Deepak Chopra facts for kids
Deepak Chopra (/ /; Hindustani: Script error: No such module "IPA".; born October 22, 1946) is an Indian-American author and alternative medicine advocate. A prominent figure in the New Age movement, his books and videos have made him one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in alternative medicine. His discussions of quantum healing have been characterised as technobabble – "incoherent babbling strewn with scientific terms" which drives those who actually understand physics "crazy" and as "redefining wrong".
Chopra studied medicine in India before emigrating in 1970 to the United States, where he completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology. As a licensed physician, in 1980 he became chief of staff at the New England Memorial Hospital (NEMH). In 1985, he met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and became involved in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement. Shortly thereafter he resigned his position at NEMH to establish the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center. In 1993, Chopra gained a following after he was interviewed about his books on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He then left the TM movement to become the executive director of Sharp HealthCare's Center for Mind-Body Medicine. In 1996, he co-founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.
Chopra claims that a person may attain "perfect health", a condition "that is free from disease, that never feels pain", and "that cannot age or die". Seeing the human body as undergirded by a "quantum mechanical body" composed not of matter but energy and information, he believes that "human aging is fluid and changeable; it can speed up, slow down, stop for a time, and even reverse itself," as determined by one's state of mind. He claims that his practices can also treat chronic disease.
The ideas Chopra promotes have regularly been criticized by medical and scientific professionals as pseudoscience. The criticism has been described as ranging "from the dismissive to...damning". Philosopher Robert Carroll writes that Chopra, to justify his teachings, attempts to integrate Ayurveda with quantum mechanics. Chopra says that what he calls "quantum healing" cures any manner of ailments, including cancer, through effects that he claims are literally based on the same principles as quantum mechanics. This has led physicists to object to his use of the term "quantum" in reference to medical conditions and the human body. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has said that Chopra uses "quantum jargon as plausible-sounding hocus pocus". Chopra's treatments generally elicit nothing but a placebo response, and they have drawn criticism that the unwarranted claims made for them may raise "false hope" and lure sick people away from legitimate medical treatments.
Early life and education
Chopra was born in New Delhi, British India to Krishan Lal Chopra (1919–2001) and Pushpa Chopra. His paternal grandfather was a sergeant in the British Indian Army. His father was a prominent cardiologist, head of the department of medicine and cardiology at New Delhi's Moolchand Khairati Ram Hospital for over 25 years, and was also a lieutenant in the British army, serving as an army doctor at the front at Burma and acting as a medical adviser to Lord Mountbatten, viceroy of India. As of 2014[update], Chopra's younger brother, Sanjiv Chopra, is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and on staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Chopra completed his primary education at St. Columba's School in New Delhi and graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 1969. He spent his first months as a doctor working in rural India, including, he writes, six months in a village where the lights went out whenever it rained. It was during his early career that he was drawn to study endocrinology, particularly neuroendocrinology, to find a biological basis for the influence of thoughts and emotions.
He married in India in 1970 before emigrating, with his wife, to the United States that same year. The Indian government had banned its doctors from sitting for the exam needed to practice in the United States. Consequently, Chopra had to travel to Sri Lanka to take it. After passing, he arrived in the United States to take up a clinical internship at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, New Jersey, where doctors from overseas were being recruited to replace those serving in Vietnam.
Between 1971 and 1977, he completed residencies in internal medicine at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, the VA Medical Center, St Elizabeth's Medical Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He earned his license to practice medicine in the state of Massachusetts in 1973, becoming board certified in internal medicine, specializing in endocrinology.
East Coast years
Chopra taught at the medical schools of Tufts University, Boston University, and Harvard University, and became Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital (NEMH) (later known as the Boston Regional Medical Center) in Stoneham, Massachusetts before establishing a private practice in Boston in endocrinology.
While visiting New Delhi in 1981, he met the Ayurvedic physician Brihaspati Dev Triguna, head of the Indian Council for Ayurvedic Medicine, whose advice prompted him to begin investigating Ayurvedic practices. He took up Transcendental Meditation to help him stop, and as of 2006[update], he continued to meditate for two hours every morning and half an hour in the evening.
Chopra's involvement with TM led to a meeting in 1985 with the leader of the TM movement, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who asked him to establish an Ayurvedic health center. He left his position at the NEMH. Chopra said that one of the reasons he left was his disenchantment at having to prescribe too many drugs.
He became the founding president of the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, one of the founders of Maharishi Ayur-Veda Products International, and medical director of the Maharishi Ayur-Veda Health Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The center charged between $2,850 and $3,950 per week for Ayurvedic cleansing rituals such as massages and oil baths, and TM lessons cost an additional $1,000. Celebrity patients included Elizabeth Taylor. Chopra also became one of the TM movement's spokespeople. In 1989, the Maharishi awarded him the title "Dhanvantari of Heaven and Earth" (Dhanvantari was the Hindu physician to the gods). That year Chopra's Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine was published, followed by Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide (1990).
West Coast years
In June 1993, he moved to California as executive director of Sharp HealthCare's Institute for Human Potential and Mind/Body Medicine, and head of their Center for Mind/Body Medicine, a clinic in an exclusive resort in Del Mar, California, that charged $4,000 per week and included Michael Jackson's family among its clients. Chopra and Jackson first met in 1988 and remained friends for 20 years.
Chopra left the Transcendental Meditation movement around the time he moved to California in January 1993. Mahesh Yogi claimed that Chopra had competed for the Maharishi's position as guru, although Chopra rejected this. According to Robert Todd Carroll, Chopra left the TM organization when it "became too stressful" and was a "hindrance to his success". Cynthia Ann Humes writes that the Maharishi was concerned, and not only with regard to Chopra, that rival systems were being taught at lower prices. Chopra, for his part, was worried that his close association with the TM movement might prevent Ayurvedic medicine from being accepted as legitimate, particularly after the problems with the JAMA article. He also stated that he had become uncomfortable with what seemed like a "cultish atmosphere around Maharishi".
In 1995, Chopra was not licensed to practice medicine in California where he had a clinic. However, he did not see patients at this clinic "as a doctor" during this time. In 2004, he received his California medical license, and as of 2014[update] is affiliated with Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California. Chopra is the owner and supervisor of the Mind-Body Medical Group within the Chopra Center, which in addition to standard medical treatment offers personalized advice about nutrition, sleep-wake cycles, and stress management based on mainstream medicine and Ayurveda. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Alternative medicine business
Chopra's book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old was published in 1993. The book and his friendship with Michael Jackson gained him an interview on July 12 that year on Oprah. Paul Offit writes that within 24 hours Chopra had sold 137,000 copies of his book and 400,000 by the end of the week. Four days after the interview, the Maharishi National Council of the Age of Enlightenment wrote to TM centers in the United States, instructing them not to promote Chopra, and his name and books were removed from the movement's literature and health centers. Neuroscientist Tony Nader became the movement's new "Dhanvantari of Heaven and Earth".
Sharp HealthCare changed ownership in 1996 and Chopra left to set up the Chopra Center for Wellbeing with neurologist David Simon, now located at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. In his 2013 book, Do You Believe in Magic?, Paul Offit writes that Chopra's business grosses approximately $20 million annually, and is built on the sale of various alternative medicine products such as herbal supplements, massage oils, books, videos and courses. A year's worth of products for "anti-ageing" can cost up to $10,000, Offit wrote. Chopra himself is estimated to be worth over $80 million as of 2014[update]. As of 2005[update], according to Srinivas Aravamudan, he was able to charge $25,000 to $30,000 per lecture five or six times a month. Medical anthropologist Hans Baer said Chopra was an example of a successful entrepreneur, but that he focused too much on serving the upper-class through an alternative to medical hegemony, rather than a truly holistic approach to health.
Teaching and other roles
Chopra serves as an adjunct professor in the marketing division at Columbia Business School. He serves as adjunct professor of executive programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He participates annually as a lecturer at the Update in Internal Medicine event sponsored by Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Robert Carroll writes of Chopra charging $25,000 per lecture, "giving spiritual advice while warning against the ill effects of materialism".
In 2015, Chopra partnered with businessman Paul Tudor Jones II to found JUST Capital, a non-profit firm which ranks companies in terms of just business practices in an effort to promote economic justice. In 2014, Chopra founded ISHAR (Integrative Studies Historical Archive and Repository). In 2012, Chopra joined the board of advisors for tech startup State.com, creating a browsable network of structured opinions. In 2009, Chopra founded the Chopra Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c) organization that raises funds to promote and research alternative health. The Foundation sponsors annual Sages and Scientists conferences. He sits on the board of advisors of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, an organization based in the United States. Chopra founded the American Association for Ayurvedic Medicine (AAAM) and Maharishi AyurVeda Products International, though he later distanced himself from these organizations. In 2005, Chopra was appointed as a senior scientist at The Gallup Organization. Since 2004, he has been a board member of Men's Wearhouse, a men's clothing distributor. In 2006, he launched Virgin Comics with his son Gotham Chopra and entrepreneur Richard Branson. In 2016, Chopra was promoted from voluntary assistant clinical professor to voluntary full clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego in their Department of Family Medicine and Public Health.
Chopra and his wife have, as of 2013[update], two adult children (Gotham Chopra and Mallika Chopra) and three grandchildren. As of 2019[update], Chopra lives in a "health-centric" condominium in Manhattan.
In May 1991, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article by Chopra and two others on Ayurvedic medicine and TM. JAMA subsequently published an erratum stating that the lead author, Hari M. Sharma, had undisclosed financial interests, followed by an article by JAMA associate editor Andrew A. Skolnick which was highly critical of Chopra and the other authors for failing to disclose their financial connections to the article subject. Several experts on meditation and traditional Indian medicine criticized JAMA for accepting the "shoddy science" of the original article. Chopra and two TM groups sued Skolnick and JAMA for defamation, asking for $194 million in damages, but the case was dismissed in March 1993.
After Chopra published his book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (1993), he was sued for copyright infringement by Robert Sapolsky for having used, without proper attribution, "five passages of text and one table" displaying information on the endocrinology of stress. An out-of-court settlement resulted in Chopra correctly attributing material that was researched by Sapolsky.
In Spanish: Deepak Chopra para niños
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