Publication: Post Tribune
Author: DIANE MAJESKE
Date: December 12 2006
USA: They may take different path to wellness. But the goal of Dr. Makrand Pargaonker and Dr. Rani Pargaonker is the same. They want you to be healthy. The Merrillville doctors are husband and wife. They have separate offices, separate practices.
But they have a unique, symbiotic relationship that allows them to work together to offer patients a multitude of options that meld together knowledge from both the East and the West.
Makrand Pargaonker is a general practitioner; he has been for more than 40 years.
He uses the advancements in Western medicine to treat his patients.
Rani Pargaonker is an ayurvedic physician. She heads Rani Holistic Health Centers, using an ancient system of medicine known as ayurveda to complement Western treatment and put — or keep — you on the road to wellness.
Different backgrounds, same goal: Better health.
“It’s like going to Chicago,” said Rani Pargaonker. “You can take (Interstate) 94, you can take (Interstate)80, you can take (U.S.) 41. But you still end up in Chicago. Different roads, same destination.”
They each have their own patient base. But over the years, they’ve realized the benefits of working together.
“I see two types of patients,” said Makrand Pargaonker. “One type is the type who won’t question me when I tell him he needs this or this. He takes the medicine faithfully. It does its job. He’s happy, I’m happy, we’re fine.”
But other patients, he said, have become uncomfortable with today’s pills and treatments, fearing both real and imagined side effects.
“Eight to 10 years ago, I would have said that was one percent,” he said. “Now it’s 8 to 10 percent. And I anticipate that will only go up.”
If his patient seems reluctant or unwilling to take his advice or his treatment, he’ll offer another option — the complementary course of medicine practiced by his wife.
“This is not alternative medicine,” said Rani Pargaonker, known to her patients as Dr. Rani. “This is complementary medicine. There is a difference. If they have a physician, they still see their physician. We work together. (Ayurveda) is the science of life. It is a 5,000-year-old science. It is about wellness, prevention, preservation and curation.”
Ayurveda, originating in India, combines natural therapies with a highly personalized, holistic approach to the treatment of disease.
Ayurvedic practitioners believe every person has a body type that is set at conception. This body type, or dosha, can easily become imbalanced through both internal and external factors, such as stress, diet, pollutants and the general environment.
“Every person is different,” Dr. Rani said. “You may have one person, he always gets the flu. Someone else, they never get the flu, but they always get bronchial infections. Another, with the same contact, always stays healthy. Every person will have a different reaction. (Wellness) is a matter of balance, internal and external.”
Imbalances, she said, are what eventually lead to illness or disease.
After an exam and extensive interview, Dr. Rani will determine her patient’s body type and then the right course of treatment. This may consist of herbal supplements, massage and/or specific exercises and an altered diet.
She’s seen patients suffering from arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, menopause and fibromyalgia and even cancer, to name just a few.
For some patients, it’s an option they hadn’t considered.
Like Jennie Johnson of Gary, who came to Dr. Rani after the medical treatment she was receiving from Makrand Pargaonker left her uncomfortable.
“I’m 75 years old and my cholesterol is high,” she said. “I’m against taking medicine — I’ve heard about side effects and some of the dangers involved. But even though I was cutting back, (my cholesterol) wouldn’t go down.”
Finally, she agreed to take a medication designed to lower her cholesterol. But she experienced side effects.
“I started getting leg cramps,” she recalled. “So we tried another (medication) — and I still had the cramps. I knew I had to do something, but I felt like I was between the devil and the deep blue sea.”
Then Makrand Pargaonker told her about his wife.
“He said she was an herbist,” Johnson said. “I’d never heard of it, but I decided to go and see what it was about.”
Dr. Rani eventually recommended an herbal supplement, and Johnson couldn’t be happier with the results.
“Not only did my cholesterol go down, but I lost some weight, too — and I needed to lose weight,” she said. “I was impressed.”
Makrand Pargaonker, schooled in traditional Western medicine, admits that before he met his wife 38 years ago, he was skeptical of ayurveda.
“If you would have asked me when I was in medical school, I would have said it was a bunch of baloney,” he said.”But then I started reading about it. Ayurveda has a scientific base and is document-supported.”
Treating the entire person — physical, emotional and spiritual — just makes sense, both doctors say.
“Mind, body and spirit all need to be together,” said Dr. Rani. “If not, we get sick.”
Contact Diane Majeske at 648-3108 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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