India’s AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik Inaugurates Integrative Medicine Conference in Boston, Says “Yoga is the greatest gift of India to the world for peace”

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BOSTON– India’s AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik inaugurated the second annual Integrative Medicine, Yoga and Ayurveda Conference in Boston and said yoga is the greatest gift of India to the world for peace. The two-day conference was held at Harvard Medical School and was attended by about 250 people.

The theme of the conference was on Integrative Medicine – Role of Yoga and Ayurveda in Pain and Opioid Addiction Management.

“Yoga is the greatest gift of India to the world for peace and harmony,” Naik said in his inaugural address. He went on to elaborate how the practice of yoga helps even the cabinet and government officials to become more efficient through developing inner strengths.

Kanchan Banerjee, Director of Indo US Health Initiatives, and Co-Chair of the organizing committee, welcomed the participants at the conference, which was held on May 20-21.

Several prominent researchers from institutions like Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital, S-VYASA, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding Rehab Hospital, and Artemis Hospital, working in integrative medicine of Yoga and Ayurveda presented their latest results.

The conference included various sessions with experts and eight workshops on the practice of Yoga and Ayurveda for physicians and nurses, which were offered by prominent practitioners and schools.

The keynotes were delivered by Dr. Robert Schneider, Dean and Director, College of Integrative Medicine, Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, Maharishi University of Management, IA. Dr. Greg Fricchione, Associate Chief of Psychiatry; Director, The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital Dr. BN Gangadhar, Director of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS; India) along with Dr. HR Nagendra and Dr. David Frawley.

Among the people who chaired the sessions were Dr. Bal Ram Singh, President of Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dr. Dinesh Patel, Emeritus Chief, Arthroscopic Surgery, Mass General Hospital, Dr. B.N. Gangadhar, director of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience and Mrs. Latha Mangipudi 3 times elected State Representative of New Hampshire.

Among the presenters were Dr. Greg Fricchione, Director of Benson- Henry Institute of Mind and Body Medicine at Mass General Hospital, Dr. Manoj Bhasin and Dr. Sara Lazar, Harvard Medical School, Dr. Lisa Conboy, health researcher at Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Manjunath, director of international affairs, S-VYASA India, Dr. Ram Manohar, director of Ayurveda Research at Amrita University, India, Dr. Arianna Vora, physician at   Spaulding Integrative Rehabilitation, Dr. Diana Lurie, Biomedical research at University of Montana, Dr. John Denninger, director of research at Benson Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Ashutosh Shukla, Internal Medicine at Artemis Hospital, Delhi India, Yogini Sambhavi Chopra, American Institute of Vedic Studies, Dr. Stephanie Wolf-Rosenblum, Vice president of Sothern New Hampshire Health, Mr. Paul Bergeron, Board of Commissioners, New Hampshire, Dr. Nitigna Desai, Psychiatry at BU medical School and Veteran Affairs Medical Affairs, Dr. David Frawley, American Institute of Vedic Studies, Hilary Garivaltis, Executive Director of National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), Nikki Myers, Founder of Yoga of 12 steps to Recovery Foundation, Jay Gupta, Yoga Caps, RxRelax, Nicoletta Longo, Founder and CEO – Namastay Sober, Dr. Prakash Mangalasseri, Associate professor at A.V.C. Kottakkal, India. Dr. Anusha Sehgal, Faculty at Boston Ayurveda School and Chair of, NAMA Certification Board, Dr. Jay Glaser, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa, Harvard Medical School, Annalisa Cunningham, Author of Healing Addiction with Yoga, Dr. M Keshavan Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Lucinda Jewell, Chair of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Haimanti Banerjee from Children’s Hospital,  and Sudarshan Ramabadaran, Deputy Director, India Foundation, New Delhi, and Pratibha Shah of Council for Ayurveda Research.

Dr. Nagendra informed the audience how the celebrations of IDY is expanding in India and the entire world. The AYUSH ministry now holds International day of Yoga festivals all over the country which include various types of Yoga and its significance to public health. He described how the AYUSH ministry is implementing the vision of India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to tackle the problem of diabetes with Yoga in India and across the world. Dr. Nagendra said over 400 million Indians practice Yoga by now. Its popularity is increasing everyday around the globe.

The curtain raiser for the IDY was presided over by an eminent Vedic scholar, Dr. David Frawley. Ms. Renu Singh, a certified Yoga instructor and PhD student at Georgetown University led the participants to do a modified version of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) and other poses. A video message from a renowned mystic, author, poet and founder of the Isha Foundation Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev was played at the event.

On May 22nd a Round-Table with experts and policy makers was organized at the Massachusetts Historical Society to have a direct dialogue and steps forward to explore how Yoga and Ayurveda can be used to deal with pain and addiction. This event was co-hosted by Health Commissioner of the State of Massachusetts, Mr. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Development and Mrs. Latha Mangipudi, State Representative from NH. Among the key participants were as Dr. Monica Bharel, AYUSH Minister Mr. Naik, Indian Consulate General in New York Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, Mayor of Nashua NH Mr. Jim Donchess and policy makers from the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The highlight of this 4-hour-long event was the presence of Sadhduru Jaggi Vasudev.

The grand sponsor of this event was the Ministry of AYUSH, the diamond sponsor was Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and the gold sponsor was Imed Clinics of the United Kingdom.

The organizing committee of these events include Kanchan Banerjee, Dr. Balram Singh, Dr Darshan Mehta, Pramit Maakoday, Dr. NK Manjunath, Haimanti Banerjee, Dr Anusha Sehgal and Pawan Roy. The office/administrative support was provided by Hollie Jones and Raghu Bengaluru.

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