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Dr. Shijoe Mathew Anchery

Please could you briefly describe the difference between Ayurvedic and conventional medicine

Ayurveda is 5000 years old traditional medicine practiced in Indian sub-continent. It has its origin similar to Yoga and is currently practised worldwide as a healthy way of living as well as a treatment method especially for chronic lifestyle related health issues.

Please could you explain briefly what motivated you down this path

Our family in India had traditional roots in Ayurveda. We had ayurvedic doctors in the family for more than 3 generations. Another coincidental reason was that I had studied the language Sanskrit in school which gave me some advantage while choosing this type of medical training as most texts of Ayurveda is written and still available in this ancient language.

Please could you tell us who or what has had the most significant influence on your life?

Personally, and professionally, I was lucky in my initial days of practise in India to be exposed to many ayurvedic practitioners and traditional ‘vaidyas’ (indigenous doctors) and there are too many to name. The place Rishikesh, which is on the banks of the Holy river Ganges, its spirituality and culture might be the strongest influence in my life.

How would you describe yourself? 

I’m what we describe in ayurvedic term a Kapha natured person. So, my nature is more like water and earth element. In one sentence that is Calm and grounded, good listener, prefers warm temperature and enjoys spicy food. 

What motivates you? 

In life I’m a very spiritual person and believes in the connected nature of human consciousness. The first step towards this is through self-awareness. When I’m successful in making anyone follow a suitable diet as well as lifestyle, that leads to better health and self-awareness, that result gives me motivation and satisfaction.

If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?

Probably an elephant! Not entirely sure why. We had domesticated elephants coming to our home in Kerala to collect coconut palms in my childhood. I feel it represents unrealised strength.

What was the last gift you gave someone?

I gifted my 3-year-old Slime for Christmas, which he requested and now regrets when I have to clean up afterwards!

When we can travel again, what international art destination would you most like to visit and why? 

I have a very long wish list but when travel restarts my next trip will be surely home to Kerala to visit my parents.

What was the last piece of art you purchased?

Antique brass lamp/ Vilakku

Which person (alive or dead) would you most like to have dinner with and why?

The Queen, out of respect for her age and vast experience.

What advice would you give to those aspiring to make a living out of selling their art in 2021?

Be yourself and express who you are.

What key piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Take a break from study and travel

What is the most important thing to know about you?

I live in a household where me, my wife and my son mainly speak three different languages, Malayalam, Hindi and English!

Please tell us one unexpected thing about yourself.

Mathew is my real name!

What are your aspirations for 2021?

Normalise our permanent residency in UK and restart study in psychology.

Any final words…..

Mind and body are two sides of the same coin. There is no mental illness without physical symptoms and no physical illness without its influence on our mind. A science that combines this understanding will simplify the cure.

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