Rajee Hari:
Hey, everyone. Welcome to ProteanPulse, a healthcare podcast from ProteanMed.
I’m Rajee Hari, President and CEO of ProteanMed, a healthcare staffing and recruiting solution provider based out of the Woodlands, Texas.
We have an exciting podcast today. My guest today is Rohini Chandrashekhar.
She’s a board certified clinical specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy. She is a multi faceted personality.
And what makes it unique is her mantra of paying it forward.
She recently came after a mission to Ukraine, we will be hearing all about that exciting trip as well.
So welcome to the podcast Rohini.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Thank you, Rajee. Thank you for having me and your time to let me talk about a little bit of my experience.

Rajee Hari:
My pleasure to have you on the podcast. Let’s start with your background.
So can you share a bit about your background? And what led you to pursue a career in physical therapy?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
You know, like, my kids would say, well, that’s the only job you ever know.
I actually was fascinated with physical therapy back in India and actually gave up my medical seat to do physical therapy because I felt it cared for the patient throughout and gave a quality of life, and I had contact with the patient for a longer period of time.
And then I got very involved.
Actually, one of my mentors involved me with the ICU care, right, in there’s a new ICU coming up.
And, I started to get very interested in the cardiovascular and the pulmonary aspects of it.
I did apply to universities in the US.
Boston University had that track of the cardiovascular and pulmonary.
So I came here and completed my masters and did my internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, which I have to say was really the foundation of my, if you can call it knowledge today.

Rajee Hari:
Interesting. And after Boston, what was your journey in career as far as far as PT is concerned?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
I was in Boston for almost 7 years. I helped with developing cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
So besides the acute care, I also got involved in the outpatient aspect of following the patients who have those issues into the rehab component of it.
And then got married and moved to Pittsburgh.
Boston is kind of sets the trend for the early mobilization for really getting involved in the ICU much earlier in terms of physical therapy.
So I helped at the different hospitals. 2 different hospitals in setting up their ICU care as far as the physical therapy aspect and also developed a pulmonary rehab program there.
I was asked to teach them the young faculty at University of Pittsburgh and at Slippery Rock University.
So I started to then divide my time having to kids at the time, divide my time between teaching and clinical work.
Then I moved to Texas.
Again, it was not my choice. It was my husband’s choice.
I faced quite a culture shock here with my clinical aspect because people really didn’t want you doing anything in the ICU here.
And for me, that was my passion.
So I initially started off and then slowly began developing programs here for outpatient and then started to get more into the acute care work with another colleague who was very involved in it.
So that’s been kind of my journey and my passion is really you know, early mobilization and rehab for the patients who have been in the ICU and survivors of ICU and as well as patients with acute and chronic cardiac and pulmonary problems.

Rajee Hari:
I know that you’ve helped many in the community and you’ve been an inspiration to many of us.
What was the driving force for all the volunteer work that you’ve been doing?
Tell us about the volunteering work that you do.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
You know, after a certain time, you feel like you want to give back, especially I started with wanting to give back to India.
So I got involved with health volunteer overseas.
So that’s when the kids were young and the summer you go spend was considerable, you know, at least 6 to 8 weeks of my time was in India.
So I decided to since I had other people to take care of my children is to volunteer in India, and I started off with programs with health volunteer overseas.
Really enjoyed that, enjoyed what it brought, you know, a different outlook that it brought to them.
And I also honestly learned a lot from it because you know, you go in with a certain attitude thinking, oh, you know, this is how it should be done, and then you see the what what is actually there, and then you have to tailor your teach in your thinking to what?
So it really may help me grow as a person, understand that. I liked it so much.
I’ve done more work for them, but more truly since I’ve done with Pacmandu and again with India, but I also joined Saba International here because they have a need for the patients who are in ICU get out and don’t have any resources after that.
Insurance cuts them off. So I’ve been helping patients or finding them resources to help them here.
So it’s just something that gives me joy.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a first generation immigrant here, but I feel like I want to give back.

Rajee Hari:
So looks like your international experience definitely inspired the latest journey that you took to the war torn Ukraine.
And when you told me that you were going to Ukraine. My heart literally skipped the beat.
So tell me a little bit about what inspired you to join this mission to Ukraine.
What was the overall objective of the team’s mission there?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
I was just so excited to have this opportunity. There was no reason I would have ever said no.
You know, it’s just something I feel like would be a culmination of my life’s work and dedication to this profession.
As far as the team, the team was set together by the society of critical care medicine, which is based in Chicago.
And so they had experts, physicians, surgeons, respiratory therapists, anesthesiologists from all over the country, and they sort of picked a team from, you know, when they put out the request and really it was through a friend of mine that I heard about it.
And so when we put in the request, they formed this team.
It was about 18 to 20 of us who were in the medical field and five people in the back staff who helped and it was sponsored by an organization called Direct Relief.
They assured us. We have to get all the state department things.
So they assured us that everything would be okay.
It was mainly our job was to train the personnel there, to train the physicians, the the trauma, the physical therapist, there was 2 courses.
There was one in the care of the surgical patients, like immediate post surgery, and then there was the ICU liberation, which means once the patient is in the ICU, how do you get them out of there and the quickest way and the most functional way possible?
So we had 2 courses that we held over a period of 10 days, 2 batches of attendees attended.
Besides that, we also got to do some bedside care and actually see what the conditions there were to help the residents out there.

Rajee Hari:
Tell me a little bit about the journey and logistical challenges of traveling from US to a war torn region like Ukraine, and especially for a health care mission like this.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Luckily, we were in a place called Lviv and Lviv is just on the western border of Ukraine, which has not, it has had some amount of damage, but nothing like the eastern part of Ukraine, which really being bombarded.
We have to have clearance from the state department for safety.
They are responsible for your safety once they have agreed to let go there.
So we had constant updates, daily updates, still the date we left with the warning too that at any time the plot could be pulled on the mission even while we were flying there.
So we may have that there. Nothing to do would have to come back.
You know, the safety was most important for everyone.
As far as the travel logistics, it’s a long journey to Europe as anyone knows, but you can’t fly into Ukraine.
So as soon as we landed in Kraków, which is like the closest Polish airport we could come to, we boarded a bus and we had a 10 hour journey into Lviv. Mainly 3 hours of that was spent at the border.
I mean, they checked you so thoroughly. They looked at each one of our faces.
They looked at the passport. Poland was more vigilant about it than Ukraine was, but both sides, we had to spend a lot of time.
Once we got into Lviv, honestly, it’s a beautiful city.
It’s really sad to know what they’re going through, but it’s like, you know, any of the old European cities with so much history and people where they’re just wonderful.
I mean, I could keep going, but No. We have a lot more coming up. So when you need to.

Rajee Hari:
No. No. I do have a lot more questions to ask you.
That’s so interesting that, you know, you had to fly into Kraków, and then you had to take this 10 hour journey.
What was it like? What was your mental makeup when you were going through this process.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
I was excited the whole time. I was really excited.
I mean, I know some members of my family were extremely nervous.

Rajee Hari:
And your extended family like us were also worried.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Yeah. I just didn’t have a second thought of the, you know, and it did really did not know what to expect. I did not know what the conditions there would be, where would be even sleeping, whether we just have little bunk beds or we didn’t know anything.
And, the group that I went with was just amazing.
I mean, they’re all so highly accomplished and yet so humble, willing to give up their time to do this.
So that bus ride actually was, you know, like, a fun ride.
Everybody joking and laughing, sharing snacks, and, you know, we and once we got a little bit, we almost felt guilty that we were having so much fun in a war torn, but really the group have to say it.
I never had second thoughts or fears or just the fear of getting turned back, but not the fear of going in.

Rajee Hari:
So Right. Is there any unique challenge or any condition that you face while providing this kind of service in a conflict zone?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Yeah. Lots of challenges in the sense that they are not equipped the way we are far as resources, human resources, They have such a we think we have a nursing shortage.
They have such a critical nursing shortage. You know, they and everyone there now is very young.
So everybody’s trying to help. So as far as the knowledge base, they’re so willing to learn, but they have a long way to go for that.
And then just in terms of when we were thinking talking about the ICU liberation, you know, we went in with certain ideas.
And then when you get feedback, from the attendees, you realize that they have certain practices that we gave up years ago.
But you don’t want to go in there and say, well, this is the way you should do it.
You know, you have to sort of learn where they’re coming from.
So the challenge was trying to teach them and yet not be overwhelming or overbearing.
Hoping because once you do that, you’ve lost them, and you can’t get your message across.
So that was, you know, just the the method of teaching had to be tweaked, changed, almost every day we would meet to say, maybe we should include this.
Maybe we should not include that. You know?
And, so that was a little bit of the challenge at the beginning, but I think towards the end, we we sort of had it more comfortable.
So, What comes out of this is that it’s 2 different style of physical therapy.
Maybe a little bit antiquated, maybe a little bit more modern.

Rajee Hari:
So you had to find that synergy between the two aspects of PT. Was there any resistance from people?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Actually, no. When we did the presentation and we showed them what we do, like, we had a lot of pictures and videos of our patients.
So when they saw that, they were very willing to say, you know, please come to the bedside.
Show us what we can do with x patient or y patient. And they were very open to those suggestions.
I think the people who are really the nurses. Some of them didn’t come and haven’t seen that.
And that’s very understandable because they are the ones ultimately responsible.
So we had to have the residents talk to them about, okay. This is going to be okay.
We are we are okay with this. And the patients themselves because they have never been moved.
You know, even though they were capable of moving, they were just told to lie on the bed and not move a muscle and everything was done for them, or they were completely sedated.

Rajee Hari:

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
So and these were patients who we would have probably had sitting on their chair all day or walking around the unit or, you know, even if they had ventilators or even if they were tracheostomy.
We really had to work with that.
But then when we went, like you said, the other aspect of it was when we went into the rehabilitation department, which is after the patients get out, you know, some of the young people with amputations recovering from traumatic brain injuries, they have the most fantastic equipment.
They’ve really got a lot of donations from all over the world.
But they still require a little bit of training on equipment.
They have better equipment than we have here for training spinal cords and but they’re doing a superb job because they showed us how one of them went to South Korea spent a week there, learned the techniques and how they were getting these people back on track.
Spoke to some of the rehab patients. So in one place, we found it.

Rajee Hari:

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
We don’t even have this stuff. And in one place, we found, well, they’re not doing even the basic.
The the whole camaraderie, the harm harmony of it was good because they were willing to listen and they were willing to share what their experiences too.

Rajee Hari:
So coming to this victims, right, or or the patients, are these victims of the war?
How bad was the injury? And how many are we looking at?
I mean, what’s in number of beds and was it overwhelming?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
So when the time we were there, the ICU was not overflowing.
It was more manageable, and there was a combination.
There was a combination of boundaries and of just our regular stuff that happens, the strokes, car accidents, those kinds of things toward the bond shelter, which in the first stages of the war for about a year into the war was actually had been transformed into an OR and it had been transformed into an ICU.
And this is like you’re talking a really dark dingy basement that they had just come up with all of this and done a fantastic job for what they could to save people’s lives to get, um, you know, the amputees sort of save their lives get the traumatic brain injury saved.
So and what they had already done by the time we got there is transition this hospital from just a regular hospital, which They had never done prosthetics before.
They had never done spinal cord injury before, but in this last few months, they had had they had to transform and have, like, a a whole, um, paradigm shift onto what kind of patients they were going to see.
And they really, I have to say they did a remarkable job and still smiling and doing all these things.
And they’ve developed this. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the term unbroken.
I believe Zelensky came up with the fact that they’re gonna be unbroken.
Well, they’ve named their rehab center unbroken and they created a whole building now for just rehab.
So the condition, you know, the the patients varied And at that time, there haven’t been any active bombings or active casualties.
So we just actually saw the people who were being sent from the front lines who had already been taken care of two steps and then transferred to the hospital.

Rajee Hari:
Heart warming to even listen to this.
I can imagine what you must have gone through emotionally to witness this and be right there in the, in a ground 0 if I can say, was there any impactful story or memory that you want to share with us in terms of you know, resilience or hope or collaboration or whatever you saw, uh, with the people from front line and their families.
Any story that you wanna share with us?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
There have a few stories, but the one that really, uh, it’s just one of the attendees in the second course was a surgeon from, um, the Cartive area, which is the area that’s really been and he showed us pictures of the hospital when and he was actually there when it was bombed.
And he showed us pictures of the before and after and also of how they continued to operate with just a shell of a building and dragging whatever beds they could.
It was really like on, like, I guess you could say a mass unit that they created from and with And but they had he didn’t go home.
He said for day he doesn’t even remember how many days.
They just worked with getting these patients saving them and then maybe shipping them off to Lviv or to another area of Ukraine that was relatively safer to the hospitals.
So that was very impactful to see, you know, someone who’s actually been through the bombing, worked through the bombing, and done that.
And it was It just amazing, amazing people.
And, you know, they, they are going to fight no matter what. They won’t give up.
Their resilience really, we learned a lot from it.
You know, we complain about small things, and they’re living day to day in fear, you know.

Rajee Hari:
Was there any bomb bombing when you were there in Lviv?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
There was a we got a lot of arid sirens.
So we had to go to the bomb shelter and wait it out.
Most of that, the red zones were all in the eastern side. Still.
But even if the eastern side is affected, there were explosions in Kiev.
The whole country goes into lockdown mode. Everybody has to supposedly go to bomb shelters.
The hospitals, nobody does. They go business as usual. They do not get the bomb shelter.
They just do their job, you know, but because we were from the US, they wanted to make sure we were even though we didn’t want we said we’ll stay with you, but they made us go.
Just last week though after I got back, we heard that there was a bombing in Lviv and the one person lost his life with the bombing at the warehouse.
But while we were there, we did not witness any active explosions, or there was no immediate danger to us.

Rajee Hari:
Touchwood. How is life there?
Is it is it life as normal, or what was the regular life that you saw out side the hospital?
Did you get to see any sightseeing?
Any, I mean, I don’t mean it in a fun way, but did you get to go out and explore a bit?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Yes. We did. And really, like I said, Liviv is a great city. And honestly, it’s business as usual.
Oh, it’s amazing because we used to come home about leave at 6 in the morning, come at 6 in the evening, and you see coming back, you see the traffic jams just like you would see, you know, all the people going back home, just your general, um, office going people, people walking, the public transportation, and everybody is life as usual.
Everybody is dressed really well. The malls are functioning. The markets have beautiful, uh, fruits and vegetables.
It almost seems you know, when we go to the hospital and we see all this and we come out, you almost feel grateful that people have that going on.
But when we went out shopping or we went out to eat, we felt guilty in the beginning, and then they told us, please don’t feel guilty.
We’re so glad you’re here and contributing to our economy. So, you know, it’s good. Enjoy it, shock.
Do what do you want. You know?
Send your money and help us. That’s for sure. Yeah.
Right. But, uh, yeah, it was the it’s business as usual.
They all live with, you know, when the bombing happens, they all have parents or loved ones in those areas so they don’t hear from them, especially our translators.
Our translators were all from that area. They would say, you know, I’ve been calling my mom all morning.
I haven’t heard from her and, you know, those kinds of they live with that angst.
They had a a run. They had a run for Ukraine, and they had amputees, wheelchair.
It was a marathon, but you could do a marathon.
5 k, 10 k, and some of our colleagues actually joined that marathon too.
So they are trying to keep their spirits up and trying to keep their life going as best possible.

Rajee Hari:
So amazing.
It’s a different perspective that we are getting from you.
Coming back to this context of cultural and language barriers, how did you work through that while you were helping with the professionals and the patients?
What was the language barrier like?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Huge. Huge language barrier. Some of the residents And when I say residents, it’s like, uh, we are in India in India.
We go straight to medical school from, uh, you know, after your, uh, 2 years in, uh, thing.
So all the residents were really young, twenty three, twenty four year olds, then just finished med school.
Some of them knew English. One of them knew English really well, but most of them had a 3,000,000 years.
But the society had hired translators just for our whole for the teaching part of it.
We also had some outside translators from the hospital.
So the presentations, really, what would have been a normally like a 30 minute presentation with maybe, you know, 10 slides.
We have we could only put, like, 4 or 5 slides together and it would take a whole hour for the presentation because after each sentence, it has to be translated.
It was mentally very tiring by the end of the day.
And sometimes we forget and just someone asked the question. You just start talking, talking, and they’re like, come down.
I need to expect this. You know?
So so and then, you know, we had to find the time to go see the patients at the bedside when we had a translator present.
So those were some of the challenges, but yes, the the language barrier was but we we learned to, you know, deal with it.
They learned to deal with us and, uh, somehow by the end, it seemed like Not that we could really understand them, but just from gestures and then you begin to understand also.
Yeah. It was a dumpster ads, uh, kind of Sherarad’s kind of a thing.

Rajee Hari:
Is it going to be more trips involved, or is it you’re done?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
If they do put together another trip and they invite me, I would love to go.
We’re not sure yet. We gave our feedback as far as what we think they need.
What needs to be done, but it all depends on the funding, the timing, personnel, all that.
So I’m sure there will be other trips and I’d be privileged to be invited.
But if not, I still feel like I’m so, so glad I was part of this one.
Once in a lifetime experience.

Rajee Hari:
Yes. Considering your experience in Ukraine.
What insights can you offer about the role of PT in the recovery and rehab of individuals affected by the conflict or war.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
It’s huge.
Patients have to get back to living.
First of all, you have to make sure that they survive that critical injury or the critical illness that they suffer.
What we realized is uh, through our years is keeping patients down and in bed for a long period of time when they are stable and they are able to move actually is very, very detrimental for them.
It doesn’t allow them to get back to life that much quicker.
So they have a lot of what we call like what you’re seeing as post COVID, we’ve seen before as post ICU where they very weak, of course, post COVID has a lot of other sequel happening.
But, you know, I’m just trying to compare what everybody hears as post COVID.
We’ve already been seeing for the survivors of critical illness.
And then once they get through that, you know, to have the next level of care, the thing globally, what happens is here we we are blessed with, you know, we have the inpatient rehab center to bring them to.
We have a skilled nursing facility to bring them to their they’re pretty much from hospital to home.
That intermediary is not there. That that becomes very, very difficult and burdensome of the family.
Uh, although they are very willing to take them they have to learn so much more.
They have to, you know, change learn skills to take care of them.
So that, I think, is one of the biggest hurdles to getting patients back to where they need to be.
So what tends to happen is then people just stay in the hospital because they feel they’re not ready to go home.
So I think, um, the what physical therapy needs to do or what the, you know, occupational therapy speech for all these patients.
Really, I think coming having a step down place like we have, like an inpatient rehab, getting them better, getting the family more comfortable than transitioning them to their life as, you know, maybe a changed life, but still a functional life.
That should be, you know, really our focus and our goal.

Rajee Hari:
Interesting. So has this mission mission in any way changed your perspective.
How has it influenced your perspective on the broader field of health care in terms of collaboration, interdisciplinary disciplinary work.
That’s on the professional side. On a personal front, how has it changed your perspective towards patient care?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Do you want me to say professional also? Or

Rajee Hari:
Yeah. One is the professional aspect. The other is your personal aspect.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
So professional aspect, I think the interdisciplinary thing is is key because, uh, what we were promoting with this ICU liberation was what we call the A to F bundle.
So that comes from awakening the page their breathing, their sedation, their delirium, the exercise family, and it’s all a unit.
So if you know, if the anesthesiologist or the doctors are not proactive in the medication part, then there’s nothing we can do to start moving the patient or getting them to their families.
So it really is something that is completely linked, and we try to show the the that in simulations.
We almost have little skits that we put together in bad scenarios and good scenarios.
Like, you know, if the doctor did this and the therapist didn’t do this, what would happen versus if we all worked together and communicated And I think globally too, for me, seeing other professions from different parts of our own country, you know, you get very used to working with the physicians and surgeons and the personnel that you work with in our own, but getting perspectives from different people that really enhanced the way I started to think about things or, you know, out of the box a little bit more.
Not so tunnel visioned and, okay, this is what we do and this is great.
But, yeah, other people are doing things in a different way, and that’s also great.
Personally, in terms of patient care, I don’t think it’s changed me that much except me wanting to go to these places more often.

Rajee Hari:
More often. And and give more heart attack to your family.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
I’ve really helped because, uh, I’ve realized how blessed I’ve been to, you know, to have learned so much in the US and I’ve had such great mentors and, you know, that have brought me to this point where I can give back.
And there is just so much so much to, in terms of physical therapy that people are just not aware of, how much it helps, what a difference it makes, On a personal basis, I would just love to do more of these and, um, keep going with.

Rajee Hari:
Very impressive. Very impressive to say the least.
I wanna touch upon your yoga and meditation practices because that’s that’s what defines you when it comes to the local community here We all know you more as a yoga practitioner and a guru, like, if I can say.
Tell me, how has that impacted And did you do any of your yoga practices in Ukraine?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
I’ve always been interested in yoga, always done yoga, always wanted to be in and in the different places I was.
And then I came to the Woodlands, and it so happened that the instructor classes were starting right at the temple, 10 minutes from my house And the reason I wanted to do that is because it really connects very closely to my profession.
You know, I work with people who have breathing problems.
I work with people who are under stress or who’ve become chronically ill because of the stress.
So for me that the deeper delve into, you know, the holistic part of it is like, okay, I’m seeing this part.
I’m seeing you as an injured person now, but what made you get there and how do we get you out of it so it doesn’t happen again.
So that for me was the fascinating part, and I really wanted to delve deeper into the yoga practices.
And honestly to help me also understand and, um, stay calm through situations.
Not react immediately, but act actually give a response that’s that’s more worthwhile in my personal and professional, not just professional, even in my own personal, my own personal growth.

Rajee Hari:
Did you teach any of these yoga practices in Ukraine?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Every day, they would tell me, Renee, we’re waking up at 5 o’clock, and we need to have a yoga session.
They did not happen. That happened. None.
Even on the Sunday that we were off, and I’ve checked thing, everybody. Hey, guys.
You’re all coming down to the gym and I got 3 responses saying I just woke up, and, you know, it was pretty exhausting.
A few of the people who we traveled with practiced yoga regularly. So we used to just compare notes.
Like, I used to get up in the morning and at least do my Suriana Mousaz and my brother, Emma, just to help me wake up, get through the day, and things like that.
So as much as I wanted to, that’s the one thing everybody says they didn’t do. Oh my god.
We didn’t take advantage Rohini and during this. But it was just, you know, the evenings, everybody was exhausted.
And they just wanted to get we wanted to get out of that heaviness and just go out into the city and things that.
So and then you come back early morning, you’re back up again at 6 o’clock, uh, ready at 6 o’clock to go.
So it didn’t quite work out, but I tried to keep not my full practice, but at least keep up some of it to keep up my spirits.
And I don’t know. Once you start yoga, you just feel addicted to it.
You feel like if you didn’t do it, something was missing in your day. So

Rajee Hari:
Have you have you ever, you know, used yoga also as part of your physical therapy exercises and, uh, you know, patient care.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Very much. I’ve used it a lot.
I’ve used it a with my outpatient cardiac rehab program, I actually started a whole session where we during the education part, I actually had a yoga session.
And honestly people would say, you know, they would come really. They said we can do the exercise part.
We really want this yoga part. It’s become hugely popular in the cardiac rehab.
And for my pulmonary patients, even when they’re acute care, even getting off of the ventilator or outpatient, just the simple breathing techniques just the simple relaxation techniques to help them oxygenate a little bit better, relieve their stress.
And they then, you know, the a person who’ll say, no. No. I’m so short of breath.
I can’t even get sit at the edge of the bed today.
When I first start with the yogic principles and the breathing principles, and just the relaxation.
In 5 minutes, they’re sitting at the edge of the bed, and their breathing just fine.
So, yes, I do use the yoga definitely, not only, and then even the postures, because postures are intimately connected to breathing.
So just, you know, just giving them simple corrections and posture, simple balancing, stuff, things like that, just employing the breath with that.
And I enjoy seeing the change it makes.
In fact, one of the physicians was watching me, and then when she noticed the differences in oxygenation with just 10 minutes of physical therapy with the yogic thing.
She was just fascinated. She was like, how did you do that?
How did you make the oxygenation go up so easily?
So you know, whenever I can, I try to employ it?

Rajee Hari:
Interesting. Any advice that you would give for healthcare professionals who wanna engage in similar international humanitarian missions in the future.
Any dos and don’ts?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
If you really want to volunteer, you have to be open to the fact that things are not gonna go the way you plan.
If you’re open to that and if you’re willing to be humble in your teaching and also willing to learn, then it’s definitely for you.
You know, you can always look at different organizations depending on what your profession is.
Like for physical therapy, I started with health volunteer overseas because they have a very, very active PT program that goes spans many, many different countries.
You know, you have your flexibility.
You can choose as a volunteer what you want to do, what you don’t want to do.
But once you commit, it’s, honestly, it’s a it’s a very rewarding experience. For that.
We’re talking global, but even locally, like I’ve helped with Sava International, even locally, It’s such a huge benefit to people that you don’t even realize you think you don’t make an impact, but just getting a person a resource getting a person one piece of equipment to say you can use this.
It frees up the family. It’s, you know, it gives that patient so much things.
So there’s so many things you can do without having to say, oh, I can’t leave my kids.
I can’t go away for that period of time. Understand all that, but you can still make a difference.
I think we all should start putting our toe into the volunteerism and giving back.
You know, like, I try to think of Swami, and then when he says become less of a consumer as you grow in your profession and become more of a contributor, if we all did that, I think our practices, our knowledge, everything would be put to such good use.
And it’s a huge benefit, even if you change one life.

Rajee Hari:
Well said. Well said. Going to the fun part, the rapid fire questions.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:

Rajee Hari:
Easy enough.
Coffee or tea.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:

Rajee Hari:
Favorite travel destination.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Um, that’s hard. That’s big. I want to pick 1. I need to just pick 1.
Yeah. Uh, Europe.

Rajee Hari:
Morning person or night owl?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Morning. Very morning.

Rajee Hari:
But one book that has had a significant impact on your life.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
I would say the prophet by Khalil Gebran.

Rajee Hari:
If you weren’t a physical therapist, what profession would you choose?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Me a doctor, a physician.
Actually, no. I change that.
Put a different question differently. If you were not in the medical profession, what would you say?
I would like to be a TV anchor.

Rajee Hari:
Oh, wow. I would love that.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
That would always my dream, but my mom and dad said, uh-uh.

Rajee Hari:
So dang it. We lost a good anchor in life. Yeah. Okay.
Favorite quote or a Mantra that inspires you.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Ralph Waldo Emerson. I mean, he has a a long quote, but it ends with the fact that if even one life has breathed easier because you lived, you have succeeded.

Rajee Hari:
Wow. A skill or hobby you would like to learn in the future.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
I would love to do art, but I’m not artistic, but learn a foreign language.

Rajee Hari:
You did mention something about astrology also a while back.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I would love to. Yes. There’s so many little things.
I mean, I I’ve joined a language class, and then I want to learn astrology. Yes. Thanks for reminding me.
I need to.

Rajee Hari:
Beach vacation or mountain getaway.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Oh, that’s equal. That’s it.

Rajee Hari:
Any hidden talents are unusual skills that you wanna share?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Someone else has to tell me that. I don’t know if I am unusual. I don’t know.
I think I’m just ordinary.

Rajee Hari:
I don’t think you are anywhere near ordinary, but I’ll let that question go.

What’s your go to comfort food?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Rasam Satham.

Rajee Hari:
Dogs or cats?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:

Rajee Hari:
If you could dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Dalai Lama.

Rajee Hari:
Alright. What’s one thing on your bucket list you haven’t crossed off yet?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
Acted in a play when I’m older.

Rajee Hari:
Yeah. Let me make that happen. That’s not difficult.

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:

Rajee Hari:
Any concluding remark for our audience today?

Dr. Rohini Chandrashekhar:
No. Thank you for having me.
And, you know, I hope at some point, if you’ll all ever get the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone everybody or each of us is has a talent that we’re capable of helping others dip into that water.
Stay happy. Stay healthy.
Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today.

Rajee Hari:
It was a pleasure having you, and you literally took us to the war tone Ukraine and gave us a glimpse of what it is like to volunteer there.
That was just amazing, and thank you so much for that. Thanks to the audience for listening.
Don’t forget to subscribe to Protean Pulse. We are on Spotify as well.
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I will see you in the next episode.
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