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Dr. Neelam Nath, 70, has been running a nonprofit clinic, the Suneera Charitable Center for Health and Education in the greater Kailash area, for over four decades. She worked as a telemedicine expert at AIIMS in Delhi (1969-75) and at St. Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, Great Britain (1975-77) and now works on health platforms from Practo, Lybrate and Mfine. She just made her debut at HolyStick – a holistic therapy that talks about treating disease without resorting to allopathic drugs. It tries to integrate the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional aspects of one’s own personality for a deeper self-image. The book documents the side effects of allopathic drugs and the alternative natural ways to build immunity. “This book is at the core of my own life journey, and I hope it will help change the way you view life,” says Dr. Nath. Extracts:

An allopathic doctor who talks about treating disease without modern drugs seems strange.
Yes, I am a doctor, but also a COPD patient. I’ve been taking oral medication since 1983. In 1996 I had a heart attack and bypass surgery was recommended. But as a single parent (husband had since passed away) of three daughters, I couldn’t afford to be hospitalized. I started taking sorbitrate to relieve chest pain. I also began to renew my knowledge of modern medicine through seminars and books in the British Council Library. I put everything I learned into practice on my own body and changed my lifestyle, which reversed heart disease.
In 2008, I had to undergo complicated bypass surgery because of weak lungs and weak hearts. But I came back home alive and functional, both mentally and physically. It was then that I decided to write a book.

How did you manage the time on your busy schedule?
Discipline helps. I usually write down a few lines regarding my observation of a patient after the consultation. I also write down the questions that come to mind regarding the dose of medication prescribed to a patient, especially young adolescents. And then I look for answers to reduce dosage in books, foods, and lifestyle changes that can lead to holistic health. This book is the result of all this knowledge. A simple example is that coconut water is a far more potent diuretic than any medicine.
I decided to write this book 13 years ago, but since I was busy I couldn’t. I found time in the lock.

How did your colleagues react to the book?
Surprise! Most of my co-workers are not net savvy and impressed with the way I lead my life, despite the odds.

You’ve been into telemedicine for a long time, although it only gained ground in the last year.
Telemedicine is the future of healthcare. I have been practicing it since its inception in 2014. During the lockdown, when hospitals were closed, telemedicine acted as a boon and was booming. At the end of the day, it gives me a reason to say, “Thank God for letting me help girls and women who live in remote corners of India and have no doctors to see.”

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