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Mahendra Shah

Mahendra Shah

Zen Resort Bali, Indonesia

Title: The 21st century obesity imperative for healthy eating and sustainable lifestyles


Biography: Mahendra Shah


In the 21st century, the escalating worldwide adoption of modern lifestyles; often characterized by unhealthy food habits, especially overeating, in combination with inadequate physical, psychological and spiritual balanced exercises, stress at home, stress at work and living in an increasingly polluting environment, is resulting in widespread ailments and diseases, including obesity and diabetes, depression and mental stress, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases and more. The scale of this healthcare burdens is such that we simply may not have the time and resources to confront and overcome this emerging crisis. Whilst philosophically Hippocrates oath of modern medicine and the Ayurveda oath of traditional medicine have much in common, integrating modern and traditional healthcare systems is an imperative to confront the 21st century ailments and diseases of modern lifestyles. The vast knowledge of modern and traditional medicine from around the world needs to be combined, recognizing that a human being is a whole living organism rather than merely a combination of parts, systems and symptoms. The challenge here is to deliver the right mix of preventive, restorative and curative care to enhance and balance body, mind and spiritual health. Recalling, “food is thy medicine, thy medicine is food”, we cannot go on consuming unhealthy food and do too little exercise - physical, mental and spiritually balanced and in doing so hoping to prevent and cure the overeating lifestyle disorders of obesity and diabetes. We will present a brief review of the modern medical approach to treatments of overweight and obesity in the context of the 21st century health challenges as more and more people adopt unhealthy lifestyles, which are the main driver of the doubling of overweight children, adolescents and adults in many countries. We will put into perspective the critical preventive role and relevance of traditional medicine, specifically Ayurveda, yoga, pranayama, meditation and naturopathy in confronting the obesity challenges. We will conclude presenting our experiences of developing practical holistic wellness systems, relevant to the treatment of overweight and obesity through healthy nutrition and diet and detox in combination with integrated Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, pranayama and recreational activities as well as emotional wellbeing. Examples of practical innovations developed at Zen and relevant to treatment of overweight and obesity including dosha balanced food consumption and diet and Zenchi; a physically, mentally and spiritually balanced exercise regime.