Healing - Holistic Healing
by Luis S. R. Vas
Who has identified more than 300 alternative therapies like acupressure/ acupuncture, aromatherapy, reiki/pranic healing, folklore medicine and others which are popular in different part of the world.
Today, worldwide, alternative health science therapies are gaining ground. Together with the modern system of medicine, alternative health sciences and therapies offer cheaper and easily adaptable solutions to various ailments for positive health.
Not all alternative therapies are equally effective nor are all backed by equally sound research. Here we present a survey of various alternative therapies along with the claims made for them by their practitioners and adherents.
Yoga therapy tries to re-establish the inner balance by various means, working from the gross to the subtle. On the physical level it uses:
Asanas: They energize the organism, create awareness of the body and its function and stabilize the mind.
Kriyas: These are simple hygienic procedures which support the body’s own cleansing mechanisms and draw the attention of the mind towards the affected area.
Pranayamas: These are breathing techniques which have very subtleinfluences on the whole organism.
Diet: Many diseases are directly or indirectly linked with wrong food habits. A change in diet can stimulate the whole system.
Simple Nature Cure Techniques: The elements water,air, sun and simple procedures like massaging or steam inhalation are used as a support.
The second line of therapy is the work on the mind. Mental disturbances - anxieties, confusion, unsteadiness are the most important factors which can cause a disease condition. Therefore, various techniques have been developed to create positive mind states.
Among others there are:
Relaxation: both physical and mental.
Conditioning: Sitting in a meditative posture one tries to calm down and center oneself.
Bhavanas:Contemplation on certain basic ideas like the transitoriness of all things can stimulate a change of attitude towards life.
Yoga has claimed that tension is disease and relaxation is health. To this end the whole eightfold path of yoga is to purify the body-mind complex.
Deepak Das, a kick boxer, was diagnosed with kidney stone. Tired of popping pills to no avail, he turned to homeopathy. Within a fortnight of starting treatment, he experienced a new zeal and an alleviated immune system. Several such incidents can be cited in which homeopathy has shown positive results.
Homeopathy, founded by Dr. Samuel Hahnenmann, a German allopath, is now a little over two decades old. It is based on the principle of Similia Similibus Curentur. In English it would translate into ‘a substance which produces symptoms in a healthy body, cures the symptoms in a sick body when taken in small, diluted quantities’. For instance, opium in a significant dose paralyzes the smooth muscles of the intestine while in a homeopathic dose it becomes one of the elements for treating constipation.
People are increasingly becoming aware of the effectiveness of these potentised white pills, particularly with skin ailments and in treating infants and children. While other medicines leave a bitter taste in the mouth, children love to eat sugary sweet pills which slowly melt under their tongues! The popularity can be attributed to the patient-friendly approach and complete disregard for standardization.We Indians identify with this holistic approach as it is very much an extension of our culture. Besides, it is popular in European countries, Russia and other Asian countries also. Its popularity in America is lagging behind, but not for long.
Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese Medicine, which has more than 3,000 years of history. The method of acupuncture is to encourage one’s body to promote natural healing and to improve its functioning. Acupuncture starts the therapeutic ball rolling by stimulating the appropriate organs and systems to create more chi and blood in the body as well as addressing specific problems.
Classical Chinese theory behind acupuncture: In the body there are channels of energy that run all over its surface. These channels are called meridians. They are like rivers flowing through the body irrigating and nourishing the tissues, allowing a smooth flow of chi and blood, which runs through the body to various parts, structures and organs.
An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam. The obstruction backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others. Any obstruction and blockages or deficiencies of energy, blood and chi eventually lead to a disease.
Needling the acupuncture points can influence the meridians. It unblocks the obstructions at the dams re-establishing the regular flow of energy through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can help the body’s internal organs to correct the imbalance of digestion, absorption and energy producing activities. They can also help in the circulation of energy through the meridians.
Modern science explains the functions of acupuncture thus:
Needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and the brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or they trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones. These chemicals and hormones influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
Acupressure, as an alternative therapy to allopathy, is second only to yoga in India. Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine that concerns itself with the anatomy and physiology of the human body.
It maintains the regular flow of bio-energy (or chi, as the Chinese refer to it) in our body. According to this science, the human body is divided into 14 meridians which are situated in the back and in the front. Each of the meridians, identified as either the Yin (the female) or the Yang (the male), have specific points that link it to different glands and organs. Like the urinary tract, gall bladder, stomach, liver and the kidney, fall under the Yin meridian.
Though the aim of the therapy is to increase our body’s resistance to disease, many aches and pains can also be got rid of with its help. Generally, a patient can undergo a 20-minute therapy at a time, which is repeated for about 10 days at a stretch.
Acupressure is easy to learn and can be used every day, especially when one suffers from headache or a common cold. The eastern system entails using one’s fingers, the thumb, elbow, palm and blunt metal or wooden instruments for self-help.
Foremost among the advantages of acupressure’s healing touch is that it is safe to do on yourself and others – even if you’ve never done it before – so long as you follow the instructions and pay attention to the cautions. There are no side-effects from drugs, because there are no drugs. And the only equipment needed are your own two hands. You can practice acupressure therapy any time, anywhere.
Unani medicine, like any other form of medical science, strives to find the best possible ways by which a person can lead a healthy life with the least or zero sickness. It prescribes drugs, diet, drinks and other regimens including codes of conduct which are conducive to the maintenance and promotion of positive health, as well as the prevention and cure of disease. The ultimate aim of these scientific prescriptions and prohibitions is the creation of a healthy society.
Unani medicine believes that diseases can be kept at bay by the use of clean and fresh water, breathing clean air and consuming fresh food. Likewise, a balance should be maintained between the mind and the body so that the metabolic process can take place easily and the body waste evacuated. Unani medicine also believes that all life forms have originated from the sea.
According to the unani discipline as it stands today, the human body is composed of seven natural and basic components called ‘Umoor e Tabaiyah’ which are responsible for maintenance of health. These are :-
• Arkan (elements)
• Mizaj (temperament)
• Akhlaat (humours)
• Aaza (organs)
• Arwah (vital forces or neuro)
• Quwa (faculties)
• Afaal (functions)
The loss of any one of these basic components or alteration in their physical state could lead to disease, or even death. It is highly essential to consider all these factors so as to reach the correct diagnosis and consequently the correct line of treatment.
The unani system of addressing whole health considers illness as an event serving to cleanse, purify, and balance us on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes.
Sound therapy is a technology designed for accessibility, affordability and ease of use. Its health benefits are extensive and include the following effects:
• New vitality and sense of well-being
• Obliteration of tiredness and stress
• Deep relaxation and relief of anxiety
• Heightened creativity and mental capacity
• Increased energy, focus and performance
• Deep, beneficial sleep and an end to insomnia
• Improved hearing for those with industrial deafness or hearing loss due to ageing
• Relief of tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
• Better balance and recovery from Meniere’s vertigo and BPPV
• Improved concentration and learning ability
• Recovery from learning problems such as ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, etc.
• Improved behavior and communication in children
• Increased voice quality and vocal range
• Better relationships and greater family harmony
• Improvement for sufferers of epilepsy, schizophrenia, stroke and dementia
Sound therapy is simple, effective and effortless. By listening to the specially recorded music tapes while you go about your daily routine, you can create the changes needed to enhance your quality of life.
Specially recorded analogue tapes of highly filtered classical music are used to rehabilitate the ear and stimulate the brain. Sound therapy stimulates the ear by presenting it with constantly alternating sounds of high and low tone. This in turn exercises the middle ear muscles and stimulates the receptor cells in the inner ear.
As the ear becomes open and receptive to high frequency sounds these are then passed on to the brain. The brain is recharged by means of sound, releasing latent vitality, obliterating tiredness, lessening the need for sleep, and inducing a permanent state of peace and relaxation.
The self-help program is done using cassette tapes and a portable tape player. It is easy to do and takes no time out of your day. In fact many people say it gives them an extra two or three hours a day!
At the beginning of the 21st century, the most promising pain relief therapy is biomagnet therapy. Compared to other pain relief therapies, biomagnet therapy has at least six advantages causing its explosive, worldwide growth today.
• Biomagnets relieve the root cause of pain, not just the symptoms.
• Biomagnets are safe. They have no known side-effects since our bodies already live in the earth’s natural, magnetic field.
• Biomagnets are simple. Anyone can use them in the privacy of their home.
• Biomagnets are non-consumable. You don’t have to buy another bottle or schedule another appointment every month!
• Biomagnets work quickly, often in a few minutes, sometimes in weeks.
• Biomagnets are affordable. Especially since you can use them again and again for years.
And this is only the beginning. The history of magnet therapy is a fascinating account of a famous queen, philosophers, doctors, and scientists. For thousands of years magnet therapy has been advancing toward its latest discovery of the newest and most powerful biomagnets.
In 1983, one of the greatest discoveries ever in magnetics was announced. Rare earth neodymium biomagnets were invented which are 700% as powerful as the older ceramic magnets. The neodymium biomagnets hold their charge indefinitely, with no significant loss of power after 10 years. At first, their cost was prohibitive, but now they are very economical.
“Today magnet therapy is seeing a resurgence in use and is an officially approved therapy in over 45 countries worldwide,” writes William H. Philpott, MD, author of the book, Magnet Therapy: Alternative Medicine, the Definitive Guide.
Mantras work directly upon our karma: the accumulated latencies and tendencies with which we are born. The vibrations of these ancient formulas work through the chakras to increase the flow of beneficial energy throughout the subtle body where these latencies and tendencies are stored. Mantra therapy starts by increasing the total amount of energy available for all of our activities. Certain mantras used singly or in combination can greatly accelerate the quality and quantity of energy used in the healing process. However, if the karmic propensity for a given condition is overwhelming, mantra therapy will not remove the difficulty any more than conventional therapy will. However, it will reduce the karmic baggage you take into future lives.
The energy created through mantra practice may lead one to forms of therapy quite different from the ones used initially. Thus, some unexpected new form of treatment may appear as the result of mantra practice. Investigate it. Ultimately, we do not know through which door the route to recovery might manifest, and it may be in some form of conventional or traditional care of which we had been previously unaware.
Any technique that uses subtle energies for healing is spiritual healing.
Such energies are only now starting to be recognized by western medicine. Most eastern medical systems have acknowledged and used such forces for hundreds to thousands of years. Chi and prana are two of the better known names for these energies. They are related to, and can be directed by, a person’s consciousness. Because of this, one can receive such healing forces either in the presence of, or at a distance from, the healer being worked with.
A good technique derived from Tibetan Buddhist practices is as follows:
• Acknowledge the problem and your pain; open to being with it; you don’t have to approve of pain, but to best handle it, you need to experience it fully so that you are in a position to let go of it.
• Realize that pain–along with pleasure–is a fundamental aspect of this world that we live in: it’s a package deal–they come together.
• Understand that lots and lots of folks have it as bad, if not much worse, than you do with exactly the same problem.
• Muster up a little (or as much as you can) empathy for all those other folks; wish that somehow you could help them too.
• Develop the wish to take on their sufferings with this problem through a kind of transference. Imagine that your very real pain now somehow includes a portion (if even only a tiny one) of their sufferings and thereby relieves them of some of their pain.
• Visualize that as well as taking on some of their suffering, you also give them some of your happiness to help them as well. You can imagine their problems coming into your heart as thick black smoke, and your goodwill streaming out to them as pleasant white light.
• You should feel that the black smoke also helps to utterly destroy your own confusion and unhealthy relationships with your problem. This should lead to a feeling of joy.
• If you would like, you can coordinate this visualization and imagination with your breath. Breathe in their problems and breathe out your happiness. Breathe naturally throughout.
• Continue with this for a while until you feel a sense of completion.
It is a wonderful practice and can help balance out the personality.
Methods that are commonly used for spiritual healing work include:
• Visualisation (understanding, caring, healing, protecting)
• Channeling of spiritual energy (for instance: chi, prana, reiki)
• Devices that transmit healing forces (for example: radionics)
• Channeling of spiritual helpers and guides
• Personal spiritual realization
• Advanced levels of concentration
• Psychic abilities
• Bodhicitta (universal compassion)
In three of his works, The Inner World, Shamans, Mystics, and Doctors, and The Analyst and the Mystic, Sudhir Kakar explores multiple facets of Hinduism in the East, weaving the rich exchange between religion and psychology.
For Hindus, moksha, unity of the self and the world, is the ultimate aim of existence.
The attitudes that spring from this mindset manifest themselves in everyday life, and are fruitful in the workplace. Hinduism emphasizes self-realization and “refinement of the soul” rather than monetary or earthly wealth; this in itself is liberating and humanizing, especially in the political realm. Since mutual respect is of the utmost importance, business settings are personalized.
Time in India has far different implications than in the West. For Hindus time is cyclical, never-ending, but always repeating itself.
In India sexuality is understood as an aspect of human nature that can be translated into altruistic energies; in fact, that is its ultimate form.
However, Hinduism’s unequal treatment of gender seems somewhat faulty. It views male sexuality as tainted, something that must be transcended because it hinders fusion. Femininity, however, is beneficial to integrate into the psyche. The female entity exposes “being” as it relates back to the mother-child relationship and the idea of self objects. Kakar explains that “the male element does...while the female element is”.
Forms of therapy in Indian culture vary greatly. Raja Yoga implements nonviolence, truth, cleanliness and a healthy body with its main goal as transforming sexual energy. Therapy in its less structured forms appears in common interaction. Away from the guru or temple, a bhuta is referred to as an unruly child, so that mentally it becomes more manageable for the person afflicted. He “begins to feel he has the neurosis instead of the earlier feeling that the neurosis has him”.
Surrender to the guru is the utmost turning point for a religious Hindu. The responsibility of the disciple’s inner transformation is taken from the pupil himself and placed upon the guru.
The brain operates in four general states determined by the frequency of the electricity generated by the exchange of chemicals in the neural pathways. The four states include full conscious awareness, the hypnotic state, the dream state, and the sleep state.
Full conscious awareness is where we spend most of our waking hours. In this state, our mind is attentive and uses logic to reason, evaluate, assess, judge, and make decisions. Unfortunately, when making life changes, the conscious mind often gets in the way.
In the hypnotic state, the doorway between the conscious and the subconscious is opened, memories become easily accessible, and new information is stored. In the hypnotic state, you are not really “thinking” in the traditional sense. You are “experiencing” without questioning, without critical judgment or analysis, like when you watch a movie, and the hypnotherapist can make suggestions that are very likely to “stick” - precisely because your conscious mind is not getting in the way. You are not “judging” or being “critical” of the suggestions.
The will located in the conscious way of functioning is always present, always working. If for some reason you will yourself not to allow the suggestions to be accepted, they won’t be. The smoker who comes in to quit smoking but is not really committed to that goal, cannot be forced to do so.
With the critical faculty bypassed, specific thoughts/suggestions can be lodged in the subconscious where they can propel the client toward a desired goal or change behavior in a positive, permanent way. Any such suggestions must be acceptable to the client, of course. They would have no effect otherwise.
Aromatherapy means “treatment using scents”. It is a holistic treatment of caring for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils are added to the bath or massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or diffused to scent an entire room. Aromatherapy is used for the relief of pain, care for the skin, to alleviate tension and fatigue and invigorate the entire body. Essential oils can affect the mood, alleviate fatigue, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, they work on the brain and nervous system through stimulation of the olfactory nerves.
The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses and seeds with distinctive therapeutic, psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness. There are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, anti-depressant and expectorant. Other properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in aromatherapy are their stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it should be made from natural, pure raw materials. Synthetically made oils do not work.
Reiki is one of the more widely known forms of energy healing. Energy healing involves direct application of chi for the purpose of strengthening the client’s energy system (aura).
Reiki is very easily learned, very simple to use, and beneficial for all.
A reiki healing is very simply performed. The practitioner places his or her hands upon the person to be healed with the intent for healing to occur, and then the energy begins flowing. The reiki energy is smart since the Universe is a very smart place indeed. The energy knows where to go, and what to do once it gets there, or else is being directed by a higher intelligence.
The energy manages its own flow to and within the recipient. It draws through the healer exactly that amount of energy which the recipient needs. All this happens without direct conscious intervention by the healer. The healer’s job is to get out of the way, to keep the healing space open, and to watch/listen for signs of what to do next.
Reiki is capable of healing anything because it works at very fundamental levels of reality. Even though the capability is there, this is not what always happens. The limits to reiki seem to be in the recipient’s willingness to cast off old habits and patterns, to accept change and to accept healing.
Pranic healing is a highly developed and tested system of energy-based healing techniques that utilizes prana to balance, harmonize and transform the body’s energy processes. Prana is a Sanskrit word that means life-force.
Pranic healing is a simple yet powerful and effective no-touch energy healing. It is based on the fundamental principle that the body is a “self-repairing” living entity that possesses the innate ability to heal itself. Pranic healing works on the principle that the healing process is accelerated by increasing the life force or vital energy on the affected part of the physical body
Pranic healing is currently being taught to doctors, nurses, massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, the clergy, homemakers, engineers and many others in all walks of life. It has allowed them to heal confidently and consistently in the shortest learning time possible. They find pranic healing very effective and easy to apply.
In the palm of your hands are energy centers called chakras. Through a simple exercise these chakras will be activated. Once activated, these chakras will become sensitive to feeling others’ energy. You can scan that energy field to locate blockages and be able to cleanse, energize and revitalize the area with new prana. You will also learn techniques to stop the drain of energy on your body that many health practitioners experience while working on others. You will actually energize yourself while you are healing someone else!
This phenomenon was a well-known attraction in the Philippines, where healers would claim to be able to operate without anaesthesia or antiseptic. Package trips are arranged to the Philippines specifically to visit healers. Tony Agpaoa established psychic surgery in Manila but was indicted for fraud in the US in 1967. Psychic surgeons continue to practice their trade in Manila today. They operate with their bare hands without any instruments. They work with spiritual energy to heal their patients.
One theory is that this form of psychic healing works because the patient believes that they will get better. Therefore, the surgeon heals the patient by putting the idea in their mind that they are going to get better. Researchers began to look into placebo surgery. Although there is proof of fraud, it is hard to determine whether psychic surgery works or not if performed by a genuine healer who is not using sleight of hand. There are many who claim that they were cured by this method.
Do you experience any of these health problems? Constipation, diarrhea, frequent headaches, backaches, fatigue, bad breath, body odour, irritability, confusion, skin problems, abdominal gas and bloating, lower back pain, sciatic pain, low resistance to colds and infections, low energy and vitality… These are all indicators that you may need to cleanse your body’s elimination system. Colon hydrotherapy is an excellent way to accomplish this objective.
Benefits accomplished by colon hydrotherapy:
• Cleansing: Toxic material is broken down so it can no longer harm your body or inhibit assimilation and elimination. Fecal debris built up over a long period is gently removed over a series of irrigations.
• Exercises: The build up of toxic debris weakens the colon and impairs its functions. Gentle filling and emptying of the colon can improve peristaltic (natural muscular contraction) activity, which aids efficient removal of waste material.
• Reshapes: Over time, the natural shape of a problematic colon will become distorted…causing even more problems. The gentle water action and massage techniques of the therapist will help eliminate protruding pockets of waste and narrow, spastic constrictions.
• Stimulation of reflex points: Every system and organ of the body is connected to the colon by reflex points. A colon hydrotherapy session stimulates these reflex points, thereby affecting the corresponding body parts…in a beneficial way, similar to reflexology.
Iridology is the scientific analysis of patterns and structures in the iris of the eye which locates areas and stages of inflammation throughout the body. The iris is the portion of the eye showing color. It reveals body constitution, inherent strengths and weaknesses, health levels, and transitions that take place in a person’s body according to their way of life.
The complex iris is composed of hundreds of thousands of nerve endings which are connected by impulses to every tissue of the body through the brain and nervous system. The nerve fibers, or trabecula, respond specifically to tissue and organ conditions with a corresponding physiological reflex manifested in the iris as lesions and color variations. The iris chart, which is the result of many years of clinical observation and intensive research by Dr. Bernard Jensen and others, represents the basic placement of body organs and tissues similar to a map. An accurate iris analysis is possible by superimposing the chart over an iris image projection, allowing detailed observation of the valuable and reliable data recorded there.
A complete iris analysis will show whether a person exhibits a generally good constitution or a poor one, depending upon the density of the iris fibers. The patterns, structures, colors and degrees of lightness and darkness in the iris tell if an area of the body is inherently strong or weak. It also reveals the relative site of over-activity, irritation, injury or degeneration of the tissues and organs. Toxic accumulation levels can be observed as well as nutritional and chemical imbalances.
With the aid of one’s superconscious mind, using a suitable device, one may gain unseen information at a distance, (even through material barriers), about a person, creature, object, substance, place or “thing”, beyond the limitations of one’s five senses and so-called logical, thinking mind.
Combination of mental, emotional and intuitive faculties are focused, in right order, upon the object of one’s quest. Presently, the device moves beyond one’s physical control, according to a pre-established code.
Dowsing is an intuitional science and can be learned. Divining is not just a gift miraculously bestowed upon a “few”.
The quality of dowsing efforts do vary, depending upon how one approaches the work.
To dowse, we must have a suitable device and be simultaneously aware on two planes. We live in two worlds; the material outer and imaginative inner worlds of existence. “Higher” (knowing) mind, flourishes within the realms of intuition and responds to noble questions posed by the “thinking” intellect. Quality and quantities of valuable information may be tapped from this great universal source, beyond material considerations.
Some persons actually receive contact from a distant target, buried object or energy field, without the benefit of an instrument. Others claim they make contact with the help of an invisible guide. One has seen convincing demonstrations of this. The former is more voluntary and, in the latter case, responses are usually involuntary.
The Alexander technique is an intelligent way to solve body problems. Many people are mystified by their own back pain, excess tension or lack of coordination. They often see problems in their joints or muscles as structural, or unchangeable. But, as they learn the technique, they are surprised that they really can make lasting changes in the way they walk, their degree of muscular tension or the shape of their posture. They learn how dynamic and changeable the body really is. They find that, by learning the technique, they can improve their overall movement and achieve optimal health for both body and mind.
We all have unconscious movement habits. Without realizing it, we put undue pressure on ourselves. We use more force than we need to lift a coffee pot or a weight bar. We slouch as we sit, unaware that our way of doing things gives our bodies a certain look. We blame body problems on activities – carpal tunnel syndrome on computer work, tennis elbow on tennis. But often it is how we do something that creates the problem, not the activity itself.
An Alexander technique teacher helps you see what in your movement style contributes to your recurring difficulties – whether it’s a bad back, neck and shoulder pain, restricted breathing, perpetual exhaustion or limitations in performing a task or sport. Analyzing your whole movement pattern – not just your symptom – the teacher alerts you to habits of compression in your characteristic way of sitting, standing and walking. He or she then guides you – with words and a gentle, encouraging touch – to move in a freer, more integrated way.
Urine is not, as many believe, the excess water from food and liquids that goes through the intestines and is ejected from the body as “waste”.
Medical researchers have discovered that many of the elements of the blood that are found in urine have enormous medicinal value, and when reintroduced to the body, they boost the body’s immune defenses and stimulate healing in a way that nothing else does.
In 1975, one of the founders of Miles Laboratories, Dr. A. H. Free, published his book, Urinalysis in Clinical Laboratory Practice, in which he remarked that not only is urine a sterile body compound (purer than distilled water), but that it is now recognised that urine contains literally thousands of compounds.
Researchers have discovered that allergic responses are caused by “renegade” white blood cells that inappropriately attack substances even when they may be no threat to the body. So it is the activity of these renegade white blood cells, called antigen receptors, that needs to be corrected in order to cure the allergy.
Realising that the urine of allergic individuals contains the allergy causing antigen receptors, researchers thought that to re-introduce the urine back to the allergic individual would mean antibodies would be produced which would then stop the allergic response. And that is exactly what happens. Allergies have been completely turned around with urine therapy.
Multiple sclerosis, colitis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, hepatitis, hyperactivity, pancreatic insufficiency, psoriasis, eczema, diabetes, herpes, mononucleosis, adrenal failure, allergies and so many other ailments have been relieved through use of this therapy.
In 1980, A.J. Lewy and coworkers published an article in the magazine, Science, that ushered in the modern era of phototherapy. Lewy suggested that secretion of the hormone melatonin could be suppressed by exposing subjects to bright artificial light but not to light of ordinary indoor intensity.
Professor Mester of Budapest University conducted experiments to determine the function of light in the cells of animals and humans. He found that the monochromatic light promotes the DNA to use the lipoprotein in the area enabling the cell to function better as well as to produce collagen and elastin.
Research conducted in Soviet Union and biological research done in the United States suggest that all living things may conduct light. Light has a great impact on synchronising our circadian rhythms.
In fact, researchers have determined several benefits from regular, moderate exposure to sunlight or to sun-like artificial lights. Such exposure can help relieve winter blues and treat other forms of depression; minimise jet lag; shorten abnormally long menstrual cycles and treat psoriasis, eating disorders and some forms of insomnia. It can possibly even help relieve some symptoms of lupus – a serious disease involving the immune system.
The experience of Dr. Mohan Kataria, pioneer of Hasya Yoga, with laughter clubs worldwide, taught him that people were definitely deriving health benefits from laughter yoga exercises. But there was no scientific proof that Dr. Kataria could offer to satisfy logical minded people especially in the west. “I had no problems in India as more than 100,000 people laughed every morning without asking me for any proof but when it came to the West everybody asked, do you have the data?”
Finally, in 2003-04 the first authentic research was completed by Dr. Ilona Papousek from the University of Graz in early fall 2004. According to the news release by Ananova - March 2004, a new study shows that laughter really is the best therapy for stroke patients, according to scientists.
A study was conducted at a computer company where Mr. Thomas Flindt led a session of laughter yoga in the beginning of the day throughout the month of May 2004.
This project shows clearly the effect that a regular practice of laughter yoga has on the stress levels. On an individual level the results are remarkable. The body stress levels are significantly reduced.
Chelation therapy is claimed by its practitioners to be a safe and effective method for drawing toxins and metabolic wastes from the bloodstream. Chelating agents administered intravenously have been proven to increase blood flow and remove arterial plaque. Chelation therapy can help reverse atherosclerosis, can prevent heart attacks and strokes, and is used as an alternative to bypass surgery and angioplasty.
Chelation therapy is used to rid the body of unnecessary and toxic metals, and is employed by a growing number of physicians to reverse the process of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The reversal is accomplished in part through the removal of the calcium content of plaque from the artery walls through the injection of chelating agents. By restoring good circulation to all the tissues of the body, chelation therapy can help to avoid bypass surgery, reverse gangrene, alleviate intermittent claudication (cramps) of the legs, and restore memory. Due to its ability to remove toxic metal ions, chelation therapy reduces internal inflammation caused by free radicals (highly reactive destructive molecules), and as a result can ease the discomfort and disability from degenerative diseases such as arthritis, scleroderma (a hardening that occurs in skin and certain organs), and lupus.
For Dr. Francis A. Menezes, author of Dreams and Their Interpretation Made Easy, dreams represent a deeper understanding than mere visions that come visiting while you sleep. It is the intrinsic esoteric and telepathic aspects of dreams and its relation to the conscious world that interest Menezes.
Menezes is passionate about the positive aspect of dreams. He states, “Very few people are aware of it, but dreams help not only in revealing several subconcious repressed thoughts, but also speak about different other aspects which are intrinsically related to one's character like health problems, desires and emotional maladjustments.’’
Dr Menezes narrates his own case when he was being treated for cancer and his dead father visited him in a dream and warned him against proceeding with his chemotherapy. He stopped it and later the doctor who was treating him admitted he was getting an overdose.
To all the dreamers, Menezes says, “It is important to be yourself and true to your own being; this relates to your dreams and the interpretations by the subconscious.”
Shubhada Limaye is also a member of the Indian Association for study of dreams. She is conducting an ongoing research project about the healing properties of dreams. According to her, “Dreams by themselves heal, that is their purpose. If there are minor issues they get resolved and the dreams concerning the topic stop. But if there are recurring dreams then it means there are unresolved issues needing attention.”
Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
When a traumatic event rips through our life (the death of a loved one, a severe accident, a rape), it leaves a wound in our emotional brain. Yet our brain has an innate ability to ‘digest” difficult events, just like our skin has the ability to close a physical wound.
EMDR appears to stimulate directly the brain’s ability to digest past traumatic events and place them in their proper context. This may be through eye-movements resembling those that take place spontaneously during dreaming, or through other ways of stimulating attention.
To understand EMDR, stories need to be told about how it works for patients in rich western societies who are suffering from stress and depression, but also about children in extreme contexts such as Kosovo just after the war of 1999.
Every emotional trauma leaves a scar in the brain. This PET image shows specific areas of activation while traumatised patients listen to the story of the worst thing that happened to them. On top, the emotional brain region specialised in the experience of fear is activated (amygdala and surrounding area). In the middle, the visual cortex is activated, as if patients were looking at the scene again. On the bottom, the area of the expression of language is deactivated, as if fear had put language “off-line.”
Bach Flower Remedies
Roses on Valentine’s Day, chrysanthemum on Thanksgiving, evergreen or holly on Christmas – flowers definitely have an impact on people’s moods. This understanding was converted into a therapy by an English physicist, Dr. Edward Bach, in 1930. Dr. Bach’s Remedies are an easy way to heal oneself of various mental and emotional conditions like fears, anger, anxiety, and despair. Bach Flower Remedies are an effective and private alternative to going to a psychiatrist or counsellor.
Dr. Bach noted that all patients reacted differently to the same disease and so there had to be a link between physical health and emotional health. Inspired by his work in homoeopathy and disappointed with the approach towards healthcare in his era, he wanted to discover natural means of healing. That is when he researched the remarkable effects that flower essences have on the moods and emotions of a person. He found that certain flowers correspond to certain human emotions. Hence, he used these flowers as healing aids. He took the flower, immersed in water and kept it in the sunlight for two to three hours. The water, which then became potentised, was used as a remedy.
Bach Flower remedies are 38 in number and are strictly English flower extracts. In India, Drs. Atul and Rupa Shah have created extracts of such indigenous blooms as lotus, gulmohar, morning glory and bougainvillea. The Rescue Remedy offered by Bach Flower is particularly effective in treating shock, buying the victim time till medical treatment is adminstered. There are no known side-effects since the treatment does not involve the administering of any chemicals. It simply uses the energy fields of flowers.
Flower Remedies are increasingly becoming popular, thanks to the media and positive word of mouth. There are several books and online help available on this topic. Flower essences are available over the counter at most of the homoeopathic pharmacies. It is also open to self-treatment. However, it is always preferable to choose professional advice.
The 40,000 neurons of the heart’s semi-autonomous network (“the little brain in the heart”) are tightly interconnected with the emotional brain. Together, they form a “heart-brain system” in which the heart itself plays an important role. By taming the heart directly, we can begin to tame our emotions.
The focus of this method is to train our cardiac rhythm to enter a state of “coherence” (enhanced healthy heart rate variability) rather than “chaos” (reduced healthy variability) which is its usual pattern. Chaos and reduced heart rate variability are associated with stress, anxiety and depressive states. It is also a leading predictor of high blood pressure, heart disease, and even mortality from all causes.
The semi-autonomous network of neurons that make up “the heart’s little brain” is tightly interconnected with the brain itself. The brain and the heart influence each other at every moment.
In states of stress, anxiety or depression, the heart rate varies irregularly, it becomes “chaotic.” In states of well-being, gratitude or compassion, the heart rate varies regularly, it becomes “coherent.”
Cardiac coherence can easily be achieved by imagining that you are breathing through your heart while you sense your heart beat. If you are unable to sense your heart beat just hold your breath until you do. It’s as simple as that.
Past Life Therapy
“Past life regression therapy includes the mental act of going back to a time prior to this life in order to retrieve memories that may still negatively influence a person’s present life. They are probably the source of symptoms running the gamut from phobias to addictions,” avers R.Chandran, a past life therapist.
Dr. Francis Menezes, who has regressed using hypnosis states, says, “To be able to go to your past life, most therapists take you back to yesterday, two days ago, last week, five years ago, ten years back, finally to your mother’s womb and beyond. To be born you have to die.” “ In a hypnotherapy session, your master is in control of you, your blood count level is low, your heartbeat is slow. It is almost a dreamless state, which is extremely emotionally draining once you wake up,” says Dr. Menezes. Interestingly all those who practise past life therapy don’t feel the need to prove it. “ What is of value here is the outcome which is certainly effective. Besides, how can I try to convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced?” opines R.Chandran.
People who are healed through past life therapy are people who remember names, dates and geographic details. But perhaps, even more important than curing of physical and emotional symptoms, is the knowledge that we do not die even if our bodies do. We are immortal!
Biochemic Tissue Salts
This is a rather popular method of treating ailments. There are people who regard biochemic salts as a part-and-parcel of their domestic first-aid kits. Wilhelm Henrich Schussler discovered that when a body is completely combusted at cremation, 12 salts were always found in the ashes. So whoever said that ashes are all that remain of us could as easily have said, salts are all that remain of us! Schussler called them Tissue Salts.
He then propounded that these salts are really the material basis of organs and tissues of the body. Hence they are particularly important in maintaining the well-being of a person at the organ level. It is the deficiency of one or more of these salts that cause diseases in the body. So, two pills for a headache can cure the same by restoring that salt whose deficiency caused the headache.
There are many books available on this topic and plenty of matter available online too. However, it is advisable that such medication be done under supervision. These salts are available at leading homoeopathic pharmacies in powder and pill form.
with inputs by Nisha Solanki
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