When it comes to wellness, the gut is the cornerstone of the overall health and wellbeing of people. However, according to Dr. Saya Pareeth and Dr. Hafeel Ambalath, the founders of The Healers’ Clinic in Dubai, it’s a topic that is particularly important, yet is ignored.

With both having extensive experience in holistic care and Ayurvedic treatments, the clinic’s clear mantra is about healing from the core. “In our 20 years together, we have devised innovative protocols in traditional and integrative medicine and have advised people in this arena,” the co-founders explain.

In-keeping with the clinic’s holistic health methods, ensuring the root cause of health issues are dealt with rather than just the symptoms, gut health directly reflects this. “Gut health has always been the starting point for age-old health traditions and our practice too, has always been deeply rooted in this concept,” they explain.

Dr. Pareeth and Dr. Ambalath sat down with Emirates Woman to discuss their five-year journey with The Healers’ Clinic, what they focus on and the importance of shining a light on gut health.

The Healers' Clinic

What inspired you to launch The Healers Clinic?

One of the challenges was to first understand why we are born on this planet and then are given this huge opportunity to be able to serve people. As a medical professional, often we are overawed with the burden and responsibility placed on us. One of the primary reasons to start The Healers’ Clinic was to look beyond an okay life and spread the knowledge of traditional medicine, to lead a holistic life. On another level, the rather small number of facilities offering holistic and integrative care was one of the driving forces behind The Healers’ Clinic.

Our primary aim was to fill the gap between individuals or families and an integrative or holistic family-physician. We wanted to make integrative and holistic care, easily accessible to all who needed it. We also aimed to build awareness in individuals as well as families, on preventive care, rejuvenation, and maintenance of good health, by way of our unique methodologies and practices. And of course, we wanted to see Dubai as a hub of health tourism, where the world got to experience what traditional and alternative medicine can do.

What is a holistic approach to health and wellness?

“Holistic” refers to “a complete form of healthcare that does not reject conventional medicine. Instead, it considers a comprehensive and individualized picture of health while using safe, effective and appropriate options for prevention or healing”. It involves looking at an individual as a whole, to determine the underlying balances that may affect his or her health.

Speaking of ourselves – while we function on the ancient philosophy of preventive health care systems, and practice traditional healing – we adapt them and implement them through modern and scientific platforms. We do not restrict ourselves to any one form or method of medical treatment. Incorporating approaches from across the world, we choose a course of treatment best suited to an individual’s needs and tailored to individual lifestyles. This briefly describes the holistic approach we have successfully taken, to health and wellness. This also is the beauty of The Healers’ Clinic as we focus on the overall wellbeing of individuals and on strengthening their core health pillars than indulge in superficial quick fixes.

Gut health is a big topic of conversation in the health and wellness space at the moment. Why do you think this has become a focus?

The body’s gastrointestinal tract and its functions are the cornerstones of our well-being. Numerous studies have shown the connection between our gut health and our immune system, mental health, skin health, endocrine and early points in pathogenesis. Gut health has always been the starting point for age-old health traditions and our practice too has always been deeply rooted in this concept.

It is a large part of discussions doing rounds in health and wellness space because, in simple language, you are talking about a stronger immune system, clearer skin, weight control, hormones, improved state of mind, less bloating, better quality of sleep and improved digestion.

How does your gut health affect your overall wellbeing?

Our gastrointestinal tract is “a universe and an ecosystem within us”. It is a contained world of complex chemistry and microbes controlled by indefinable energy of intricate movements and messenger systems. The digestive membrane, which makes the walls of this passage and storage space, with little ‘processing’ units of its own, determines the nature of chemical relations with the outside world of tissues and cells.

In other words, the digestive system decides just what and how much becomes a part of our energy and tissues! A healthy gut reflects not just on your skin but also on your immune system, mood, sleep, digestion, hormonal balance and weight – it is the foundation of overall wellbeing.

If someone has a suspected gut issue, what are the steps you’d recommend to take?

We would suggest facilitating the body to do what it actually wants to do. We would also suggest reducing pressure on the gut by simplifying the way one treats oneself – by eating well and in a healthy manner, getting sufficient sleep, exercising regularly and more. Always listen to the body. Watch what you eat. Watch your day, watch your bowels and your energy levels. Most of the learning happens here. As an integrative and holistic care facility, The Healers’ Clinic uses age-old, traditional and time-tested eastern ways of understanding the gut with tools and investigations made available by modern western science, such us non-linear health screening. A treatment plan is then designed for an individual.

What are the best foods to feed our gut?

Vegetables and seasonal fruits are the best. Go slow on grain though. Fish and occasionally, chicken or meat could be a part of your meal plan, but you do not have to consume meat every day. Eating a range of diverse foods that can give rise to new types of bacteria can be beneficial to gut health. Include whole fruits and vegetables that are fibrous and fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut.

The Healers' Clinic

What treatments do you offer to aid in overall gut health?

No single form of treatment or medication can replace proper and healthy eating or lifestyle habits. The Healers Clinic, which is a centre of excellence in integrative and holistic care, encourages people to start on a journey of detox and rejuvenation, wherein we introduce or reinstate healthy gut habits. We take our learning from world cultures and the ancient Ayurveda to introduce cleansing and strengthening gut-health practices. The experience we have gained through our work in the local community, embracing different health cultures – it gives us the confidence to say that prevention of disorders and sustenance of good health can be made possible by respecting traditional wisdom along with the modern and scientific understanding. This is what we have made our Vision and our vision is what made us start The Healers’ Clinic.

This is ‘The Wellness Issue’ – what is your philosophy when it comes to wellness?

We believe that wellness refers to more than just the absence of an ailment. To be precise, it refers to a state of health which is a result of an actively pursued, daily goal. It involves change and therefore growth and is a state of mental, physical and social fitness and stability. We aspire to help people achieve this state! Watch what you eat, when you eat, and how you eat. Avoid overeating and having meals at improper timings. Watch your bowels. The body tells you a lot you need to know. Listen to it.

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