Sheila Patel, M.D.

Medical Director

Dr. Sheila Patel is the Chopra Center’s Medical Director and a board-certified family physician who is passionate about bringing holistic healing practices into the Western medical system. She earned her M.D. at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed her residency in family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center in Southern California. For more than a decade, she practiced full-spectrum family medicine, from prenatal care and deliveries to ER coverage and primary care for all ages.

At the Chopra Center, Dr. Patel offers integrative medical consultations that combine the best in conventional medicine with the wisdom of Ayurveda. She also teaches at the Chopra Center’s 6-day and 10-day Perfect Health programs, and is certified as an instructor of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. Her special interests include preventive medicine and mind-body medicine, with an emphasis on Ayurveda. Her experience in treating a full range of medical conditions gives her the ability to effectively incorporate lifestyle practices into a patient’s treatment plan.

Dr. Patel also serves as the Clinical Director for the Chopra Center’s research team. She enjoys the opportunity to bring light to the mechanisms of action of mind-body practices, giving them scientific validation. Her hope is that by confirming the benefits of the practices, more patients will gain access to these life-enhancing techniques.

Dr. Patel’s medical writings on a variety of topics have been featured in many integrative and holistic publications, including the Chopra Center’s online newsletter. She is a Volunteer Faculty Member for the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, where she participates in their Ambulatory Care Apprenticeship Program for first-year and second-year medical students at an outpatient family medicine office. She also mentors medical students at the Chopra Center as part of their integrative medicine rotations. Dr. Patel is an engaging speaker who enjoys bringing the principles of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation to the public, as well as to other health care providers. She is a featured lecturer at the Chopra Center’s signature mind-body medicine conference, Journey into Healing, and the Living in Balance retreat. She has also served as a guest lecturer at several integrative medical conferences, as well as at Bastyr University in San Diego and UCSD School of Medicine.

 

Articles by Sheila Patel

There are an estimated 50 to 70 million U.S. adults who experience some type of sleep loss or sleep disorder. If you fall into this category, try adopting mind-body practices to achieve natural, restorative sleep.Read More
One of the most rejuvenative formulations in Ayurveda is triphala, an herb that can help maintain the health of your mind and body.Read More
Your doctor should approach your healthcare the same way you do. Use these tips to find doctors who will treat you in a way that aligns with your vision of health and well-being.Read More
Beans are not only a good source of protein, they can actually help reduce the risk of heart attack. Find out how much you should eat to reap the benefits.Read More
In today's overstimulated world, it's actually quite easy to quiet the noise. Try these simple strategies to reduce stress and increase joy in your life.Read More
Breath is essential to life. It's the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we leave. Find out how pranayama can heal your mind and body, and learn about four deep breathing techniques to try.Read More
Tongue Scraping is one of the most overlooked Ayurvedic practices, but one that can go a long way toward your overall health and well-being. Here's why.Read More
The healing tradition of Ayurveda teaches that health and wellbeing depends upon our ability to digest everything we take in from the environment. This includes not only tangible substances like food and drink, but also our experiences, emotions, and the impressions we take in via our sensory...Read More
According to ancient Vedic wisdom, the known universe began with sound, and out of sound came movement, energy, and matter. Today we know that sound is a sequence of vibrating waves that travel through air or water, and modern science tells us that all the particles that make up the matter in the...Read More
In the practice of self-care, the healing tradition known as Ayurveda offers practical tools and guidance that will help you connect to your body's wisdom as you expand your experience of health, self-compassion, and peace of mind. Here are few foundational practices that you can begin to use in your daily self-care routine.Read More
Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation have been around for thousands of years. Countless generations have shown us that engaging in these practices can help us live healthier, more balanced lives. But, the question arises: How? How do these activities – as simple as breathing or even...Read More
This month we had an opportunity to sit down with the Chopra Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Sheila Patel, to discuss chronic pain – a complex health issue that affects hundreds of millions of people through the world. As Dr. Patel describes, there is a lot of misunderstanding in both the mainstream...Read More
As we transition into springtime in the Northern Hemisphere (and autumn in the southern half of the planet), it is an ideal time to sit back and reflect on what may be out of balance in our lives, then take steps to restore our equilibrium. Ayurveda recommends a seasonal cleansing, purification,...Read More
"Making your doshas happy will make you happy. This is the secret to balancing the whole mind-body system.” ~Deepak Chopra In the past decade, personalized medicine has emerged as one of the most promising developments in modern healthcare, offering an approach that tailors medical care and...Read More
Our immune system is a complex and wonderful system. When in balance, it does a seamless job of identifying and eliminating potential threats to our health, such as toxins, bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. However, sometimes our immune system responds too vigorously to a substance in the...Read More
Question It has been more than 15 years that I suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The traditional treatment was with birth control pills. That seemed to work for a while but then again the same problem appeared. I stopped them in August 2011 and am now trying a progesterone cream. As a...Read More
Question: I am a 24-year-old female who has suffered from GERD (acid reflux) for four and a half years now. I have been on medication since then that decreases the amount of acid my stomach releases. However, I still have been experiencing problems and do not want to be on medication for the rest...Read More
Part of truly appreciating our human experience is enjoying the sweetness of life. A perfectly ripe peach. A fresh slice of homemade bread. A scoop of chocolate ice cream. In life’s paradoxical way, however, at the same time that we have greater access to the world’s rich variety of sweet...Read More
Many traditional cultures give particular significance to the changing of the seasons by organizing celebrations and rituals around these times. The practice of honoring these times of transition is an opportunity for people to reflect on the prior months and look forward to what lies ahead...Read More
The Shirodhara Will Help You Let Go into Present-Moment Bliss The shirodhara is one of the most well-known and powerful treatments in Ayurveda , the holistic system of traditional medicine that developed in India over 5,000 years ago. In ancient Sanskrit, shiro means head, and dhara means flow...Read More
What is perfect weight? It is tempting to think that there is a certain number on a scale that defines a person’s “perfect” weight. The problem with this, as many recognize, is that even when they reach their goal weight, they still don’t feel healthy and vital. On the other hand, some people may...Read More
I encourage you to read the editorial Deepak has published in the newest issue of the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics. [ See full text of Deepak's article below. ] It is beautifully written and I couldn’t agree more with his perspective on health care – it’s why I love coming to...Read More
Question: Can feminine itching be caused by menopause? Also, is there anything that can be done to relieve it or make it go away completely? Thank you, Maria Answer: Hi Maria, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, feminine itching is a common symptom that can appear after menopause because of...Read More
Here, Chopra Center's Sheila Patel, M.D. discusses how the practice of meditation and the use of Ayurvedic herbs can be used as an effective treatment for osteoarthritis.Read More
This is the second part of a special two-part series on Ayurvedic approaches to treating osteoarthritis. In Part I, Dr. Sheila Patel discussed research showing the benefits of various ayurvedic herbs and meditation in treating this disorder. Read Part I here . In Part II, she looks at how yoga can...Read More

Upcoming Events

“There is a new revolution occurring in health today. That revolution is you.” – Deepak Chopra Discover a holistic and transformative health plan for lifelong well-being at our Living in Balance retreat. Do you feel stuck in a cycle of non-stop stress? Too tired to make healthy choices, and too...Program Info