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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Holistic healing for the mind, body & soul

In today’s ambitious target and deadline driven work scenario people have little time for dealing with disease and health related needs. Modern medical practices combined with allopathy certainly are a boon to harried patients, but more and more people are looking at alternative therapies for healing everything from the common cold to cancer to failed relationships. Holistic healing is the new buzzword among health tourists – a term used to describe avid searchers for wellness.
“Chronic lifestyle diseases, the non-infectious ones, are on the rise, and mainstream allopathy has diminishing returns,” says holistic health coach and yoga-meditation teacher Nilima Bhat, explaining the demand for alternative therapies today. Illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, migraines and blood pressure point to the devastating damage stress can wreak upon the body’s immune system which leads to a breakdown of the mind-body-spirit. There are many full-scale medical systems around the world that offer alternative therapies to rejuvenate mind-body-spirit. 
Nilima for instance draws on therapies as diverse as ayurveda, Chinese and Tibetan medicine, hypnotherapy, EFT, Hawaiian Ho’oponopono, family constellation, and her signature cellular healing meditation. These therapies can help relieve chronic conditions like allergies, body ache, joint pains etc which can affect the quality of a person’s life, her ability to hold a job, and her financial and emotional well-being. “Most holistic healing therapies deal with the imbalances in our life-force energy, also known as prana or chi. When there is well-being there is a balance in our energy body. A lack of energy - due to emotional/mental stress or other factors - leads to illness. This shows up first in our energy body or aura, and ultimately manifests itself in our physical body as illness,” says Kapila Ramakrishnan, holistic healer and sound therapist.
Here’s a bird’s eye view at some alternative healing therapies:

Pranic Healing
Prana is a Sanskrit word that means life-force. This invisible bio-energy or vital energy keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health. Pranic healing was developed by Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui. This technique utilizes prana to balance, harmonize and transform the body's energy processes. It is based on the fundamental principle that the body is a self-repairing living entity that possesses the ability to heal itself. The healing process is accelerated by increasing this life-force that is readily available from the sun, air and ground to address physical and emotional imbalances. Healers use their hands or sometimes a quartz crystal to scan the energy body, and a saltwater bowl to dispose of the diseased energy. Since pranic healing does not require touching the physical body it can be done across cities and countries if required.

The word ‘reiki’ is composed of two Japanese words - rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and ki which is "life-force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life-force energy." This energy is channeled through the entire body and works on the mind, spirit and emotions of the afflicted person. The treatment, administered by placing the hands on the affected part, feels like a wonderful glowing radiance and has many beneficial effects which include a feeling of peace, security and wellbeing. 
Reiki can help alleviate the side effects of drugs and helps the body to recover from medication after surgery and chemotherapy. It boosts the immune system, increases vitality and slows down the aging process.

Colour Therapy
This aids healing by directing the recommended color’s wavelength and energy at the affected area of the body. The energy relating to each of the seven colors of the spectrum - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet - resonates with the energy of each of the seven main chakras/energy centers of the body. Red relates to the base chakra, orange to the sacral chakra, yellow to the solar plexus chakra, green to the heart chakra, blue to the throat chakra, indigo to the brow chakra (sometimes referred to as the third eye) and violet to the crown chakra. 
This therapy works when a colour is absorbed by the eyes, skin and our ‘magnetic energy field’ or aura; the energy of every colour affects us on a physical, spiritual and emotional level. Every cell in the body needs light energy - thus colour energy has widespread effects on the whole body. There are many different ways of applying this therapy including solarized water, light boxes/lamps with colour filters, colour silks and hands-on healing.

Sound Therapy
This uses sound vibration to help correct an energy imbalance and create a deep sense of peace and well being. Research shows that sound waves can produce changes in the autonomic, immune and endocrine systems of the physical body. Says practitioner Kapila, who uses sound therapy as part of other wellness therapies like past life regression, “Like pranic healing or reiki, sound therapy lets sound energy blend with your energy body through harmonic vibration/sound, and helps harmonize the imbalance in the energy levels. It helps remove energy blockages, enhances areas where there is low energy and generally helps achieve a fine balance of chi.” 
Patients have to lie down, eyes closed, on a hollow wooden bed fitted below with 50 finely tuned strings. As the therapist skillfully plays on these, patients are imbued with the deep vibration of pure, tuneless sound. The net result is a state of deep relaxation which removes blockages, promotes healing and finally wellness.
Yet, as Nilima points out, it’s important to consult a holistic health coach to pick the right bouquet of therapies. No one system may be the answer to your problems – whether it’s broken bones or hearts, you may get lost in the healing alternatives!

Written for Vaahini, Accenture's microsite for women

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