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Anti-ageing & DNA Diagnostics At DNA Center For Integrative Medicine & Wellness

Dr Ashraf is a US-Board certified internal medicine specialist with over 35 years of experience in the United States as a practicing physician. Dr Ashraf is also US-Board certified in Nephrology and Hypertension and has held a lifelong interest in holistic medicine and the integration of advanced Western medicine with Eastern healing traditions. He’s also a fellow of the American College of Physicians and holds a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine.

In 2011 Dr Nasim Ashraf founded DNA Health Corp, a Maryland registered healthcare company with a vision to offer personalized health & wellness lifestyle medicine. The following year, Dr Ashraf launched the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness, a flagship center in Abu Dhabi at the St. Regis resort on Saadiyat Island. The Center attracts wellness tourists from all over the world and is playing an important role partnering with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority in promoting Abu Dhabi as a Wellness Tourism destination. DNA Health Corp is planning to launch a similar center in Dubai later this year and will also be expanding into other GCC countries in the near future.

KM talks exclusively to Dr Ashraf about the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness in Abu Dhabi to learn more about its cutting-edge treatments and offerings:

1.     Can you tell us more about what the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness offers?

We launched the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness at the St. Regis resort on Saadiyat Island in 2012. The Center offers personalised lifestyle medicine programs that are based on a holistic approach uniting leading-edge Western medicine advanced diagnostics and clinical therapies, complemented by centuries-old Eastern healing traditions and philosophies.

We offer a range of DNA 4 Life Personalised Lifestyle Medicine Packages, which range from 1 day express programs to a five year Gold membership program. In addition to DNA 4 Life portfolio of personalised lifestyle medicine packages, the DNA Center offers a number of additional anti-aging, healing, pain management & rehabilitation, as well as relaxation and rejuvenation treatments.

We offer an integrative and functional medicine approach, which focuses on treating the person as a whole – combining mind, body and spirit – rather than solely treating separate symptoms. Integrative medicine is the practice of combining conventional and complementary medicine and is effective, safe and affordable.

  1. What has been the response to your DNA Testing?

We introduced customised DNA testing to the UAE in 2012 and it’s very popular because of the in-depth data we can get from the tests. Through simple saliva or blood testing, we can identify if a person has a genetic predisposition to developing chronic, lifestyle-related diseases including ‘diabesity’ (this is a term we use for patients who develop diabetes as a result of being obese), heart disease and cancer. We can help patients manage these lifestyle-related diseases and also reduce the risk of future illnesses by developing a personalised lifestyle medicine program.

One patient came to see me because she wanted to lose 10-15kg. We discovered that she had Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel disease which causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract) and was taking weekly injections but she felt that these were only treating the symptoms and not the disease itself and she was still in a lot of pain. Following a number of genetic tests at the centre we discovered her body was rejecting most food types including fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, nuts, grains, sugar and caffeine. We devised a personalised lifestyle plan including a food elimination plan for two months and her symptoms completely disappeared. With regular consultations over the next six months, we slowly helped her reintroduce some of the food groups back into her diet – and she also lost 10kg in the process. She said to me at the end ‘the DNA Center has saved my life.’

  1. What other treatments do you offer?

In addition to our portfolio of personalised lifestyle medicine packages, the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness offers a number of additional anti-aging, healing, pain management & rehabilitation, as well as relaxation and rejuvenation treatments.

We also have a Hollywood inspired center for Bio Aesthetics. This dedicated beauty center is headed by the renowned Hollywood Bio Aesthetician and US television Celebrity Jamie Sherrill. Under her supervision DNA offers the same exclusive treatments, products and expertise as in Hollywood USA.

World famous Plastic Surgeon Prof. Theodore Voukidis offers a full range of treatments including Botox injections, dermal fillers, PRP and even reconstructive and other surgeries to make patients look as young and beautiful as possible. 

  1. Do you have any plans to open a second clinic?

DNA Health Corp, the parent company of the DNA Center, is planning to launch a similar center in Dubai later this year. We also hope to expand into other GCC countries in the near future. Watch this space!

  1. Who is a typical patient of the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness?

There isn’t really a typical patient but we generally work with individuals who have concerns ranging from stopping and reversing ageing, to stress and lifestyle management, to helping manage chronic, lifestyle-related diseases. Patients who visit us are looking to integrate a more holistic approach into the treatment of their concerns.

Broadly speaking, the majority of our clients are based in the GCC but we do regularly work with patients from across the world.

  1. Ageing gracefully continues to be a hot topic. How do your treatments help with anti-ageing?

I prefer to use the term ‘healthy ageing’ as the word anti has such negative connotations and ageing doesn’t have to be regarded this way. To complement the customised DNA testing, we also offer telomere testing, which can help identify the body’s ageing pattern and is the first step to healthy ageing. The test identifies the body’s biological age and based on whether this is younger or older than their chronological age, a holistic, integrative personalised plan is devised to deal with the main concerns.

  1. What advice can you give to people to help slow down the ageing process?

Diet, exercise and stress reduction are critical aspects to help nurture the body and improve lifespan. We have always assumed that age-related diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, stroke and cancer are inevitable consequences of ageing or due to our genes. But we now know that this is not true. It is not about your genes but how you communicate with your genes through your diet, lifestyle and the environment you bathe your genes in. In other words, you can change how your genes are expressed.

Lifestyle, including a good posture, adequate breathing, sufficient physical exercise, a healthy diet and avoidance of bad habits such as smoking, inadequate sleep, are the first steps to reduce the progress of ageing.

  1. How is the growth market for wellness and health tourism in the UAE?

Over the last decade the UAE has been firmly established as a leading destination for tourism. One new sector that is rapidly growing is wellness and health tourism. The Global Wellness Institute recently predicted that wellness tourism will grow by more than 9 per cent per year to 2017, nearly 50 per cent faster than overall global tourism and the Middle East is set to lead this growth over the next two years.

Global Wellness Day is taking place on June 13 and for the first time; it is going to be celebrated in the UAE. The UAE joins 50 countries across the world for this one day celebration focusing on the importance of living well. I am the Global Wellness Day Ambassador for the UAE and I am teaming up with the award-winning Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah and we are offering complimentary events and activities at Talise Spa. Attendees can find out how to live healthier, look better and improve their mental and physical wellbeing. Alongside a relaxing hour of yoga on Madinat Jumeirah Resort’s pristine private beach with one of Talise Spa’s instructors, leading world-renowned doctors, dermatologists, surgeons and nutritionists will be on hand to give advice on healthy ageing, balancing life, boosting wellbeing, learning to relax and manage stress.

To find out more about the DNA Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness or to book a consultation, visit: www.dnahealthcorp.com