The Dancing Surgeon
He is as dramatic as they come and a delight for journalists looking for good copy. And not without reason. He showers you with quotable quotes and his interviews are peppered with sensational statements. Meet Dr Masroor Ali, the surgeon who thanks the lord for making him a heart patient and a diabetic!
Says Dr Ali, “I almost died twice, once in the operating room and once in the recovery room. They had to resuscitate me. I think it has been a blessing for me to be a diabetic and to have undergone a heart attack/bypass surgery. It has made me more physically fit than I was at any point of time.”
He adds that a doctor has a better understanding of the disease if he himself has it, though it’s not mandatory.
If you’re plagued by high blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes, don’t worry.
Go seek an appointment with Dr Ali, popularly known as Max Ali. Just ensure that you’re dressed in a dark suit (if you’re a male) and in an elegant saree or long skirt (if you’re a female). And then get ready to dance away your ailments, ballroom and Latin dancing to be precise.
“Dance and say goodbye to heart attack, diabetes and hypertension,” is Dr Max Ali’s maxim. The surgeon based in Detroit, Mich., is a specialist in rectal diseases and has patented laser therapy to treat piles.
“I just perfected a method of piles treatment with laser. All I did was to fuse local anesthesia treatment which I learnt in Lucknow, with the use of laser. For this, I got a patent in Washington DC under Hemorrhoid Clinics of America (Dr Ali’s clinic).”
These days, the good doctor is in the process of creating a chain of dance clubs all over the world to treat obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes. He was recently in Lucknow to attend the KGMU-AAPI conclave.
Born in Seohara town of Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh, Dr Ali did his Bachelor of Science from Aligarh Muslim University and completed his medical studies (MBBS, MS and surgical training) from Lucknow’s King George’s Medical College (KGMC) in 1965. Thereafter, he went to the UK and then to the United States where he developed a thriving practice.
He says, “Dancing has saved my life. It is my passion now. I learnt dancing after suffering a heart attack and undergoing a bypass surgery. In fact, I took dancing lessons for several years and even passed an examination.” You bet, passing the MBBS examination was easier than learning proper dancing, quips the 60 plus doctor.
Talking about diabetes and heart-related diseases, Dr Ali says, “Diabetes treatment has not changed. It’s the same, diet and exercise.”
He recommends aerobic exercise. “As you increase your heart rate, you bring more oxygen into your body which sensitizes your body to insulin (as it utilizes the sugar in your body). Exercise makes your body receptive to insulin.”
This is where dancing comes into the picture. Dancing is the most regularized and hrefined form of exercise, avers Dr Ali. Not to forget, the most entertaining too because regular exercise can become boring. “For heart patients, dancing is more potent than walking, jogging, skipping, and running. It provides a wonderful atmosphere of happiness and conviviality to boot.”
Dr Ali says that unlike the regular club dancing, ballroom (Foxtrot and Waltz) and Latin dancing (Cha cha cha and Ramba) with their elegant steps are rejuvenating and provide relief from tension thereby reducing the chance of heart attack and diabetes.
Dr Ali also doesn’t much care for pills. In fact, he even goes so far as to say: “Invention of pills is the biggest tragedy. They don’t do a damn thing! At the most they will bring your sugar level down by 15 mg, but it hardly makes a difference.” He advocates instead taking insulin injection to control diabetes and to monitor your blood sugar level at home by using a glucose meter, which is available at a reasonable cost.
He also stresses on the right diet. “Diabetes and heart patients need to restrain their fat intake, especially whole milk products and meat which are very rich in calories. This will help control the blood sugar.”
Though the doctor advocates vegetarianism, he sounds a note of caution: “Avoid halwa, khoya and other mouth-watering Indian desserts. They are killers for people with a sedentary lifestyle.” Dr Ali also writes for websites on dancing tidbits and in the course of his worldwide tour of teaching dance therapy, has formed close association with some top dancers of the world. The genial doctor speaks passionately about dancing: “Dancing is a science which needs involvement and dedication and I am confident that soon it will be included in the Olympics as a sport.” He hopes to open a dance club in KGMU which teachers, students and others can join so that they can dance their way to a healthy and happy life.
As the interview draws to an end, Max Ali shakes the hand warmly and waves to his group of friends waiting in the hotel lobby. As he walks briskly towards them, they wave back cheerily and shout out to him: Aise nahi, dance karte hue aao! (Not like this, come dancing).-