Women Enpowerment: Dr. Daxa Vaishnav
Dr. (Mrs.) Daxa V. Vaishnav, MD (Hom.) is a Professor and Head of Dept. in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Smt. CMP Homeopathic Medical College, Bombay, India, where she has been teaching Gynaecology and Obstetrics Therapeutics for over 23 years. She is also a Hon. Physician at Shree Mumbadevi Homoeopathic Hospital, which is a teaching hospital attached to the college. She has had a vast experience in managing pregnancy and labor with homoeopathy. She has also been able to avoid surgical intervention in many gynecological conditions, including fibroids of the uterus, cervicitis and cervical erosions. She was a resource person in the subject of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences to set the contents of the syllabus for the III BHMS in 2006. She has conducted workshops for study groups in London in April 1999 and has lectured at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon (USA) as well as the Caduceus Institute of Classical Homeopathy, Santa Cruz, California (USA) in May 2000. In July 2004, she delivered a lecture on ‘Homoeopathy in Gynaecology and Obstetrics’ at Vienna, Austria at an advanced seminar organized by the Studentinnen Initiative Homöopathie for homoeopathic students and doctors. She has also had a seminar on “The Homoeopathic Management of Emergencies in Gynaecology and Obstetrics” at the Arefa Charitable Trust in Bombay in Dec. 1997. She presented a paper on “The Role of Homoeopathy in Infertility” at a scientific session held in Bombay in Sept. 1991. She is a guide for Post Graduate students of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and is on the panel to set the contents of examination papers and is an examiner in the subject of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Universities of Bombay, Amravati, Nagpur, Bihar and the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.
1. What motivated you to choose Homeopathy and Gynecology?
Homoeopathy was still an unheard of science when I did my HSC in 1980. I had initially wanted to join the MBBS course but due to the excessive competition for so few seats, I had to opt for homoeopathy. What I realized was that the same subjects were taught to us and we used the same textbooks that students of the MBBS course were using. We also got our clinical training not only in our homoeopathic hospital but also at a municipal allopathic hospital. In fact it turned out to be a better alternative. I was always interested in the subject of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. I soon realized the potential of homoeopathy in the treatment of diseases of women and started studying all the literature available even when I was a student. When I was in the final year, I started sitting with a Gynaecologist to get some hands on experience.
After I graduated, I applied for a teaching post at my alma mater and was appointed in the anatomy department as a demonstrator. This was a God-send because it helped me further strengthen my basics about the female anatomy. Fortunately for me, the lecturer in the Gynaecology dept. went on maternity leave and I volunteered to also take care of her work. This was the first step in fulfilling my desire to work in the field of Gynaecology. I was soon absorbed into this department and I took it upon myself to build up the department from scratch. I used to attend the Out Patient Department (OPD) everyday and make sure that I had examined each and every patient myself and prescribed a homoeopathic medicine to the patients. I had some wonderful allopathic colleagues (Gynaecologists) in my department who were willing to let me treat all the patients with homoeopathy. At the same time, I started working with them in the operation theatre, initially as an assistant and later, when they were confident about my abilities, independently. I took each patient as a challenge as I had to prove to my gynaecology colleagues that homoeopathy works.
It has been a long and fulfilling journey of over 23 years from a demonstrator to the Professor and Head of the Gynaecology department. I can proudly say without boasting that with homoeopathy I have been able to avoid surgeries in many of my patients and have seen the smiles light up the faces of many infertile couples who were blessed with a child after homoeopathic treatment.
2. What were the advantages and disadvantages for you, having your husband working in same field?
My husband is not only a practicing homoeopath but, like me, a Professor, and heads the department of Materia Medica at the college where we work. Having a husband from the same profession is obviously an advantage. My husband understands that both men and women have an equal right to build their careers and he has been my support system whenever I have been exposed at work to the complexities of people’s irrational behavior. When our department was still in its infancy, I had to regularly attend to deliveries, very often at night. There were many occasions when I would be summoned to the hospital at midnight just because the gynaecologist did not want to attend the call and wanted me to examine the patient and report the findings to him. My husband would always be there by my side to drive me to the hospital at odd hours and wait for me patiently while I examined or delivered the patient.
We practice from the same clinic but have different timings. Even here he is very useful because he looks after my practice if I am away for a few days attending to examination duties or teaching at seminars. I would say that he has taken over the role of being my manager!
3. How do you balance between work and family?
Having a family means the usual ups and downs. Children’s health issues, their studies and coordinating their vacations with our college work had always been a problem. Since ours is a nuclear family, we have tried having full-time maid or sending the children to a crèche for a short period of time to help take care of our kids while they were young. Of course when things went out of hand, my parents and my mother-in-law were there to help us out. After my first delivery, I took a break from my private practice so that I could be with my son in the evenings. I used to see enough patients in our hospital’s OPD everyday so I chose to sacrifice my clinic for my son.
Our children are now grown-up and do not need constant attention. Nowadays, I lead my life with clock-like precision. I get up early in the morning for an hour at the gym followed by cooking for all four of us. Then, we rush off to work. We return home by 5 pm, spend some time unwinding with the family and get back to work again at the clinic. I have now become a home-maker cum professional rolled into one and can proudly say that since my husband happily shares the household chores, he has become an efficient ‘home-maker’ too.
4. Since you specialize in Women’s Health can you provide tips on Women’s health?
Personal hygiene should be a very essential part of the daily chores of a woman and daily routine care becomes essential especially during the menses. Health is a state where the person enjoys perfect harmony between the body, mind and soul. All the three should be cared for to achieve a state of happiness. There should be a good balance between work and play- remember all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. One should take up a hobby that one enjoys and nurture it.
5. Stress is become part of our life, How Homeopathy treats stress. Can you add some tips on handling stress?
Homoeopathy is holistic medicine. It believes that the patient should be treated as a whole. Therefore a homoeopath pays attention not only to the physical problems but also the mental state of the patient. The medicine that is prescribed to the patient helps to combat the physical and mental stress of the patient.
Yoga and esp. meditation definitely play an important role in controlling stress. Regular exercise is also a stress buster.
Also, always find time for yourself out of your busy schedule. Go for a long walk, watch the sun set or take up a hobby that will divert your attention from the daily grind.
Keeping a pet has been shown to be a great stress buster. Even a small fish tank at home can relieve you of your stress.
6. Any advice on diet for Women to maintain health?
One must eat to live and not live to eat.
Most of the health problems that we face today are due to a faulty diet. Obesity is the leading contributory factor not only in diseases like diabetes, hypertension and osteo-arthritis but also many important diseases of women like poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Most women complain of constipation and that can be tackled by drinking adequate water and eating fibre rich food. A high fibre diet will also help control the cholesterol levels of the blood. Pre-menstrual tension can be reduced by curtailing the intake of salt and caffeine (coffee, colas, etc.) a few days before the onset of the menses. The diet should be healthy and balanced and I would advice my patients not to indulge in binge eating and sudden crash diets. In fact the see sawing effects of frequent drastic weight loss followed by weight gain has a harmful effect on the body.
Regular exercise is as important as diet. It helps to control diseases like diabetes, hypertension, PCOS and osteoporosis. Exercise also causes the release of certain chemical called endorphins which are natural mood elevators.
The best nutrition advice to keep you healthy would be to:
Eat a variety of foods
Balance the food eaten with physical activity
Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits
Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
Choose a diet moderate in sugars and salt
Choose a diet that provides enough calcium and iron
A balanced diet with regular exercise and a proper amount of sleep will go a long way in maintaining the state of health.
7. Can we get your contact information for consultation?
I practice at 13 Sukhram Gruha, Sir Vithaldas Colony, Sarojini Road, Santa Cruz (W), Mumbai 400 054, India. I see patients only on weekdays in the evenings by prior appointment. My clinic number is +91-22-65736250 and my cell number is +91-9820892038. I can also be contacted by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for consultation.We have developed a web site www.drvaishnav.com which aims to provide information about homoeopathy to laypersons, as well as be a learning center for students and doctors of homoeopathy. I have posted many of my articles and cases of infertility and poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) on our website
——————————-Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor, www.naarisakhi.com