Why we do what we do.
We'd like to take you on a little journey on the history of integrative (holistic) and mind-body medicine to help you understand the full picture of why we do what we do. So grab some tea and buckle up because this is not your a-typical "about us" section. Theres a profound reason why we are passionate about what we are doing and we hope to share it with you.
We are on a mission to make health education accessible and affordable for communities worldwide. With a growing need for improved mental health, disease prevention, and whole-person care we believe that integrative and mind-body approaches can be essential tools in supporting our wellbeing.
By educating individuals and healthcare communities on holistic medicine we can start to make better-informed decisions for our lives and the lives of others. It's time we move away from outdated models of disease-focused care to one that includes addressing our emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Aligning our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual realities has been the foundation of healing psychological and physiological illnesses for thousands of years passed down from our ancestors. From Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine, these integrative (holistic) and mind-body systems of practice have had a widespread methodological and philosophical influence on our approach to medicine all the way up to today.
But in the 1600’s, philosopher René Descartes, popularized the concept of mind-body dualism - saying that the mind and body are separate entities. In other words, Descartes proposed "what's happening in the mind has no affect on the body". This concept influenced religious beliefs, but most importantly the practice of Western medicine and pharmacology, ultimately placing the mind-body approach to healing an individual in the shadows for years.
Yet, the influence of "holistic" medicines had such a great influence in pharmacology that many pharmacists started to create new methodologies incorporating plants into its practice. In the early 1800's we saw the first pharmacologically-active compound, morphine, being isolated by the German pharmacist, Friedrich Sertürner, from the opium plant. Later, we saw other countless active compounds being separated from plants, such as aspirin which comes from the willow bark tree and penicillin from mold. Later, the development of synthetic techniques led to a significant reduction in the importance of plant medicines.
But as we moved into the twentieth century, holistic "unorthodox" systems were slowly introduced into the field of medicine as we started to see with the practice of naturopathy and chiropractic. As our ancestors before us, we were once again connected to the integration of holistic medicine once again.
So, why are we talking about the history of holistic medicine?
It's important to understand how the concept of the mind and body being separate entities affected the world of medicine and our natural ability to understand why we may be ill. By disconnecting our body from our mind, we inherently disconnected ourselves from understanding that our emotions affect our bodies and vice versa.
Integrative and mind-body approaches can help us to gain this awareness of these connections between the mind, body, brain, and spirit and can also offer us the opportunity to understand ourselves better.
Meet The Team
Nadeya drives Zaya’s vision and strategy. She is passionate about increasing global knowledge and awareness of integrative medicine while leveraging technology to improve the delivery and quality of holistic care to others.
While studying finance at DePaul University in 2012, Nadeya's father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and brain cancer. In between taking care of her father, graduating university, and working full-time as an analyst for a Fortune 500 company, Nadeya's curiosity in exploring the cultural and philosophical concepts found in yoga, Ayurveda, and energy medicine grew strong, leading her to quit her analyst position.
After working in the jungle of Costa Rica for the Peace Corps and later studying yoga and Ayurveda in India and Nepal in 2016, Nadeya eventually received her yoga certification in Dharamshala, India alongside training in Ayurvedic Medicine with Dr. Arun Sharma. Nadeya's deep interest in the integration of Eastern medicine with Western medicine became relevant in the treatment of her Father's illness. After returning from Asia, Nadeya immediately became the beacon of her father's health by proactively communicating with healthcare providers and researching integrative and holistic options to improve her father's health and quality of life. However, as her father's mental and physical health rapidly declined in 2017, she recognized that there was a major gap between Western and Eastern medicine and that the current healthcare system was not efficiently set up to support a patient seeking integrative options.
After her father passed away in 2017, it was clear that integrative and holistic solutions for chronically ill patients or those with mental health issues was not readily available. Since, Nadeya has been working hard to redesign healthcare through the creation of Zaya - an education platform that empowers, educates and supports individuals and health professionals seeking integrative health information.
With a background in HealthTech startups, and more than 10 years' experience in customer service oriented roles, Jenny brings a compassionate and practical perspective to Zaya. From managing the Sales and Operations of a leading digital services platform's launch into the UK market, to overseeing the Sales Operations and Patient Care within a medical tourism focused digital health platform - Jenny's expertise is varied. She also knows first-hand the value of a holistic approach to mental and physical wellbeing, and is on a mission to empower others to make safe and well-informed healthcare decisions.
Founder & CEO of Zaya
VP of Sales & Operations
What does Zaya mean?
First, lets define what a "portmanteau word" is...
A portmanteau word is a word that results from blending two or more words, or parts of words together.
In remembrance of Nadeya's father, Zaheer, Nadeya wanted to create a name that carried the vibration of the love she shared with her father along with the, strength and perseverance he displayed while battling cancer. She decided to take the first two letters of his name ("Za") and the last two letters of her name "ya" to create Zaya.