It wasn’t too long ago that words like aura and mandala attracted raised eyebrows and sniggers. However, in the last few years, alternative healing has shrugged off scepticism and become a lot more mainstream—what with hospitals asking craniosacral therapists to work on patients in comas, doctors incorporating pranic healing in their treatment and people going in search of past life regressionists. In this changing milieu, we thought we’d look at the main players in the city who are helping people make the transition.
There is a steady stream of people heading to The Dune in Pondicherry. While many head there to stay at the resort, others make a beeline for Watsu. One of the most relaxing forms of therapies, it is performed in warm, salty water (35 degrees) where a practitioner uses acupressure and light stretching to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and clear your energy flows. “The salt helps in floating and also in removing negative energy,” says Laurie Moernan, a French practitioner who has been with The Dune for seven years. “I work with the flow of the water. It’s great for people with spinal problems as it takes the weight off the vertebrae and allows it to be moved in ways impossible on land,” she says.
It was curiosity that set Hema Rukmani on the path to becoming a regressionist. Six years ago, when she was reading American psychiatrist Dr Brian Weiss’ books, she came across a method for regression. Piqued, she tried it. “I went into a past life where I was a man,” she smiles. Her next trial was to figure out why she was petrified of snakes. “I regressed to a life in a forest where I’d died of a snake bite. Then, a few days later, when I saw a snake on TV and didn’t freeze in fear, I realised the therapy works.” Initially, she used her regressions only for herself. “Then I realised this was a gift to be shared,” she says. Rukmani doesn’t insist on meeting her clients in person. In fact, many of them live outside the state or even the country. “I do much of my one-hour sessions over the phone—half an hour for the regression, 20 minutes to explain things and 10 minutes to answer any questions,” she says. Details: 9841061212
A psychologist, with a masters from Madras University, Anuradha Kannan studied hypnotherapy in 2011, as a tool to use in her work. “All ailments don’t need to be treated with medicines,” she states. “When there is denial, it can manifest in the body as headaches, mood swings or worse. In hypnotherapy, we cut the emotional cords—leaving the memories, but helping a person to move on.” Addressing the fear that, under hypnosis, you can be compelled to do things, Kannan says the patients choose what can be ‘suggested’ to them. “Your conscious mind goes to sleep so that unnecessary justifying thoughts don’t interfere. Then we take you back to the root of the problem and, using words you have chosen, we do the suggestion,” she explains. At her clinic, Nibbana Counselling, she starts with a familiarising session, to understand individual issues, before moving on to hypnotherapy. “A session for one suggestion could take an hour. We also do past life regression therapy if you can’t find a trigger in the past or your childhood,” she adds. `for a person and . Details: 9841073211
A healer for the last 15 years, Ra Latha Kapaleeswaran has tried it all—from pranic to reiki. But the 50-year-old now swears by Siddha healing—based on the idea that the universe is made up of positive and negative energies and, at times of stress or anger, negative energy is generated that settles in different organs, creating diseases. “In the healing, I channel positive energy, take the client’s subconscious to a higher dimension and heal them there—clearing chakras and reinforcing good energy. I also use crystals and rudrakshas to make the treatment more effective,” she says. Having trained under various masters, she combines the best of what she has learnt to make her treatments more effective. “I remember a client who was scheduled for a bypass. When his doctor was out of the town, his conditioned worsened. I treated him for 15 days and when they scanned him later, they said he’d had a natural bypass,” says Kapaleeswaran, who works with actors and politicians at her place in Vadapazhani. Details: 9841044771
Acupressure & acupuncture
This stockbroker was holidaying in the US when she attended a shiatsu open house in Berkeley, California, and got hooked. “I extended my stay for three years—first to do a one-year course at the Acupressure Institute of America and then to practice—before coming back in 1999,” begins Deepa Srinivasan, who is currently shifting her practice to an independent office in T Nagar. Based on the Shiatsu premise that Qi, our body’s energy, flows in specific pathways or meridians, she uses both acupressure and acupuncture to balance the flow. “My first consultation is long, where I learn about the patient—from food habits to moods. Then I familiarise them with the needles (disposable ones from China), decide the number of sessions and begin treatment,” she says, adding, “I’ve treated patients from eight-year-olds to 80. I never advocate people to stop allopathy medication, but I do give dietary suggestions.” A 45-minute session of acupressure costs `300, while acupuncture is `500. Details: 9962060206
Tarot and Tera Mai Seichem
At 28, she may be a young healer, but Shradha Nanavati believes when you have the spark, age is not a factor. A practitioner of Tera Mai Seichem, she explains it is similar to reiki and pranic, but is far more effective. “Reiki uses earth energy and pranic fire energy, but Tera Mai Seichem calls upon the energies of all four elements—earth, fire, air and water—because our bodies are composed of them. I act as a conduit, and through meditation, channel the energies and clear the chakras and aura of a person. It is healing on a physical, mental and emotional level,” says the former investment banker, who has treated diabetes, depression, schizophrenia and the like. Having done a certified course at Mumbai’s Roots ‘n’ Wings Academy of Healing Arts, she also practices tarot reading. “I use it for guidance. There are spreads in tarot, for health, where you can see which chakra is affected.” Sometimes she even uses the two side by side, to “answer through tarot what you can’t through healing”. Details: 9600015973
A patient with aquaphobia (an abnormal fear of water) underwent one session of holoenergetic healing and, the very next day, was playing in the ocean. That, says practitioner Marie Claire Barsotti, is the strength of the therapy created by Dr Leonard Laskow, a gynaecologist in France. “Through a process of visualisation and transformation, it guides a person to reconnect with oneness,” says the former school teacher, who studied under Laskow and now practices in Auroville. The process is four-pronged. “Once a patient is put in a modified state of consciousness (hypnosis), I help them ‘recognise’ the problem. Then comes ‘resonance’, where they follow the energy and identify the problem. Next is ‘release’, when with forceful breath, intention and imagery they let go of the harmful energy patterns. And, finally, ‘reformation’, where they fill the void with a positive healing image,” explains Barsotti, who is currently working with schools to help children leave behind any trauma. Details: email@example.com
A healer for many years, Sudha Murari had become jaded when she realised nothing gave her practical tools to live a life of joy. “Then, three years ago, I came across Access Consciousness. At a tele-summit, something facilitator Dain Heer said—whatever is light for you is right for you—resonated with me and I started using it, even while shopping, and I found a great shift,” says Murari. A facilitator now, she helps people realise their potential, runs bars (activating 32 points in the head to release mental blocks) and heals with body processes. “Our body is composed of electrical impulses. Negative blocks (like complexes) are stored as electrical impulses and when we run bars, we activate these points and release them,” she says, adding that body processes is a hand-on method—using different hand placements and saying aloud the names of the processes (over 58 in all)—to help repair the body. “I did a session on a child suffering from dengue and his platelet count began increasing. He was released from hospital soon after,” she says. It is also great for people with high BP, insomnia, migraine and more. Details: 9962631387
A healing technique created by Soleil Lithman, a French therapist, the Hladina method is based on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother—that the body has memory. “Emotional trauma leaves an imprint on the cellular level. This is why things like back pain and belly pain keep recurring, because they are linked to emotions that you are not even aware of,” states Vani Poiriar, a practitioner in Auroville. The Frenchwoman has combined the method with hypnotherapy to create her own brand, called Journey to the Memory of the Body. “Once the patient is under hypnosis, we connect with the inner child, identify the trauma and cleanse the cellular residue,” says Poiriar. Details: 0413 2623008