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My experiences with holistic and alternative treatments

Infertility treatments had drained me out both physically and mentally. I was caught in a vicious cycle of hope, rigorous medical treatment, failure of treatment, depression and again fighting back towards hope, trying again. It was the year of 2010, post IVF failure, I had lost all desire to even live. Depression had caught onto the suicidal level. I couldn’t take another day. I wanted to run, run away to a far- far land where no one knew me, no one sympathized with me, no one tried to help me.

You call it luck, coincidence or whatever, I chanced upon the site of Auroville while blankly staring at the monitor. Auroville in Pondicherry is based on the concept of building a global society that believes in principles of Mother and Shri Aurobindo. But what caught my interest was the model of free society where many NGO’s were working on unique projects.

In India, a married woman can’t just run off. It is a tough society we live in. People ask so many questions and I didn’t want to make it tougher for my husband for he had already been through so much with me.

With limited knowledge about the place called Auroville and unlimited desire to run away I applied to work as a volunteer for two months. Within two days, I received an email that thanked and welcomed me to work for an NGO called Wellpaper in Auroville. The way the email was written with such simplicity, honesty and gratitude that it touched a chord in my heart and my gut feeling said, go on.

Soumen quietly understood why I wanted to do this and he cheerfully made arrangements.

And from here on began my journey of realizing how important and good were alternative treatments and holistic approach to health.

I went to Auroville with an open mind and heart without any presumptions and expectations, ready to experiment and experience whatever comes my way. I guess this became the key of my learnings. As Danny (head of Wellpaper and my philosophical friend) said, “ You came here with such simplicity and an open mind that it amazes me and this will help you find the answers you are looking for.”

My stay, experiences and learnings in Auroville is a long story which will require a few more blogs to justify J However, here I will pen down little anecdotes and experiences with alternative treatment that helped me in my fight with infertility. It also opened by eyes and reduced my dependency on chemical/synthetic way of living that we are so used to.

Feel free to take your cue.

Organic Food

At Auroville I was introduced to the importance of organic foods. Eat simple and healthy. Food that you eat not only affects your body but also your mind; “Sattvik bhojan, Sattvik vichar.”

Food cooked with organic and homegrown ingredients at Well Cafe in Auroville

Food cooked with organic and homegrown ingredients at Well Cafe in Auroville

Change slowly and whatever you can. To quote an example, I switched from regular white sugar to organic brown sugar.

Cook food with love and see the difference. Wherever I went for lunch and dinner in Auroville, whether it was Solar Kitchen, Roma’s Kitchen, Well Café or my favourite hangout above the finance building – food was cooked and served with absolute love and simplicity.

Try doing this at home and see the difference in you and your family.

From there on, no khich-khich, no chik-chik in kitchen!

Meditation

I learnt the art of calming myself down and organizing my thoughts. Trust me, there is too much clutter on our minds and that causes confusion leading to inability to steer clear. A basic reason for a lot of psychological problems. It is not an exaggeration to say that mind controls your body. If you feel confused, scared and weak you body starts to show symptoms of diseases that never existed in the first place.

My infertility problem had so clouded my mind that I would often complain of low grade fever, acidity, chest pain, headaches and the worst back pain. Well, a few months down the line I realize all these were games played by my weak and restless mind.

Today, I have no such problems and I never took any medicines or treatment. Just learnt to calm my mind.

Peace of mind- Om

Peace of mind- Om

I am sure a few of you will be unable to relate to what I am saying. It is absolutely fine not to understand. Even I never did. It is only when life situations lead you to such experiences that you believe it. And, that is the way it should be done, never forced from outside.

Just sitting in and around the Matrimandir gives you a sense of calm and feel. However, a word of caution is as a regular tourist you won’t experience it. You need to stay in Auroville for a few days and let the feeling sink in to experience that peace.

Acupuncture

Desperate situations demand desperate measures. In the course of my stay in Auroville, I met Mallika. Today she is my Godmother for her guidance and therapies helped me through my life’s roughest patch. She introduced me to acupuncture and its benefits. I was quite skeptical initially but slowly when my trust on her was absolute, I experienced immense health benefits with acupuncture.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Healing

Auroville is full of people who are eager to share their knowledge and help you. I attended lots of fun sessions and classes that made me realize that there are so many alternative treatments and holistic approach to problems rather than merely taking pills as allopathy suggests.

A session of meditation and dance therapy at Verite, Auroville

A session of meditation and dance therapy at Verite, Auroville

Stone healing, chakra cleansing, Regression, healing with dance, Om chanting, colour therapy, essence therapy, the list is endless. For the first time in my life, I could actually feel my breathing go all the way to my stomach and out. A simple thing right, but try doing it now and it won’t be easy.

Ayurveda

While my stay in Auroville and South India, I realized the importance of Ayurveda. Agreed that some resorts and tourist destinations, especially Kerala have commercialized Ayurveda but the effect of this alternative treatment is commendable.

Use medicines and treatments that use natural ingredients. Common sense says atleast it won’t have any side-effect even if they don’t cure completely. What’s the harm in trying Ayurveda? Start slow.

For example Dabur Lal Tail, an Ayurvedic medicine is far better than Johnson baby oil. Compare the ingredients to see yourself:

dabur lal tail

dabur lal tail

Dabur Lal Tail Johnson Baby Oil
Till Tail Mineral Oil
Ratanjyot Fragrance
Shankha Pushpi
Camphor
Urad

Do you see the difference. Now let’s talk about the goodness of the ingredients of Dabur Lal Tail.

“As per the literature, Till Tail or Sesame Oil improves growth and post-massage sleep, Ratanjyot protects against skin infection, Shankha Pushpi cures general weakness, Camphor improves blood circulation and Urad nourishes muscles & bones.”

Lines taken from Dabur Lal Tail’s website

While Johnson baby products were dragged to court for having carcinogens (cancer causing elements) and Formaldehyde. Don’t trust what you are reading. See a detailed report here.

Well, I am going to bring up my child as organically as possible and help the baby develop a conscious mind and a healthy body. If the foundation is strong, the baby will be fully prepared to meet any challenges of the life ahead.

My experiences have taught me to believe in the natural way of things and Ayurveda does just that. No need to force feed. Chemical and synthetic products should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Open yourself to experiences, try new things and believe in your instinct. Sometimes it might work and sometimes it might fail but whatever the result, the experience will teach you a lot about life and living.

This post is written for Indiblogger’s contest. An entry for Dabur Lal Tail’s Traditional Knowledge, Natural Growth contest.

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