“Keraliya Ayurveda is Credible and Authentic”
Irina Gurjeva is not just another vacationer in Kerala. Maybe, like Hermann Gundert or Arnos Pathiri (Johann Ernst Hanxleden) this pretty peace loving lady from Ukrine, has also fallen in love with the “charming piece of land”. Ukraine is known for its gorgeous and diverse landscape, well-preserved culture and tradition, beautiful women and Irina finds it easy to equate Kerala with her homeland. She has reasons to treat this part of Earth as “Gods Own Country”, for her husband was brought back to normal health by an Ayurveda Vaidya from north Kerala. And for the past two decades Irina is a serious proponent of the ancient Indian system of curative therapy, Ayurveda. She trusts traditional Ayurveda more because of its “spiritual quality”. A widely travelled Irina believes “pure and original Ayurveda can only be experienced in Kerala and I always propose people to experience the unadulterated Ayurveda here in Kerala.” She, as an “Ayurveda Consultant” brings in guests for “Traditional Ayurveda holidaying” from over twenty European Counties to different destinations in Kerala. Irina Gurjeva, in an exclusive interaction with our Editor Suresh Unnithan expressed her thoughts on Kerala as an ideal destination for medical tourism. Excerpts;
What inspired you to choose India in general and Kerala in particular as a destination for medical tourism?
Irina Gurjeva: The fact is, India chose me and Kerala as well. Twenty one years ago I arrived here in Kerala to treat my husband. He had some serious health issues and a traditional Ayurvedic Vaidya from Calicut (Kozhikode) cured him. Knowing this successful experience of traditional treatment many of our friends expressed their desire to go for the same traditional therapy to better their health. That’s how Kerala called me- not for me but for them.
As a Global Ayurveda Consultant how do you rate the Ayurveda therapy practiced in Kerala?
Irina: Panchakarma of Kerala origin is much more patient centric. Not like the Ayurveda therapy practiced in Northern India where the treatment is mostly done according to protocols of Sushruta Samhita.
How do you rate traditional Ayurveda compared to modern Ayurveda?
Irina: I ve already answered this. Traditional Ayurveda is more patient centric. Here in this method patient is methodically monitored. One needs to listen to the intuition. Use not just one method of therapy, try different ways to cure the patient. The Ayurveda doctors can read all modern medical documents and make good use of latest diagnostic tools like ultrasound, x-ray, blood reports etc.
You have been visiting India for over 20 years. What sort of visible changes have you observed in the field of Ayurveda and medical tourism here?
Irina: It’s unfortunate, people with monetary motives are slowly trying to dominate the Ayurveda sector and that is unwelcome. But that does not perturb me much since job is to scout for genuine therapy and therapists. Really good doctor and dependably good treatment matter me. The treatment can differ from patient to patient and much of the therapy depends on the patient’s conditions. I mean – the term good is subjective. The best treatment from the best Doctor in an unhygienic atmosphere can even worsen the health condition of the patient. So, the environment also plays a decisive role in the efficacy of therapy.
What could be the percentage of your guests who would have revisited India/Kerala for medical treatment or wellness?
Irina: May be little over 95 % are revisiting. Of course, the revisits much depend on the genuineness of the Ayurveda facilities they visited and the hospitality they experienced there.
How do you rate the Ayurveda medical services offered in Kerala compared to other parts of the world, in terms of cost and facilities?
Irina: Keraliya Ayurveda is creditable and has high curative competency. It is very much authentic and also patient oriented. The Kerala traditional therapy system is highly appreciated across the globe. Not just that, in Kerala we can get authentic fresh Ayurveda medications, freshly prepared medicated oils, and educated, genuine therapists. Elsewhere in the world like Germany, Hungary, Russia or even Ukraine we have limited options. There may be just one doctor with hardly 3-4 therapists managing the facility. Medicines are not freshly prepared, so the efficacy is limited. Most importantly, Kerala has a very conducive climate for Ayurveda and has the natural abundance of herbs and medicinal plants for fresh medical preparations. Above all the land is really the “Gods Own Country”. The polity is so humane and affable. We can come here any season at our will and experience the best Ayurveda therapy. No much communication issues, for the people here, are educated, English speaking; most importantly this part of India is much cleaner and hygienic. The people here have more sense of sanitation.
How often you visit this country and what is the average duration of your stay on each visit.
Irina: I am coming to Kerala with my clients as an Ayurveda consultant to provide them real-time assistance. They feel better and confident when I am here with them because I am sorting out all their requests, even related to medical assistance like health check-ups etc. So usually I am here from end July to end September, then from end December to end March. Before the Covid-19 pandemic I stayed here in Kerala for over 5 month per year. This year I arrived in September and left in November. Again I now, in December and will stay till end March.
Why did you choose Ayurveda consultancy as a profession/passion?
Irina: Let me be candid! It is not me…. The Ayurveda chose me. Otherwise it would not have worked thus far. Now I am connecting patients with the best possible healing place and professionally proven doctors and therapists. Actually I was graduated as Manager and Shipping Broker of Maritime transport. For over 15 years I worked in that industry. Then the divine call from Ayurveda, and I accepted with pleasure. I feel blissful, more spiritually.
Pictures by Suresh Unnithan