February 9, 2018
MY AYURVEDIC EXPERIENCE IN INDIA
I have always believed in natural ways of healing and maintenance of health. Because I have met alternative doctors like Dr. Dana Calimbas and integrative medicine practitioners like my cousin Dr Jimmy Galvez-Tan, I know natural and homeopathy really works.
In 2013, I had the fortune of visiting a Panchakarma (five point detox program in Ayurveda) in the Art of Living headquarters in Bangalore, India where I had a treatment to control high blood pressure, relieve stress, and simply feel good. Imagine my surprise when two young women—both not over 30 years old—attended to us. You probably imagine some older seer would be running such a treatment facility.
One of the young ladies felt my pulse and said “your blood pressure is elevated”. She recommended the oils for Vata, Kapha, or Pitta personality like mine. For Elise, my Dutch friend, the other lady suggested another treatment.
After that experience, I also enjoyed going to Arogya in Manila to be treated by a French ayurvedic consultant with oils and yogurt dripping on my forehead, etc. Though I find the treatment oilier than other massage or spa treatements, I keep in mind that this is Ayurvedic and it satisfies the detox need of everyone in this stressful world.
In my recent visit to India, I had a misfortune of injuring my ankle on the second day of our week-long visit. I was still lucky to have three friends along who helped me get by. One had ginger plasters on hand, one drove me in a wheelchair, and one got my breakfast for me while my foot was raised to prevent more swelling. I felt I was at my most vulnerable—being pushed around and feeling what PWDs feel, helpless at times but also special because I get to board the plane sooner, and get concessions when I showed my bandaged swollen extremity.
On the 7th day, we flew to Northeast India with my third friend Ma Khine who gladly stayed on to help me out as I amble in my next speaking engagement. On this trip, I met Suparna Trikha. She is an ayurvedic angel sent to me as soon as we left Delhi. Suparna is a journalist but is also a wellness teacher and an ayurvedic doctor. What a blessing, I thought to myself. We are flying together to Guwahati in Assam State, a place we have never been, which is way east and sharing borders with Myanmar already. What a fantastic development for my foot, as Suparna was also a speaker at the same event.
That evening, Suparna asked the organizers to prepare honey, turmeric powder and lime (calcium hydroxide), bandages, and a wad of cotton. She made a poultice and spread the thick now red mixture on my ankle, wrapped it with cotton and then rolled up the cloth bandage on the foot. She said a prayer to further heal me and said “you would be dancing tomorrow!”.
Upon waking, I wanted to dance and messaged Suparna I was ready. “No. You cannot be overconfident!”, she said. I followed her advice to still wear the compression bandage all the way to my talk and on to our flight to Bangkok the same day.
Two weeks after, I read that it should now be healed. That’s what Web.MD said. I messaged my ayurvedic doctor. She said, “Let me take a look!”. I thought of how that is possible when she’s in India and I’m in my bedroom in Manila.
“Take some warm milk, a teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a teaspoon of honey. Drink it then go to bed. No other drink after that,” she said. Guess what? My pantry had everything she asked for!
I also had Epsom salts in a pail of lukewarm water to dip my foot in for half an hour. It was long distance healing, the ayurvedic way. Thanks to Ayurveda (and my angels: Boots, Jeannie, Ma Khine, and Suparna), I never had to see a doctor nor visit a hospital. It was just natural healing and good vibes all around.
And guess what? I’m now on my way to Kuala Lumpur for yet another speaking engagement and I feel good. I just asked for a wheelchair upon arrival as I am not familiar with the walking distances in Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
I’m not being overconfident and still wear a brace, but I feel good that my Ayurvedic experience is something we can all practice wherever we may need the help—be it at home or in faraway places like India. That’s probably the reason I had to slow down—to meet these angels and to think about natural healing for all. Now, I’m a fan and an advocate of Ayurveda even more.
That’s nature for you.
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