Daniela Escobar works with Dr Rama Prasad at Autism Naturally in Sydney, Australia. Their work shows that autism and related conditions are “due to gut dysfunction and related cerebral toxicity and that a large part of Autism is mostly reversible - in fresh cases, aged under 5 years.”
Autism is a complex range of conditions that affects a child’s development, “characterised by deficits in social communication and social interaction and the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities. It is a spectrum disorder (Autism Spectrum Disorder), meaning that a diagnosis of Autism could appear differently for each individual, varying in severity,” says the Autism Naturally website.
The team’s holistic, Ayurveda-based, individualised gut-brain-healing approach helps children receive a new opportunity to feel and express better. “Over the past 20 years, we have fine-tuned a supportive program that is based on conventional and holistic principles, that has generated visible improvements in 4-6 weeks in more than 80% children.”
The endorsements are truly heartening. Parents of a North Sydney child say: “We were sceptical initially. Just over six weeks, we are believers. My 4.5 year old son was on OT, ABT and homeopathic, and things were working slowly. Once we started the RAN gut-brain renewal program, Tygg started doing better. From no words to words, from no eye contact to plenty of eye contact, from no response to highly responsive. As parents, it’s the best feeling.”
Parents of a child from the US say their child was diagnosed as suffering from Extreme Autism, Level 3 by two paediatricians and were told not to expect any improvements or changes. “And then, we did the RAN gut-brain program. Now he talks like a parrot, behaves normal in everything. Around 95% improvement. Guess what, now the paediatricians are saying they misdiagnosed him! Glad we are doing the RAN therapies!”
These reversals are very encouraging considering the number of children who are vulnerable. The WHO in its report last year says that one in 160 children has an Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Naturally works along with current treatments such as Applied Behaviour Analysis, Behavioural management therapy, Cognitive behaviour therapy, Early intervention Educational and school-based therapies, Joint attention therapy, various Medication treatments, Nutritional therapy, Occupational therapy, Parent-mediated therapy, Physical therapy, Social skills training Speech-language therapy and so on.
In another clinic, Sydney based Australian actress Claudia Guglielmelli has been consulting Daniela Escobar at her Ayurveda clinic Soma. Claudia says not only has she started to sleep again but has also lost weight and her body feels energetic and full of life. “I started feeling beautiful again. I am grateful for the Divine who put Dani and this beautiful healing art in my life”.
Daniela says her Ayurveda programmes are intended to enhance awareness of possible factors creating an imbalance in one’s life. She says she works with a holistic approach to medicine and authentic Ayurveda. She also uses in her practice gentle energy work with Australian Bush Flower Essences. “Through pulse, tongue diagnosis, and assessment, I am able to determine the current state of the elements within the body and mind from the Ayurvedic perspective.”
After encountering Yoga at a very young age, Daniela has been blessed to have met wonderful teachers that have guided her into the spiritual sciences of Bhakti Yoga and Ayurveda. She has been trained in the formal Vedic Tradition from her teachers and mentors Dr Vasant Lad, Dr. Amruta Athale, Jennifer Ayres, Dr Rama Prasad, Swami OMkarananda, Vishnu Swami, and Sri V. Sheshadri. She is currently completing her Ayurvedic Doctor’s Program.
Daniella specializes in Streeroga and Prasooti Tantra (Women’s Health) and herbalism. She works with women from pre-conception to Post-partum Care. She is also the Co-founder of Autism Naturally (www.autismnaturally.com.au) with Dr. Rama Prasad and the founder of Soma-Shakti Postpartum Care (www.soma-shakti.com.au)
She continues to travel to India every year to visit her teachers and to keep her heart immersed in her deep love for Ayurveda. In this interview with CSP she talks about her life purpose which she believes is “to serve through the healing qualities that Nature abundantly offers to us.”
How did your interest in Ayurveda begin? Were you interested in other healing practices before?
My interest in Ayurveda started when I went to India in 2011 to study and practice Yoga with my teacher Sri V. Sheshadri. He was the first one who introduced me to Ayurvedic herbs and diet. Sheshadri encouraged me to start my Ayurvedic studies at the Mysore Ayurveda Academy.
Before that, I was already practicing different healing modalities like shiatsu, reiki, and massage therapy. However, it was my love for this fascinating science that transformed my life completely.
How can Ayurveda help with afflictions like Autism? Could you share your experience?
Ayurveda can help immensely in children with autism. In our clinic Autism Naturally, we have experienced fantastic results in different children. Ayurveda helps with autism because it works on the gut and brain connection. Autism or related problems generally begin from the digestive system. When corrected with appropriate herbs and patients upgrade their diet and lifestyle, the body naturally returns to its equilibrium.
In my experience, autism can be reversed if a child is younger than six years old and if their parents are ready and open to making the changes that we advise on diet and lifestyle.
How does Ayurveda integrate body and mind in the assessment of illness?
Ayurveda is a holistic science that sees an individual as a whole. Body and mind are strongly inter-related so that any disease or imbalance of the mind will affect the body and vice-versa. My teacher explains that the body is the mirror of the mind. Therefore, the root cause of all endogenous disease begins from the manas (mind).
Does Ayurveda put a lot of the initiative of getting and being well on the patient?
Yes! Ayurveda teaches us to be self-aware and responsible for our health and wellbeing by giving us the tools to live a healthy life in tune with nature. For example, dinacharya (daily routine) offers nourishment and the daily cleansing of the sensory organs through nasya (oil in the nose), abhyanga (oiling of the body), gandusha (swishing of oil in the mouth), karnapurna (oil in the ears) and netra bindu (cleansing of the eyes). It is a very empowering practice!
Ayurveda is all about relationships - how we relate to our food, our environment, and our loved ones.
Would you say that many of the practices of Ayurveda, especially for maternal care, are rooted in Indian traditions? Or are they universal? What special insights does Ayurveda offer?
I believe that the nourishment of the mother is Universal. My journey into maternal care started when I did my specialization in Prasooti Tantra (Women's Health), and I fell in love with all the nourishment Ayurveda provides and offers to mothers. I have also come across beautiful maternal care in different cultures around the world, from Latin America to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
Abhyanga (oil massage), for example, is something special and unique that Ayurveda offers in postpartum care, where the mother receives daily medicated oil massage throughout the 42 days after childbirth. This ritual soothes the mother's nervous system and supports the healing process.
Many of your patients say you are an intuitive healer. Does Ayurveda offer cues to ill health not evident otherwise?
The Ayurvedic Vaidya (physician) develops their sensitivity and intuition gently as it is in their heart's desire to be a vessel to support healing and be of service. I have seen Vaidyas that only by feeling the pulse or observing the patient's tongue can know so much of the rogi’s (patient) psychophysiological state.
How is Ayurveda perceived in Australia in general?
I feel in Australia people are open to alternative ways of healing and holistic modalities. I am grateful how people are starting to be more open to Ayurveda.
What is your own daily regime for health?
Two wholesome meals per day, early to bed, waking before sunrise, the practice of abhyanga, meditation, prayer, Yoga, and gentle sun exposure.
What are your thoughts on the Susrutha Samhita?
It is one of the primary Ayurvedic texts of knowledge that is thought to come from an Ayurvedic physician who was involved in the practice of surgery. I regularly refer to the Shastras (Sacred texts) for continuous learning and growth. There is so much Divine wisdom!