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Physician or Standup Comic? Dr Pal Manickam Makes use of Laughter As Medication


“Hey, after this, I’m going to know you inside out,” Dr Palaniappan Manickam tells his affected person earlier than doing an endoscopy, making the affected person chortle. The gastroenterologist, based mostly out of Sacramento in California, USA, makes use of humour to make sufferers really feel snug.

Till 2020, solely his sufferers appreciated his humour. At this time, nevertheless, due to social media, your complete world is laughing with him. In March 2020, his video on COVID-19 went viral, giving rise to a style he calls ‘Medcom’ (medical comedy).

The optimistic response to his preliminary video led the physician to create many movies, which give attention to vital medical subjects, infused with humour to make them extra palatable. At this time, he has round two million subscribers throughout YouTube and Instagram.

“Folks come to a gastroenterologist with ailments like haemorrhoids and piles, which they discover embarrassing to explain. When sufferers have to debate stool habits, associated modifications, acidity and many others, they don’t open up immediately. So I began breaking the ice utilizing a joke. They cherished it, so I caught to it,” Dr Pal, as he’s fondly referred to as, tells The Higher India.

The appreciation for the physician’s humour boosted his morale and opened up doorways for him at a standup comedy membership in Bay Space, California, referred to as ‘Constructing 18’. This kicked off the 39-year-old’s stint as a comic.

“I joined Constructing 18 in Might 2020 and learnt suggestions and methods on the right way to write a script, the right way to ship a punch, what’s stand-up comedy and far more. I discovered this to be far more tough than medication,” laughs the physician.

Speaking about his first standup present on the membership, Dr Pal describes the expertise as “incomparable”. He says he spent hours getting ready for his 10-minute set, the place he spoke about many critical medical points in a comical manner.

Desirous to seize this opportunity that life had given him, the physician dove head first into comedy, creating reels and movies, and doing exhibits. At this time, he does his ‘medcom’ stand-up comedy exhibits within the US, India, Malaysia and Singapore.

A punchline for a well being tip

YouTube player

Whereas Dr Pal began his YouTube journey with a video about COVID, what actually catapulted him to fame was his video on intermittent fasting, the place he shared his personal weight reduction journey. 

It began when the physician had a well being scare which made him sit up and take discover. “I used to be 100 kg then and had palpitations whereas working. I realised how hypocritical I used to be; not practising what I used to be preaching. I had been learning medication for nearly 15 years however had forgotten to care for my well being within the course of. I attempted each food regimen however nothing labored,” he provides.

On the similar time, he began a analysis programme of intermittent fasting with just a few of his sufferers who had fatty liver. Because the programme progressed, the physician additionally began practising the identical in his private life. After dropping virtually 25 kg, he needed to share the teachings he discovered with folks.

“As a physician, I had such a troublesome time shedding pounds. I questioned how robust it’s for non-medical folks. That’s why I began making reels on Instagram to assist folks study wholesome habits,” he says.

Dr Pal delivers these vital messages — about intestine well being, fatty liver, coronary heart well being, meals to devour, and suggestions for a wholesome life-style — with a comic book ingredient. To assist ship the message higher, he created some imaginary characters like ‘Saravana Kumar’ who doesn’t like following a food regimen.

‘Eat between dawn and sundown’

The Madurai-born physician has superior coaching in vitamin, which helps him preach higher selections. Whereas, his humour gene, he says he inherited that from his father!

Dr Pal shares that his objective is to assist folks get more healthy and reduce his enterprise by 30 p.c by 2030. “I can assure that anyone who follows my channel religiously and follows what I’m selling will certainly get more healthy,” he says.

“I need folks to return to the approach to life our forefathers have been following,” he says. For example, he suggests waking up early to look at the dawn and consuming the final meal earlier than sundown. 

Elaborating on how our ancestors lived, he says, “They by no means sat in a single place. They might exit trying to find meals as quickly because the solar rose, and ate wild berries, tubers and fibrous fruits.  After strolling across the complete day, they’d prepare dinner no matter they collected earlier than sundown and slept peacefully because of the manufacturing of melatonin, which helps sleep,” he says.

One should suppose how a lot of that is being adopted by our era as we speak. The physician jokes that his buddy Saravana Kumar wakes up earlier than dawn solely to look at his favorite hero’s first-day-first-show film within the theatre.

“We’re sleeping two hours earlier than dawn as of late! All of the telephones earlier than mattress neutralise the consequences of melatonin and don’t allow you to sleep. We’re additionally doing desk jobs with none motion. Attempt working and consuming solely between dawn and sundown. It will assist the circadian rhythm of the physique. Have a winding routine put up sundown and provides relaxation to your physique,” he advises.

Dr Pal additional urges everybody to guide a balanced life and never compromise on well being. “Don’t make this too difficult. You don’t must eat quinoa or costly natural meals. Simply observe your ancestors and preserve it easy,” he provides.

Dr Pal imparts crucial medical information through his stand-up comedy shows worldwide.
Dr Pal imparts essential medical data by way of his stand-up comedy exhibits worldwide.

R Suguna, who follows Dr Pal on YouTube, says that she has grow to be more healthy after following his movies. “I’ve PCOS and was having a tough time shedding pounds. I additionally needed to get my intervals usually. I began following intermittent fasting and shifting all through the day after watching Dr Pal’s movies. The change has been immense. Over the previous 14 months, I’ve been capable of regularise my intervals and have a lot better stamina and power,” says Suguna.

Dr Pal shares that his concept is to present suggestions and methods in an interactive, fascinating manner, with out making it really feel like a lecture.

“I really like the satisfaction that comes from making folks chortle. So many come as much as me and share the modifications of their lives after following my suggestions. They’ve tears of their eyes as they share their tales. It simply leaves me awestruck. I simply need folks to get more healthy and obtain fewer sufferers on the hospital,” he says.

Along with his work in weight reduction, a specific incident deeply touched the gastroenterologist. In one among his preliminary movies, he addressed the security of COVID-19 vaccines, prompting an aged girl from Madurai to obtain the vaccine. “I obtained a letter from a girl in Thootukudi. She had misplaced her father to COVID because the vaccine was not out there then. She stated that her mom took the vaccine after seeing my video. She stated, ‘At the least, I’ve my mom as we speak, due to you’,” says Dr Pal.

“If I can change any person’s life sitting in Sacramento, speaking to a digital camera, why shouldn’t I do it? It’s really satisfying in addition to enjoyable for me,” he provides.

Dr Pal contributes his social media earnings to the Aishwaryam Belief. You may contribute right here.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat; All footage courtesy Dr Palaniappan Manickam)



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