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How Ayurveda helps IT, BPO professionals
Shobha Warrier

Dr Neelakandhan Mooss, chief physician, Ashtavaidyan Neelakandhan Mooss established Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala.
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January 25, 2007

The decision to start an Ayurvedic centre in Koramangala in Bangalore by the Thrissoor-based Ashtavaidyan Thaikattu Mooss Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala was mainly to cater to the unique health problems that information technology professionals face.

It was in 1941 that Ashtavaidyan Neelakandhan Mooss established Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala. He was honoured with a Padma Shri in 1992.

Dr Neelakandhan Mooss, the current chief physician and a grandson of the founder, talks about the new initiative, the problems that IT professionals face and the treatment that Ayurveda offers.

Your Vaidyasala has been doing research on the common ailments of IT professionals. Any particular reason why you chose to concentrate on this area?

For the last two years, we have been receiving a lot of young patients, between the ages of 25 and 40, with specific complaints like neck pain, headache, numbness in hands, et cetera. They also complained of giddiness once in a while.

We found that though not all of them were IT professionals, they were working on computers throughout the day. Among them, there were a lot of BPO employees too. We were getting these patients not only at our Thrissoor head office, but I also encountered them when I went for consultation to Mumbai, Bangalore, and other cities.

Conventional Ayurvedic treatment cannot be done in less than 3 to 4 weeks. We found that those in the IT field cannot take leave and undergo treatment for such a long period. That was when we decided to come up with a treatment that could be specifically applicable to these people. We tried it out in our nursing home in Thrissoor.

How different is it from the traditional treatment?

For example, treatments like Nasyam, Sirovasti, Dhara, et cetera need a stay in clinics for quite a few days if we were to do them in the traditional way, but we shortened the duration to suit the patients. In Bangalore, we ask the patients to come to the clinic for such treatment and ask them to go back after taking rest for 2-3 hours. So they do not have to take leave for many days and yet get the treatment done at a clinic.

What are the common ailments you see in these professionals and what are the specific treatments you have designed?

We have found that those who constantly use the computer mouse get numbness in their fingers. 'Bundle massage' (Kizhi) is a cure for this problem.

Those who work in the BPO sector complain a lot about insomnia. It is for these people that we have Dhara as the treatment, but what we have designed is like I told you: not done by admitting in the clinic. They come to the clinic after their working hours, undergo the treatment but we allow them to go only after taking rest for 2-3 hours.

Dhara is also done to relieve headache and neck pain; the oil that is used in Dhara differs for each disease. We advise these people to take bath after applying certain medicated oil daily. This has had miraculous results in many people suffering from headache, neck pain and insomnia.

Another problem many of these young professionals suffer from is acidity and ulcer. That is mainly because of their food habits. We say fast food and irregular food habits are the reasons for ulcer at such young age. They depend on the fast food outlets and most of them have food at untimely hours. Headache can occur because of acidity and ulcer too.

Another major problem that these youngsters complain about is piles. That is because they sit in one place continuously sometimes from 9 in the morning till 9 at night with no exercise at all. Travelling by two-wheelers also is one of the reasons for piles. Those who consume chicken, food with a lot of chillies and fried articles also get affected by piles.

Constipation also is another major problem with these people. For ulcer, constipation and piles, we give oral medicines.

Do you advise these people to change their food habits or just treat them for their problems?

Of course, we tell them to control their food habits. We ask them to avoid fried food, food with a lot of masala in it. Coffee with chicory is also not good for your health, so also soft drinks. We ask them to drink fresh juice instead of soft drinks. But mosambi and orange are not good for those who suffer from acidity and ulcer. But ulcer and acidity can be cured with Ayurvedic medicines made mainly with garlic as a major ingredient.

But stress and tension are the major reasons for ulcer. For example, quite a few youngsters came to us complaining about ulcer, and we found that they were on the verge of divorce in less than a year after marriage. So, it is not only the work atmosphere but family atmosphere also that affects your health.

A girl wanted to continue working in a BPO at night but her husband did not give her permission. She sought for divorce but after that, she had severe ulcer problems. I am just giving a few psychological reasons also behind these kinds of problems.

To prevent and control piles, we tell these people to get up and walk for ten minutes after one hour of sitting in one place. We also tell them to avoid soft drinks, control their diet and drink a lot of water. They should avoid chicken products as much as possible.

Is it because there are thousands of IT professionals and several IT companies in Bangalore that you decided to start a clinic aimed specifically at them in Bangalore?

Yes, that is precisely the reason. Whenever I went to Bangalore for consultation, I used to meet them and hear their problems. Quite a few of them visited our Thrissoor main clinic also. But to give treatment to them looking at their work schedule, we thought it is better we start a clinic in Bangalore itself.

When our marketing department contacted some of the top IT companies in Bangalore, they have asked for awareness talks on diseases and treatment which we will be doing at regular intervals. Based on the feedback we get from people, we may start clinics at other places too.

You said you are changing the traditional pattern of many treatments which have been followed till now, to suit the patients. Will it not affect the effectiveness of treatment?

You can't say that. Yes, treatments like Dhara, Sirovasthi�etc have to be done for three weeks continuously after getting admitted into a clinic where strict diet is followed. When a patient takes these treatments in a clinic and then goes back to work and does not follow the diet, yes, it may affect the effectiveness a bit but then they have to have three weeks time to get proper treatment.

Like in many Ayurvedic treatments, do those suffer from these problems also have to undergo treatment at regular intervals, or is one time treatment enough?

A person who undergoes treatment like Dhara, Sirovasthi, etc will be given medicines too for consumption. Yes, it is always better to repeat the treatment after 6 months or one year so that the problems will not recur or aggravate.

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