By Shahrukh Vazifdar
Is the widespread panic revolving around swine flu justified? Or is there a saner perspective? And can alternative approaches help?
“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” – Buddha
The Buddha’s quote sounds like blasphemy with the onset of the swine flu, but it is imperative for us to understand this. Gandhi and Mother Teresa had continuous contact with lepers but neither of them contracted the illness. Baba Amte devoted his life to their care and yet did not suffer from it. The more we understand about the body-mind-spirit link, the more we recognise that there is more to illness than merely exposure to the virus. Factors that govern our state of health include immunity levels, a healthy diet, moderate exercise, a state of emotional well-being, self-esteem, sound relationships, a positive attitude, a bond with the Divine, exposure to sunlight and fresh air and finally our karma. We need to recognise that no invasion from the outside can possibly impact us if the inside is invulnerable.
Louise Hay, who is widely considered to be the mother of all contemporary healers, says, “We are each responsible for all of our experiences.” Even in Pranic Healing, the hands are kept about two inches off the body so as to heal the aura as well as the body.
I travel in Mumbai’s crowded local trains every day, without a mask, and in spite of people coughing or sneezing around me I haven’t caught anything yet (touch wood!).
One reason why the swine flu is spreading at such a rapid rate could be because of planetary karma. When an epidemic or a pandemic hits, there is a common lack or harmful thought that is disturbing the community.
The first step towards gaining a sane perspective on the issue is to come to terms with the panic and fear that is gripping the country. Newspapers and news channels have filled our minds with fear, pushing reason aside. Here are the facts:
Just 0.1% of those infected in the US and 0.6% in the UK succumbed to swine flu. Divya, Neha and Puja Pritmani, sisters from Mumbai, who were diagnosed with H1N1 virus (swine flu) were admitted to Kasturba Hospital and have recovered since. Another such case is a young boy, Syed Afsar, who was brought to Kasturba from a school in Panchgani, and is now cured. Atif Parker, who tested positive for H1N1, says, ‘When I tested positive I thought I was going to die, but the Kasturba staff took care of me. Swine flu is like any other flu. Don’t panic.”
In the eventuality that you get swine flu, can alternatives help?
Smita Naram, co-founder of Ayushakti, a premier ayurvedic centre in Mumbai, went to London with her son recently and was surprised to see many wearing the mask. On hearing about the flu, she and her son immediately started taking an ayurvedic tablet called D-YRO. It consists of four herbs – guduchi, jeshtimadhu, kutaj and renaai. All four have remarkable anti-viral properties and help increase our immunity. She recommends the tablet as a preventive as well as swine flue patients. D-YRO is available at her centre.
Another way of increasing immunity is to moderate your diet. Eat digestible food because heavy food is hard to digest and form toxins in the system, which drag down the immunity.
Have the juice of white pumpkin and carrot with pressed ginger three times a day and avoid wheat, deep fried food, cheese and red meat.
Dr Ravindra Kapadia, a homeopathic physician from Mumbai, recommends Bach flower remedies for prevention as well as cure of swine flu. The combination of clematis, crab apple, olive, walnut and elm is very effective. If the person gets irritable he can take holly, and if he is constantly gloomy or in a bad mood, take mustard. The patient can take four drops four times a day in the mouth or two drops in a glass of water sipped regularly. It can also be applied behind the ears or on the wrist.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) uses tapping on certain acupuncture points to balance the energy and correct emotional and health issues. Jasmine Bharathan, an EFT therapist in Mumbai, says that fear and anxiety cause more damage than the illness, and upset the body which prevents us from acting logically and in a scientific manner. Tapping on points for stopping fear, anxiety and panic can give us the emotional stability we need to ward off the ailment. For more details on using EFT go to www.emofree.com.
Daniel Gabriel, a student from Mumbai, had a high temperature and a headache and was advised by Dr Anju Venkat of Health Awareness Centre, to restrict himself to raw and vegetable juice, salads, lemon-ginger concentrates, and steam inhalation with cabbage leaves. Within 24 hours his fever had disappeared. She advises us to avoid acidic food such as grains, milk, sugar, fried foods and meat. Also increase the quantity of fruits, lemon and ginger, reduce cooked meals to one or two a day and use more herbs and spices.
Lastly, be positive. There is no reason you should catch the flu. A healthy mind is the strongest precaution you could have. Have faith. Keep in mind that unless you are meant to get it, you will not. So why worry?
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