Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
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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, they 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
life style 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.
Mahendra Shah has more than 40 years of professional experience in academia – University of Nairobi and University of Cambridge, United Nations organizations and agencies such as FAO, WFP, UNDP etc and the World Bank and international scientific and policy research institutes – International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). His professional work is concerned with food security, nutrition and health, sustainable agricultural development and international trade, sustainable development, climate change and international negotiations. In the private sector, since 2004, Dr Shah is the founder and President-Director of Zen Resort Bali where the vision is to create holistic wellness systems where guests experience the knowledge and means to achieving personal harmony with their body, mind and spirit through healthy nutrition and diet in combination with Ayurveda therapy, yoga, meditation, pranayama and holiday recreational activities as well as emotional healing. We need to draw on the vast knowledge of traditional medicine from around the world and integrate this with modern medicine, recognising that a human being is a whole living organism rather than merely a combination of parts, systems and symptoms. The challenge is to deliver the right mix of preventive, restorative and curative healthcare to enhance sustainable lifestyles and sustainable human beings.