Saturday, May 25, 2002

Holistic healing
Aditi Tandon

Dr Alka JunejaAMONG the many therapies recommended and tried is the 5000-year-old Indian system of ayurveda, which of late is becoming increasingly popular with the masses. Even until five years ago even the most brilliant students of Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh, were not much in demand but now they are being welcomed in the medical field. Representing the genre of young ayurveda practitioners in the city is Dr Alka Juneja, who is increasingly being approached for holistic healing.

Dr Juneja combines dietary schedules, herbal remedies, intestinal cleansing measures, techniques like yoga, meditation, body massage, breathing exercises, and visual imagery to treat her patients. She also seeks the aid of ayurvedic preparations, made from some 1,250 plants. No wonder she has cured over 30 cases of acute arthritis and other ailments. As a trained Panchkarma expert, Dr Juneja bases her treatment on five elements or panch mahabutas ó ether (aakash), air (vayu), fire (tejas), water (apa) and earth (prithvi). She has recorded success in curing complex problems ranging from infertility to elephantiasis.


Recently appointed as consultant with Ayush Ayurvedic Panchkarma and Kerela Massage Centre, Sector 34, Dr Juneja credits her achievements to ayurveda which, she says, "treats human body as a unit of the universe. In this system rejuvenation treatment (rasayan chikitsa) and aphrodisiac treatment (vajikaran chikitsa) are essential." Through its famous tridoshas (vata, pitta and kapha), ayurveda establishes the vital balance between a personís physical, emotional and spiritual forces. Interestingly, the five elements manifest as tridoshas in the human body. Fire and water elements manifest together in the body as pitta, air as vata and earth and water as kapha.

Dr Juneja informs that doshas not only enable body organs to work together, but also establishes a personís connection with the cosmos. She claims that each person is dominated by one dosha, but influenced to some extent by all three. The cure, prescribed under the Panchkarma theory, aims at the eradication of the disease and balance of mind, body and spirit.

The idea is to restore physical and spiritual harmony by balancing energy forces. Such an approach increases physical vitality, fosters spiritual well-being, brings individuals in harmony with the world, and prevents and cures disease.

To diagnose a disease, ayurveda practitioners observe a patientís tongue, nails, lips, and bodyís nine "doors": two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth, genitalia and anus. They also listen carefully to the lungs and pulse and take a detailed history of patientís life and health. Through these observations, the patientís doshas are evaluated.

Dr Juneja plans to set up a gurukul, where ayurveda and pranayam will be blended to defeat negative forces among individuals.