An interview with Dr. Wolfgang Schachinger
Question: Dr. Schachinger, you are a general practitioner. How did it come about that you became an Ayurvedic doctor?
Dr. Wolfgang Schachinger: That is an exciting story! I completed my training as a general practitioner in the summer of 1982. I then had to complete my civilian service and did a few months of practice substitutions before opening my own practice in 1984.
Exactly at that time my spiritual teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi started to recommend Ayurveda as a useful complement to meditation and yoga. His claim was to renew Ayurveda and to start the globalization of Ayurveda.
I was already present at the first training courses organized by Maharishi and trained as an Ayurvedic doctor.
How well known was Ayurveda at that time?
The term "Ayurveda" was completely unknown in Europe at that time. I often heard that the words "Ayurveda" and "Aloe Vera" (a well-known medicinal plant) were confused with each other. The term "Ayurveda doctor" was also something that almost no one could relate to.
What is special about Ayurveda medicine?
The contact with Ayurveda touched me very much. I had studied medicine with great hopes and expectations. My motivation was to learn how to "heal" people, to lead them to better health. But the conventional medicine practiced in our country at that time was a disappointment all along the line. It was almost always about suppressing the worst symptoms of diseases. Mainstream medicine is part of a "disease management system".
As an Ayurvedic doctor, I have studied intensively the subject of "health" and how to improve health and well-being. Every Ayurvedic doctor learns at the beginning of their training the definition of health and how to optimize it. As an Ayurvedic doctor, you have a clear goal in mind for each patient: to strengthen health. And this calls for different strategies than purely combating symptoms.
What does the term "Maharishi Ayurveda" mean?
In the millennia since its first application, Ayurveda has undergone many changes. The classical texts are still available and used in their original form. Nevertheless, there are various interpretations and applications, which in the course of time have shifted more and more from the spiritual to the material realm. In his initiative to globalize Ayurveda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was concerned to bring the fundamental aspects of Ayurveda to the fore, true to the original texts. Veda is the foundation of Ayurveda, and Veda is the science of consciousness, the practical application of the basic intelligence of nature. According to Maharishi, every Ayurvedic physician should know this and take it into account when making recommendations.
How were you able to apply Ayurveda to your practice even then?
I was very fortunate to have been trained as an Ayurvedic physician by excellent and very famous teachers. The special thing was that many of my teachers were then in Europe for a long time and had free time between the training courses. I invited these very experienced Ayurvedic doctors to my practice and was able to work with them in their own environment. With the traditional Ayurvedic doctor with a wealth of experience at my side, I was able to very quickly apply the various Ayurvedic therapies and procedures to my own patients.
I was also helped by the fact that I had already completed training as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation and a study of "Vedic Science" during my medical studies. Through this knowledge and the activity as a meditation teacher I already had a valuable insight into regulative healing processes, which supported me very much as an Ayurvedic doctor.
How did your work as an Ayurvedic doctor become known to the general public?
My level of awareness as an Ayurvedic doctor grew spontaneously over the years. Essentially, without any advertising, patients came to my practice only through personal recommendations. By the end of the 1990s, the demand was so great that I hired a 2nd female doctor to work in my practice, which was then still a health insurance practice.
In 1993 we also started to offer Pancha Karma cures in our practice. There was one or the other interview in the press or on television.
10 years ago I finished my work as a health insurance doctor. I had so much to do as an Ayurvedic doctor that I had to decide for one activity. And that could only be my vocation as an Ayurvedic doctor. Since 4 years my daughter Dr. Valeria is also working as an Ayurveda doctor in the practice.
My international activities as a speaker at lectures and training seminars spread my reputation as an Ayurvedic doctor beyond the borders of Austria.
How is it possible to take good care of such a large number of patients?
5 years ago I dared to take a new, very innovative step. I am the first Ayurvedic doctor in Europe to offer Ayurvedic cleansing cures in webinar format, i.e. via electronic media. Each participant is sent cure materials and written instructions. Together with my daughter Dr. Valeria, I guide the participants to an Ayurvedic cure at home in live lectures broadcast on the Internet. This allows one Ayurvedic doctor to provide the best personal care to hundreds of patients at the same time. A great blessing of modern technology that I would not want to miss!
What is your future perspective?
In the spring of 2022, I fulfilled my long-cherished dream as an Ayurvedic doctor. In 18 months of construction we built a new home for our activity - soma – the Center for Maharishi Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine.
This house was built according to the principles of Vedic architecture (Maharishi Sthapatya Veda) with high quality biological building materials and radiates a strong healing power. In this building I have perfect conditions as an Ayurveda doctor: enough space for all treatments, rooms for in-patients, thermal healing water and the beautiful location at the natural jewel Hausruckwald.
At Haus soma we offer the unique symbiosis of Maharishi Ayurveda, the local healing resources (thermal healing water) and scientifically based modern diagnostics and therapy.