By Anuradha Vashisht January 2004 Disillusioned with conventional medicine and years of battling sickness, a woman embarks on a pathfinding journey towards physical and emotional wholeness. Her experiments with the body’s natural healing system are inspiring and radical On the sixth morning of October 2003, I woke up with a heavy feeling in my body. By afternoon I was moving towards high fever. Into the third day, I lost all sense of time and body. My head, torso, legs, eyes, all shrunk into a ball of intense pain. By the fifth day, the fever rose to 106 degrees. The body felt lifeless and raising even a hand required Herculean effort. My body organs seemed to have suspended their functions. The mind slowly slipped into a dull state of thoughtlessness so desirable during meditation, but now, things were different. I made a last-ditch effort to connect with the Supreme Power and tried to pull at my breath. If I am able to focus on my breath, I thought, perhaps I’ll lose the sense of pain. But even the slightest effort was a drain on my energy, and I slipped into semi-consciousness. In this state the realisation came that I was not even in control of my breath. As awareness of the pain grew, I learnt to focus on it. I started to observe it, feel it, understand it, and as I knew the cause of this temporary suffering, even love it. Past experiences with natural healing now came to my aid. Far from being lifeless, I knew how intensely alive each cell of my being was as Mother Nature carried on repair work within. Trillions of stabbing throbs were proof of this. I let go in complete surrender and just flowed with the experience. A medical practitioner happened to walk into our house at the time and learnt that I had not taken medication for the fever, nor got any tests done. She was aghast: “How could you do this? It could be viral, dengue, anything. This is dangerous.” When friends learnt about this, they unilaterally passed their verdict: “This is madness. She needs to be locked up.” Trust in natureI was not out to prove anyone or anything wrong or right. I was merely living my conviction that the healing power resides within. I fully understood this healing mechanism that would help me recover from the worst of physical ailments, and this was only a fever. This fever came as an opportunity to help rid my body of all the toxins accumulated over the years, and take me on the path to real health. Having faced terrible physiological problems since childhood, and having taken a lot of medication that I now deem poisonous, it was only natural that my body today reacted in this manner. It was the effect of what it had been subjected to for so many years. And I knew that as I lived out the cause, the effect would wear off, naturally. The most beautiful part of this experience was that though I momentarily lost consciousness a couple of times, and was unable to respond to my surroundings and loved ones, I was acutely aware and receptive to whatever was happening within and without. And I was constantly secure in the feeling that Mother Nature would take care of me. Never once did a feeling of helplessness creep in, since I trusted myself and the Supreme Power from whom all wisdom flows. For the five days when the fever was high, I lived on a few drops of water. The temperature dropped to normal on the seventh day, and I took a bit of green coconut water. Thereafter, I gradually rebuilt my health and strength by taking only natural and easily digestible foods like coconut water, seasonal raw vegetables and fruit that were least suspected of being chemically contaminated. As I rapidly moved ahead on the path to recovery, there was a deep sense of joy at triumphing against all odds. Quest for wellnessI would like to share how this journey began. Four years ago, waiting in the visitors’ hall of a premier heart institute, I was anxious and troubled. Hours after my mother was ‘checked-in’ for angiography, I was still clueless about her state. The next 20 hours were a nerve-wracking lesson in the functioning of what I now call ‘health-destroying institutes’ (hospitals). Horror stories about the experiences of other patients further depressed me. It was only late into the night that I was able to scream my way through and get mother’s angiography done. Next morning, I saw no trace of emotion on the surgeon’s face as he explained to me, with mechanical precision, the delicate condition of my mother’s heart valves: “One valve is 80 per cent blocked and needs immediate replacement. Another is also not functioning properly, but whether we change it or not we can decide once we open up the heart. And she is also diabetic and hypersensitive. This is quite serious.” “You were not serious about things yesterday?” I blurted out. He started at the unmistakable sting in my tone. “Well, we can only take on a limited number of patients in a day. What you faced were mostly administrative problems; nothing to do with us. Now the decision is yours. Every day is crucial,” he replied. My knees felt weak and a cold sweat trickled down my spine. Rarely had I felt so helpless. I had to take the decision now. “I may or may not seek a second opinion, but I am sure this is not the place for her. Kindly discharge her. I take the responsibility.” I tried my best to put on a brave front. For another year-and-half I visited several heart specialists. My marathon ended at AIIMS in Delhi. Two days in ICU and a series of tests later, the cardiologists were convinced that though the symptoms were serious, as mother’s palpitations increased into occasional passing out, the tests did not indicate anything definite. In any case, she needed to take her daily diet of 18 tablets, and the surgery could wait. Turning pointI was furious. Can machines really measure human suffering? I felt helpless, as I could see no solution. Homoeopathy, acupuncture, reiki, herbs, among others, provided no permanent relief. As I saw mother’s condition worsen, I fervently searched for clues to the mysteries of health and disease for something that could clear all my doubts. Shortly after my mother told me she had lost the will to live the way she was—dependent, fighting osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia, angina, aortic stenosis, valvular heart disease and what not—I saw a ray of hope. I met Acharya S. Swaminathan, who introduced me to the laws of nature that govern our lives, and taught me how their violation results in physical and mental suffering. He told me that disease is nothing but absence of health, often triggered by faulty lifestyles. Most importantly, he revealed that as long as we seek external cures, disease would return, and in worse form. One has to go beyond remedy-mindedness, bear the consequences of what one has brought upon oneself, to regain the original state of health and happiness that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us. Meeting this man was a turning point in my life. The day after we met him, my mother threw away all her medication and sought help from the healing power within. It needed tremendous willpower to stand up against the medical science that holds the world in its grip, especially with a chronic heart problem. But she was firm. And I resolved to support her. A natural recoveryMy mother began her natural recovery by fasting on green coconut water. She spent the next six days in quiet meditation, listening to devotional music, occasionally playing with her grandchildren and reading books on the radical natural system of health enhancement that she was following. On the seventh day, after the vital power within was sufficiently relieved from the activity of digestion and assimilation, it started throwing out accumulated toxins. She had a bout of vomiting, which continued for two days. In this period, the healing power threw out a clot of blood, which no surgeon in the world could have removed. Thereafter, she started feeling better and lighter. The next three days, her body demanded no food except an odd green coconut. Then came her real test of endurance. For four days, the body refused to accept even water. There was terrible suffering as the healing energy carried on its repair work. Pressing my hand to her chest, I felt a terrible pounding. But there was no let-up in her determination. “Do not take me to a hospital in any circumstance. Now, even if I die, at least the pyre would receive a pure and cleansed body,” my mother told me cheerfully. She had totally surrendered. Now, most of the times, she was consciously listening to her body. At no point she thought of giving up, nor did she lose her mental calm or faith. After more than two weeks of fasting, her body demanded food and she was given a few sips of diluted orange juice. Having carrot juice and fresh, raw salads, she regained her original strength over the next four weeks. But the repair work on her heart continued for a longer period. Today, she eats little cereals and pulses and plenty of raw and lightly cooked vegetables, coconut and fruit. Two years hence, she no longer takes any medication, is free from diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease, and has a sound sleep every night. She is happy and is able to help others through her experience, mainly because she stuck to her resolve. The triumphAs my mother was going through her recovery process, I had already brought in reforms in the family. Studying natural hygiene deeply, I banned all refined, processed, tinned and packaged foods in the household, including sugar. I sought the help of natural elements—sun, air and water—to build the health of my family. Soon my first test came. My six-year-old daughter came down with high fever, and I resolved not to give her any medication. I explained the concept to her, and she i
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