Interview with Dr. Keki Sidhwa
Keki Sidhwa, N.D., D.O., is the president of the British Natural Hygiene Society and the author of The Quintessence of Natural Living, a compilation of 50 years of his writings.
Keki Sidhwa, N.D., D.O., is a certified member of the International Association of Hygienic Physicians. He is the co-founder and president of the British Natural Hygiene Society and editor of its newsletter, The Hygienist. He has written six books; his most recent one, The Quintessence of Natural Living for Health and Happiness, is a collection of his lectures, essays, and poems spanning half a century.
Dr. Sidhwa practices as a Hygienic physician in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, England, when he is not traveling throughout India, Europe, and the United States lecturing and promoting Natural Hygiene.
In 1997, Dr. Sidhwa received the Highest Accolade of Fellowship and Gold Medal Award from the Indian government for his 40 years of service in holistic health education. He also was selected as one of only 400 “Men of the Year” in his field for 1997 by the American Biographical Society.
What prompted you to become a Hygienic physician?
By the age of 14, I had suffered double pneumonia, a heart condition, and seven relapses of typhoid fever. When I went into a coma and was expected to die, my mother refused any further treatment for me. Sixteen days later, I emerged from this coma, which was literally a period of fasting, and I recovered my health.
Seven years later, I read Dr. John Tilden’s classic book, Toxemia Explained, and switched my studies from medicine and surgery to naturopathy and osteopathy. I completed my studies at the Edinburgh School of Therapeutics and the British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy.
When I discovered the writings of Dr. Herbert Shelton, I recognized the importance of sharing these ideas with people everywhere. I have dedicated my life to helping people to recover their health through this knowledge.
Describe some of the highlights of your experiences in the Natural Hygiene movement.
I have been practicing as a Hygienic physician in England for 45 years. I used to have a big clinic, which was the first Hygienic center of its kind in Europe, but now I only supervise fasts for two or three people at a time.
I spoke for the first time at an ANHS Conference in 1964 at the invitation of Dr. Herbert Shelton. There was a shortage of speakers, so I ended up giving 12 lectures that week!
Since then, I have delivered lectures on Natural Hygiene around the world. In Italy, I conducted a course for medical doctors who wanted to know more about Natural Hygiene. I also started a Natural Hygiene group in Oman several years ago.
In 1977, I celebrated my 50th birthday by running a marathon in Milwaukee, Wis., to raise money for the American Natural Hygiene Society. ANHS members around the country pledged from 10 cents to one dollar for each mile I ran. I was only able to complete 15 miles because it was pouring rain, and I got absolutely drenched and waterlogged. But I still succeeded in raising $3,000 for the Society!
What sets Natural Hygiene apart from other health systems?
Natural Hygiene doesn’t single out one specific thing that is responsible for your overall health. Natural Hygiene comprises all of the facets of healthful living, including physical activity and exercise, wholesome diet, pure air and water, adequate rest and sleep, mental and emotional poise, and creative activity. Natural Hygiene is the art and science of living in such a way that all of these aspects are provided abundantly.
What other activities keep you busy these days?
I recently wrote a chapter on naturopathy and Natural Hygiene for a book titled Medical Marriage. Twice a year, I teach classes on fasting and nutrition at the British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy. My most recent travels took me to Cork, Ireland, where I presented a one-day seminar and was interviewed for television.
What advice do you have for newcomers to Natural Hygiene?
Approach Natural Hygiene with an open mind. There is so much to learn! Recognize that Natural Hygiene is more than body building or a good diet. It is a way of looking inward, of being totally alert, of realizing your fullest potential.
Is fasting still part of your personal health program?
I have not been ill for 45 years, but I fast as one way of taking care of myself, of giving my body an opportunity to rest. The last long fast that I did was for 25 days in 1993, and I plan to do another long fast this year. I want to reach at least 91 years of age!
This interview appeared in the January/February 1998 issue of Health Science magazine.