GOPIO-NY organizes Symposium on Health & Wellness

 The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has a Health Council which has been actively pursuing better health and wellness of the Indian Diaspora community. Studies have shown that the South Asian origin people are more prone to heart deceases and diabetes.

The vision of GOPIO’s Wellness Spectrum is to provide experts advise for the benefit of the community on integrated modern medicine and the complimentary health care modalities for better health and wellness.

With these objectives, GOPIO-New York organized a Health and Wellness Symposium on Saturday, April 7, 2018, was a smashing success. Over 100 people participated the event which was co-sponsored by other community groups, Alliance of Global Sindhi Associations. The Indian American Kerala Center, India Association of Long Island (IALI) and Gujarati Samaj of New York. The event was held at the Indian American Kerala Center in Elmont, New York. The Indian Consulate also helped the event as a Supporter.

The symposium was put together by physician Dr. Yousuf Syed and Rita Batheja, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Inaugural Community Leader of Asian Indians In Nutrition and Dietetics Member Interest Group, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The symposium was moderated by GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham who said, “GOPIO has several news initiates including its own Chamber of Commerce and GOPIO Councils for Women, Youth, Academic, Science and Technology, Seniors and Cultural, however, promoting health and wellness is a very important initiative taken by GOPIO since 2010.”

After a formal welcome by Kerala Center President Thambi Thalappillil, GOPIO-New York, President Beena Kothari who put together the sponsors and all other arrangements thanked all participating organizations, sponsors and speakers. The symposium was formally inaugurated by Mr. K. Devadasan Nair, Consul for Community Affairs from the Indian Consulate in New York.

The opening speaker Rita K. Batheja, a registered dietitian and nutritionist spoke on the topic, “Intro. to Functional Medicine & Personalized Life Style.” According to Batheja, informed consumer makes educational decision and thereby take your health in your own hand. Batheja further said to drink filtered water instead of sugary drinks, eat clean food and avoid dirty dozen by visiting and also use the app think dirty’. Have a restful sleep and eat nutrient dense food. Learn to manage stress with music and dance or activity of  one’s choice..  “Use food as a Medicine and Functional Medicine is Pomegranate over prescription. It heals the body vs treats the symptoms by looking at the entire system,” Batheja continued.

Dr. Yousuf U. Syed, M.D., a Pathologist spoke on the topic, “How to Prevent Common Diseases.” Dr. Syed said that proper medical care, nutritional excellence, planed vegan raw veg diet, regular exercise and Yoga practice are beneficial in preventing and in some cases can reverse the epidemic of high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and kidney ailments.

Dr. Vasudha Gupta, Ayurvedic Practitioner and master pulse reader who founded American Ayurveda spoke on topic, “The Scope of Ayurveda in Today’s Health Care.” Dr. Gupta explained the advantages of Ayurveda and the modern health care and that how both modalities are complementary and can go hand in hand working towards the goal of optimum human well-being.

“Ayurveda is an ancient Indian Health care system that considers the human being as an Mindy, Body and Spirit Entity and works with the aim of balancing all three whereas modern medicine views human body as a Biological and Chemical machine. Both modality can work better if they go hand in hand,” said Dr. Gupta.

“Ayurveda can become better by using the latest discoveries in investigating techniques and the modern medicine can become better by including the bio-energetics of human body and food along with making the pharmaceutical medicines more holistic and environment friendly,” Dr. Gupta continued.

Yoga teacher Chandni Rodriguez, trained under her mother Gurjani Anjali who is the founder of Yoga Anand Ashram ((Amityville, NY), spoke on “The Benefit of Yoga for Sound Health.” According to Rodriguez, the ancient practice of Yoga supports our physical health by strengthening our Pranic energy.

“The Prana that flows through our bodies is our vitality and hen this is blocked there is suffering Duhkam in the body and mind, said Rodriguez. The yogic practices of asana (postures) and pranayama (breath control) regulate and balance this energy. The meditative practices calm and reset the equilibrium in the body and mind. In this way health is maintained.  Rodriguez and her associate Shyam Metgar of Westchester Yoga Arts gave yoga demonstrations.

Concluding the symposium, Gunjan Rastogi, President of India Association of Long Island, said “the 3 golden nuggets from Health and wellness symposium are: Health is wealth, Vegetarian diet for healthy living and Yoga and meditation are the secrets to physical and mental wellness” GOPIO-New York President Kothari thanked everyone and said the chapter woud continue such educational program in the future.

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