Our very own Devon Perry sat down to interview the accomplished Dr. Nisha Khanna, a Functional Ayurvedic medicine doctor. She is one of the co-directors of the Whole Foods employee clinic and runs her own private practice, both here in Austin. Dr. Khanna employs a unique combination of Ayurveda, functional medicine, and internal medicine in order to give her patients the best Ayurvedic options available.
And guess what? She’s now part of the Veritas Backstage team!
Meet Dr. Khanna as she explains the art and science behind Ayurvedic medicine. Check out the full Facebook Live video here.
Ayurvedic Medicine: An Ancient Art
Dr. Khanna describes Ayurvedic medicine as a “sister science to yoga”. It focuses on dietary and lifestyle aspects of your health by promoting the use of herbs, special diets, exercise, and lifestyle changes. The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to “nourish your body so that you can practice yoga and meditation in a more holistic way” as well as better “prepare your body for those practices”.
“Ayurveda” comes from the combination of Sanskrit words “ayur” (life) and “veda” (science/knowledge). It is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. It’s over 4000 years old! Many practices predate written records, handed down solely by word of mouth. Three ancient texts are the core of Ayurvedic medicine: Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Astanga Hridaya. They are often referred to as the “Great Trilogy”.
One key concept of Ayurvedic medicine includes ideas about global interconnectedness, mainly concerning people, nature, and health. You achieve interconnectedness by balancing the body’s constitution (prakriti) and life forces (dosha). Using these and other techniques, Ayurvedic practitioners are able to customize treatment plans based on an individual patient’s needs.
An Example of Materials Used in Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurvedic medicine aims to help you feel more energized and balanced, making you feel younger and happier. It also has the ability to provide pain relief! Here are a couple examples.
Turmeric is a common spice in Ayurveda. It alleviates inflammation and other similar ailments. Research suggests that Turmeric is also useful for certain digestive disorders (such as Crohn’s Disease), arthritis, and heartburn.
Frankincense is used for its ability to produce a resin that provides anti-inflammatory and immune system relief. A clinical study conducted in 2011 revealed that osteoarthritis patients who’d received the Frankincense resin compound felt a greater pain relief than patients that had received a placebo.
An Important Note
It is important to mention that Ayurvedic medicine is not meant to replace conventional healthcare (or to postpone seeing a doctor for a serious medical condition), but to enhance it. Both Devon and Dr. Khanna mention in the video that hearing “everything is fine in your labs” or “This is normal for your age” are common tales told in doctor’s offices. Devon poses the question: “What if I don’t want to feel how old I am?”. This is where Ayurvedic medicine can help.
About Dr. Nisha Khanna
Dr. Nisha Khanna describes herself as having “one foot in the West and one foot in the East” with her practice. When asked about her Ayurvedic journey, Dr. Khanna responds that it started when she graduated medical school.
Starting Her Journey
Upon completing her residency, Dr. Khanna felt that she’d only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of learning healing practices. This left her dissatisfied. Acquiring further skills was necessary- skills that would allow her to offer patients better options.
Dr. Khanna comments that her Ayurvedic journey is still ongoing. She practiced internal medicine for a couple years before returning to school to start her Ayurvedic training. Dr. Khanna speaks endearingly of Ayurvedic medicine. She calls it “timeless wisdom”. This wisdom is still being utilized today as a staple of the Indian healthcare system. It is Ayurvedic medicine that actually drew Dr. Khanna to the field of functional medicine.
Discovering Functional Medicine Through Ayurveda
When she completed her Ayurvedic training, Dr. Khanna became more aware of the many qualities of functional medicine. Functional medicine focuses on gut health and holds the same principles as Ayurveda, particularly when it comes to digestion. She goes on to explain that doesn’t just mean physical digestion of food, but also our thoughts and experiences. Exercising these principles and implementing these practices is used in order to achieve “optimal consciousness”.
Most recently, Dr. Khanna has been focusing on the emotional, stress, and mind contribution to disease. When asked about what kind of services she will be offering Veritas clients, she responded that she will offer several practices in Ayurvedic medicine including Ayurvedic acupuncture (called marma) and energy medicine (called reiki).
In the interview, Devon personally attests to the validity of Dr. Khanna’s practice. She explains that she became a patient in order to learn more about Dr. Khanna and what she does. After the appointment, Devon said that she walked away from the “exceptional experience feeling more grounded- more balanced”. Both agree that the treatment has a profound effect on the patient’s face and energy.
Dr. Khanna goes on to comment that the experience is positive for both the giver and the receiver of Ayurvedic medicine. She says that it’s an “incredible exchange” between the two and that she is “equally nourished” when she performs that kind of treatment for her patients. Devon agrees and says that she experiences similar feelings of reciprocity at Veritas Backstage; that she gets so much out of helping someone look and feel more beautiful.
Welcome to the Team Dr. Khanna!
The ability to start offering more mind and body services is a “dream come true” for Devon. When envisioning the concept for Veritas, she always wanted a place where people could come receive a number of different services that focus on all aspects of a person’s health. Now, not only can you come to Veritas Backstage to receive wellness treatments, such as bioidentical hormone therapy, but Ayurvedic medicine treatments from our very own in-house Ayurvedic doctor!
Schedule a consultation today to see how Ayurvedic medicine with Dr. Nisha Khanna can change your life!