I recently attended the Australian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA) conference at the Marriot Hotel in the Gold Coast this past weekend https://www.aima.net.au/. It was an extraordinary conference.
It has been a while since I attended any medical conference as my last escapades in this area was when I was working for the ‘big dog’ Pfizer Australia, the largest company in the industry. As one of their Medical Directors, I was always in a position of high regards amongst the attendees, including the top professors and clinicians.
I found the AIMA conference to be quite different as there was a lot less ego than any previous conference I had attended. I am not saying that all doctors in the mainstream are egotistical as that would be incorrect; I am merely stating that at the AIMA conference, there was a great sense of openness, congeniality and camaraderie.
The doctors were also the first to admit how much they didn’t know; rather than hold a position that they were the foremost expert in specific area and it was either ‘their way or the high way’.
This conference was also unique in that it combined conventional Western medical practitioners with integrative, holistic and alternative health practitioners such as acupuncturists, energy healers, Ayurveda experts, naturopaths, herbal medicines and many other diverse areas of expertise.
It was clear that there was an emphasis on doing what’s best for the patient, irrespective of what therapeutic modality or drug is being used. There was also an emphasis on non-drug approaches, in the interest of reducing potential side effects to patients.
Among the highlights was listening and connecting with Dr Robert Schneider (on the far right in photo), a world leading cardiologist from the Maharishi University in Iowa, USA who demonstrated that one of the approved treatments for heart disease is meditation.
This is a phenomenal step as scientific research now demonstrates that meditation can make a significant difference in preventing heart attacks. It has even led to the American Heart Association adding meditation to the official clinical guidelines for the treatment of heart disease.
Dr Schneider also explained how specifically ‘Transcendental Meditation’ has gained a significant following worldwide with various other studies that prove its benefits in increasing creativity, focus and concentration as well as reducing stress.
This issue is particularly close to my heart (pardon the pun) as only 2 weeks ago, my father had his first heart attack. Naturally, my family and I were quite devastated and I flew back from Sydney to be with him in Kuala Lumpur. I had to take a flight back as soon as I heard, I am sure any family member would do the same if they could.
Whilst he was being plugged away with complicated medication regimes and even more complicated set of diagnosis, I felt grateful that I could be there to help my family understand the consequences of the predicament and the varying opinions from all the experts.
I have to say that I was very grateful to the doctors and nurses who were calm and I was also impressed at how they all emphasized the need for positive mindset and energy, rather than stressing on the drug treatments. As a result, I thought my father some meditations techniques and we did them together.
As a former clinician, I felt this to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The Buddhists and Hindus have known for thousands of years that meditation has tremendous benefits for all aspect of our physical health, not just cardiac disease. I am sure that over time, western medicine will catch up , as it is doing now.
Dr Schneider has authored the book ‘Total Heart Health’, which combines modern cardiology with the Maharishi Vedic approach to Health. Based on his outstanding lecture at the conference, I would recommend this book to anyone with heart disease or even anyone concerned about their health and energy.
The basis of ‘Dosha type’ is very powerful, and understanding your dosha i.e. factors that influence your mind-body connection can make a dramatic difference to the foods you eat, how to treat stress and how to regain balance in your life.
If you have a bit time, I strongly recommend you go online and find out what your Dosha type is….whether it is Vata, Pitta or Kapha mind-body type and you may find answers to health problems you may have been experiencing for years.
Have you had any experience with alternative treatments like Ayurveda?