Dr. Raksha Chhadva : The Alchemist Of Holistic Healing

 Dr. Raksha Chhadva,   DirectorFaced with critical challenges today as the healthcare industry spans diverse fields of medicine and treatment science, there’s a lot of emphasis being laid upon wellness & nutrition as well in order to manage health proactively. Significantly, terms such as diet and nutrition, naturopathy, holistic healing, and others are increasingly becoming popular. Among the generous leaders boosting the market of medicine and holistic wellness through a keen passion for healthcare and the well-being of the demography, is Dr. Raksha Chhadva (Naturopath, Psychiatric Nutritionist, Dietitian & Counsellor), Director of Navjivan Nature Cure Center (NNCC) located in Gujarat (Mandvi Bhuj), is a testament to her sincere dedication to the community’s well-being.

As a Naturopath, Psychiatric Nutritionist, Dietitian, & Counsellor, Raksha is a celebrity wellness professional who emphasizes building wellness other than just reversing diseases and thus is committed to configuring nutritional diet into practical solutions for healthy living, applying the science of naturopathy and nutrition. With over 15 years of experience in the field, she has helped thousands of people reverse chronic diseases, lose weight, manage stress, and live a disease-free, medicine-free happy life. Raksha says, “I firmly believe that the body can heal itself. Once the root cause of a sickness has been identified, and natural immunity has increased, the body heals itself. This is my holistic approach to all sicknesses and diseases. Also, I feel proud when I am able to bring a difference in my patient’s health and get them off medicine completely”.

The Inspiring & Thrilling Journey

Raksha’s passion for learning and the unexpected life events inspired her to study extensively and become the successful Naturopath, Psychiatric Nutritionist and Dietitian she is today. As a dedicated professional, she has significantly impacted many individuals' lives by helping them improve and maintain their health. Raised in an environment valuing education and tradition, her learning hasn’t stopped yet. Her upbringing exposed her to the effectiveness of alternative medicine, which she witnessed firsthand within her own family. She married immediately after her B.Sc. in Microbiology and Chemistry from Jai Hind College, Mumbai, however, her educational odyssey had just begun.

Reflecting on her educational and professional odyssey, she says, “After graduating, I married and became part of a small, loving family. My mother-in-law suffered from arthritis. Although I was a caregiver to her, I felt the urge to explore more in my field to help her & others. However, not long after, life took a challenging turn when my husband also became bedridden. After trying different doctors to no avail, we found a naturopathy center in Gujarat that helped him recover and walk within a month. So, that’s how I got introduced to naturopathy, other than my childhood when I once suffered from appetite loss. The current observation intrigued me and aspiring to understand the science of Naturopath, I pursued a Diploma in Naturopathy from Baroda University. I have also pursued an international course in Aromatherapy from Gold Coast Training Academy, Australia, and am a Certified International Aromatherapist”.

Over time as life has its own course, Raksha became pregnant. During this period, they also built a naturopathy center ‘Navjivan Nature Cure Centre’ on the outskirts of Bhuj, Gujarat. Raksha enjoyed its development
journey and delivering a baby boy (Shaan) added to the excitement. Being a nature lover, Shaan spent most weekends at Raksha's naturopathy center. However, life’s rollercoaster journey again started as her husband's weight gain issue resurfaced and he again got bedridden. Well, this time, luckily, the doctors understood what the disease was and thus diagnosed it as ankylosing spondylitis - a genetic disorder.

As this disorder critically affects the spine restricting its mobility, including bones & joints, and causing immense pain, it was highly recommended to lose weight. There was no permanent solution other than managing his symptoms. “We went to a lot of eminent dieticians then, and none of the dieticians were able to give him a long sustainable diet plan considering his genetic disorder. As per the doctors, I did know that if not taken care of this in time it could have severe implications too. And, it was this fear that motivated me to study further and pursue my post-graduation in Food and Dietetics from SNDT Women’s University”, shares Dr. Raksha.

Well, over time it still didn’t seem enough, as certain symptoms in patients were psychosomatic. Hence, she added to these, pursuing a certificate in Personal Counseling from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai, and finally a year-long Nutritional Psychiatry from Harvard Medical College. Though the Nutritional Psychiatry course has been quite an eye-opener for her allowing her to understand better if the right foods are working for patients with particular mental disorders like schizophrenic, ADHD, bipolar, depression, anxiety, and more; her real quest is ongoing with an M.Sc. in Psychology from SGV University, Jaipur. She believes it’s going to embellish her education and career ahead.

With years of experience, deep knowledge, & a compassionate approach, Raksha is involved in helping all lead a healthier & happier life

Throughout her career of 15+ years, Raksha has worked at Nanavati Hospital and in various Bal-Wadis, slums, and NGOs, helping people understand the importance of nutrition to correct their deficiencies. Furthermore, today, as an accomplished Naturopath, Psychiatric Nutritionist, Counsellor, Dietitian, and Aromatherapist, she has been effectively reaching out to many through her naturopath center (in Gujarat), conducting private & family consultations (from Juhu & Andheri, Mumbai), providing online consultations to international & local patients, and is available 24/7 through Whatsapp, and thus marks over 50,000 patients’ count globally.

Navjivan Nature Cure Center focuses on healing patients through the elements of nature, including water therapy, mud therapy, acupressure /acupuncture, massages, and organic food. All programs are designed to help clients achieve their health goals in a supportive and nurturing environment. Based in Gujarat with 250 acres of lush green campus, and freshly grown organic produce within the campus, patients experience a close connection with nature during their stay. The center has state-of-the-art facilities and amenities, including yoga and meditation rooms, a gym, a swimming pool, and more.

At Navjivan, Raksha and her team of experts/doctors provide personalized meal planning based on each client's medical history, genetics, lifestyle, and preferences. They take into account various factors such as age, gender, activity level, and food allergies to create a plan that is not only nutritious but also delicious and easy to follow. Raksha adds, “I don’t blindly give meal plans, but together with my patients we create plans to ensure that they can follow them comfortably & consistently”.

One of the biggest challenges Raksha faces is the mindset of people who want immediate results without making any lifestyle changes. “Many people are happy taking medicines as long as they get instant relief, without realizing the longterm harm they are causing to their bodies”, she remarks. Raksha believes that education and awareness are the keys to changing this mindset. She takes a compassionate approach, explaining the benefits of a holistic lifestyle and addressing her clients' doubts or concerns. She also emphasizes the importance of consistency, discipline, and patience in achieving lasting results.

Raksha has been an icon in the field. Her proficiency has brought her several awards and recognitions over the years, offered by the Kutch community. While one of the latest is the Marvellous Mrs. India Beauty Pageant-2nd Runners Up and Mrs. Transformation (2024), an Honorary Doctorate in Nutrition & Dietetics by National American University (2024) just adds to it. She has also been a speaker on various talk panels discussing health topics with doctors, patients, and health gainers. Moreover, she has also accomplished a list of international projects with companies like Novartis, related to the food industry.

Her strive to give back to the community is also commendable as she is not only the Cofounder of Women’s Networking Group, but empowers women in the Vagad, Kutchi community, mentors at Soho House, mentors individuals from underprivileged backgrounds, conducts regular medical health camps for the upliftment of the society, works with various trusts, runs a ‘TOHFA’ community kitchen, runs a ‘Friday Kitchen’ supplying food to over 500 street kids, and supplies healthy meals to families of cancer patients outside Tata Memorial Centre. At some point, she has also worked with Bal-Wadis and Anganwadis for less privileged kids. Yet, she believes that is not all, and there’s a long way to go to redefine & augment healthcare.