By Suma Varughese
Suma Varughese shares her healing journeys through the clutches of asthma and irritable bowel syndrome, and the lessons it held for her
It has been a long time since I really enjoyed robust health (the idea of being healthy was destroyed for me when I was about 28 or so and came down with TB). While I recovered fully from it, I never quite recovered from my belief that I was somewhat fragile. It did not help that in 1991 when I was about 33, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which fortunately has remained inactive for the largest part.
But my health really began to skydive soon after I took over as editor of Life Positive magazine in January 2005. As long as I was not handling the production of the magazine, and was only writing articles, I maintained a fairly balanced lifestyle, but now with the responsibility of closing the issue every 18th of the month, with not much editorial help, I found myself adopting the very worst habits of the corporate world – working late, eating unwholesome snacks in the evening, having dinner around 11 pm and crashing into bed soon after, waking up late next morning, and straggling in to work. Add to that the enormous stress of the job, and it is no wonder that one short year later, I had contracted asthma.
The alternative route
Almost from the beginning allopathy did not work. Neither tablets nor inhalers helped me, which was a blessing in disguise. Until then, although I did not believe in allopathy, I used to take refuge in it, for the simple reason that I did not believe I had the self-control to go for alternative measures. Fortuitously, I was given the number of an acupuncture doctor in Jaipur called Dr Nagpal who, I was told, was able to heal asthma. Clutching at the straw, off I went to Jaipur. The doctor had a unique approach to asthma. He would insert a catgut stitch in the region of the chest which would melt in about 20 days. In the meantime, it had the same potency as an acupuncture needle would, if inserted 24X7, for 20 days. One had to return to the doctor in successive periods of two months after the first stitch, then three months, six months, and finally a year.
Although my first exposure was not very encouraging, I subsequently began to show improvements. Except for two attacks, I never really had a crisis, but I was susceptible to constan
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