2nd December 2017

How Kyrgyzthan’s Doctor Life Became A Beacon Of Hope To Many

The rehabilitation clinic “Medical Center of Doctor Nazaraliev” (MCN) has an informal name that has been used for a long time among drug addicts. They call it “the last pier of hope” and refer to Professor Zhenishbek Nazaraliev as “Doctor Life.”

In December 1991, the clinic received its first patients. The queue of those wishing to undergo treatment for alcohol and drug addiction in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, included people from all over the former Soviet Union, which had a population of over 250 million people.

Doctor Nazaraliev’s treatment method, which he created, was written about widely in Russian media namely in the “Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper. Today, after a quarter century, his unique treatment method is still the subject of interest and has been discussed in publications such as The New York Times, Al Jazeera and Russia Today.

Over 17,000 people from more than 20 countries have passed a rehabilitation course in MCN since its opening. Out of these, 87.5% of them have withstood the annual remission and have not relapsed into drug use.

Everyone who arrives at the clinic is advised to come with a relative or someone close because the clinic works with not only dependent people but also with the co-dependents, those who have become psychologically dependent on the other’s disease.

During the first two weeks at the clinic, a comprehensive survey and regime of medicinal treatment are conducted. The key procedure during this period is the Central Cholinolytic Blockade (CCLB). Professor Nazaraliev received his first patent for atropinization therapy at the end of 1980s. Since then the technology has undergone clinical trials and has been significantly improved and protected by dozens of additional patents. It is based on blocking the sympathetic nervous system for four to five hours with the deduction of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. In parallel, work with parasympathetic nervous system is conducted. As a result, doctors achieve a balance between the two systems. The procedure helps to stop the physiological cravings for the drug and move on to the psychological recovery of the individual.

In 1994, the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the United States (NIDA) offered $1 million to study this method. However, Professor Nazaraliev rejected this proposal because his did not consider himself comfortable with the nuances of American intellectual property law. It was also highly evaluated in a meeting of the scientific council of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and National Scientific Center of Narcology of the Agency for Public Health of the Russian Federation that was held in Moscow in 2011.

During the second phase at MCN, patients visit the south side of the beautiful alpine lake Issyk-Kul, considered the pearl of the Kyrgyz Republic. In the Kyrgyz village “Ak-Tengir” (translated from kyrgyz as “bright space”), which is located near where the first cosmonauts were trained, in an exceptionally peaceful and natural environment, patients are taught Eastern and Western psychological control over their thoughts and bodies. The Mindcrafting (meaning ‘mind polishing’ in English) program includes the world’s best practices – from the holotropic breathing of transpersonal psychiatry to the dervish dance of the Sufi tradition. Special attention in the clinic is given to the spiritual life of the patients: for the Muslims there is a prayer room on the nearby mountain Tashtar-Ata, and they can always talk with a personal spiritual mentor.

When a person has broken his dependence physiologically and mentally he is offered the option of another spiritual procedure in the third stage of rehabilitation

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