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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

The Time is Now for Integrative Medicine

Oct 05, 2012 10:52AM ● By Beth Davis


The Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA) will host its Fifth Integrative Medicine Conference, November 3 and 4, at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, in Breinigsville. Co-sponsored by American Hindu World Services (AHWS), the conference is devoted to sharing information about healing and integrative medicine. It offers continuing education, practicums and case study presentations designed for health professionals, allied healthcare providers and yoga teachers and students, as well as anyone seeking integrative health care.

Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the doctor-patient relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative. Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla, founder of AAPNA, says that while conventional medicine can help diminish the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles, integrative medicine can help reverse those consequences, prevent illness and reduce symptoms.

“Integrative medicine is based on the idea that there is not one answer for every disease and not one system of modality,” notes Annambhotla. Integrative medicine uses modalities such as acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, Reiki, yoga and more to reduce pain; dietary and herbal approaches to manage diseases such as diabetes and fibromyalgia; and group support to change habits associated with obesity, diabetes and heart disease. 

These techniques support the body’s natural ability to heal—reducing stress and promoting a state of relaxation that leads to better health. Annambhotla says that individuals who incorporate one or more integrative medicine services into their healthcare regimen will notice a difference and can regain control of their well-being. If they aren’t sure where to begin, the conference provides an opportunity for people to gain a greater understanding of their options.

The conference will feature an impressive group of integrative medicine professionals presenting on a variety of topics. Rick Daugherty, executive director of the Lehigh County Senior Center and the Chairman of the Lehigh County Democratic Party, will inaugurate the conference. Daugherty is a social worker and an advocate for the betterment of people’s lives and the advancement of societal awareness. He recognizes the need for an integrated healthcare approach with a renewed focus on preventive care.

Among the presenters is Dr. Shashi Agarwal, a board certified cardiologist in private practice in New Jersey, who will discuss integrative cardiology. His presentation will highlight evidence-based integrative therapies that are aggressively changing the treatment paradigm of cardiovascular disease. Health professionals will be able to use this data to positively improve the lives of their patients, as well as their own lives.

Dr. Tirun Gopal, who has been practicing obstetrics and gynecology for 34 years, will present Ayurvedic Treatment of Premenstrual Disorders and Female Menstrual Disorders. He complements his practice with other modalities such as ayurveda, medical acupuncture and homeopathy.

“Ayurveda recommends massage therapy, a variety of herbs or combinations thereof, appropriate dietary changes and lifestyle alterations in the management of this disorder,” says Gopal. “Having used this regimen on several patients in my practice, I am convinced of its efficacy.”

Dr. Mazhar Shaik, director of ,Green Health Thermography in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the director of quality and clinical services for Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA), will demonstrate how medical infrared imaging can be integrated into a progressive healthcare system and how meaningful the information provided by infrared images can be in regards to quality of life.

Other speakers and their topics include: Dr. Richaritha Gundlapalli, integrative pediatrics; Dr. Vijay Jain, integrative oncology; Dr. Jeffrey Meyers, integrative pain management; Dr. Kiran Viramgama, integrative pulmonology; Dr. Eugene Rajaratnam, integrative urology; Divya Selvakumar, integrative nutrition; and, of course, Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla, speaking about ayurveda. 

AAPNA is a nonprofit organization committed to sharing ayurvedic knowledge and wisdom and exchanging ideas with integrative health professionals and all who are interested in ayurveda. AHWS is a nonprofit based on the Hindu faith-based perspectives of international development with a focus on global health. AHWS aims to promote, educate and advocate on the Hindu-faith based perspectives of service of global health.

“People can benefit and health can be improved with integrative medicine,” says Annambhotla. “We look forward to sharing our knowledge with the public and other health professionals in an effort to foster awareness about its importance.

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center is located at 628 Twin Ponds Rd., in Breinigsville. For more information, call 484-347-6110, email [email protected] or visit 

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