IIT Mandi organizes One-Day Conclave on Holistic Health: Exploring holistic approaches to Health and Well-being 

 Indian Institute of Technology Mandi celebrated the Day 2 of G20 – S20 Meet with a conclave on Holistic Health: Exploring holistic approaches to Health and Well-being. 

The conclave emphasized the integration of traditional and modern healthcare systems, aiming to foster a harmonious balance between evidence-based practices, preventive measures, and personalized care. Insights, research, and experiences were shared by distinguished experts and leaders from various fields, highlighting the significance of holistic health in achieving overall well-being. 

Dynamic discussions, interactive sessions, and thought-provoking panels were facilitated, enabling attendees to explore innovative ideas and effective approaches to addressing the multifaceted dimensions of health. The conclave served as a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the inspiration of actionable strategies to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities worldwide. 

The Holistic Health conclave featured many national and international speakers. These included: Dr. Ajay Sankhe Director, Bhaktivedanta Hospital and Research Institute; Dr. Rama Jayasunder, Professor, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi; Dr. Ravindra PN Associate Professor, Centre for Consciousness Study, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore; Dr. Umesh S., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Central Institute of Psychiatry Ranchi; Dr. Rashmi Mathur, Chief Operating Officer, Freedom from Diabetes; Radhika Bhalerao Founder, Mohan Ashram, Pune; Dr. Vikrant Kanwar, D.M.S, AIIMS Bilaspur; Mr. Vishwas Vasudeo Phatak, Yoga Expert and Guest Faculty, IIT Mandi; Dr. Dhaval Dalal, Core Group Member & HOD – General Medicine, Bhaktivedanta Hospital and Research Institute; and Dr. Pooja Gupta, Assistant Professor, University Of Petroleum And Energy Studies, Dehradun. Also, Prof. Prem Vrat, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Mandi, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, and Dr. Varun Dutt, Chair, Indian Knowledge System and Mental Health Applications Centre, IIT Mandi, presided over the Conclave with addresses.  

The objectives of the Conclave included: 

·         To explore and promote holistic approaches to health and well-being. 

·         To discuss comprehensive strategies that encompass physical, mental, and emotional well-being, aiming to integrate traditional and modern healthcare systems. 

·         To set up a Holistic Health Centre on IIT Mandi campus in partnership with the Himachal state and Centre governments. 

The event included thought-provoking keynote speeches and an engaging panel discussion. Prof. Prem Vrat, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Mandi, shared valuable insights on holistic health. He emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach to well-being, encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Prof. Vrat highlighted the significance of a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, nutrition, and rest, along with practices like mindfulness and stress management.  

Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, welcomed the audience and highlighted the profound importance of holistic health for the wellbeing of society. He emphasized that due to the growing problems of mental health and addiction in society, holistic health was much needed. 

Dr. Ajay P. Sankhe, Director, Bhaktivedanta Hospital and Research Institute, highlighted the importance of spiritual well-being, providing truly enlightening insights that significantly contributed to our understanding of holistic health.  

While speaking about the importance of Ayurveda, Dr. Rama Jayasundar, Professor, AIIMS Delhi, said “The world is currently grappling with a longstanding crisis in healthcare and disease management. Simultaneously, there is a growing recognition that conventional Western medicine alone is insufficient to address the escalating prevalence of diseases and health challenges. This underscores the necessity for alternative medical systems to complement existing approaches. Inevitably, this brings attention to Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest continuously practiced healthcare systems.” 

Speaking during his speech on ‘Exploring Holistic Approaches to Health and Well-Being’, Dr. Ravindra PN, Center for Consciousness Studies, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, said, “By drawing the wisdom of Indian Knowledge System, the Sankhya philosophy presents a testable theoretical framework for a holistic approach to health and well-being. 

Dr. Umesh, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Centre Institute of Psychiatry Ranchi, brought attention to the significance of intersectoral coordination in mental health and its role in achieving optimal service delivery. His invaluable insights on this approach are greatly appreciated.  

Dr. Rashmi Mathur, Chief Operating Officer, Freedom from Diabetes, shared her invaluable insights on leveraging the potential of digitalization for holistic healthcare management. Her expertise in this field deepened the understanding of how technology could revolutionize the delivery of healthcare services.  

Radhika Bhalerao, Founder Mohan Ashram, provided invaluable insights into the significance of holistic health. Her emphasis on intrinsic motivation, rewards, tapas, Satya, and other key components for fostering positive change enlightened the audience. 

Speaking at the Conclave, Dr. Varun Dutt, Chair, Indian Knowledge System for Mental Health Applications Centre, IIT Mandi, highlighted the IIT Mandi initiatives for holistic health including studying the therapeutic effects of Indian classical ragas in reducing stress levels; investigating the therapeutic benefits of Odissi dance; and, examining the effects of chanting the maha-mantra on brain networks. Dr. Dutt also emphasized the importance of setting up a Holistic Wellness Centre on IIT Mandi campus with support from the Himachal state and Central governments. Such a Centre could provide low-cost health and wellness solutions to economically poorer sections of the Indian society.   

The day ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Arnav Bhavsar, co-coordinator of the Holistic Health Conclave, and a visit to different Centres and facilities on IIT Mandi campus. 

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