Dharma Singh Khalsa

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Dharma Singh Khalsa
Dharma Singh Khalsa MD.jpg
Dharma Singh Khalsa MD
Born (1946-01-20)20 January 1946
Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America
Religion Sikhism
Spouse(s) Kirti
Children Hari (daughter), Sat (son)

Dharma Singh Khalsa is an American physician and medical researcher in the field of Alzheimer's Disease.

Early years[edit]

Khalsa was born on January 20, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Miami Beach, Florida. He is a graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Khalsa received his training in Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was Chief Resident. He is also a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Acupuncture for Physicians Program and has studied mind/body medicine at Harvard Medical School's Mind/Body Medical Institute.

In 1978 he started practicing Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan, and in 1981 he embraced the Sikh lifestyle, complete with full beard, turban, and the Sikh name he has used ever since. (Khalsa and Stauth, p. xviii.)

Dharma Singh Khalsa grew up with asthma. An uncle, an esteemed cardiologist, prescribed a series of breathing exercises for him which helped immensely. Even so, his lungs remained weak, and he was prone to bronchitis and even bronchial spasm in his early adulthood. When, however, he began to practice Kundalini Yoga with a strong focus on breathing exercises, his vulnerability to lung problems ended. (Khalsa and Stauth, p. 214.)

Work with holistic pain care[edit]

In 1987, Dr. Khalsa established the first holistic pain program in the Southwestern United States at Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1990, he was recruited to become the founding director of the Acupuncture, Stress Medicine, and Chronic Pain Program at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine's teaching hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. In this position, he became the first director of acupuncture in an American medical school.

Work on Alzheimer's disease[edit]

Since 1993, Dr. Khalsa has been the President and Medical Director of the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation in Tucson, Arizona, the original voice in the integrative medical approach to the prevention and treatment of memory loss.

In 2003, Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. testified before Congress about his pioneering work in the area of lifestyle influence on Alzheimer's disease, and called on Congress to fund a national education and outreach campaign designed to inform the public of the benefits of an integrative medical approach to Alzheimer's. After his testimony, Dr. Khalsa received the support of U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D.


Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa has participated in a number of studies focussed on the capacity for meditation to restore and enhance brain metabolism and cerebral function. Most of his research has used the meditation known as Kirtan Kriya, originally taught by Yogi Bhajan. Dr. Khalsa's research continues.

Nuclear Medicine Communications published a study of Dr Khalsa's (December 2009) on "Cerebral blood flow changes during chanting meditation." [1]

Dr. Khalsa recently took part in a similar study at the University of Pennsylvania, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (Volume 20:2. April 2010).[2]

In December 2010, the Journal of Consciousness and Cognition published a study Dr. Khalsa participated in on "Cerebral blood flow differences between long-term meditators and non-meditators."[3]

Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging (Volume 191: Issue 1, 30 January 2011) published another collaborative study in which Dr. Khalsa participated on "Cerebral blood flow changes associated with different meditation practices and perceived depth of meditation."[4]

In January 2012, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Volume 18, Issue 1) published Dr. Dharma's collaborative research on "Effects of an 8-week meditation program on mood and anxiety in patients with memory loss."[5]

Aging Health (October 2012, Vol. 8, No. 5) published a collaborative study of Dr. Khalsa: "A pilot study of the effects of meditation on regional brain metabolism in distressed dementia caregivers."[6]

In March 2013, the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology (Volume 38, Issue 3) published research of Dr. Khalsa's entitled "Yogic meditation reverses NF-kB and IRF-related transcriptome dynamics of leukocytes of family dementia caregivers in a randomized control trial."[7]


Dr. Khalsa has written widely on a wide range of health and healing issues. His book Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997) is the original work of its kind to be written for the general public, and has been translated into twelve languages. Dr. Khalsa has also authored six other books for the general public, as well as several medical textbook chapters, including one for Harvard Medical School and one for the University of Arizona.

Family life[edit]

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. currently lives in Tucson, Arizona with his Italian wife, Kirti. He has a son, Sat Kartar, a holistic chef, married to Chilean KamalCharan Kaur, and a grandson, Simranpreet Singh Khalsa. Dr. Khalsa's daughter Hari is an accomplished massage therapist, trained in Thailand.



  • Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory (Warner Books, 1999)
  • The Pain Cure: The Proven Medical Program That Helps End Your Chronic Pain (Warner Books, 2000)
  • Meditation as Medicine: Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force (Simon & Schuster, 2001)
  • Food as Medicine: How to Use Diet, Vitamins, Juices, and Herbs for a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life (Atrium Books, 2003)
  • The Better Memory Kit: 7 Days to a Better Memory (Hay House, 2004)
  • The New Golden Rules: An Essential Guide to Spiritual Bliss (Hay House, 2005)
  • The End of Karma: 40 Days to Perfect Peace, Tranquility and Joy (Hay House, 2005)
  • From Darkness to Light: Healing Early Life Stress (self-published)
  • Sleepy Time Nice (self-published)
  • The Memory Magnet: Dead Brain Cells Don't Die (self-published)


  • Wake Up To Wellness CD/DVD
  • Boost Your Brain Power CD/DVD
  • Here Comes The Sun DVD
  • Sleepy Time Nice DVD
  • Love is Within You (pop music) CD


  • "Profile," Life Extension Magazine, March 2004. [1]
  • Kathleeen Doheeny, "Can Meditation Reverse Memory Loss?" Web MD. March 3, 2010. [2]
  • "How Food Affects Your Genes" Total Health Magazine. August 24, 2012. [3]
  • Alvaro Fernandez, "Dharma Singh Khalsa: Why are yoga and meditation often overlooked for healthy brain aging?" Sharp Brains. August 8, 2013. [4]
  • Gail Harris, Body and Soul, PBS. "Aging Well: Memory and Movement" [5]
  • Daniel Redwood, "Brain Longevity: Interview with Dharma Singh Khalsa MD" healthy.net [6]
  • Amy Weintraub, Yoga Journal, "Talking Shop with Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D." [7]

Research Articles[edit]