‘Ayurveda: My Clarion Call’

Dr VASAVI VARAMBALLY responds to ThinkWellness360 questionnaire. 

Why and how did you think of becoming a doctor?

My mother wanted to be a doctor — but, she could not, for whatever reason. She inspired me to be one. I opted for Ayurveda, because I found it best suited for my aspirations, passion, as also vision.

What made you think of, study and specialise in the system of medicine you now practice?

Ayurveda was my ‘go-to’ medicine, also career, since childhood. I could not think of any other stream of medicine as an option. My speciality is Manovigyana Evam Manasaroga [Ayurveda Psychology and Neuropsychiatry). I took it up because I was passionate about it and I fully believed I had the requisite skills. Human behaviour and response has always been a fascinating subject for me. 

What has been your personal and professional experience as a doctor?

It has been fulfilling and satisfying. I’m grateful to god for it.

What unique and special skills you think you have that has made the big difference for your patients?

My communication skills, patience, empathy, and taking adequate time to explaining to the patient their health condition, as also the essential ‘do’s and don’ts’ to be followed before, and after, taking my medicines.

What is your best definition of optimal wellness and why?

Being able to indulge happily, also delightfully, in all healthy activities — eat healthy, digest what is eaten well and clear the bowels comfortably. Above all, sleep soundly. Well, when your digestion and gut health are good, the body can cope with, and also overcome, most ailments competently. Sleep is essential for the mind and body to rejuvenate and ‘purge’ physical and mental distress. Being happy is important too, primarily because — what’s the point of being healthy, if we are not happy from the inside out? After all, whatever we do, we do to have a better, healthy, active life, rather than just leading a breezy, euphoric life.

Your ‘best’ case?

I’d like to choose just three, from the several ‘best’ cases that I have in my clinic records. One, a case of anxiety with psychotic symptoms, triggered by insomnia [sleeplessness]. This was successfully managed with medicines, counselling and psychotherapy. Two, of a non-healing ulcer. The patient couldn’t afford skin graft surgery. The case was successfully managed with topical and internal medicines and also a healthy diet. Three, a case of chronic peripheral neuropathy. This was managed extremely well with appropriate medicines, diet and lifestyle modifications.

Your ‘not-so-good’ case?

A woman patient, in her 50s, consulted me for what she described as ‘a severe headache of two years.’ Her headache was, at times, unbearable and I suspected a possible lesion in the brain. I advised CT scan/MRI. A week later, I received a call from her son, saying she ‘threw herself in front of a moving train,’ a day, or two, after their visit to my clinic. She had committed this terrible act, when her son was at his workplace. I wish the patient had met me earlier; maybe, there was something I could have done better with her case. Maybe, her life could have been saved — from such a tragedy.

What appeals to you the most? 

Humility and simplicity. 

What annoys you the most?

Arrogance.

Your favourite book?

Be The God You Are by Dr Bhujang Shetty.

Your favourite joke? 

I like anything that makes me smile.

Your favourite song?

  • Nahin Saamne Tu [Taal; 1999/Hariharan/Sukhwinder Singh/Anand Bakshi/A R Rehman].
  • Soniyo, O Soniyo [Raaz: The Mystery Continues; 2008/Shreya Ghoshal/Sonu Nigam/Neeraj Sridhar/Raju Singh].

Your favourite movie? 

Kung Fu Panda [2008]. I just love animated movies.

Your favourite TV, Netflix show?

House MD [2004]; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D [2013].

Your other interests, or hobbies?

Fine arts; medical astrology. 

Your goal in life?

To expand my Ayurveda clinic into a full-fledged, state-of-the-art Ayurveda hospital.

Dr VASAVI VARAMBALLY, BAMS, MD [Ayurveda], is a consultant Ayurveda physician, psychologist and neuropsychiatrist @ Varambally Vaidya’s Ayurveda Chikitsalaya, Bhattarahalli, Bengaluru, India. Her other professional skills, or interests, also include nadi pariksha, marma chikitsa, yoga, pranayama, mudras, acupressure, Reiki, and pranic healing.

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