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3rd International Conference On Integrative Medicine

Godavari Patil

(This article is sponsored by Masala Art)

The Third International Conference on Integrative Medicine, Yoga & Ayurveda: with a special thematic reference to the role of Yoga & Ayurveda in cancer and Palliative care was held at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center of the Harvard Medical School, Boston MA from June 22 – 24, 2018. The conference was organized by the Indo US Health Initiative, Inc. in partnership with the Consulate General of India, New York; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; S-VYASA, India; OSHER Center for Integrative Medicine of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; Boston Center of Excellence, Institute of Advanced Sciences; Boston Ayurveda inc., There were over 300 participants from 17 nations who presented their research in poster or oral presentations. There were also some keynote speakers who gave talks on topics such as role of Yoga and Ayurveda in maintaining and restore health and curing of diseases, how to integrate alternative medicine fields into the main stream medicine system, how to present scientific evidences and how to establish the ethics of Ayurveda with western medicine.

On Jun 22, the inaugural Program was started at 9:00am after a nice breakfast, with a welcome note by Mr. Kanchan Banerjee, Director, Indo-US Health Initiatives. Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India, New York spoke on, 'Sustainability Inside Out: The Significance of the Culture of Yoga.' Dr. Vikas Sukhatme, Dean, Emory University Medical School talked about untapped opportunities for Cancer Treatment and the need for affordable medical innovation as Special Address: Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Founder, Yoga in Daily Life spoke on 'Yoga in daily life for physical, social and mental health' as a special speaker of the conference Dr. As a chair, H.R. Nagendra, President S-VYASA concluded the session with his remarks, ‘there is pressing need for the integrative medicine practice.’  

This was followed by Symposium titled, ‘Application of Ayurveda in Oncology & Palliative Care’, was Chaired Dr. Manoj Nesari, Advisor, AYUSH Ministry. Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan, Director, Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Pune, India Dr. Manoj Sharma, Professor Department of Radiotherapy, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi Dr. P.R. Ramesh, Head of Clinical Research, Cancer and Palliative Care, Arya Vaidya Sala Hospital and Research Center, Kerala, India presented their interesting research with promising findings.

Next Symposium on, ‘Yoga Therapy in Cancer & Palliative Care’ Chaired by Dr. NK Manjunath, Director of Research, S-VYASA. Motivating and though-provoking presentations were made by Dr. Neha Vapiwala, Yoga and Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Dr. Suzanne Danhauer, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Social Sciences and Health Policy in the Division of Public Health at Wake Forest, PA Dr. Raghavendra Rao, Health Care Global Commentator, Dr. Darshan Shankar, Vice-Chancellor, Transdisciplinary University (TDU), India said that these evidence based research studies are going help build a stronger integrative medicine area.

After coffee break, Chief Guest of the program Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President, ICCR, New Delhi presented a keynote address on, 'Role of Yoga in world peace and progress’ and the Chair of the session, Dr. Gururaj Mutalik, Former Dean, Pune University Medical School said that The ancient science of Yoga has the ability to readily equip humans to reinstate world peace, environmental sustainability, as well as harmony between individuals, communities, religions and nations but in modern times, Yoga has unfortunately come to mean only physical exercise or posture, which needs to modified.

Ms. Natasha Verma shared her personal experience as a cancer survivor and expressed her testament about how Yoga helped her in recovering from cancer.

Closing Session Chair, Dr. Timothy McCall, Researcher, bestselling author of 'Yoga as Medicine', medical editor of Yoga Journal) made his remarkable comments, ‘Yoga as Medicine offers a wealth of benefits’ after Dr. Anusha Sehgal, President, Boston Ayurveda Inc. Dr. Vikas Merchia, IMANE presented their talks. He explained what yoga does and who (virtually everyone) can benefit from it and provided practical information, 

On Jun 23, the early morning session began with a meditation session guided by Dr. H R Nagendra (Yoga Teacher of the Prime Minister of India).  The breakfast was followed by the Plenary Session Introductory Remarks by Dr. John Denninger, Director, Benson-Henry Institute, MGH and Keynote speakers, Dr. Hari Sharma, Professor, Ohio State University spoke on 'Application of Ayurveda in the Modern Healthcare System’ and Dr. Darshan Shankar, Vice-Chancellor, Transdisciplinary University (TDU), India, talked about, 'Imperative to create Trans-Disciplinary platform for advancement of health sciences in the 21st century.’ Dr. Purnima, Founder, Health is Wealth Foundation chaired session and made the announcement of book release.

Two Workshops and one Oral Research Presentations were conducted simultaneously in different venues from late morning to evening.  In the rotunda, Dr. Timothy McCall, Researcher and Author, Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, Chairman & CEO, Systems Health talked about Systems health: Your body, your systems and Yogin and the Vaidya in the Ethics Committee by Dr. Jay Glaser, Faculty, U Mass Medical School presented their stimulating and fascinating researches and thoughts. In the Pechet Room, Dr. Sivarama Prasad Vinjamury, SCU on ‘Ayurvedic Nutrition in Cancer Venue’; Dr. Neil Patel, Asst. Prof., University of Minnesota School of Medicine on ‘Ayurveda, Yoga and Longevity Venue’ presented their exciting research findings and created interest in the audience about the future researches.

In the Bray Room, Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan) Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Pune, India, Chaired the session. Dr. Daniel Hall on ‘Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Mind-Body Interventions for Fear of Cancer Recurrence’; Dr. Malvina Garner on ‘Yoga and its structural effect on the brain’; Dr. Raj Kumar on ‘Ocmium sanctum: A Source of Holistic Treatment for Neuro fibroma’; and Dr. Vasudha Sharma presented their fascinating findings to the audiences

In the second part of the session,  Dr. Manoj Bhasin, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center chaired the session with presenters: Dr. Jerry Solfvin on ‘Meditation as Medicine for the Community’;  Dr. Sangeeta Shukla on ‘Green synthesis therapeutics: an emerging treatment modality for cancer’;  Dr. Alpana Sharma on ‘Herbal extracts: An emerging adjuvant therapies in Multiple Myeloma’; Dr. Tina Luberto on ’A systematic reviewand meta-analysis of the effects of meditation on empathy, compassion, and pro-social behavior’;  Dr. TN Sathyaprabha on ‘Yoga Therapy for stress management in patients with cancer.’ Their findings created a hope in the scientific community that integrative medicine is going grow faster in the coming years.

Closing Session of the day was Chaired by Darshan Mehta, Medical Director, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH. Dr. Ariana Vora, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Harvard Medical School’; Dr. Indranill Basu-Ray, Cardiologist & Interventional Electro physiologist: CHI St. Vincent infirmary, Arkansas spoke on their current work and shared their work experiences.

On Jun 24, the last day’s morning session sated at 7:30 to 8:15 with guided Meditation by Yogi Amrit Desai. After the breakfast, the Plenary Session was Chaired by Dr. Satbir Singh Khalsa, Mind Body Medicine Researcher, Harvard Medical School. Mr. Yogi Coudoux, Guinness world Record holder and Yoga Guru from France, Gautami Tadimalla, Indian Actress, Mr. Dayashankar Vidyalankar, Yogacharya and Assistant Vice Consul, Consulate General of India presented their special speeches on the role of Yoga and Ayurveda in Cancer, Palliative care and other health care fields as well.

In the next Symposium, Dr. Richard Fletcher, MIT Media Lab presented his paper on ‘Integrative medicine and role of Information Technology’ and Mr. Pramit Maakoday, Indo US Health Initiatives; Mrs. Haimanti Banerjee, Boston Children's Hospital talked about their projects presented their experiences, and challenges.

Another Symposium on Health Care Policy in India – Healthy Smart Villages and Cities was Chaired by Dr. Pratibha Shah, Council on Ayurvedic Research.  Dr. Manoj Sharma, Professor Department of Radiotherapy, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi; Mr. Rajesh Khullar, Principal Secretary, Haryana, India; Mr. Ajit Kesari, Principal Secretary, Madhya Pradesh India; Mr. Ajit Joshi, Commissioner, Chandigarh India spoke on the current developments and challenges in the health care system of India and suggested some recommendations for new policy making.

Dr. Jay Glaser, Faculty, U Mass Medical School chaired the Valedictory Session and Dr. H.R. Nagendra, President S-VYASA, and Yogi Amrit Desai, Founder, Amrit Yoga Institute said that evidence-based researches Yoga and Ayurveda, interdisciplinary dialogues, models, courses, communications in the Eastern and Western medicine practitioners are very important for the development of integrative medicine area.

Closing Session was chaired by Kanchan Banerjee, Indo US Health Initiatives and Dr. Bal Ram Singh, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, MA thanked all the participants and sponsors of the program and concluded the conference by saying a considerable amount of information is collected from the contributors of this conference. To ameliorate the quality of the next conference, we plan several additional improvements.

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