Dr. Antonio Morandi is the director of an Ayurvedic institute in Milan. The 55-year-old neurologist specialized in Ayurveda fourteen years ago. Dr. Antonio Morandi is married and has a son.
Dr. Morandi, how did you come to Ayurveda?
I worked for many years as a neurologist in research. I was mainly interested in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease and cerebral aging processes. I did research for many years at US universities with the aim of reproducing cell culture models of human diseases. That was the time when the limitations of Western science first became clear to me
One day I realized that the cells I was growing in the test tube were not forming a real organ. This was because the cells were growing detached from their original environment, detached from the whole body from which they were taken. This realization was like an enlightenment for me. From now on, my attention was no longer focused on the organ itself, but on the networked connections that form the organ. The entire body is a boundless web of connections that in turn shape the body. From that moment on, I had to find another way of looking at nature and science. And I found this other view a few years later in Ayurveda.
What does working as an Ayurvedic doctor mean to you?
It means being a holistic doctor. Ayurveda has completed my education. In Western medicine, we have lost the view that the patient or the patient is a whole.
A holistic approach also takes into account the realm of body, mind and spirit as well as the environment in which the patient lives. This perspective, prevalent in Ayurveda, fundamentally changes the relationship between doctor and patient and leads to better effectiveness of therapies.
What kind of people seek your advice?
All types of patients. People of all ages consult me with all conceivable medical conditions.
What has changed in your life since you opened your practice?
Pretty much everything. Ayurveda completely changes your outlook on life and the way you see your work.
How do you find your personal balance between your work and your private life?
For a doctor, there is not such a clear separation between work and personal life – and that can lead to problems. But through the philosophy of Ayurveda, this matter can also be regulated.
Are you satisfied with the financial results of your practice?
Yes, I am absolutely satisfied. But my biggest bonus is the successful therapy.
How well known is Ayurveda in your country and how do you think it will develop?
The importance of Ayurveda is growing very fast in Italy, but the level of awareness is not the problem either. In Italy we have a political problem – not only regarding Ayurveda, but regarding non-conventional medicine in general. A law regulating the practice and training in Ayurveda as well as other traditional and non-conventional fields of medicine would be urgently needed. But so far the Italian government has not decided on this.
How does the European financial crisis affect Ayurveda and your work in Italy?
The crisis helps people to find new values and to realize what things are important in their lives. The indication that Ayurveda offers is in this direction. Prevention, nutrition and lifestyle become key factors in the search for a new way of life based on true values and overcoming the crisis through personal development.
How do you combine Ayurveda with allopathic medicine? Have you found a way to prescribe allopathic remedies when they are needed in an “Ayurvedic way”?
Ayurveda is not synonymous with herbs, certain treatments or foods. Ayurveda is not even typically Indian. It is the way of observing nature with the eyes of nature. In this way, it is possible to apply the underlying principles to every conceivable activity.
And in this way it is also possible to apply chemical medicines according to the principles of Ayurveda, in order to achieve – with regard to the guna (property) of the medicine and the required guna of the patient – the best therapeutic results. In the same way, it is possible to eat Ayurvedic food without resorting to Indian food. It is just a matter of thinking in an Ayurvedic way.