Dr. Zainab Unea – born in Karachi, Pakistan. Married and made Mumbai her home since almost 40 years. She is currently a practicing naturopath and has an active contribution to social and community work.
Having graduated as a Home Economics student, food and nutrition was her favourite subject. She later graduated as a naturopath and is a registered practitioner. Pioneered in various alternative therapies and yoga, she is vibrant, always smiling with a positive outlook towards life. Which she believes is one of the secrets that makes her look much younger than she is.
She happens to be my mom and I couldn’t think of anyone better to start this new interview feature on Momsmethod with – after all its “Moms”methods.
So here it goes..
Q. Tell us something about yourself and how you decided to pursue naturopathy.
I got married immediately after graduating in Home Economics and moved to India. The kids too came soon after and I was busy between raising them and getting to know a completely different place and culture. But once the kids got older I had some time at hand and wanted to do something productive. Through a friend there I heard about something called “Naturopathy” and the subject seemed extremely interesting. I was always in favour of using natural remedies with my kids and would give them medicines or antibiotics only when necessary. So, to know more about the subject and courses I went ahead to inquire and met my naturopathy Guru there. Under his guidance, I pursued and learnt naturopathy and other alternate therapies. I started with a diploma course and eventually did my MD too. During this journey, I also interned in various Naturopathy hospitals across the state before starting my own practice.
Q. What are the different therapies you practice and the ones you rely on the most?
Along with naturopathy I practice various other therapies like chiropractic, acupressure, magnet therapy, aromatherapy, chromotherapy. I also have done a diploma course in homoeopathy and biochemic. and am a Reiki master too. I feel that it is always a combination of therapies that give best results. Like for joint pains or problems caused due to improper circulation a combination of naturopathy and chiropractic gives good results. Similarly, for problems related to the mental health like insomnia or depression its naturopathy combined with aromatherapy. Kids respond very well to acupressure.
Q. What is your daily routine like and how do you manage to stay fit?
I love to follow a routine, especially if it to do with staying healthy. If you don’t have a routine, it becomes very easy to miss on the small things that that are done to keep fit and healthy. My day begins with a glass of normal water and then 3 drinks – Raw vegetable juice, lemon water and turmeric, ginger and cinnamon water. Mornings are a bit busy since I prefer giving home cooked food to my husband and son in their tiffin. So, within an hour we prepare breakfast and lunch along with the above 3 drinks. Another hour to clean the house and spend some time with my grandson and then I’m ready for my patients. I practice yoga in the afternoons and go for a walk in the evenings. Post my walk is the time when I unwind with my friends whenever possible.
Q. As a naturopath what are your thoughts on acceptance of naturopathy?
When I has initially started my practice I would usually get patients who have tried all other treatments. When they would not see sufficient results or their medicine dosages would have gone very high, that’s when they would want to try their luck with naturopathy. Since such patients would already be in the chronic stage of their diseases, treatment time would be much longer. Now, with the increased awareness about natural remedies and people moving to healthier lifestyles, more people consider naturopathy as their first option. There is more awareness about harmful chemicals and drugs now. I can see how people try to refrain from them as much as possible.
Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Did you say free time? Well, I don’t have free time as such but yes, I do like to take some time to unwind and use it for something that I enjoy. I love solving Sudoku and I believe that we all need to enjoy and make time for at least one activity that stimulates the brain. This is very much essential to keep your mind healthy. I also love to spend some time on social and community activities and make it a point to be a part of them at least a couple of times in the week.
Q. One advise to our readers on staying healthy and fit
Your body is a very precious gift to you and if you must look after it at any cost. Diet and exercise go and in hand. So, make it a point to include some kind of exercise in your daily routine – no matter what. You won’t realize the benefits of this when you are young but this is what is going to make your old age more comfortable. Also, I believe that you are what you eat. So, while it is alright to enjoy and have occasional junk food days, try to have normal home cooked food on a regular basis. A balanced diet is very important. While fad diets help in the short term they do have adverse effects in the long term. So, always consult an expert or read well before changing your food habits.