In Conversation with Stanzin Angmo, Ayurveda Doctor

By Yangchen Dolma Leh, Jun 01, 2023
Leh :

Q. Brief us about yourself and choosing Ayurveda as a career.

I am from Chuchot Yokma, completed my school till 8th standard at Ladakh Public School, thereafter till 10th standard from Leh Lamdon, and Senior secondary from Hamdard public school, New Delhi. On a usual weekly seminar at school in Delhi I got to interact with an ayurvedic doctor who said, “There is no pill for every ill, but there is an ill following every pill”, the adverse drug reaction and growing cost of health care in present times made me choose BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) as my career. I choose to become a doctor because it has been my dream and it renders service to humanity and a Nobel profession.

After completing BAMS which is 5.5 years including a one-year internship, I prepared for the PG entrance exam during my internship and cleared at the first attempt with All India rank 2nd. At present, I am pursuing MD (general medicine) from All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi.

Q. Tell us about the status of Ayurvedic treatment in Ladakh? Isn’t technology becoming a challenge?

Ayurveda is a holistic medicine that aims to restore health by understanding and treating the root cause of the disease by detoxifying, strengthening, and cleansing the body tissues (dhatus) and balancing the doshas ) bringing health and wellness to not just the body but the mind and spirit too. 

In Ladakh diseases like Gastrointestinal Disorders, respiratory, and lifestyle-related disorders including Hypertension (HTN), Diabetes Mellitus (DM), Thyroid, PCOD, PCOS, etc are rising at a high pace. Working in the apex institute of Ayurveda in Delhi I have seen such patients getting cured completely with improved overall quality of life. E.g. Acid Peptic Disease includes several clinical conditions like Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Esophagitis, gastritis, etc the treatment in Ayurveda is emphasized restoring metabolism, body detoxification by medicated emesis and medicated purgation therapy which is included in Panchkarma procedure this pacifying the involved pathological factor with drugs. This in turn leads to inhibition of inflammation and excess acid production thus reducing pain and improving overall gut health. Similar results on musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory, integrative oncology, and many other branches made me believe that Ayurveda has the treatment for almost every other disease prevalent not just in Ladakh, India but worldwide. 

I feel that technology in medicine has led to better diagnosis and treatment of patients, over the years has improved quality of life and has saved many lives. It helps in organization and data management also for the development of pharmaceuticals and is a major tool for the development of research too 

Q.As a cure how effective is traditional medicine?

Ayurveda emphasizes both preventions as well as cure. For prevention purposes, it includes a range of daily routines for maintaining the Circadian rhythm for eg, Dinacharya (daytime regimen), Ritucharya (seasonal regimen), and yoga , for the balance of doshas and to ensure optimum health of mind, body, and soul. And in the Cure part, in recent years we have seen tremendous results that modern medicine could not explain how is it possible. Doctors from institutes like AIIMS Delhi, Maulana Azad acknowledge the fact that in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis; ayurveda is very effective in the management of pain and mobility without the use of drugs like NSAIDS, and antibiotics which in the long term gives side effects to the patients. 

I also witnessed the tremendous cure results in diseases related to Gastroenteritis, female /male infertility, gynecological problems, ophthalmic conditions ranging from myopia to optic neuritis, neurological disorders, cancer, and every lifestyle-related disorder 

Q. Is there any particular situation, disease, or people for which Ayurveda is more valuable?

As there is a specialty branch in PG courses including pediatrics, obs/gynecology, surgery, general medicine, ENT, Pathology and so on I will say there is no condition as per disease that Ayurveda cannot work on, it works on every kind of patient and of any age. 
Along with the treatment, great importance is provided to one’s dietary regimen (pathyaahar), a lifestyle that involves dinacharya, yoga, etc 

Q. In Ladakh, cancer is becoming one of the major concerns, What do you have to say about it and how Ayurveda plays an important role?

I think focusing on Cancer prevention and screening part is more important in Ladakh as patients remain unaware and reach out to the doctors when they are in the end stages and very minimum treatment option is left. Oncology is a vast branch, where out of three main branches of medical, radiation, and surgical oncology ayurveda works mainly on medical oncology where it works on preventing recurrence (metastasis), building immunity strength in patients who have completed conventional treatment and reducing the adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy-induced fatigue, hair loss, neutropenia, nausea etc, in the form of rasayan therapy, brinhan , Balya,panchkarma, and Sam shaman mode of treatment In advance stages of cancer where palliative care is the only option, ayurveda can be used as only therapy to manage the complications. 

Hence I believe that identifying high risk, focusing on wellness rather than illness, and prevention is the best aspect. We all need to understand the disease, educate ourselves about it and stop the stigma. 

Q. Brief us about the scope and potential of Ayurveda in Ladakh?

There are BAMS doctors in Ladakh working in NHM, PHC’s, etc but no pure ayurvedic practitioners in Ladakh as such till now, perhaps owing to the perception of getting govt. jobs and stability factor. But you can work in Ladakh as a medical officer after clearing PSC /UPSC exam, run a clinic setup, or can work as an entrepreneur owing to no academic scope because of a lack of institutional setup. 

Ayurveda has tremendous scope in terms of panchkarma therapy because it is the backbone of the treatment part as per Ayurveda protocol. And the fact that Ladakh is a tourist destination it adds more value to the same.

Message to the readers

“Eat right, train hard, live healthy, and take care of your mental health because it’s the body that listens to the mind. In a sound mind resides a sound body and the most important is to ask for help whenever needed.”