say the only people who will be negatively affected are those calling themselves naturopathic doctors who don't meet the requirements.
Kelly Parcell, a Boulder naturopathic doctor and vice president of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors, said the bill is a matter of public safety.
"When somebody hears the term doctor, there is an expectation of that person's level of education and accountability," she said. "We're trained as doctors to practice medicine. People are coming to us for diagnosis and treatment. It's appropriate that we be licensed."
Opponents of the bill believe the wording opens up a gray area in the law where one didn't exist before, one that competitors could exploit to send cease-and-desist letters to healers without the resources to defend themselves.Bharat Vaidya, an ayurvedic practitioner with a home-based practice in Superior, said that as an immigrant he's particularly worried about inadvertently running afoul of the law."Everybody will have problems if this bill passes," he said. "I pray to God Almighty that in this land of the free, we will retain our freedom to each practice our own particular art."The concern centers around how the wording of one clause will interact with the definitions of scope of practice for N.D.s and M.D.sHere's the break-down: Colorado law defines the practice of medicine to include diagnosing, treating or preventing any human disease or condition, by just about any means available, as well as prescribing drugs and performing surgery. The scope is so broad that it encompasses many activities also performed by alternative or traditional healers, but unless someone is harmed, it's rare for someone to be accused of practicing medicine without a license.The bill defines a scope of practice for N.D.s that includes diagnosing, treating and preventing disease, but through the use of natural medicines, exercise, diet and "other modalities" that promote the body's self-healing processes.
The N.D. scope of practice has a lot of overlap with what other types of healers do. The bill contains an exemption for those who don't claim to be N.D.s. It says other healers can "advis(e) in the use of a therapy, including herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition or other ... therapy" in the N.D. scope of practice as long as it is otherwise "within their lawful rights."
Susan Bernhardt, an attorney who studies ayurvedic medicine and is working with the Colorado Ayurvedic Medicine Association, said "advising in the use of a therapy" might not include other activities healers use, while "within their lawful rights" is hopelessly vague.
"I have no idea how to find out if an activity is within my lawful rights," she said. "The exemption needs to be as broad as the definition (of naturopathy)."Kim Green, president of the Colorado Citizens for Health Freedom, which has consistently opposed efforts to license naturopaths, said the language has the potential to squeeze other healers between the N.D. and M.D. scope of practice, leaving them unable to use any of their traditional therapies.It's an argument that seems to exasperate the bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Jim Riesberg, a Greeley Democrat. He's gone to naturopaths for various health problems, and he wants them to have the legitimacy that comes with licensing. Licensing also would provide more protection for patients, he said. He's sponsored similar bills before, but the pushback from other natural healers has killed it every time."If you don't call yourself an N.D., then you won't have a problem with this bill," he said. "I've tried to convince them, but they won't believe it."Raising anxiety, the state created a three-member physician panel last year to investigate cases of practicing medicine without a license. While it's primarily concerned with physicians who don't have proper licensing, there could be more enforcement against traditional healers.COLORAMA, the ayurvedic medical association, has proposed an amendment that would remove the "lawful rights" language and make it clear that everything in the N.D. scope of practice is available to other practitioners, as long as they're not claiming to be N.D.s."If the clause is really innocuous, then take it out," said Ben Lipman, known as Varadaan, a Boulder practitioner of ayurvedic medicine and president of COLORAMA.Riesberg said if other healing professions want similar protections, he'd be happy to consider a registration or licensing bill for them.Under current law, plumbers and electricians, cosmetologists and massage therapists, hunting guides and therapists all have some sort of licensing or registration requirement. But practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, ayurveda, Tibetan medicine, herbalism and other alternative healing arts don't.Registration is a controversial notion among natural healers. Vaidya would like to see registration. Ayurvedic practitioners are regulated in Great Britain, where he also received a medical degree, and he thinks it works well.Lipman prefers a self-policing system of certification, one of which the national ayurvedic medical association is working on. It would allow clients to know that their practitioner has met the educational criteria considered appropriate within a particular community.Green's organization is adamantly opposed to registration. She said that registration and licensing inevitably leads to rising prices and turf wars.Indeed, the N.D. licensing bill wouldn't allow naturopaths to engage in manipulations, which many naturopaths currently do. Manipulations belong to the chiropractors.Parcell noted that many alternative healers already are operating within scopes of practice set aside for physical therapists, massage therapists and athletic trainers. If cease-and-desist letters come, it won't be because of the naturopathy bill."They overlook the word 'and,'" she said. "It's people who want to call themselves naturopathic doctors and who practice within that scope."Boulder N.D. Janine Malcolm said the biggest benefit of licensing would go to patients, who are much more likely to be reimbursed by their insurance providers. She also thinks it will give more legitimacy to the discipline.She said driving other practitioners out of practice or out of town is the last thing she wants. Malcolm, who teaches at Naropa University and the Northwest Institute of Medical Herbalism, has practitioners from other fields speak to her classes, and she refers patients to experts in other fields."I love herbalists," she said. "I send people to herbalists. My only interest is in helping my clients get reimbursement from their insurance companies."
Source:Daily Camera


Metal-based ayurvedic treatment can cure leukemia

Can metal-based treatment in ayurveda provide cure for blood cancer (leukemia)?
"The metal-based treatment in ayurveda can do wonders if standard operative procedures (SOPs) are followed and patients show full faith in the practice," said Vaidya Balendu Prakash, the youngest ayurveda practitioner in the country to receive Padmashree award for contribution in medicine.Vaidya was in the city to take part in the three-day international seminar on 'safety and efficacy of ayurvedic formulations' at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Friday was the second day of the seminar, being organised by the rasa shastra of the varsity.He further said, "Contrary to what most people believe, it is the role of so called toxic materials that are giving new lease of life to blood cancer patients."Vaidya is also working as an ayurvedic consultant at VCP Cancer Research Foundation, Dehradun. It may be mentioned here that the ayurvedic practitioner has already used silver bhasma successfully to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia, a severe form of blood cancer where excess bleeding is reported and the patient runs the risk of dying during diagnosis. Out of 15 patients with the severe form of blood cancer, 11 patients were treated successfully after completing 90 days of treatment protocol while four patients died. Also, AIIMS, New Delhi, has come forward to start clinical trials for recording the efficacy of this treatment. "There is a strong evidence that indicate that heavy metals like silver and mercury have anti-cancerous properties. Now proper documentation of these evidences is being done," said the cancer specialist citing the initial evidences of use of mercury to treat cancer patients that was started by his father in 1960s. The silver bhasma has made a big foray in the treatment of blood cancer in the last two decades, he added. Comparing the heavy dependence on modern medicine (allopathy) for cancer treatment, he said that while a number of cancer patients show side effects and relapse with nearly 45% surviving three to five years of treatment that accrues huge treatment costs, the metal-based treatment is not only cost-effective but also long lasting. "We have treated more than 90 blood cancer patients in the last 15 years and only 40% of them were fresh cases while others were relapse or defaulters." As many as 71% of relapse cases and 78% of defaulters along with 87% of fresh cases have been successfully treated through this ayurvedic method, he said.

'Effects of ayurvedic drugs last longer than allopathic'

Many ayurvedic drugs have been found far superior to their allopathic counterparts. Modern medicine many times overlook the fact that when two patients with similar ailment are given same medicines, it need not have the same effect on both of them. Because, each disease is a psychosomatic malady which needs individualistic treatment, said Ravi Bapat, former head of surgical gastroenterology at KEM Hospital, Mumbai, and vice-chancellor of Navi Mumbai-based Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Health Sciences. Bapat was speaking at the VIIIth annual Research Society Conference at the Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College here on Friday.
Elaborating on the well-documented evidences of ayurvedic drugs in treating various diseases, Bapat said, "There has been convincing experimental evidence that Tinispora Cordifolia (Gulvel) increases immunity in cancer and tuberculosis patients. A study carried out by us has found that ayurvedic drugs are much superior to other immunostimulants available in the market. Besides, our research, long ago, had conclusively proved that Gulvel did not just treat the symptoms of jaundice but also cured it as much as it helped the patient develop immures against it. Plus, it did not have any toxic effect."
Bapat and his team had also made a systematic study of the effects of many other ayurvedic drugs and proved them superior to their allopathic counterparts.
"We have found that the long-term outcome of Ksharasootra (K–Sutra) was far better in the treatment of Fistula and Piles than surgery, which allopathy recommends. For treating haemorrhoids, ayurvedic medicine Matra Basti is curative in nature, compared to surgery suggested in allopathy, which has high recurrence rate," he said.
Speaking about his study conducted in the use of leeches in the treatment of varicose veins, the abnormally swollen and tortuous veins, Bapat said, "By conducting experimentally verifiable and documented studies, we have showed that leeches mainly suckles the venous blood (the impure blood that flows towards the lungs) and not the arterial blood (the pure blood, which is pumped by the heart to various organs), of the patient."
"Use of leeches was not only safer but faster and less painful. It decreased oedema (swelling) faster, and the healing was much better. Since then leech therapy has got a big boost," said Bapat, who continues to follow his seminal work in ayurvedic research. 



Mango and Grapes are Healthy for the Gut

Mango and grapes have higher levels of prebiotics and help keep the gut healthy, claim scientists from the Maharashtra Association Cultivation of Science's Agharkar Research Institute (MACS-ARI). So far mango has been known for its high carbohydrate and calorie content, now one more dimension of the fruit has come to light. The prebitoic level was found to be especially high in a particular variety of the king of fruits. Prebiotics are the non-digestible foods which help the growth of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) within the gut. Prebiotics is food for probiotics. These probiotics or the good bacteria help ward off diseases. Commenting on the role of probiotics in preventing and treating diseases, senior gastroenterologist Dr. Parimal Lawate said, "If you have a large number of these friendly bacteria in your body, then the inner lining of the intestines remain healthy and help prevent diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, antibiotic-related diseases and irritable bowel syndrome." Over a span of 10years scientists studied 90 edible fruits and plants for their efficacy to help the growth of probiotics in the digestive system. ARI scientist Vaishali Agte said, "Our study showed that beneficial bacteria L rhamnosus, which is grown in a medium containing mango, helped reduce the presence of E coli. The results indicate promising potential for mango varieties as a source of prebiotics."
So far research on the role of prebiotics has been carried out on foods of western origin. This was for the first time that Indian scientists have explored Indian fruits and plants for it prebiotic potential. The prebiotic profile adds to the medicinal use of mango.


Aretha Franklin’s Secret for Weight Loss

 Aretha Franklin’s Secret for Weight LossWell-known soul singer Aretha Franklin is 85 pounds lighter and she is on top of the world! Amid a whole lot of rumors about her tryst with pancreatic cancer and about her mysterious surgery leading many to speculate it to be gastric bypass, Aretha Franklin has bared all her weight loss secrets in a recent interview. The secret to losing weight according to her is to choose a healthy diet and lifestyle.Aretha said, "I go to the healthier foods that are less chemically treated. I used to have hamburgers coming and going, especially when I was on the road. I am now opting for salads and healthier lunches."
She makes it a point to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.
Her goal is to fit into a size 16 by the time she turns 69."By my birthday I will be a 16; that's my birthday wish. And I just want to continue my super-maintained health. I look wonderful to myself at size 14 or 16. But 16 is OK, too. I will rest my case at 16," Franklin said.
“Drinking lots of water is a good way to get rid of toxins”, she added. Having been grossly overweight, she feels like a new person albeit with some changes.



Facebook Badge