From The Indo-Canadian Telegram (May/June 2011)
Before coming to Winnipeg in 2009, Dr. Ranjit Rai was a family physician in Punjab for 20 years, practicing both ayurvedic and allopathic (conventional) medicine. He knows the benefits of both.
“Ayurvedic medicine and ayurvedic lifestyle give you long life and healthy life,” he said. “They are very good for chronic problems. Emergency (treatment) is very good in modern medicine.”
While he isn’t yet licensed to practice conventional medicine in Manitoba, he’s permitted to offer ayurvedic treatment and has been doing so since last year. He’s believed to be the first qualified ayurvedic physician to practice in Winnipeg.
“If we follow the lifestyle according to ayurveda, that is very good to keep yourself healthy,” he said. “You can actually prevent diseases with ayurveda.”
Ayurvedic medicine, a form of alternative medicine, is a system of traditional medicine from India. Ayurvedic doctors treat patients through diet and lifestyle changes, yoga and other exercises, panchakarma (bio purification) and ayurvedic supplements. They focus on prevention and a healthy lifestyle (a balance of the three elemental energies: vata, pitta and kapha).
To become an ayurvedic physician in India, Rai had to complete a five-and-a- half-year university program, studying both ayurvedic and modern medicine subjects, including anatomy, pathology, gynaecology, paediatrics and surgery.
He earned a B.A.M.S. (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) degree in 1989 from Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar. He earned his M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree in alternative medicine in 2005. He is a life member of N.I.M.A. (National Integrated Medical Association in India), A.I.I.M.A. (All Integrated Medical Association in India), and International Council of Ayurvedic physicians ( Toronto).
He’s offering a number of ayurvedic services in Winnipeg, including ayurvedic health consultations for prevention and cure; ayurvedic panchakarma therapy for cleansing, detoxification and rejuvenation; courses and workshops for ayurvedic cooking and ayurvedic knowledge; ayurvedic healing massage; and ayurvedic food and yoga postures focused on specific ailments.
Rai said he came to Canada so his children could have a brighter future. He and his wife, Paramjit, have three children, Upasna, 18, Bharat, 15, and Karan, 13. He and Paramjit are both working as healthcare aides, but he hopes to eventually practice ayurvedic medicine full-time, as more people in Winnipeg turn to him for treatment.