Dr Gunasekaran Nithiyanantham Consultant, Physiotherapy & Fitness
Young Guna had all the answers. Or at least he thought so. “Guna never fails,” he would write on the blackboard much to the consternation of his professors.
“Then life taught me some wonderful lessons. And I experienced my share of miracles.” Today Dr Guna credits all his achievements to the good Lord. He always prays before he starts examining a patient.
When he graduated in physiotherapy with first class marks, he had his doubts. Would basic knowledge in physiotherapy really afford him some good opportunities? So, he took up his Master’s at the Tamil Nadu
Dr M.G.R. Medical University in Sports Physiotherapy. As he was waiting for his results, he chose to apply to seven institutions. The first on the list was M A Rangoonwala College of Physiotherapy and Research at Azam Campus in Pune.
“Soon I got an interview call. I requested them to conduct the interview over the telephone as I did not fancy going to a new state with no knowledge of Hindi or Marathi. I assured them that I had no problem about moving to Pune if they selected me.”
They did select him and he landed at Pune railway station at midnight on June 16, 2006.
“With no friends and family, and zero knowledge of the local languages, the initial years were rather difficult. I could only converse in simple English and, fortunately, my students found it adequate to understand what I was trying to teach them.”
Towards the end of 2007, he started his private practice. That was another mountain to climb, because he had no money.
“My student told me about a doctor some distance away who had some physiotherapy equipment for sale. I landed there with the student and requested the doctor to sell me the equipment. I gave him ₹ 100, which was all the money I had then, for the equipment worth a hundred thousand rupees. The good doctor even went to the extent of ferrying all the equipment to a point very close to my new clinic, because I could not have afforded the transport. It took me nearly three years to pay him back in full.”
Patients started coming in trickles. Right from the beginning, Dr Guna was clear about his approach. He spent a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes in understanding the patient and the nature of the problem.
After eight years, Dr Guna’s treatment philosophy has not changed. “It is important for me to connect with the patient. I don’t give false promises but give the patient confidence. By God’s grace, I have rarely had to use external diagnostic help (like an X-ray).”
He was humbled by the determination of an 88-year old woman who came all the way from Mumbai for his help after suffering an undiagnosed fracture. She used to stay alone and was in terrible pain. She had to be carried up the stairs when she came but went back on her own, after seven days of treatment. “She was amazing. She did not want to be dependent on anybody. My job was to relieve the pain so that she could continue to live her life independently without discomfort.”
Dr Guna is a concerned about the effect of the modern, hectic lifestyle on the body. To the employees of the companies and institutions, where he serves as a consultant, he has one common message: “The body needs good food, sleep and movement. Neglect any one of those and, after a period of time, the body signals distress through pain. Unfortunately, we tend to ignore or suppress that signal than correct the cause. The body is designed to be balanced. When that balance is disturbed, one portion is either overused or disused. It is important to understand your body and its pains. Prevention is always better than cure.”
Dr Guna is excited to be a member of the Wellnessence team.
“I think this is probably the first time in India that we have a Centre that takes care of health holistically. Wellness is not limited to the body. Wellnessence looks at internal as well as external wellness. I work in close co-ordination with my fellow therapists. Together, we don’t just treat the body, but heal the whole person.”