The Coast News Group
Pratiksha Gandhi, second from right, and her team at Heart Strong Wellness in Bamboo Wellness Center in Encinitas. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram
Pratiksha Gandhi, second from right, and her team at Heart Strong Wellness in Bamboo Wellness Center in Encinitas. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram
CitiesCommunityCommunityEncinitasHealth & BeautyHealth and Beauty (Sponsored)Healthy LivingNatural HealthNews

Indian heart expert brings holistic therapies to Encinitas

ENCINITAS — In a 30-year mission to prevent heart attacks and strokes that started in India, Pratiksha Gandhi has brought her holistic approach to preventative cardiology to Encinitas, combining modern medicine and non-invasive cardiac treatment to help promote overall wellness and reduce heart disease. 

For decades, Gandhi, who recently offered the Heart Strong Wellness program at Bamboo Garden Wellness Center in Rancho Santa Fe Plaza, has focused on the benefits of enhanced external counterpulsation therapy, or EECP, coupled with lifestyle changes based on proper diet, exercise, mind management  and yoga

The non-invasive therapy involves using inflatable pressurized cuffs strapped to the calves, thighs, and hips to increase blood flow to the brain. The mechanical procedure, synchronized with the heartbeat, improves blood flow by “milking” blood toward the heart.

EECP therapy typically involves 35 one-hour sessions over seven weeks in cardiac cases.

While primarily used to treat angina — chest pain caused by the heart not receiving enough oxygen-rich blood — EECP therapy is also being studied for its potential to treat other conditions.

The enhanced external counterpulsation therapy, or EECP, at Heart Strong Wellness in Encinitas. Courtesy photo

More than two dozen peer-reviewed studies have reported other therapeutic benefits of EECP, from improving blood flow in major arteries and enhancing the heart’s pumping efficiency to lowering cholesterol, helping combat chronic inflammation and symptoms of long-COVID.

According to research from the University of Kansas Medical Center, the treatment has also demonstrated promise for enhancing cognition in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“We want to help the community by focusing on preventing heart disease rather than succumbing to it,” Gandhi said. “As a US citizen, I feel we need to create globally a healthy society for our children and grandchildren focused on prevention and wellness.”

Gandhi has made a significant impact in her native India for decades. She holds a medical doctorate from Mumbai University, a postgraduate degree in preventative medicine, and a gold medal in public health from India’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

As the founder of IPC Heart Care Center, India’s largest chain of preventive cardiac care, Gandhi has garnered international recognition for her work with EECP treatment in India. She boasts a documented success rate of over 95% in more than 10,000 cases. Gandhi became a trailblazer in preventative and affordable holistic non-surgical cardiology after the then-President of India recognized her work in 2005.

In the US, she is a certified expert in preventative cardiology from the American Society of Preventive Cardiology, and she has been awarded as one of the Top 50 Global Women Leaders.

Pratiksha Gandhi, owner of Heart Strong Wellness program in Encinitas, speaks to a client about EECP therapy. Courtesy photo
Pratiksha Gandhi, owner of Heart Strong Wellness program, speaks to a client about EECP therapy. Courtesy photo

She chose not to get licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. as her approach is preventative, drug-free, pain-free, and not covered by insurance as of now. It is an adjunct to standard care for patients who want more by taking charge of their heart health.

An advocate for holistic health, Gandhi believes in integrating ancient Indian medical practices with modern medicine. She is a certified yoga and meditation teacher with expertise in naturopathy, homeopathy, ayurveda and reflexology.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the U.S., and over 80% of heart attacks are deemed preventable. For Gandhi, these statistics drive her initiative to shift the focus from treating symptoms to preventing disease.

“While our healthcare system often emphasizes sick care over preventative measures, we believe in fostering a healthy society for future generations,” said Gandhi. Let’s not give labels to people with diseases; let’s treat them as human beings with a body, mind and soul. Connect with them, find the root cause of their problems and find a lasting solution rather than suppressing the symptoms.”

The team at Heart Strong Wellness in Encinitas. Courtesy photo
The team at Heart Strong Wellness in Encinitas. Courtesy photo

And her holistic health journey has led her to Encinitas, a wellness-centric community along the North County coastline. 

“Encinitas is a mecca of wellness, and I feel blessed and fortunate to be in this incredible community, which is so supportive of our venture,” Gandhi said. “We are local, but we think globally, as we offer in-person and online programs for whoever wishes to have a stronger heart and mind.” She has founded the non-profit Global Foundation for Preventive Cardiology to offer heart health education tools to empower every heart in our community.

Bamboo Garden Wellness Center’s co-founders, Dr. Michelle Dexter and  Dr. Richard Jelusich, offer several integrative healing modalities, including individual and couples sexual healing, bioenergetic therapies (emotional healing through the release of physical tension), integrative chakra therapy, spiritual counseling and past-life evaluations. 

Other practitioners at Bamboo Garden Wellness Center offer everything from craniosacral therapy and acupuncture to holistic nutrition, mindfulness and self-compassion.

At Heart Strong Wellness, Gandhi’s goal remains the same as it did 30 years ago.

“Our mission is to prevent heart attacks and strokes,” Gandhi said. “ We reverse heart disease using a root cause-driven approach involving drug-free, pain-free holistic solutions combining evidence-based advanced modern medicine with the ancient wisdom of oriental healing methods.”

The Heart Strong Wellness program is offered inside Bamboo Garden Wellness Center, located at Rancho Santa Fe Plaza, 162 South Rancho Santa Fe Road, Suite A30, Encinitas.

Leave a Comment