By Suma Varughese
A three-day conference on wellness for women at Chennai recently highlighted the importance of a holistic approach to health, and showcased a number of therapists and motivational trainers from the east and west
|Towards universal wellness|
Wellness morning!” greeted the ebullient Professor Peter, as one entered the threshold of the humungous Chennai Trade Centre. With those words, he flagged off three days of concentrated focus on wellness. Professor Peter is the founder of World Wellness Open University, under whose aegis the World Wellness Women’s Congress was held. Other partners included California Mind and Body International Clinic, USA and United World for the International Protection of Children’s Right,USA-Germany. Together, they undertook the monumental task of bringing together more than 2,000 people from across the globe, for the single purpose of shifting the dialogue from illness to wellness. Prof. Peter’s mission: to spread awareness to at least one billion people on the planet before 2020.
And just what is the definition of wellness? There were intriguing boards on the stage attempting to define the elusive concept. ‘Wellness is Oneness’ said one, with the pithiness of a sutra. Professor Peter attributes eight dimensions to wellness: physical, financial, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, cultural and environmental.
Some of the notable names participating in the Congress were Smt Sheila Dikshit, chief minister of Delhi who was the chief guest at the inauguration function, Mr DR Kaarthikeyan, Life Positive’s president, Mr Bob Proctor of The Secret fame, Vijaya Venkat, the redoubtable health missionary and founder of The Health Awareness Centre, Mumbai, Dame Theresa Thu Thuy Nguyen, president of the Human Universal. Energy and Spirituality Academy (HUESA), several western healers, trainers and teachers and some luminaries from India, including Dr BM Hegde, former vice chancellor of Manipal University and indefatigable promoter for the wellness of children.
There were about 400 foreign representatives from as many as 30 countries.
The first half of the first day went in the inauguration event. The highlight was Delhi CM, Sheila Dikshit’s speech. Simply dressed and wearing no jewellery, she emanated an authentic and caring presence. “The woman is the pivot for the existence of this world,” she said, adding that if the woman were to forget her role of loving and understanding those around her, the ideal of wellness promoted by the Congress would not be realised.
In the afternoon, many parallel workshops were conducted. One took in a course in Universal Energy Healing, whose members comprised about a quarter of the foreign delegates. The technique they practice for holistic healing is a touch therapy based on the chakras principle.
In keeping with the overall theme of oneness, instead of morning snacks, the 2000-odd gathering were offered fruits and fruit juices. The fruit juices were enhanced with Noni, a fruit extract manufactured by the World Wellness Organisation, founded by Professor Peter. Noni is a fruit originally of Indian origin which has been popularised of late for its remarkable healing properties. According to Prof Peter, it heals at the cellular level, eliminating toxins and bringing about wellness of both the body and the mind. A diabetologist one spoke to at the conference, said that in six months, his asthma had disappeared and he had lost more than 20 kg in weight. Impressive claims but one cannot offer proof at this point of time.
|Mr. Bob Proctor on the Law of Attraction|
The chief guest for the next day’s function was Ms Kanimozhi, a Member of Parliament and the daughter of TN chief minister, M Karunanidhi. Her simple but eloquent speech pleaded for the well-being of the underprivileged woman. One of the speakers following her was Dr Tom Wu, a Chinese healer settled in the USA, who healed himself of terminal lung cancer simply by changing his food consumption to vegetables and whole grains. His one-line prescription – never eat anything that will not grow if you plant it in the soil. All flours are therefore taboo. Chew slowly and sip water slowly, he advised. His other fairly radical advice: have four bowel movements a day.
Post lunch, there were parallel workshops once again. One chose to attend Om Therapy, by Dr Jayant Karandikar, a gentle allopathic doctor hailing from Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. A classical singer for All India Radio, his journey into Om Therapy began when he lost his voice, and allopathic efforts proved fruitless. At that point a passage from the great saint Jnaneshwar’s classic Jnaneshwari singing the praises of Om as a panacea for all ills caught his fancy. Taking it personally, he decided to chant it and in a short time, his voice was healed.
Since then, the doctor has been passing on his learning to others. He has discovered 64 different ways to chant the Om, each with different healing properties
Later in the afternoon, there was a panel discussion on Spirituality and Wellness. Life Positive president DR Kaarthikeyan spoke movingly on how a vibrant spiritual life inevitably led to wellness at the emotional and physical levels.
In a shift from the usual definition of wellness, we then had danseuse Mandakini Trivedi deliver a riveting lecture on the yoga of dance, claiming that dance has long been a recognised path in Indian tradition, yoking the individual with the Divine, and so a path to spiritual wellness.
|Dr Bm Hegde: a moving address|
One of the highlights of the third day was undoubtedly Bob Proctor’s lecture on the Law of Attraction. He explained that this law gave us what we broadcast into the environment. If we emitted vibrations of anger, defeat, or frustration through our thoughts, words or actions, then we would be given more of it. If we changed our thoughts, we could change our destiny. As a young man, he was sick, broke and unhappy, he confessed. The turning point came when he met someone who was his polar opposite: happy, wealthy and healthy. His secret? The classic self-help text, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Proctor procured a copy and his life transformed.
There were other fascinating speakers on the last day, among who was Dr BM Hegde who delivered the Valedictory Address.
He started off with the startling fact that 700 million people suffered from NIDES as opposed to 28 million who suffered from AIDS. And what is NIDES? Nutritional Immuno Deficiency, a malaise affecting more than 70 million Indian children. “And yet, we have no trouble sleeping peacefully at night,” said the doctor feelingly. Although the Government of India offers the mid-day meal scheme to all school-going children, he pointed out that the actual target should be the mother bearing the child. He explained that the child’s organs formed while in the womb, and if he was deprived of adequate nutrition then, his organs would not develop properly, condemning him to a lifetime of ailments. He pleaded so ardently that the audience was in tears, to expand the nutritional scheme to include all poor pregnant women so that the infants in their wombs could develop properly and have a real chance of leading healthy lives.
As with all conferences, the encounters with hundreds of like-minded souls and the common focus on wellness was enriching and rewarding. Three days well spent.
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