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Dr Donn Brennan

MB BCh BAO, MRCGP, MScAyu

Dr Donn Brennan was one of the first western medical doctors to train in Ayurveda in India.

He qualified in medicine in 1979 at University College Dublin. During the following decade he worked in different specialties in hospitals and then became a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and worked as a G.P. In 1982, after a nine month training course, he qualified as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation. For eighteen months during 1984-1985 he studied Ayurveda in America and in the Government run Ayurveda University in Jamnagar in Gujurat state, India. In 2005 he earned a Master's Degree in Ayurveda at Middlesex University in London.

Since 1990 he has worked fulltime promoting, lecturing and consulting in Ayurveda and teaching Transcendental Meditation and has lectured and consulted in almost all the major cities in Ireland and Britain, as well as Iceland and the Channel Islands. He has featured in many newspaper articles and on radio and television programmes.

In 2005 he became the founding President of the Ayurvedic Practitioners association in the United Kingdom.

He has authored a book and some CDs on Ayurveda and consults regularly in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Skelmersdale, Jersey and Dublin. He lives in Dublin with his wife Ann.

For more information or to book a consultation call: +44 (0)1695 735351

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An interview with Dr Donn Brennan about Ayurveda Consultations

Why is Ayurveda important for personal health?

“Every one of us is responsible for our own lives and our own state of health. It’s the choices that we make each day that inevitably over time either rejuvenates us or wears us down.

Ayurveda has been revived in the last thirty years and has become popular because people need to gain control and stability over their own state of health. Today’s greatest health challenges are the chronic illnesses that gather as the years pass: blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, obesity. Each of us would like to have the wisdom and insight, the knowledge that Ayurveda brings, to empower us to know what’s right and to make the right choices.”

Why is a personal health consultation necessary?

“Certainly Ayurveda is very empowering for everybody, and the more you know about it, the more you have an insight into your nature and your needs. However, a professional will usually take that knowledge to a far greater depth. Approaching a professional in Ayurveda is to empower you further through more insight.

First, you are thinking about your health objectively and seeing things from the outside perspective through the practitioner. Second, in having gone to the time and expense of seeing a practitioner, you have established that you are motivated. So it’s also the practitioner’s responsibility to motivate you make the changes, because just knowing what to do is not going to work. You’ve got to DO it. The practitioner offers you insight and clarity, and also motivates you to get started. The consultation is a way of speeding your own development with Ayurveda”

What happens at a consultation?

“The practitioner wants to get as much information as possible from you. This is very helpful even though it is health-orientated and is more about how you are going to create more health, because creating health is also a good strategy for treating diseases and problems. The practitioner will be interested in the problems you are currently experiencing with regard to your well-being, your health, your mindset. The practitioner will be necessarily asking you these questions because it gives him insight into where things are going out of balance. Your current state of health and your past state of health shows the development of imbalances, how things have evolved over time. He is also interested in your current circumstances: where you are living, who you are living with, what you are doing in your life, what your routine is, what your current meals are. That general lifestyle information starts to clarify what is contributing in your diet and your lifestyle towards the problems you have evolved and it also gives insight into where the changes will need to be made.

The pulse is another thing in Ayurveda. Pulse is a very traditional way of feeling the nature of the patient and understanding where the imbalances are coming up.

So the Ayurveda practitioner will want to take your pulse, and often will want to look at your tongue as well, as that is an indication of the state of the digestive system. He is gathering information in all these ways in order to get a clearer insight into what to advise you in terms of a plan for health going forward.”

What benefits will I gain from a consultation?

“The benefits are very variable. It depends on you and your situation, your circumstances. For everyone the consultation is an opportunity to review: where they’re at, how they are doing, how they would like to go forward, in terms fundamentally of their health as a basis for everything else in life.

The benefits gained are more clarity around where you are and, perhaps if you are uncomfortable how these discomforts arose, and then insights into how to handle this situation, the circumstances you find yourself in, for the purpose of undoing many discomforts.

Or, if you are healthy, because many people who come to Ayurveda are healthy, they just want to be more healthy, to have more energy, more clarity.

“ It’s amazing how much the doctor told me about myself in just one sitting” - D W, Lancashire

There will be a strategy for going forward, which depending on specific health conditions may be certain foods, lifestyle considerations, perhaps certain herbs or spices, or maybe treatments.

And then there are things that are more health-orientated, like learning the Transcendental Meditation, or perhaps Yoga might be prescribed, or some particular recreations, or some change in mindset. It’s difficult to know what exactly the benefits will be for you because it will depend on you and your circumstances and where you need to go, what you want from the consultation. Because, fundamentally, you are your own doctor. You are only using the practitioner to reflect back to you what you know you should be doing. You are using the practitioner to motivate you to get on and start doing it.

So the benefits will depend also on you, and how much you are prepared to take responsibility and do what you need to do. But, in general it’s a joy because you are thinking ‘how can I be healthier?’, and that’s the benefit we want from the consultation.”

Is it possible to do a consultation by phone?

“It isn’t the ideal, but it is possible. The reality is, to sit in someone’s presence allows the practitioner to use more of their senses and their subtle interpersonal connections to get a clearer picture for the person and for where they are at and what they need.

But, sometimes it’s just not practical and in that situation there’s still a lot to be gained from a phone consultation because we still have the history, we still have the current circumstances to think about, we still have the possibility of that interpersonal connection by phone, or perhaps even better by Skype to see the person, but a lot of information is still communicated and in many cases the information of more than enough to give a clear indication, and the path necessary going forward.

So, a phone or Skype consultation can be very helpful.

Book a phone or Skype consultation with Dr Donn Brennan