Sunday, 31 July 2011

Magic of Sri Lankan full Moon

Published in Deccan Chronicle
Monday, Aug 01, 2011 Last Update: 12:13 AM IST
Magic of full moon
• July 31, 2011
• By Chitra Ramaswamy

Bonhomie and mirth prevail and there is colour everywhere. Music and laughter rent asunder the Sri Lankan air. Tableaux decked in a riot of colours, holding aloft statuettes of the Buddha, rhythmically snail their way along the alleys and streets to the beating of drums and soul-wrenching music. Cycles, draped in a rich array of sparkling artificial flowers, are ridden by youngsters who delicately balance themselves in slow motion to keep pace with the procession.

Pandals of various sizes, colours and shapes decorated with streamers and ripe bananas are pitched up every few kilometres. Men and women of all ages wave out to passersby, inviting them to partake of a cup of drink or a small meal of rice and curry. The dagobas or temples reverberate with Bathi Gee Cart or carol singing, spreading the message of peace. It is the month of June and the occasion for celebration is Poson Poya, the full moon day of the month.

With the adoption of the lunar calendar, Buddhists hold in veneration the full moon. Every full moon day, termed Poya in Sinhalese, is declared a national holiday and is a day of religious observance. Poya is derived from Pali and Sanskrit from the term uposatha, from upa and vas, meaning ‘to fast’. The day is marked with festive fervour, gaiety, sharing, caring and a display of genuine generosity, regardless of caste, creed, class and community.

Though every full moon day is a holy day, for Sri Lankan Buddhists some are more significant than others. The full moon days of May (Vesak), June (Poson), August (Esala) and December (Unduvap) are observed with greater pomp and pageantry. Poson, (June), the so-called “flowerless” (pu-sun-poson) month is observed with enthusiasm and religious fervour for it was on this day that Ashoka’s son Arahat Mahinda reached the island and appeared on the Mihintala rock. Poson celebrates the occasion of Mahinda’s meeting with the King of Lanka Devanampiya Thissa who was on a deer-hunting expedition. It was the period when Buddhism was formally established in Sri Lanka, making it an epoch-crafting event, a turning point in the history of the island country. Since then Mihintalawa has been declared a sanctuary portraying Sri Lanka’s nature-friendly attitude. Mahinda brought more than a new religion to Lanka; he established the beginnings of a Sinhala culture that reached glorious heights with its transformed social attitudes.

A whiff of fresh air blew life into the development of art and architecture, giving rise to gargantuan structures with aesthetic beauty, especially in the white-domed Dagobas of Buddhism.

Though the main activities of Poson are centred at Mihintala and Anuradhapura, celebrations are rampant throughout the island. The occasion reaffirms yet again, devotion and concern for life of all earthly beings. Processions referred to as Mihundu Peraheras and carnivals, break the monotony of routine and life seems to regain its colour with entertainment activities lined up for the day. Staunch Buddhists observe the day by waking up early in the morning and following a bath, are attired in white, ready to visit the dagoba of their choice. They spend the entire day in meditation, listening to sermons and participating in religious discussions.

If the streets of Sri Lanka are pulsating with festivities, celebrations assume a quiet, meditative tone in the dagobas where devotees attired in white, sit in silent prayer, taking breaks for meals on the temple premises itself.

Full moon days demand strict abstinence from alcohol, beef, gambling and cinema in Sri Lanka, reveals our guide, Gamini. He adds, “Even tourists are not allowed these things on poya days; even our hotels do not serve alcohol to the guests and anyone found flouting these rules is punishable by law.”

HOW TO REACH: Colombo is the international gateway for direct flights from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. There are several flights available between Colombo and Chennai, Trichy, Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai.

travel tip: You must have a passport with you all the time; it is the most basic travel document. Ensure that it will be valid for the entire period you intend to remain overseas.

The writer is a travel enthusiast

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hone Brain Power through the Abacus

Honing Brain Capacity Through the Abacu

The enthusiasm and excitement is high as the young ones call out answers to ‘complex’ problems within the batting of an eyelid: adding up five sets of three digit numbers! Complex indeed, for these kids are four year olds! And all thanks to the training that they receive in Mental Arithmetic at one of the centres of Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System (UCMAS) in Chennai.

It takes only a few seconds to solve a problem like 228.9605 divided by 5894.31425 and get the quotient 0.00388442 by a young lad of 10 or 12 years! He is no whizkid. And what more, almost anyone can master such calculations: provided they start young, put in hours of practice, mental dexterity and develop Herculean powers of concentration!

Speed is the name of the game in today’s dizzy paced existence of cut throat competition. The result is stress, stress and more stress, throwing the human body open to the scourge of depression, disease, discomfort and death. Speed without strain and stress, then, is the need of the hour. UC MAS an international concept, may be the answer to our stress-ridden societies, according to Ms.Chitra Ravindran, course instructor and Franchisee for 2 centres imparting training in the system at Chennai.

Basically the system originated from China, and is now prevailing in Malaysia, Bangkok, Hongkong, UK, USA, India and Thailand. The methodology according to Ms.Ravindran is Zhusuan which makes use of the abacus which has been modified to develop and enhance the mental capabilities of children as young as 4 year old, upto 12 years.

Children weave their fingers deftly over beads arranged in a certain order on the abacus. The top half of the abacus has13 rows of single beads representing multiples of five in each rod and the lower rods have four beads, which indicate single digits. The basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division literally become child’s play as they youngsters are trained in speedy use of fingers to make big calculations appear easy. What more, learning takes place in a fun and adventurous manner. The secret lies in proper finger technique, with each, the thumb, index finger and the middle fingers used in a particular way.

The objective is to exploit and enhance the limitless potentialities of the human brain. And this is best done in the early years when learning is pronounced and easy to master. Training with the abacus helps the children train their memory and habituates their mind to work diligently from the early years. Says Ms.Ranvindran, “This concept (UC MAS)Universal Concept Mental Arithmetic system is for the children of age group 4 to 12 years because it has been proved that 80% of the brain is developed by 8 years and rest 20% by 12 years. This course mainly aims at developing brain skills of a child where they are taught to push the beads in the ABACUS. From the day 1 they are taught addition and subtraction. The course comprises of 10 levels and each level is of three months’ duration with a weekly of two hours. Many writing skills are also practiced like Direct Viewing , Indirect Viewing, Image Writing and Dictation all of which develop Mind Hand Coordination.”

“Children will be using both the hands , so we aim in developing left brain as well as the right brain, because right hand governs the left brain and the left hand the right brain. The development of intellect does not depend on physical maturity. Allowing them to work and compete together helps the children to face competition without any fear and helps them gear themselves to work under time related pressures.”

Says Ms.Ravindran, “,Learning in this way, the children are able to work with time frames and time pressures and this actually eases their stress levels as they progress to higher classes in school and are subsequently in a position to tackle the pressures of life without crumbling under them. The idea of UCMAS is to get children to understand absorb, assimilate, retain and recall, matter that has been taught, in good time.”

The system not only reduces dependence on calculators but also helps in developing self-reliance, memory and application. Since the operation of abacus involves co-ordinated action of sight, sound and movement of the hands, it enhances the development of the brain. In fact, the tool acts as a bridge between the three developmental stages of the brain – the physical, logical and visual aspects – through the growing years. By mobilizing the learning initiative of children in mathematical concept and giving free reins to developing their right brain, UCMAS indeed allows children to think on their toes. While Zhusuan is a system of calculation using the concept of abacus operation, Mental arithmetic is developed in later stages, utilizing the concept of Zhusuan without physically using the hand and abacus. Visualisation of beads and zhusuan concept is firmly implanted in the brain and used when calculating equations.

Ms.Ravindran who has taken franchise from UCMAS, Malaysia in 1999, for two of the 20 centres in Chennai, says, “So far I have trained 75 children and the highest level the children have reached in my center is Level 6. The outcome is visible at the end of 12 classes, that is at the end of Level 1 itself. By this time the child would have definitely acquired the speed. Gradually, by the end of the fifth level, accuracy, concentration and listening are enhanced. In Direct viewing the children write the numbers from 0 to 9 within a minute; if a child is able to write 90 digits in a minute definitely we improve their speed by 20 to 30 more digits within the first level. In Indirect viewing the child will write the same numbers 0 to 9 for a minute without looking into the book. In Image writing the child will be holding the pencil in both the hands and will write the same numbers with both hands simultaneously. In Dictation we call out numbers at a particular speed and expect the children to write the same.”

The idea of UCMAS training is to give equal rein to the overall intelligence of the cerebrum, encompassing both, the right and left brain, training them simultaneously. For, creativity will be at its greatest only when both brains are communicating and co-operating with each other. “The creativity function from right brain needs to be boosted by the information stored in the left brain, implying that the mathematical and physical abilities have to work together with the space perception from the right brain in order for an individual to exploit his brain capacities.

Teachers who train students in the system, themselves undergo 10 levels of training before becoming instructors, according to Ms.Ravindran. In some countries including Malaysia, abacus learning has been introduced into the main stream education in schools.


Health Insurance - Read Between the Lines

Published in City Times

Health Insurance …What to look for in a cover

Dinesh was certain it would never happen to him or any of his family members. Well, if it did, he felt he would cross the bridge when he got there! But Dinesh woke up to a rude shock when he was diagnosed with a serious health problem which sent his medical expenses skyrocketing. So much so, Dinesh had to dip into his savings to pay his bills! He had no insurance cover!

There are many others like Dinesh who prefer not to think about unexpected catastrophes or illnesses, that always happens to some other unfortunate soul. But, what if you or a family member did have that accident or come down with that serious illness? If you’ve not taken appropriate measures to cover yourself and your family against such unforeseen contingencies, you could be fighting a losing battle with financial crunches compounding your medical problems! For, with escalating health care costs, it is impossible to predict the sum total of your medical bills if you become victim of serious malady or accident.

Dr.S.Surendran Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon, Welcare Hospital, emphasizes the need for every individual - child and adult - to be covered by insurance. “What I want to emphasize is, think about insurance when you are healthy, not when you become unhealthy. For children, I would strongly recommend insurance cover for the simple reason that they are more vulnerable to fall ill, accidents and injuries. The accidents need not be major – they may be a simple fall in the bath or playground and a few broken bones! Similarly, for chest, gastric and other conditions like dehydration, they might need hospitalization. I don’t mean to say that every child is going to get these, but it’s worth having an insurance cover for them, especially in view of the fact that even simple antibiotics and other drugs are expensive in the region.”

Besides stressing the importance of having insurance cover, Dr.Surendran highlights essential points to be taken into account by individuals and families while seeking such cover. In the first instance, choosing the appropriate coverage is far more complicated than what meets the eye. This is because health insurance policies vary widely and provide coverage for various aspects of health care including physicians’ visits, medicines, investigations, hospitalization, et al.

While some general packages are available, other packages include certain unique features and obviously, the price tags vary accordingly, pretty much widely as well. Emphasizing the quality of health care in the UAE, Dr.Surendran reveals, “It is true that the cost of medical care in this region is slightly dear, but the quality we give is very good. You don’t need to go to the West at all because everything is available here itself. I think most of the people do have an insurance cover which is provided by their employers.”

But herein lies the catch: because organizations provide insurance coverage to their employees, “the employees don’t bother to get a copy of the papers to become well versed with the clauses included or excluded in the policy! The best and first thing that every employee should do is to get these papers from the respective insurance companies or from the Human Resource Department of their respective workplace and go through the legalities of the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ of the cover. This is absolutely necessary because there are various grades of cover which each company has. So it is important for every employee to make himself aware of the extent of his cover as per the policy,” emphasizes Dr.Surendran.

Dr.Surendran advices every employee or individual covered by insurance, to check, verify and become fully conversant with every aspect of the policy, particularly those in fine print, which often get ignored. “Firstly, every policy holder or individual who wishes to get insurance cover, should first and most basically look at what he needs from such a cover. The three major areas which need to be covered and which insurance companies offering health cover generally do, are: inpatient treatment, outpatient consultation and pharmaceuticals, that is cover for medications. While most health care providers do cover these three areas, restrictions in terms of ceilings are variously placed, depending on the kind of cover taken. It is therefore very important to check out and ascertain these specifics:
• Is your doctor or hospital, a member of the plan under which you seek cover?
• Should you need to seek consultation with a Specialist, are you covered for it; if yes, what is the amount for which you are covered.
• Is there a co-payment clause featured in your policy? That is, do you have to pay a fraction of the cost of seeking a specialist or service and the rest is paid by the insurance company.
• How many outpatient consultations does your policy allow you within a given period of time?
• Does your plan require you to choose and use a primary care physician? How easy is it to change the physician if you wish to do so at a later date?
• Does it offer complete coverage for hospitalization? Or is there a coverage limit on basic expenses as hospital room, et al?
• Does it provide full coverage for all your family members as well?
• What are the kind of investigations that your policy covers you for? What is the ceiling level on these?
• If surgery is need are you covered for surgical expenses including the surgeons' fees and related costs associated with surgery?
• What is the inpatient cover for elective procedures and for emergencies?
• Does it provide emergency medical evacuation service? That is does it cover cost of air lifting you, say from an accident site, which might make the difference between life and death in some instances?
• What is the ceiling on hospitalization? Apart from room and board, does it cover incidental services costs?
• Does your insurance company give you the facility to upgrade the cover, which obviously will be at a higher premium?
• Do you have to pay if you go outside the network for care?
• Does it cover you only in your current country of residence? Or does it allow you to choose the country in which you wish to receive treatment?
• Does the plan exclude or limit treatment for pre-existing conditions?
• Standard policies may not cover dental problems, eye check ups, mental illnesses, pregnancy, alcohol and dangerous-sports related disorders or injuries. However, should you need cover for these areas, make sure to add them on to.

While taking a health insurance policy, it is important not only to know what is available, but more importantly, policy seekers should know what is NOT available and what are the limits set, emphasizes Dr.Surendran. Even if you are covered by organization as part of its group insurance, it is your right to know the areas you are covered for, with all the set limits. Unless you find out exactly what is, and what isn't covered, you could have a very unpleasant surprise when you need your employer's plan to save the day. If you plan to cover yourself individually, remember that once you choose a health care plan, it is your responsibility to understand the plan and to play by its rules.

No matter which type of health insurance you buy, you have to make sure it offers the right kind of coverage. In addition, apart from the periodic premium that you pay, you need to know if you are required to incur other out-of-pocket costs. This is very important to know since these ‘little’ costs can really add up. Check to see if the health insurance plan requires you to pay any, some or all of the following:

Co-payment: that is, an amount you will have to pay each time you visit a health insurance provider.
Deductible: this is an amount you will have to pay toward your medical expenses before the insurance company begins to pay claims.
Coinsurance: This refers to the percentage of your medical costs you will have to pay after you reach any deductibles that apply.

Dr.Surendran highlights another important aspect with respect to second opinion. “Sometimes, an insurance company itself may send a patient to seek second opinion; else, it is better in certain instances that the patient himself seeks a second opinion. In such cases, it is always better that the patient first speaks to his insurance company to see if he is covered for this – the second opinion.”

Some international companies cover certain things which some of the local insurance companies might not cover. This will be of particular importance to individuals whose job entails a lot of travel. Another aspect which employees need to find out about, is work-related injury, emphasizes Dr.Surendran. “Though most companies would undertake responsibility for this, nevertheless it is in the interests of the individuals, to know well before hand, whether they are covered and the extent of the cover.”

An important factor to bear in mind and make oneself aware of, relates to claims getting denied, cautions Dr.Surendran. “Suppose you’ve had a treatment and despite the doctors’ recommendations, the insurance company does not approve payment or cover fir it, as does happen sometimes, you have the right to find out why you have been denied it. The insurance company is bound to give you an explanation. However, this is where reading the fine print is important. A patient may think he’s been covered while actually he is not!”

What part do doctors and hospitals play in the insurance scenario? The onus of providing good quality care, appropriately, is the cornerstone of treatment as far as the medical fraternity and institutions are concerned. “Hence, as and when required, we give our recommendations to the insurance companies – whether for investigative procedures, be they elective or emergency. Though normally we do get approval for emergencies, they too could be disclaimed by the company. Basically, patients should look at doctors as facilitators who bring your case forward to the insurance company.”


Dance Therapy

Published in Panorama

Dance as Therapy

“Most people don't nourish their body with movement, as much as they do their minds”, says Hyderabad-based Tripura Kashyap, Director of Apoorva Dance Theatre, a product of Kalakshetra and one of India’s first trained dance therapists who studied Dance Therapy at The Hancock Centre for Movement Arts and Therapies Inc Centre, a non profit organization established in 1983. The Centre is also a supporting agency of the Marian Chase Foundation, the charitable branch of the American Dance Therapy Association.

Strangely enough, Ms.Kashyaps’s stint with dance (Bharatnatyam) began as a treatment for squint, at the tender age of six. “Since there are a lot of eye movements associated with dancing, particularly Bharatnatyam, someone suggested to my parents that they initiate me into it. Believe it or not, my squint disappeared complete within six months of learning! Therapy began for me there itself!” reveals Kashyap.

The idea of dance as a therapy was born out of Kashyap’s personal experience with her brother, Pawan, affected with cerebral palsy. She reveals, “Pawan, who was wheelchair bound, would start thumping his wheelcahir and almost jump out of it whenever he heard music.” That sent Kashyap’s mind ticking: why not use dance for therapeutic purposes. But she did not know how to go about this for she was not entirely satisfied with Bharatnatyam as a form of self expression. They found the dance form too rigid and codified, thematically restrictive. To widen her horizons, she joined hands with path-breaking ace choreographer, Chennai-based Chandralekha, who sought to link Bharatnatyam with Yoga, kalari and various other physical disciplines, to create an integrated style of her own, doing away with dance costumes. However, Kahyap’s quest for dealing with disabled individuals through dance bore fruit through a chance meeting with Dr.Grace Valentine, Dance Therapist from the US, who invited her to study Dance Therapy at the Hancock Centre, Wisconsin.

Ms.Kashyap explains that Dance Therapy is a form of psychotherapy which incorporates creative and expressive movement that help individuals to develop emotional stability, healthy self image and improved communication skills. The movements involved enable people to understand themselves better, to explore and express past and present issues in both, verbal and non verbal ways.

Dance therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process to enhance the emotional, physical, cognitive and social integration of an individual. The therapy is based on the premise that body movement reflects the inner state of the human. Hence, by moving the body through guided therapy, it is possible to set the healing process in motion. Simply put, dance therapy seeks to harmonise the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level of the human.

The therapy is very effectively being used to treat issues relating to the realms of the mind where people suffer from a sense of poor identity, have a low self image and esteem, suffer from shyness, anxiety, tension and depression, have problems interacting with others, are unable to forge relationships with people, suffer from other emotional, cognitive and neurological problems, besides actual physical and physiological ailments.

Since her return to India from the US in 1989, globe-trotting Kashyap has been working with people with disabilities. Bangalore-based until recently, Kashyap engaged herself in helping schizophrenic adults at Atmashakti, and hearing-impaired children at Hamsadhwani, Bangalore. She further undertook mobility training programs at the National Association of the Blind and did other and therapy for autistic children.

Kashyap received the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992 to explore various Indian dance forms and styles, to seek the therapeutic elements present in them. She traveled across India, training special educators to use movement therapy and also compiled a handbook with 40 activities they could use as starting points. Kashyap explains, “Most Indian dance forms have some therapeutic potentials embedded in them but you can’t use the dances the way they are; you have to extract specific elements from them and use it for your therapy session. And this is what I have done. The goal of dance therapy is to help people express their own, what I call as personal movement vocabulary. Everyone has this, and the idea is to use various strategies to help them bring out the material.”

As part of therapy, Kashyap uses background scores from Tibetan and other meditation chants, to do certain kinds of movements. Little bit of Tai Chi exercises are integrated as part of therapy wherein breathing and movement are exercised, the aim being to elongate the breathing pattern. “Using movement will actually help people to breathe better; most people breathe from the chest but it is best to breathe from the stomach,” reveals Kashyap.

Every movement that is part of the Dance Movement Therapy, has a therapeutic potential, but which movement to be used when and for whom, depends on the disability itself, says Kashyap. “For instance, if I am working with mentally challenged children, I may not use Indian dance forms at all. I would use creative dance which is from the West, because there are certain things there that would help a child get to know its body better. A lot of these movements require the use of movement props like parachute, streamers, stretch rope – which are all from the West. So the goals for therapy dictate the kind of dance we use, which in turn is determined by individual disability.”

Kashyap uses a variety of movement props from Indian folk dances, including bamboo poles, kolattam and dandia sticks, scarves and cymbals with mentally challenged children. The movements are so integrated so as to enable these children to solve movement puzzles, improve group coordination and enhance memory for movement. With such pre-determined movement of the props, the children have been found to improve their eye-hand coordination and imitation skills.

Kashyap explains, “For instance, I found that using the footwork of Kathak, we were able to enhance the attention span of autistic children. The Karma tribal dance of Madhya Pradesh was found to be effective in visually impaired adults. The dance which involves holding hands in a line, serves as a contact dance, providing challenging tasks like moving backwards, making a circle and other geometric designs. These movements enhances the spatial awareness of the visually impaired, thereby reducing their fear of space around them and makes them more confident to deal with their bodies in a more relaxed way.”

Similarly, using modified movements from the technique of Chhau, helps hearing impaired children improve their balance and concentration. Kashyap reveals, “Working with the hearing impaired children is like working with normal children, because visually they are very good. The learn all the movements with the hand signals that I give them, except for that part where they can’t hear the music. But some of them hear the vibrations coming from the music; a drum is played along with the music so that they can hear the drum with their mind’s eye, mentally feel the vibrations from it. No only do they enjoy dancing, but we have observed that their confidence and self esteem improve and as a result they take greater interest in their studies.

Explaining metamorphical exercises, a very interesting therapeutic movement for normal people to lead healthier emotional lives, Kashyap says, “We have these huge cartons into which we get people to sit and tell us how they feel about the experience. We then get them to move inside the box and narrate their experience from this activity. Obviously, the feeling is one of claustrophobia that the people will profess to – something they feel in their real lives as a result of ‘boxing’ themselves. So we address their basic problem, by helping them break out of the ‘boxes’ they have created.

Gentle movements of dance therapy has been used by Kashyap to motivate senior citizens in old age homes who had hitherto confined themselves to bed, believing themselves to be sick and incapable of activity. Kashyap has also been working in association with Committed Community Development Trust, an NGO (Non governmental organizations) to train dancers to do dance as a therapy with HIV/AIDs children. “These children, a lot of them teenagers, don’t believe in themselves. They are very withdrawn and they face the trauma of seeing their friends die. Our aim is to give them an motional release through dance movements.”

However, Kashyap does not lay claim to dance therapy being a cure-all. “I wouldn’t say I could cure a schizophrenic with dance therapy; you can’t really do that. Because such a person needs much more, including psychotherapy and drugs as well. But what dance therapy can do is make the person more functional, to co-ordinate his body movement better, to enhance social skills, blood circulation, calm him down and relax.”


Thai Massage

Published in City Times

Yoga, Accupressure and Massage, Rolled into the Thai

It is all about aligning the body’s energies, of spiritual bonding, to become free of illness or get healed and enjoy good health. The origins of the Thai Massage go back to the times of Buddha. It is an effective therapy for treating various pathological and neurological conditions and promoting general well being explains Jennifer Lasrado, Health Club Manager, Renaissance Dubai Hotel.

Traditional Thai Massage about 2500 years old is a judicious blend of Yoga and Acupressure and massage and involves interactive manouevres between therapist and client. The Massage is done in quiet, meditative atmosphere with or without soft background music. When applied thus, space is created in the musculo-skeletal structure and the body begins to open and regain flexibility and ease of movement, while the mind gently returns to calm alertness. It is a whole and total approach to wellness that allows an individual to experience harmony with the rhythms of life. The best feature of the massage is that it indirectly provides for inner organ massage, oxygenation of blood and calming the mind – factors that Yoga helps achieve.

Two basic procedures form part of the Thai Massage: applying gentle pressure with the hands and feet, and a wide variety of passive stretching movements. Because of the passive range of motion on the part of the clients, Thai massage is often referred to as the Lazy Man’s Yoga. The massage carried out with the client lying down, usually on a mat, involves physically manipulating, stretching, stimulating and correcting the imbalances in his/her body through energy lines. By using a variety of stretching movements, Thai Massage helps open the joints in the body and bring balance to the body’s muscle groups.

The basis of Thai massage is same as of Ayurveda where the nadis or meridians on both sides of the vertebra are stimulated with thumb and palm pressures. There is a release of toxins from the joints, muscles and connective tissues and thereby an easing of tension. The energy body and the internal organs are stimulated by pressure on peripheral reflex points. The gentle rocking and rhythmic patterns of compression used by the therapists helps to relax and open the body’s natural energy flow. The massage makes possible greater ranges of muscle movement since the muscles become warmed and stretched, injuries may be prevented, relief from stress and sore, aching joints and muscles. There is overall wellbeing of the body because detoxification takes place as a result of the massage, explains Jennifer.

Thai Massage differs from other massage forms in that it does not use any oil or topical application and the clients remain fully clothed during the process. However, for best therapeutic effect, clothes hugging the skin are best suited, for this enables easy movements by the therapists.

Typical massage sessions may last from one to three hours. However, a complete massage session lasts three hours when all the twelve meridian points are stimulated. These massage movements help to adjust the body’s skeletal structure, increase flexibility, relieve muscular and joint tension, stimulate internal organs and balance the body’s energy system. The effect is relaxing and energizing at the same time. Says Jennifer, “Most of the clients who seek the massage are highly stressed out individuals and have great tension in their muscles, but cannot afford three hours of their time. So we undertake appropriate techniques that can be performed in an hour or two, to relieve them of their stress and make their body flexible. They feel very light after the session.”

The massage techniques are especially gentle for people suffering from rheumatism and arthritis in particular, reveals Jennifer. Thai massage is not recommended for individuals with a history of serious cardiac conditions. Similarly, the massage is not advised on individuals having elevated blood pressure at the time of going in for massage. Thai Massage is not meant for people with extreme conditions, whatever and with joint problems especially of the back of the knee. However, the therapy is extremely beneficial for people suffering from migraine and tension headaches.

Medical history of a prospective client is first taken and an evaluation of the general health condition is made prior to starting therapy, which is very much individualized. The detoxification process starts immediately after a session when a person drinks warm water. The water is necessary to flush out the toxins and to improve blood circulation in the kidneys, bladder and ureters. Over a period of two to three sessions that may be undertaken on three consecutive days, the toxins are eliminated from the body. The number of therapy sessions an individual requires depends on his condition.


Tachyon Energy

Published in Panorama

Towards a healthy equilibrium …. Tachyon Energy

As huge strides are being made in the field of science and medicine to find cures for some of the most dreaded diseases, alternative therapies are focusing on bringing back to balance the increasing disharmony between mankind and his surroundings, between man and nature. Healing with Tachyon Energy is based on the fact that all forms of matter, living and inanimate, is made up of energy and is a part of an “Energetic Continuum” – the flow of energies as they move down from the “source”. Obstructions can manifest on any frequency level within our Energetic Continuum of subtle bodies and it is these obstructions which cause dis-ease. Tachyon energy works by removing these obstructions and restoring us to a state of health, according to Dr.S.Ramesh, Trauma and Orthopedic Surgeon Rashid Hospital, and a practitioner of Tachyon Energy Healing.

Holistic approach to healing is the trend of the times, involving an integration of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states of the human. In this sense, “Tachyonized tools significantly contribute to achieving near-perfect energetic balance at all levels more rapidly. For instance, if you keep a TLC in a Boardroom, it’s spreading out energy to all sides of the room so that everybody in that room will be so amicable as to take a harmonious decision. If you place a TLC bar on a building 30 m high, it will energize all the homes and all the people living in that area!” says Dr.Ramesh.

What is Tachyon Energy and how does it effect healing? Tachyon is the omnipresent, free energy which is present in the environment everywhere. Everything that transpires in the human body, for example, already exists within Tachyon in perfect form, explains Dr.Ramesh. “It is always passing through us and around us and we can normally harness this energy to maintain a healthy state. That’s how we were born, to harness this energy. But with our programming, conditioning and stresses, we have blocked the flow of this energy; hence our state of dis-ease. The Subtle Organizing Energy Field (SOEFs) in our body convert Tachyon Energy into the specific frequencies needed by a particular organ or part of our body to restore health. In fact, it is not the Tachyon that heals, rather it provides the energy for the body to heal itself. The SOEF's use only that amount of Tachyon Energy necessary to re-balance unorganized areas of the body, eliminating the need to monitor dosage requirements.”

Is treatment with Tachyon time bound? Dr.Ramesh explains, “It is the energy field that decides how much it wants and when to stop. Healing process is an individual thing; your aura decides how much of healing it wants and how long it is going to take. As your pattern starts clearing and your mental clarity improves, automatically the process will stop. It could be anywhere from a few days to a year. If you’ve had a disease for 30 years, do you want it to heal in 30 minutes?”

Is there any kind of diet system that needs to be followed while undergoing treatment?
There is no restriction on anything, says Dr.Ramesh. However, as with every other therapy, the three energy forms - food, air, water, should be fresh and good. ”

A high point of healing with Tachyon Energy is its applicability to external factors that have an impact on health, over which we have no control as individuals. Dr.Ramesh clarifies, “Using the same antenna with which you heal yourself, you can re-energise the polluted environment; you can change the quality of the polluted water by charging it with the antenna. If both air and water are fresh there is hardly any chance for blocks to form! Even fruits and vegetables subject to pesticides, refrigeration, et al can be re-energised through the antenna and its nutritive value restored.”

Antenna for healing? Dr.Ramesh explains, “Antennas just help to source the energy from the surroundings. But the quality of energy being different in different places, treatment time may vary. For instance, if healing takes place in the Himalayas where air is so pure and the environment clean, time taken to heal will be less as compared to elsewhere where pollution levels are high.”

Dr.Ramesh elaborates on antenna-making, “You can make an antenna from any natural material. I can take a shirt or any piece of cloth and make an antenna of it, through a process called tachyonisation. Once you make an antenna it’s permanent, guaranteed for generations. You can even have tachyonized water, oil, et al. However, the cloth is affected by tear and wear; water, oil and like items can’t be eternally preserved. Hence Tachyonized Liquid Crystal bars (TLC) would be ideal. Crystals are very expensive because the process to make them take 3-4 or even 6 months sometimes. Then it has to be diamond cut and tachyonized. These 'antennae', when applied directly to the body, 'feed' the SOEF's, giving the body the tools and energy necessary to heal itself, and do it in a self regulating fashion.”

Is treatment with Tachyon energy, a cure-all? This system of healing is compatible with other forms of medicine and complements as well as substitutes other therapies to various degrees, says Dr.Ramesh. “However, where the problem is of a chronic nature, as in the case of hypertension, diabetes, cardiac problems, we do not get the patients off their current medication. But with continued Tachyon therapy, we can gradually reduce and even wean the patients off their medication completely”

“Similarly in the case of cancer patients”, continues Dr.Ramesh, “we ask them to continue whatever treatment they are going through medically. We complement this with Tachyon therapy. It will improve all the symptomatology of the first stage, the side effects stemming from conventional cancer therapies, it will make the patient emotionally calmer. This is the beginning phase of the treatment with Tachyon energy. Subsequently, we observe even the physical changes happening. Unfortunately, a Cancer patient doesn’t have time, and this treatment takes time. So one has to go along with both the treatments and we have been able to improve the quality of life and the survival rate. There are cases where we have seen a sudden regression of the tumor size and everything after putting the patient on Tachyon therapy.”

What about side effect from using Tachyon Energy? “They are nil,” emphasizes Dr.Ramesh. “In some instances, the detoxification process may bring on healing reactions but this is very short lived. For a very short time one may feel overwhelmed, but there will never be an adverse outcome.”

Dr.Ramesh has been conducting classes, seminars and workshops, training Tachyon healers in the UAE. One such program is the Wellness Program which involves Group Learning to vitalize the mind, body and conscious. The aim of the program is to enable everyone to source the energy to maintain health, to heal and keep the body sustained at the healthy state and thus minimize visits to the doctor. Explaining the program, Dr.Ramesh states, “We have all the tools available in our human body to actively source the energy. Our program re-educates a person to use this energy. So you don’t have to be sick to attend this Group therapy. A person in good state of health can come here to rejuvenate himself. The sick person on the other hand is going to rejuvenate himself after healing himself. This keeps you at your energy levels of what you had at 16-18 years of age, even at the age of 90!”

Citing other instances where the program can be used to good effect, he says, “Sitting at home, you can direct your energy to your child who is writing an exam so that he remains calm, balanced and peaceful while answering. We also teach children how to improve their mental abilities, memory, performance, how to energize themselves, particularly when they are nervous. There will be clarity of mind all the time, of vision, of breathing, and also health-wise, they are sound and their immune system is triggered.”


Rhythm of Life Yoga

Published in City Times

Getting into the “Rhythm of Life”

Lakshmi Ramesh had been suffering from sinusitis since her school days. She tried every kind of therapy – from Allopathy to Homoeopathy to Naturopathy to rid herself of the problem, but to no avail. Today, well into her thirties, she is glad to be free of the problem, all thanks to Rhythm of Life, (ROL)!

Lakshmi recommends Rhythm of Yoga to anybody and everybody, no matter they are ill or well saying, “It took me just 10 classes at the Rhythm Yoga and Fitness Center in Karama, under the expert guidance of ROL instructor, Sanjeev Krishnan, to get rid of a problem I had been suffering for years and had tried every possible system of medication, meditation and yoga without any effect. In fact, to my knowledge, ROL has helped a number of people who have had diabetes, blood pressure and spondylitis. This is not any magic or wonder that is happening; it’s all a natural process where our system is getting in tune with nature.”

Sanjeev Krishnan ROL instructor, who has mastered various aspects of several forms of Yoga has been involved in conducting ROL in Dubai for the last two years. With a professional license to do so, Sanjeev also comes under the Ministry of Health with a medical license and in that capacity his institution participated in the DSF last year under the Ministry of Health. His Rhythm Yoga and Fitness Centre conducted a programme in Al Seef Street on the occasion where they highlighted the Essence of Yoga to World Health and also won an award for their presentation. Some of the Dubai schools including The Modern High and the Millennium, had some of their students enrolled in Sanjeev’s sessions and a lot more schools and corporates are already evincing much interest in the programmes.

Sanjeev answers questions on ROL, which itself is based on certain Yogic principles.

What exactly is ROL all about?
Sanjeev: ROL is a well designed and structured programme that guides one to the depth of life, empowering you with knowledge that keeps you healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally and rids you of stress. It is based on the principles of Ashtanga Yoga and it paves the way to dynamic health and well being of an individual. It is based on the premise that each and every individual already has a rhythm which is unique to him, developed through his circumstances, experiences and perceptions and it is rhythm in harmony which ensures his well being. However, ill health, discomfort and stress-related problems ensue, when an individual’s rhythm is not in perfect mode. ROL programme enables individuals to get back their harmonious rhythm through a process of cleansing.

How exactly is this state of harmony brought about in this ten day course?
Sanjeev: As infants and children, we do not perceive life as a burden. However, as we grow up, we are ridden with fears, phobias and complexes so much so that we begin to look at life as a burden. We begin this ten day session by putting you back into a state wherein you start enjoying your state from the rock bottom and then you go up again. You understand what has really disturbed you through your growing years such that you are not in the perfect rhythm and why you are facing various problems or ailments. For instance, any pain or disease manifestation in the physical body, any feeling of tension or depression, shows there is something wrong in your habits or in the way you look at life. ROL helps you fine tune yourself back to harmony, stage by stage, wherein you become more aware of yourself and understand yourself better.

Does this mean the course is actually some kind of meditation?
Sanjeev: It is a combination of various factors and science of meditation is one aspect that we teach in this course. We give you the essentials of right food, right habits, make you aware on how you can strengthen your mind so that you may achieve your goals and objectives and we also teach the techniques of Pranayama or breathing right. We are all breathing, but how well do we breathe, we do not know. Which is why many of us may be heir to asthma and other breathing ailments. During the process of this course, many of these ailments disappear.

How is this programme different in its meditation and yoga aspects from other meditation and yoga programmes which have mushroomed all over the world?
Sanjeev: There are one hundred and eight types of meditation. In those meditational approaches, the individual is focusing on something – a form, a mantra, light, or whatever. In ROL meditation, we do not do anything; we are in a state of physical and mental quietness. Scientifically, whenever you are in a state of physical quietness, the body has a tendency to release the impurities and toxins from the system which has been accumulated over a period of time due to stress. So once these toxins get flushed out from the body through this form of meditation, your physical body is purified and you are free of ‘dis-ease’. Just fifteen minutes of ROL meditation, gives you relaxation of mind and body that is equivalent of three hours of deep sleep relaxation.

You also have a Thursday session for children. What is this all about?
Sanjeev: Yes, this is a special two hour session that we have for children between the ages of seven and eighteen years, split into two sessions: one for 7 – 12 year olds and the other for 13 – 18 year olds. In these sessions we basically teach children the intellectual aspects of education wherein they learn how to study the various subjects, without pressurizing themselves. Children today are carrying a heavy load on their shoulders, literally and figuratively, in terms of how much they are required to study in a fiercely competitive world. We teach them the behavioural approach of how to balance the mind and the body. The physical body is something that is limited for all of us; the mind on the other hand is unlimited. There is no end to our desires. But we do not strike a balance between the mind and the body which is why we become ‘sick’ and often destroy our physical body. We teach children from a young age itself, to really balance themselves, formulate a vision of what they really want to achieve and also not only teach them that failure is nothing but a foundation to success, but also instill this truth firmly in them. Besides this, children are taught the approach to studying and strike a balancer between the creative and logical hemispheres of the brain, so that they view it as an enjoyable experience.

In a nut shell, can you tell us the various benefits from ROL?
Sanjeev: Mind control, enhanced memory and concentration, mind and body co-ordination, building of positive attitudes, increased creative power, purification and balance of the physical and mental systems, prevention and relief from chronic ailments, weight reduction and self knowledge are some of ROL’s many and varied benefits.