Eastern and western health modes unite at Crozer

Antara Dutta, standing, second from right, with part of her team at Ayuvia Integrative Wellness Center.

Ayuvia Integrative Wellness Center is now open at Crozer’s Brinton Lake facility.

Ayuvia — a combination of the Sanskrit word ayu, meaning long life and the Latin via, meaning path, according to Ayuvia’s owner Antara Dutta — offers a variety of modalities including yoga, tai chi, nutrition counseling, massage therapy, acupuncture and psychosocial therapy.

It’s not a matter of either eastern or western, but rather “blending the best of eastern and western medicine to lead a long and healthy life path,” Dutta said. “We are integrative, not alternative.”

Ayuvia is a separate business entity, but works with Crozer’s doctors and nurses for integrated health care. Dutta said her team and Crozer’s medical staff have identified certain diseases where alternative modalities are working.

As an example, she said acupuncture is working well in the treatment of cancer, pain and women’s health issues while behavior health therapies work well with anxiety, depression, addiction and stress.

Dutta said there would also be yoga and tai chi classes at the Crozer office and also one-on-one therapeutic sessions.

The integrative approach is important, Dutta said, because of both the cost and effectiveness of health care.

“People are realizing that if we wait until somebody has a heart attack, the cost of the bypass, or the stint, is exponential. If we can catch somebody early, help them prevent, help them get educated [on health issues], there’s a tremendous cost savings,” she said.

In addition to providers’ and insurance companies’ saving money, there is less out-of-pocket spending for the patient. And if out-of-pocket spending is done up front, in preventative situations where patients have more control, they spend less and are healthier in the long run than if they are on prescription drugs for the rest of their lives, Dutta added.

Antara Dutta cuts the ribbon to officially open Ayuvia Integrative Wellness Center at Crozer of Brinton Lake. At far left is state Sen. Dominic Pileggi. At the far right is state Rep. Stephen Barrar.

Antara Dutta cuts the ribbon to officially open Ayuvia Integrative Wellness Center at Crozer of Brinton Lake. At far left is state Sen. Dominic Pileggi. At the far right is state Rep. Stephen Barrar.

“If we do this together, with the primary-care physician, we can monitor [better]. Alternative medicine is not set up for quality metrics today. Here, we are constantly sharing data with the doctors,” she said.

Under those conditions, it becomes easier for doctors and patients to see what is working best, according to Dutta.

In the area of alternative medicine, one school of thought suggests that the natural modalities take longer to work, but once they do, their effects last longer and better than the contemporary pharmaceutical approach. Dutta agrees with that concept.

“Not only do we agree with that,” she said, “our goal is to educate people to that. It’s not one and done. It’s not a single action. It’s not a flu shot. Come in, get comfortable with us; invest time with us. Then you’re good to go for a longer period of time.”

Ayuvia’s grand opening with ribbon-cutting ceremony occurred on Thursday, Dec. 10. Dozens of people were on hand to wish the venture well. Among those were state Sen. Dominic Pileggi and state Rep. Stephen Barrar.

Pileggi’s district office is only a short walk away from the facility, and he joked about being able to take ready advantage of the services offered.

More seriously, he said he’s fascinated by the idea of integrated services, with alternative methods complementing the traditional western approach.

“It’s not ‘instead of,’” he said, “it’s ‘along with.’”

To get the business started, Dutta was helped by the Small Business Administration and SCORE.

For answers to specific questions, Ayuvia’s phone number is 610-358-8822, and its web site is www.ayuvia.com. Its location at Crozer’s Brinton Lake facility is 500 Evergreen Drive, Suite 22.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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