I’ve been suffering from persistent pain in my back, shoulder, neck and right hand for many years. I’ve undergone several treatments but none has given me a permanent cure. Recently I consulted an Ayurvedic doctor who claimed to be from the prestigious Kottakkal centre in Kerala. He suggested that I need to undergo an oil massage treatment that will cost Dh4,500. How do I know that the doctor is well qualified and what he is prescribing is eventually going to be worthwhile? SALEHA SHAIKH, VIA EMAIL I’d suggest that you get a second opinion from an experienced Ayurvedic doctor.
While the Ministry of Health is tightening regulations to ensure good Ayurveda service for UAE residents, before having therapy at any clinic, it’s important to consider the following: ● Kottakkal Arya Vaidyashala (AVS) is a centuryold charitable institution in Kottakkal, Kerala, that has branches across India. Unfortunately, several Ayurveda clinics and massage parlours use the name to enhance their brand image. However, several of them have no connection with the organisation, other than using the medication prepared at the AVS pharmacy. ● Ayurveda treatment is not just about oil massages; rather it’s a combination of medicines, lifestyle modification, diet regulations, and therapies. ● Ayurveda is recognised as a medical system (not a spa or massage system) in the UAE under the department of TCAM (Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Ayurvedic doctors and therapists have to undergo a rigorous test conducted by the Ministry of Health in the UAE before they can practise here. Most licensed doctors and therapists use licence tags issued by the Ministry of Health while on duty. ● The cost of an Ayurveda therapy might vary from clinic to clinic, depending on the market segment and the type of oil/herb used.