Friday, March 02, 2007

India Journal 2006 #16 March 1-2 - Doctor, Walk and Baba on the Bridge

March 1st

Well, it is still raining but not as hard as yesterday and not quite as cold so decided to get out anyway. (Yesterday I spent the whole day near my room, with everyone else...we had some fun, lots of laughter etc...rainy days can also be fun). I was still interested in seeing another Ayurveda doctor here so decided it would be a good day to do this. I hadn't written about this before, but I've had some kind of gut feeling that, despite all the wonderful changes I have felt since my treatments, that something was still not complete...don't know WHY I felt this way, just did, and decided to check further.

There is a local clinic just 5 minutes from where I am staying which I had originally tried contacting be e-mail while I was still deciding where to do the threatments. They never replied and this gave me a bad feeling so I forgot about it. (Turns out the contact information I was given was out of date...
but I believe that there is a reason for everything and that I was directly to Vivek's place for a definite purpose...) So, I went over and asked for an appointment, and he was able to check me then and there as I purposely went before breakfast...He is a well known doctor here with many credentials and highly regarded by the local people as well. He apologized for my not being able to contact him and was very gracious and spoke English very well and gave me a comprehensive consultation.

I mentioned to him immediately that I had already done Panchakarma and finished just a few days ago. He proceeded to check me...gave me his diagnosis, and then I asked him if he thought I needed to do further Panchakarma (after what he told me...bare with me). His reply was "Not to worry...what you did is good...enjoy your life and good health...not to year you come back and then do again here with me...not to need to worry now..." etc. So first he put my mind at ease and basically told me that what I did was good, simply not enough for my age.

What he told me was, aside from telling me about my body type etc., which I already know, and giving me further diet advice (I have a further session with him on Monday for a more in depth discussion of diet)...was that 2 weeks of Panchakarma is fine for a healthy person, under 45, who simply wants to detox. Over 45 you need a minimum of 3 weeks and over 6, 6 weeks!!! to get the full benefit. He said the treatment I did detoxed me about 75% but "not to will be OK for long time"...Didn't want me to be upset and said it will still be OK for a long time as long as I eat properly. Just to enjoy the benefits and my freedom from pain and stiffness...

He also charges much less...charges foreigners the same price as local people so it is about 1/2 the price per session, or even less.

Truth is, I could not have done a 3rd week here even if I had originally decided year, I will prepare myself in advance for a longer period of time...and if I really need it sooner, will come back in the fall instead of a year from now.

I am in no way disturbed that I went where I went this trip, and look forward to seeing him next year.

He says I am basically healthy and not to be too concerned about eating. Just do the best I can and enjoy life. Similar to what the other doc told me. Says the beauty of Ayurveda is that it is made to work for normal people who enjoy life and food etc., Just make sure I drink enough water each day and keep away from cold stuff which I usually do anyway. If you make a big deal out of eating habits, you loose the zest for life and this is very unhealthy.

I also asked about the matter of dairy products being bad for arthritis as I came to believe from my knowlege and study of Western naturopathy etc. and yet in ayurveda I am always told that cheese is fine...he said as a matter of fact, that the only dairy product NOT good for me is yogurt...the exact opposite of what I've been following the last 15 years. And then he said something interesting: "You've been eating like that for 15 much has it helped your arthritis? Now try ayurveda eating for 15 years and see what happens!!".. I thought that was a good point and so decided to get out of my old eating habits and try something completely new (which is why I am having the further session with him for more specific advice).

I look forward to my further session with him on Monday...I will also be doing several more massages, just on my back, which he says will remove further toxins from the arthritic hip and will give just a little bit more balance to my system. He originally didn't want to do this, explaining that I should just relax into what I already did, but agreed with me that these back, particularly lower back, massages would help. He explained that these type of toxins are stored, and released through the lower back area and the massage could do alot for Monday I will have a few more massages for a few days as well. At 200 rupee (20 shekel) apiece!!

Following this meeting, I went upstairs to the restaurant we ate in that night and waited 1 1/2 hours for our food...but figured at that time of the day it would be fairly empty..which it was.

And since the doc said that cheese and tomatoes were both good for me, I ordered a tomato cheese omelette for breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed it.

So, looking forward to new ideas and approaches to living...will make things interesting to say the least.

March 2nd
Today dawned beautiful and sunny and decided to get out. I had eaten dinner thali at a nearby guesthouse run by Mamaji for the past two evenings, and met this interesting Canadian man that I think I mentioned is travelling the world after retiring with the not so easily offered consent of his family. So I met him this morning just before breakfast and we spent some time together over breakfast which was fun.
Then I went out. Just exploring...and the weather was so perfect, that I was out for several hours, walked at least 5 km. mostly flat but some up and down...bascially easy walking to one bridge, down and over to the other bank than 2 1/2 km. to the next bridge but I continued down the Ganges as far as I could go, don't know how far it was, finally ate lunch at a nice restaurant and then all the way back up to High Bank. I didn't realize how much sun I had gotten as it was not hot, just breezy and beautiful, but I am feeling it a little now with a heavy head. Also didn't drink enough I guess but who cares. I had a GREAT day! No camera again, but always so many things to photograph.

A funny think happened to me on the Laxman Jula bridge...a baba approached me (like a Holy man) with his puja (ceremonial) tray and without asking, put vermillion on my forhead, asked me to take marigolds as an offering, tied a string to my left hand, had me repeat some mantra after him and throw the marigold offering into the Holy Ganges...and then gave me my personal blessing in the form of a dried out rose (still smelling lovely) and little white things which looked like popcorn (but of course aren't)...this all happened in a zip and then of course he asked for money, which annoyed me so gave him 20 rupees, which annoyed him, so I felt better!

But it reminded me of the Chabad guys who hang around in airports, bus stations and city centers, stopping men to put on Tefillin and say the blessings...It was just a pleasant experience...another fun thing in India.

And now I am here, and then off to's Friday night. Tomorrow begins the holiday of Holi here which I mentioned involves throwing colored chalked mixed with water on people...but the main shenanigans are not until Sunday...will let you know how it goes.

Namaste to all