IMA Yoga workshop: Senior Psychiatrists condemn protest by few Doctors

IMA Yoga workshop: Senior Psychiatrists condemn protest by few Doctors

Mangaluru: Senior Psychiatrists from NIMHANS, IMA Leaders from across Karnataka and other Senior Consultant Doctors yesterday issued a press release to condemn a misleading letter by few members of IMA, written last week to the IMA National President. The letter was written to criticize an IMA Workshop with Yoga & Meditation, with references to studies done mostly abroad, while excellent work done in NIMHANS and India was completely missed.

Prof. Gangadhar, Director NIMHANS and colleagues Dr BM Suresh, Dr Shivaram Varambally, Dr Venkataramana, said “there is a lot of recent evidence & research done in NIMHANS, India and across the world including Randomized Controlled Trials and Meta-analyses which amply demonstrate the fact that Yoga-based interventions are efficacious in stress-related conditions, especially Depression. Not just as a complementary therapy, but in some cases, even as a sole therapy! These studies have also demonstrated biological changes such as a reduction in the stress hormone Cortisol, increase in the neurotransmitter GABA, and a marker of brain neuroplasticity called as BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor).”

If this was not proof enough, even a layman can see Yoga has not merely survived but has grown exponentially across the world recently. What an irony – India is the birthplace of Yoga, but Indian studies have been completely ignored by a group of Doctors in India! Perhaps this bias has more to do with non-scientific reasons, given that the IMA Workshop has not even mentioned all the above benefits, leaving yoga to be considered as just a simple physical therapy! If all this “alternative medicine” is called fakery, research done in institutes of national importance ignored and efforts by IMA called shameful and appalling, then tomorrow someone will demand to scrap the various Acts of Parliament that were set up the AYUSH Councils and Institutes of national importance.

The press release quoted Dr Raveesh BN, former Director of Dharwad Institute of Neurosciences “I am flabbergasted by the opinion of some doctors against yoga. Today many Indians have an attitude of bashing brand India for reasons known to them. This disharmony in understanding the yogic sciences is showing our ignorance to the world. These protesting Doctors will be surprised by the number of foreign students staying in my hometown of Mysore to learn yoga. I condemn this unilateral assumption of belittling the effects of yoga”.

The press release said it is unfair to make accusations open without waiting for the recipient to respond. Biggest harm by Alternative medicine when their practitioners are allowed to practice Allopathy, needless objections and ridiculing when they actually need help by facilitating research, only serves to divert focus from the main issue! A judicious combination of the best of Modern & Alternative Medicine, done scientifically, alone is in the interests of society and people at large. It is most unfortunate that Senior Doctors should succumb to personal bias and prejudice. Hope better sense prevails.