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Meet Dr Anjali Hooda, India’s first functional medicine practitioner who is advocating for an all-natural lifestyle on Instagram

Published on:2 April 2021, 14:03pm IST
Dr Anjali Hooda is India’s first functional medicine practitioner. On the occasion of World Health Day, she spills the beans on why India is in a dire need of holistic healthcare.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Holistic medicine is surrounded with myths and misconceptions, and I’m on a mission to demystify them, says Dr Hooda. Image courtesy: Dr Anjali Hooda
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When it comes to holistic medicine, India knows it all.  We’ve always had the support of ayurveda, unani and other fields of functional medicine. Unfortunately, we’ve been so influenced by western culture that we’ve adopted it without giving it any thought. Dr Anjali Hooda has the same grievance, and that’s what drove her to be India’s very first functional medicine practitioner.

Today, everyone is going gaga about holistic wellness and how it can be the ultimate solution for all sorts of lifestyle diseases. Dr Hooda has always been at the forefront of this movement, and is trying to pass the baton to all her patients, urging them to go au naturel!

But what is holistic wellness? Well, that’s exactly why Dr Hooda is here to tell us about this concept, and all its benefits. 

Let’s read what she has to say.   

Q: You’ve always been a true advocate of holistic wellness. Can you explain what exactly it means, and what persuaded you to be a functional practitioner?

“You see my father is a surgeon, so it was always in the family. But for me, it was my personal problem that led me on this path. I suffered from obesity, and even after getting proper treatment, I always thought something was missing. It wasn’t a 360-degree solution and I had so many questions for which I wanted answers,” says Dr Hooda.

Anjali Hooda
Meet Dr Anjali Hooda. Image courtesy: Dr Anjali Hooda

She also mentioned how the world today is inundated with a series of myths and misconceptions, and she wants to bust all of them, through the help of social media. 

“Holistic wellness means curing a person inside out. Looking at someone from top to bottom, knowing their age, culture, work, habits, etc and then coming up with a solution,” she explains.

But Dr Hooda saw that things were not ‘literally’ happening the way they should have.

“I saw so many people engaging in wrong practices, which have also defamed this branch of medicine and I want to correct that. Another thing that attracted me towards it was the rich history of Ayurveda that our country is known for. I wanted to explore the world of herbs. I wanted to find an all-round solution, which can uproot the problem once and for all, and that’s why I picked functional medicine,” shares Dr Hooda.     

Q: What was the response you have got from your patients?

“Oh, it has been so overwhelming. When I would tell them that you can stop your medication, they would feel so happy. I think that made me so compassionate and satisfied about my profession. Eventually, this is what I wanted to achieve,” says Dr Hooda.

She also shares how most of her patients run away from these allopathic medicines, as they have their own set of side-effects. 

“You know 80 percent of the population doesn’t want medication. Some of my patients have confessed that they feel addicted to these medicines, and that’s why I give them a solution that comes right from their kitchen. Now, people are more driven towards ayurveda and unani systems, and that’s the reason why our government has also opened the AYUSH ministry,” she explains.

Q: Why do you think India needs more doctors to practice holistic medicine?

“But who said India doesn’t have them? They are there but they are not heard enough. Also, I believe that allopathic doctors and the entire medical fraternity needs to open their eyes to alternative forms of medicine. I have seen cases where simple solutions could have been prescribed, but unfortunately they were not. We should listen to the patient and provide him/her with a proper tool. We have to guide and direct them properly. Just saying you need to have a low-fat diet and exercise regularly won’t make a difference, because everyone knows it. That’s why India needs functional medicine practitioners, who understand the culture and people, and provide them with solutions and replacements that suit them to perfection.”  

She pressed upon the importance of addressing why the problem started in the first place. “You can’t help the genetics, but everything else, you can fix with functional medicine,” adds Dr Hooda.

Q: What do you think are the biggest threats seen by young India today?

“Number one is obesity. Then PCOS, diabetes, and hypertension for sure. This is all because of the lifestyle and growing stress,” she adds. 

Q: Please share some holistic tips with our readers that they can use in their daily life

1. “Be as natural as possible. The most natural food will never make you gain weight or cause any other health hazards,” suggests Dr Hooda.

2. Include salad and vegetables to your daily diet.

3. Stay hydrated.

4. “Sleep is the best healer in the world. So, never compromise on your sleep,” recommends Dr Hooda.

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.