The Spine Whisperer
Over the last few years, Dr Vinay Sarvotham has emerged as a non-invasive spine therapist of repute. In an interview, he discusses the challenges of treating spinal issues.
What would you call your specialised field of healing? Are you an accupressurist? A chiropractor?
Neither, actually. I am an acupressure and craniosacral therapist. But labels don't matter. What matters is how well I tend to the complaint of a patient.
What exactly is acu-cranio therapy?
Acu-craniotherapy is a hands-on process that provides muscular adjustments along the spine and extremities, using trigger- point release, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), stretching and the myofascial release technique (MRT).
Just last year, the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine awarded me a gold medal for my contributions.
How long have you been in the business of setting right people`s backs, limbs, neck, spine?
It has been a rewarding journey of 15 years. I started small and then my roster of patients started growing exponentially, and soon I had to set up a new clinic, my Non-Invasive Spine Clinic in the centre of town. The recognition too, has been coming in steadily.
Over the years, what have you noticed about the nature of people's ailments? What is the average age of those who come to you?
There has been a depredation of the spine over the years since I first started seeing patients. Now people come to me with a combination of ailments and in a lot of pain.
Another sadly telling factor is the average age of my patients. Earlier people of about 45 years used to come to me. These days, people in their thirties and early forties come, complaining of severe discomfort in their back.
Is there a prevalence of back pain nowadays, more than in years past? Why do you think this is so?
Yes indeed, back pain has become all too common these days. Lifestyle and work-related stress are two major contributing factors, as are wrong posture, the wrong kinds of food, neglect of the spinal cord, etc.
Do you treat people in set phases, like one week or a fortnight, or do you also do emergency one-offs?
The majority of my patients need treatment for at least two weeks to completely get their problem set aright. However, at times I do attend to one- off treatments.
Would you call your treatment expensive?
Not in the least, and that is the feedback I get from my patients, too. The costs vary from patient to patient. There is no fixed charge but the duration of treatment and the number of sessions per day are factored in.
You've had Presidents, Chief Ministers, film stars and many celebrities come to you for healing. You've also had a steady stream of the aam janata. What do you have to tell people about body pain, as well as the acu-cranio treatment?
When I start, I tell my patients about the nature of the treatment, the specific decompression therapy which can be given only for neck and back pain. However, I assure them that the treatment will work wonders if the patient follows my instructions properly. In most cases, they can go ahead and lead a normal life, which they do.