Friday - - Society Living Leisure -

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.

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