When modern medical practitioners in India try to laugh away ayurveda treatment system, here is a Greek physician who integrates both systems in his practice at his clinic in Athens.
In the city as part of the Global Ayurveda Festival, Dr. N.G. Kostopoulos, greets his ayurveda mentor with Hari Om when a phone call comes in just as he prepares to speak to The Hindu.
It was his chance meeting with ayurveda physician Ashwin Barot, a clinical specialist and researcher practising at the Harley Street in London, which made Dr. Kostopoulos take up the study of ayurveda treatment system and then integrate it with the modern medicine that he was practising.
He went to Manchester for research in asthma in 1989 after completing medicine in 1984. In 1990, he gave up his research in modern medicine and turned to ayurveda.
“It was easy for me to study ayurveda as I had studied Sanskrit when I was about 17 or 18 years old . I was drawn to the language while studying ancient Greek. So many words in Greek have come from Sanskrit.” After studying and taking up some research work in ayurveda, he shifted his practice to Athens in 1999.
He gets patients from all over Europe as many in the region have started looking up to ayurveda as a panacea, said Dr. Kostopoulos. “The Europeans could as well come to India where ayurveda is part of life here, but the patient needs to be confident about getting proper treatment,” he said.
Integration of the two systems was likely to build that confidence, he said. A patient coming with problems of hypertension and high cholesterol is provided an exposure to ayurveda system too as he introduces them to ahara, vihara and aushadi along with yoga and meditation step by step. There was a lot of similarity in the ancient Greek medicine and ayurveda, he said.