Into the lap of nature : Udupi


Urmila Chanam
The dilemma. Not every remedy to a health problem will be found in a hospital or clinic, with endless diagnostic efforts, doctors, medicines or surgery. At one point either the medical practitioner will suggest surgery or run out of options. You will hop from one hospital to another across cities, towns and even isolate districts of repute and promise and at the end, you are bound to have a difficult time deciding which to pursue from the myriad of suggestions you will have collected from all the doctors you meet, each with their own belief and plan.
The process of seeking medical treatment is in itself an exhausting one, set aside the major task at hand-your medical issue.
Assuming you have a robust support system and care from family, relatives, friends or hired professionals coupled with financial resources, this aspect of your treatment- zeroing in on what is right for you, which hospital and doctor, often makes or breaks your case. The journey will most certainly be far from a cheery one if you come across doctors who capitalise on fear to propose invasive, expensive, or risky procedures. Their words will cause you to have sleepless nights if not rob you of your self-confidence with the likely outcome that you will relent sooner or later.
A wise man once told me, “You can’t afford to be impatient with yourself (be in a hurry to get to the bottom of things just for the sake of not having to deal with the problem), lazy (to explore all your options) or without faith (that there is a solution somewhere out there) if you have a medical issue.” The quest for a medical alternative should be an ongoing one till you come across a solution that does you good.
It was in this quest that I discovered naturopathy after most of the conventional alternatives failed to get me beyond a certain level of fitness. Not one to jump with excitement on the prospects of going under the knife after two unpleasant experiences from a Caesarean-section and laparoscopic surgery for gall bladder stones, naturopathy offered relief and respite from mental agony, only concern being the million- dollar question of its effectiveness.
Introduction to nature, the healer
Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara (S.D.M) Yoga and Nature Cure Hospital situated at Pareeka in Udupi district in Karnataka was recommended to me by a distinguished associate of mine who had a similar medical issue as mine several years ago and has recovered completely. The hospital managed by Shanthivana Trust offers nature cure treatment through yoga, special boiled, raw or juice “Sattvic” diet, a plethora of nature cure treatments and therapies including massages with different types of essential oils and herbs, counselling and most importantly, demonstration, education and inspiration to make lifestyle changes and turn to nature.
S.D.M Yoga and Nature Cure Hospital works on the belief that human body has the capacity to provide cure for its own ailments through drugless therapies.
The doctors here are specially educated and trained in Naturopathy which is a system of alternative medicine based on the theory that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented without the use of drugs and surgery by techniques such as control of diet, exercise and massage emphasizing the use of natural agents (air, water and herbs) and physical means (tissue manipulation and electro therapy).
S.D.M College of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, Ujire located about 88 km from the hospital and affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of undergraduate, post graduate and doctorate studies recognised by Department of AYUSH, Government of India where Bachelor Degree in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences (BNYS) is a five and half year’s course including one year internship.
A hospital with a difference
The sprawling hospital is spread over 16 acres of land amidst greenery, solitude in the lap of nature providing premier amenities and a sense of calm. It offers different types of accommodation from general ward, corporate section shared by group of ten people, special rooms (non-AC), deluxe rooms (AC and television), cottage and VIP cottage. Patients are taken in for a minimum of ten days, some extending their stay and treatment as per their progress. Admissions are reliant on submission of medical reports on the website and on getting a positive response from the hospital management whereby only those requests are accepted which fall in the purview of the list of diseases it cures like bronchial asthma, nasal allergy, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, thyrotoxicosis, obesity, high and low blood pressure, ischemic heart diseases, migraine, tension, headache, anxiety neurosis, depressive neurosis to name a few.
Nature cure treatment
S.D.M Yoga and Nature Cure Hospital offers natural therapies, yoga therapy, diet therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, magnetotherapy and reflexology. Patients are busy from early morning 5.30 attending yoga sessions which are held centrally for everyone, taking different nature cure treatments in different sections of the hospital through the day till evening 8.30. Special yoga is taught as per individual’s ailment to release stress, strengthen the body and calm the mind.
The nature cure treatments include (1) colon hydrotherapy which clears the large intestine, relieves constipation, promotes healthy intestinal bacteria and enhances immune system; (2) massage therapy which is full or partial massage with salt or oil for rejuvenation, improving the blood circulation, reducing muscle stiffness and improving range of joint movements, salt and oil massage gives glow to the skin by removing dead cells and reduces stress; (3) steam bath/sauna bath/reclining steam bath or hydro therapy improves blood circulation, open up sweat pores thus improving skin function, improves fat metabolism and reduces muscle stiffness; (4) cold circular jet stimulates nerves and relieves pain; (5) hip bath improves fat metabolism, blood circulation to abdominal organs and genitals, digestion and reduces appetite; (6) under water massage/immersion bath has an analgesic effect, neutralises gastric secretion, increases fat metabolism, improves blood circulation;(7) douches reduce pain, stimulates spinal nerves, reduces stiffness of muscles; (8) full mud bath gives a cooling effect to the body, improves blood circulation, increases fat metabolism and reduces appetite; (9) Ganji turmeric bath adds glow to the skin and has an anti-allergic effect; (10) face and hair treatments where fruits and vegetables paste are applied to treat skin texture, hair growth, and other skin and hair and scalp related problems.
Detoxification and diet therapy
The core treatment at S.D.M Yoga and Nature Cure Hospital is centred around diet and detoxication through food based on the theory, “Thy food shall be your medicine. Medicine thy not be your food” (Hippocrates).
(To be contd)