Why do we need this kind of integrative medical approach in pulmonary and sleep medicine? What are the advantages compared with standard medical approach?

After analyzing hundreds of patients in our practice, we have seen that the holistic approach works better than a standard medical approach. Both have their benefits and limitations and it is good to combine them to get an overall better health benefit. We like to use the ayurvedic treatment approach as it is a well-documented medical science and it is has already been used over thousands of years with millions of patients having already been treated. Currently, millions of patients in India and all around the world receive ayurvedic treatment. We want to have the best of both by combining the Eastern and Western medical sciences to improve overall care to benefit the patient. The standard medical treatment helps to control symptoms, but over years with the same medication, as the body gets weak or the immunity goes down, the need for medication keeps on increasing. This increases the side effects, drug interactions, increase in weight, decrease in energy level, health care costs, etc.

What will be the benefit and difference with integrative medical approach verses the standard medical treatment (allopathic treatment) for bronchial asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema?

Integrative medical approach with Ayurveda

        Standard medical approach

  • Slow improvement in the body
  • Quickly controls symptoms
  • Uses the holistic approach
  • Uses organic or chemical approach
  • Emphasis on diet
  • No emphasis on diet
  • Body type or Prakruti treatment
  • Everyone gets same treatment
  • Lifestyle is important
  • No emphasis on lifestyle
  • Unique diet based on body type
  • No such diet
  • Unique individualized treatment approach
  • Every one gets same treatment
  • Importance of digestion of food and elimination
  • No such emphasis
  • Use of herbs to improve digestion of food
  • No such drug in asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Importance of elimination of constipation
  • No such emphasis
  • Yoga and Pranayama (breathing exercise)
  • Minimal emphasis
  • Understanding all Dhatus (tissues) and to improve them
  • No such emphasis
  • Importance of relaxation
  • No such emphasis
  • Use of herb or spices based on body type
  • No such emphasis
  • Able to treat whole body, mind and emotion
  • Just to control symptoms
  • Exacerbation may not come back right away when off herbs
  • Exacerbation off drugs seen
  • Low cost of herbs
  • High cost for prescription medication

The above is our observation after analyzing hundreds of our patients over 10 years in our practice. Depending on what the patient wants, we provide both pathways, but most have preferred the integrative medical approach. We allow patients to go back to either treatment pathway as they so choose. Very few stay with a purely standard medical treatment approach for long term.

Why is the asthma program or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease program a two-year program?

We have seen that the body takes times to heal and rejuvenate.  It takes time for elimination of the toxins from the body, which is called ama.  Then the digestion has to improve with diet and herbs and after this happens, we have seen that the bronchospasm and cough and/or wheezing will decrease. This generally takes 1-2 years in most patients. Improving digestion is the key to improving the lungs.

What is the uniqueness of the asthma program and or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease program?

We individualize the one-on-one care of the patient, based on body type with appropriate medication or herbs and/or diet and exercise being added. We clinically monitor the patient and their clinical progress is followed. The treatment plan is changed as they improve. Medication doses are decreased when they start showing improvement. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle may be changed accordingly if they are not appropriate.  Also, drug side effects and/or interaction of any herbs and/or medication or medication-to-medication side effects are monitored. Pertinent education for body type pertinent is provided, as everyone needs different management.

Will this integrative medical asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease program decrease health care expense in the long run?

Our long-term goal for the patient is to see decrease in the overall cost of healthcare and overall improvement in health and quality of life. We think that if an integrative approach is added with use of ayurveda, it can help tremendously.

This could be proven by a large-scale formal study, but in our practice, we have seen that this is possible. Compliance of the patient is a must for success.  As the patient improves with the integrative treatment approach for underlying asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and changes their diet, lifestyle, sleeping habits, and stress management, they become more active and more functional overall.

In the long run, this may further help cut down health care expenses.  We believe just adding one more drug on a long-term basis is not the long-term answer for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If it is needed for a short term, it should be okay.  In fact, long-term drugs increase the cost, drug side effects and drug interactions and the underlying problem can still remain unresolved.  Multiple other issues like diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc., need to be analyzed and changed. A balanced approach is needed to have appropriate medication use and adjustment of doses, not just to keep on increasing the doses and not addressing other exacerbation factors.

How do I enroll for the asthma program or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease program?

If you feel that you or any of your loved ones have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and want to be enrolled, please call us. If you live in the vicinity of our office, we can see you in the office.  However, if you live out of the area, we can follow you by videoconference so you can be closely monitored.  Early in the program, we have to see you on a very frequent basis and as you become better, we will spread the time between visits.