2nd International Conference on Yoga and Ayurveda at Harvard Medical School, Boston

2nd International Conference on Yoga and Ayurveda at Harvard Medical School, Boston

- in Health
HIMC Inauguratiion1

2nd International Conference on Integrative Medicine, Yoga and Ayurveda held at Harvard Medical School, Boston concluded with new hope for millions.


Over 250 policy makers, scholars, scientists, researchers, physicians, nurse practitioners and other health workers, and students from USA, India, Canada, UK, Australia and Japan attended the conference. The theme of the conference was on Integrative Medicine – Role of Yoga and Ayurveda in Pain and Opioid Addiction Management. Mr. Kanchan Banerjee, Director of Indo US Health Initiatives, and Co-Chair of the organizing committee welcomed the participantsThe conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest AYUSH Minister of India, Shri Shripad Naik on May 20 at the Rotunda Hall of the Joseph Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School along with Assistant Secretary for Business Development and International trade, State of Massachusetts Mr. Nam Pham who welcomed the participants on behalf of the Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker. Prof. Diana Lurie from the University of Montana and Mr. Pramit Maakoday of the United Health Group welcomed the minister at conference.

AYUSH Minister Mr. Shripad Naik
AYUSH Minister Mr. Shripad Naik

Several prominent researchers from institutions like Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital, S-VYASA, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding Rehab Hospital, and Artemis Hospital, working in integrative medicine of Yoga and Ayurveda presented their latest results. Captain Christopher Bersani from the US Department of Health and Human Services spoke on behalf of the US Surgeon General about the need for new ways to deal with various public health care challenges the country faces, by using Yoga, Ayurveda and other alternative systems.

The conference included various sessions with experts and eight workshops on the practice of Yoga and Ayurveda for physicians and nurses, which were offered by prominent practitioners and schools.

The keynotes were delivered by Dr. Robert Schneider, Dean and Director, College of Integrative Medicine, Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, Maharishi University of Management, IA. Dr. Greg Fricchione, Associate Chief of Psychiatry; Director, The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital Dr. BN Gangadhar, Director of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS; India) along with Dr. HR Nagendra and Dr. David Frawley.

Among the people who chaired the sessions were Dr. Bal Ram Singh, President of Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dr. Dinesh Patel, Emeritus Chief, Arthroscopic Surgery, Mass General Hospital, Dr. B.N. Gangadhar, director of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience and Mrs. Latha Mangipudi 3 times elected State Representative of New Hampshire.

Among the presenters were Dr. Greg Fricchione, Director of Benson- Henry Institute of Mind and Body Medicine at Mass General Hospital, Dr. Manoj Bhasin and Dr. Sara Lazar, Harvard Medical School, Dr. Lisa Conboy, health researcher at Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Manjunath, director of international affairs, S-VYASA India, Dr. Ram Manohar, director of Ayurveda Research at Amrita University, India, Dr. Arianna Vora, physician at Spaulding Integrative Rehabilitation, Dr. Diana Lurie, Biomedical research at University of Montana, Dr. John Denninger, director of research at Benson Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Pratibha Shah, Council of Ayurveda Research, Dr. Ashutosh Shukla, Internal Medicine at Artemis Hospital, Delhi India, Yogini Sambhavi Chopra, American Institute of Vedic Studies, Dr. Stephanie Wolf-Rosenblum, Vice president of Sothern New Hampshire Health, Mr. Paul Bergeron, Board of Commissioners, New Hampshire, Dr. Nitigna Desai, Psychiatry at BU medical School and Veteran Affairs Medical Affairs, Dr. David Frawley, American Institute of Vedic Studies, Hilary Garivaltis, Executive Director of National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), Nikki Myers, Founder of Yoga of 12 steps to Recovery Foundation, Jay Gupta, Yoga Caps,RxRelax, Nicoletta Longo, Founder and CEO – Namastay Sober, Dr. Prakash Mangalasseri, Associate professor at A.V.C. Kottakkal, India. Dr. Anusha Sehgal, Faculty at Boston Ayurveda School and Chair of, NAMA Certification Board, Dr. Jay Glaser, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa, Harvard Medical School, Annalisa Cunningham, Author of Healing Addiction with Yoga, Dr. M Keshavan Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Lucinda Jewell, Chair of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Haimanti Banerjee Boston Children’s Hospital, and Sudarshan Ramabadaran, Deputy Director, India Foundation, New Delhi.

Minister Mr. Shripad Naik, and Chairman of the Advisory Board of International Day of Yoga, Dr. HR Nagendra inaugurated the curtain raiser event at the Joseph Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School on May 21 in the presence of prominent scholars, scientists, and practitioners of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Integrative Medicine.

IDY 2017 US Curtain Raiser

The curtain raiser of the International Day of Yoga (IDY) was part of a 3-day-long conference and events on the role of Yoga and Ayurveda in integrative medicine. It was organized on May 20-22 by the Indo US Health Initiatives, in collaboration with the S-VYASA (Bengaluru, India), the Institute of Advanced Sciences (Dartmouth, USA), and the Benson-Henry Institute of Body-Mind Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which is associated with the Harvard Medical School.


Minister Naik in his inauguration address said, “Yoga is the greatest gift of India to the world for peace and harmony”. He went on to elaborate how the practice of yoga helps even the cabinet and government officials to become more efficient through developing inner strengths.

Dr. Nagendra informed the audience how the celebrations of IDY is expanding in India and the entire world. The AYUSH ministry now holds International day of Yoga festivals all over the country which include various types of Yoga and its significance to public health. He described how the AYUSH ministry is implementing the vision of India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to tackle the problem of diabetes with Yoga in India and across the world. Dr. Nagendra said over 400 million Indians practice Yoga by now. Its popularity is increasing everyday around the globe.

The curtain raiser for the IDY was presided over by an eminent Vedic scholar, Dr. David Frawley. Ms. Renu Singh, a certified Yoga instructor and PhD student at Georgetown University led the participants to do a modified version of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) and other poses. A video message from a renowned mystic, author, poet and founder of the Isha Foundation Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev was played at the event.

MA Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel
MA Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel

On May 22nd a Round-Table with experts and policy makers was organized at the Massachusetts Historical Society to have a direct dialogue and steps forward to explore how Yoga and Ayurveda can be used to deal with pain and addiction. This event was co-hosted by Mr. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Development and Mrs. Latha Mangipudi, State Representative from NH. Among the key participants were Health Commissioner of the State of Massachusetts, Dr. Monica Bharel, AYUSH Minister Mr. Naik, Indian Consulate General in New York Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, Mayor of Nashua NH Mr. Jim Donchess and policy makers from the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The highlight of this 4-hour-long event was the presence of Sadhduru Jaggi Vasudev.

Sadhguru MIT

The three day event culminated in a dialogue with scholars, scientists, experts, and mystic Yogi Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev at the Kresge Auditorium of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. The panel of Dr. John Denniger , Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Diana Lurie, Dr. HR Nagendra to discuss with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev the future of Health, Integrative Medicine and role of Yoga and Ayruveda. The event was attended by about a thousand people and was moderated by Kanchan Banerjee, director of Indo US Health Initiatives. Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das addressed the audience, shared her experience of all activities, and praised the organizers for an extremely well organized impacting event. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev felicitated Minister Naik who gave very positive remarks about the success of the event and extended his ministry’s support to ensure that the goals and objectives of the event can be taken forward to completion soon.

There was an exhibition by many groups promoting yoga and Ayurveda products and services.

The conference and other events revealed that there is a clear trend of the acceptance of Yoga and Ayurveda as part of the mainstream healthcare. Indo US Health Initiatives is working on various projects and activities to be implemented together with the experts, policymakers, government and non-government agencies, including the establishment of a Center for Excellence in Boston for research and development and promotion of Yoga and Ayurveda.

The grand sponsor of this event was the Ministry of AYUSH, the diamond sponsor was Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and the gold sponsor was Imed Clinics of the United Kingdom.

The organizing committee of these events include Kanchan Banerjee, Dr. Balram Singh, Dr Darshan Mehta, Pramit Maakoday, Dr. NK Manjunath, Haimanti Banerjee, Dr Anusha Sehgal and Pawan Roy. The office/administrative support was provided by Hollie Jones and Raghu Bengaluru.

Indo US Health Initiatives (www.indoushealth.com) aims to bring affordable and effective health care to the masses.

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1 Comment

  1. Well articulated
    Great Confernce
    Lord Patanjali is very happy and proud that Yoga and Ayurved is
    being Respected as one of the modalities Alternative
    Medicine to heal the hurt thru
    Mind body and spirit as been described centuries back
    Organizers deserves commendations for a sucessful journey

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