Meet the Doctors
This March 14–17 at the Chopra Center’s Journey into Healing workshop, you will have a rare opportunity to learn with the world’s foremost experts and pioneers of mind-body medicine – including Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and other renowned doctors, healers, and scientists who are transforming the practice of medicine and the way we look at health and wellbeing.
We invite you to learn more about each of the speakers, their unique contributions to mind-body medicine, and what they will be sharing and teaching at what promises to be our best Journey into Healing to date.
Deepak Chopra, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Deepak Chopra, M.D is the author of more than sixty-five books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
As a world-renowned authority on mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra travels throughout the world speaking to audiences at sold-out events and conferences. This March at Journey into Healing, he will lead a deep exploration of the exciting new research and discoveries currently emerging in the field of integral health, consciousness, and healing. He will also share practical tools for total wellbeing, encompassing every aspect of our lives – from our physical and emotional health to our relationships, work life, and finances to our sense of community, purpose, and spiritual awareness.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
Director of Integrative Health and Healing, Miraval Resort & Spa
Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, he is an internationally recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging, and his critique of the future of medicine and health care. He is also the best-selling author of many books on health and wellbeing, including True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure; Spontaneous Happiness; Healthy Aging; Eight Weeks to Optimum Health; Spontaneous Healing; and Natural Health, Natural Medicine.
As a keynote speaker at Journey into Healing, Dr. Weil will share his perspective on the event theme: Balance, Heal, Transform Your Life. He will also participate in a panel discussion with Deepak Chopra, followed by a special Q&A session where Journey into Healing participants will have an opportunity to get answers to their most important questions about health and healing.
Suhas Kshirsagar, BAMS, M.D. (Ayurveda)
Director of the Ayurvedic Healing and Integrative Wellness Clinic in Soquel, CA
Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar is a world-renowned Ayurvedic physician from a family of traditional Vedic healers in India. He holds a B.A. in Ayurvedic medicine and completed a three-year residency as an M.D. (doctorate in Ayurvedic internal medicine) at the prestigious Pune University.
Dr. Suhas is a compassionate healer and expert clinician who directs the Ayurvedic Healing and Integrative Wellness Clinic in Soquel, California. As a sought-after speaker and lecturer, he also travels throughout the world teaching courses in Ayurveda, training doctors, and providing Ayurvedic consultations for thousands of patients.
As a popular guest speaker at Journey into Healing, Dr. Suhas offers in-depth knowledge of classical Ayurveda. At the upcoming course, he will lead participants in a deep exploration that includes:
- The history and philosophy of Ayurveda
- Detailed information about the different branches of Ayurvedic practice
- The wisdom of herbs, including their preparation and use in Ayurveda and the benefits of the major Ayurvedic herbs
Sheila Patel, M.D.
Medical Director, Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Volunteer faculty member, UCSD School of Medicine
Dr. Sheila Patel is a board-certified family physician who is passionate about bringing holistic healing practices into the Western medical system. Before coming to the Chopra Center, she practiced full-spectrum family medicine, from prenatal care and deliveries to ER coverage and primary care for all ages. As the Chopra Center’s Medical Director, she offers integrative medical consultations that combine the best in conventional medicine with the wisdom of Ayurveda. Her special interests include preventive medicine and mind-body medicine, with an emphasis on Ayurveda.
Dr. Patel is an engaging speaker who enjoys sharing the principles of Ayurveda with other healthcare providers. This March at Journey into Healing she will present several sessions exploring these topics:
- Defining health from an Ayurvedic perspective. As Ayurveda teaches, our true nature is health and wholeness. Health is more than merely the absence of disease; it is the balance and integration of body, mind, and spirit. When we are in balance, we feel happy, energetic, and vital.
- The essence of healing and the mind-body paradigm. Ayurveda is based on the mind-body paradigm, which understands that mind and body are not separate, but one. In addition, the activity of the mind-body exists within an underlying field of consciousness. Ayurveda is a truly holistic approach to health and healing, addressing the body, mind, spirit, and the extended body of our environment.
- Healing through the five senses. For thousands of years Ayurveda has recommended specific tools and techniques for awakening the body’s inner pharmacy through the power of the five senses (sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell). New scientific research now provides an evidence-based perspective for why these therapies work and how sensory input affects the bodymind. Dr. Patel will share these findings and teach participants how to choose appropriate sensory tools based on an individual’s unique mind-body type.
Valencia Porter, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Integrative Medicine, Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Volunteer faculty member, UCSD School of Medicine
Patients and guests who visit the Chopra Center have the opportunity to receive a mind-body medical consultation with holistic health expert Valencia Porter, M.D., M.P.H. Board-certified in both General Preventive Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine, Dr. Porter has an integrative approach that incorporates many areas of health and healing, including Ayurveda, biofield (energy) therapies, and functional medicine.
Before coming to the Chopra Center, Dr. Porter served as a physician and researcher at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego. She also completed a fellowship as a Bravewell Collaborative scholar at the renowned Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.
Dr. Porter is dedicated to her clinical practice as well as research in the field of mind-body medicine. At Journey into Healing, she will share an evidence-based perspective of Ayurveda and the benefits of living a lifestyle that supports balance and wellbeing. She will discuss:
- Food as medicine: Creating health in your bodymind by choosing foods, flavors, nutrients and herbs that are best to balance your individual mind-body type
- Purification and rejuvenation – A scientific perspective on the benefits of the Ayurvedic detoxification and cleansing therapy known as panchakarma
- Home practices to enhance your body’s ability to handle environmental toxins
Anand Dhruva, M.D.
Researcher and integrative oncologist, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Assistant professor, UCSF School of Medicine
Dr. Anand Dhruva is a board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist. He is a clinician and researcher specializing in medical oncology, integrative oncology, and Ayurveda. In addition to serving as a member of the research and clinical faculty at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), he is an assistant professor of medicine on the Hematology-Oncology faculty at UCSF’s School of Medicine.
The primary focus of Dr. Dhruva’s research program is the study of complementary therapies, specifically Ayurveda and yoga, for cancer symptom management. He also studies cancer symptom trajectories and quality of life during and after cancer treatment. He is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health K23 Career Development Award from National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to study Ayurveda as a whole system of medicine.
This March at Journey into Healing, Dr. Dhruva will discuss integrative oncology and Ayurveda. The learning objectives of his lecture:
- Define and describe the key issues in integrative oncology
- Describe Ayurvedic perspectives on cancer
- Discuss ways in which Ayurveda can be integrated into modern cancer care
VA Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D.
MIT professor, computational systems biology expert, and developer of Systems Health™
Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai is a renowned systems scientist and computational systems biology expert. He teaches Systems Visualization, a pioneering course at MIT, in the Department of Comparative Media Studies, and is Founder & Executive Director of the International Center for Integrative Systems located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His passion for integrating both Eastern and Western systems of medicine led him to develop Systems Health, a new convergent medicine that is fully consistent with the scientific method.
At Journey into Healing, Dr. Ayyadurai will introduce Systems Health and its practical applications and potential to fulfill the ideal of predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory healthcare. As he will explore, Systems Health provides:
- Conventionally trained M.D.’s with a scientific foundation that will give them confidence in the validity and value of ancient and complementary systems of medicine, which they can then judiciously integrate into their practice;
- Healthcare practitioners of complementary or traditional healing practices (such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and other modalities), the scientific training to communicate effectively with their conventionally trained counterparts as well as with their patients, conveying how their modalities are in alignment with modern scientific medical practices.