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NATUROPATHY AND HOLISTIC HEALTH HEALING IN GOA

SAIBAL DAS
And this was what I did. Even as
‘Elvis’ Pereira, ‘Britney’ Sequiera and

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Bosco ‘Marley’ sang from screaming
billboards, vying to become the
Kingfisher-sponsored voice of Goa.

A healer a day...
Like these singers, Goa throws up
healers and therapists at every turn,
but they do tend to gravitate to Goa’s
happy hunting grounds: the beach
stretches of Anjuna-Vagator in the
north, Calangute-Baga towards the
centre and Palolem-Patnem in the
south. Some are hidden in nooks and
crannies, others boldly claim atten-
tion on the main streets.
It was by pure chance that I
caught a glimpse of Susi’s notice, on
a random wall of a house on my way
back from Anjuna Beach. The notice
was well worn out and probably the
only one that survived from the
previous season. And because not
many people do Shiatsu, leave alone
‘Craniosacral therapy’, I decided to
give her a call — fortunately, she was
back from Europe that very day.
Susi is one of those who could be
Goa attracts the free spirited termed the local foreigners of Goa.
Health and all that jazz She came here in 1976, leaving
all over the world, who are interested behind, she hoped, Western civilisa-
■ BY AMIT MAHAJAN sun blushes on romantic evenings on in alternative ways of “living” — tion. In Goa, she offers her therapies
isolated beaches and seaside cliffs. The forming communities differently, re- from her home in Arpora (near

A
s the sun moves south beyond old churches and the Portuguese- lating to the environment differ- Anjuna Beach), a beautiful green and
the Equator, on its way to its flavoured streets carry the aroma of ently, earning differently, eating secluded hamlet. In her session she
annual rendezvous with the past. For those who are tired of the differently… and therefore also combines Shiatsu (see ‘Pressure
Tropic of Capricorn, Goa begins to get idea of ‘activity’ and want just calm relating to their bodies and minds tactics’ on page 307), Dynamic Spine
ready. It starts decking up expectantly, and repose, there is the deep relax- differently. That is, healing and therapy and Craniosacral (see ‘Fine-
a change here, a touch there... to host ation of the wet beach enveloping getting healed differently. tuning the body’ on page 310). She has
the winter visitors who will flock to its tired feet; the healing touches of the This was the Goa in my mind, the been practising for 20 years and you
shores. Some will come looking for waves rushing to soak away the Goa with a difference, a land replete feel that you are in safe, deft and
fun and frenzy and action. Others will tension from weary limbs; and the with an alternative healing culture, competent hands.
throng in search of relaxation, regenerative warmth of the sun when I came here to figure out its I complained of a discomfort in
healing, even solace. massaging the muscles, loosening ‘wellness scene’. An author of a guide my lower back, not pronounced
Travellers and revellers alike know them tissue by deep tissue. book had written of a Goan beach enough to be pain, but frequent
Goa for its attractions. The business of However, one of the most impor- town: “As with other beach towns in enough to be unhappiness. She began
leisure is pursued in right earnest on tant but indefinable things that make Goa, many places offer Yoga courses, the session with Dynamic Spine
busy beaches, and partying prevails in Goa ‘Goa’ is the fact that it attracts a Reiki, massage and Ayurvedic treat- Therapy. I stood with my back
other stomping grounds. The sinking constant movement of people, from ments. Ask around or look for signs.” towards her, a bit bent forward and

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NATUROPATHY AND HOLISTIC HEALTH HEALING IN GOA

CHARUKESI RAMADURAI
chosen it well. In the very first
encounter she appears a wonderfully
Veganism: No milk of

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nice and empathetic person. Of
European parentage and upbringing,
she says her heart is half-African and
human kindness
half-Indian. She finds Europe much Food products like milk, curd, cheese and
more sterile, and lifeless, than the honey are the mainstay of the diets of many
places she has seen in India. In vegetarians, and the epitome of goodness for
Palolem she gets a sense of comm- those brought up in the moral and dietary
unity — a community formed by the traditions of dairy-farming, cow-worshipping
‘outsiders’ and the ‘locals’ together. societies. However, for vegans these products
The last time she was in Delhi, she are anathema. Veganism is a way of life that
mainly walked along the Yamuna, seeks to exclude — for reasons of health, ethics
trying to get a sense of people’s lives as well as ecology — all products that are
on those fringes. The first thing she derived from animals.
wants to speak to me is about the Health-wise, veganism attributes several
strife local people had been going potential adverse health effects to dietary
through after many shacks along the animal fats and proteins, and many nutritional
Goan beaches were broken after a benefits — including lower levels of saturated
court order. fats and no cholesterol — to diets devoid of
Karuna takes Yoga and Medita- animal products. Ecologically speaking, vegans
Wellness activities in Goa are concentrated around the beaches tion classes, and also does massage. consider animal products to be a wasteful
Her skills are drawn from the method of producing food and thus, inimical to
my hands holding the bars of a but sitting with my head in her Sivananda and Bihar schools of earth’s ecology. Ethically, veganism believes
window. She pressed two points on palms, fingers supporting the cervical Yoga — she takes classes twice daily. that humans do not need animal products to
my lower back, and made me move spine. But it also felt like something You can attend your first class with survive and that it is wrong to kill or cause
slowly, first my torso and then an was being done, something very voluntary contribution; subsequently suffering to other animals.
oscillating movement with my leg. delicate, her fingers were in touch she charges Rs 200 per class. There is
The idea was to bring the spine into with some dynamic inside my head an invitation to the local people to called Dorn (see page 309) using
alignment. She worked similarly on and spine. join her classes for free. Sunday gentle pressure of the hand and
my thoracic and cervical spine. Then Later I learned that that is what morning is the Meditation class, thumbs. Dorn works at many levels
I was lying down, on my back and Craniosacral is (see ‘Fine-tuning’ on which is free for everybody. — it is great for both physical and
then on my stomach and Susi worked page 310) and we agreed ‘deep’ was Karuna’s massage (Rs 500/ 1 hour) mental stress, and as an emotional
on the various meridians — her the only word to describe it with all combines elements of Thai and release. While working my shoulders,
movements precise, the pressure sure, the connotations of ‘difficult to Swedish massages and a therapy she said they were very stressed and
her 20 years of experience showed in comprehend’, ‘profound’, ‘intense’…
every manouvre. She used a lot of her Post-session we shared some jasmine
body for exerting pressure, at many tea in the lovely verandah of her
angles and positions. house in a leafy ambience. I promised
“It’s a good workout for me too,” the next time I meet her we will
she said, “more than three sessions a discuss whether and how it is possible
day are too many.” At one point she to run away from what she calls
was standing on the insides of my ‘Western Civilisation’. Susi can also
feet, and surprisingly for me, I let out teach the massage she does. A 7-day
an audible sigh of relief. course (5 hours every day) will make
Susi ended the session with my you competent to do a general
first experience of Craniosacral massage.
therapy. It was the most subtle form My next encounter is with
of healing I had come across, so much Karuna. Karuna (meaning compas-
so that I felt she was doing nothing sion) is her chosen name, and she has

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NATUROPATHY AND HOLISTIC HEALTH HEALING IN GOA

KEDAR BHAT KEDAR BHAT


and is their dietary advisor. She comes
here every second day during the
Food Intolerance Test:

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season, and also to keep any pre-fixed
appointments.
A meeting with Sandra and the
Test of substance
Harmonic Food Intolerance Test It is a commonplace that some foods do not
she offers (see alongside) can poten- suit some of us, and also that many diseases
tially change your dietary life. I, for are caused by our adverse reactions to
example, have given up eating fruit particular foods. This phenomenon is called
after meals since she told me that if Food Intolerance. The problems caused by
you have fruit with any other food Food Intolerance can range from diarrhoea
group, the fruit just sits in the and asthma to depression, anxiety and
stomach, rotting, waiting for its turn migraine. Identifying the food that is causing
to be digested. Sandra has loads of the problem is usually a long and tedious
knowledge to share about what to eat, process of trial and error.
and when, and how. You can work A Food Intolerance Test is a much simpler
out with her a balanced diet (vege- way of finding out if any food product
tarian, non-vegetarian or vegan) for adversely affects you. The test measures your
yourself and, as examples, discuss the body’s response to different foods and drinks.
menu of Blue Tao and figure out ‘why The equipment consists of a simple painless
An Ayurvedic massage and a Kalari massage (above right) in progress the ginger in leek carrot soup?’ You sensor that is put on the tip of your finger. The
may combine the Food Intolerance sensor is connected to an electronic device
she could not even ‘connect’ with to a rocky outcrop. Test with the dietary advice; she whose settings can be changed to correspond
them. Her inference was that I was Many friends of Uma and Mahesh charges Rs 950 for an hour. to various food products. Your body’s
carrying many responsibilities and are healers and practitioners of The Blue Tao Organic Restaurant resistance in each instance is measured and it
should let go. Ten minutes later when alternative therapies, and they prac- and Café is run by Jagran M A indicates whether you have intolerance
she came back to the shoulders, she tise or teach different therapies here, D’Angelo, Italian by birth, Indian by towards that product.
felt that they’d loosened and I felt such as Zen Shiatsu, Chi Gong and choice. A spacious restaurant right on You may have a test done for all kinds of
lightness like I hadn’t for a long time. Mayan massage. However, they are the Anjuna Beach Road, its menu lists foods, or only for specific food groups that you
Finding Karuna is easy as she itinerant souls. Uma and Mahesh were both vegetarian and vegan (see ‘Vegan- may suspect. Intolerance to a particular
works next to the popular Blue Planet hoping to have somebody who would ism’ on page 303) choices, and is de- substance does not necessarily mean that you
restaurant in Palolem. It’s a great teach Vipassana Meditation and, signed with Sandra’s help. The restau- will have to give up that substance forever.
place to eat healthy — try the Healthy possibly, Kundalini Yoga learned from rant serves excellent soups (Rs 50-60), Sometimes, after avoiding the food for a short
Juice (pineapple, carrot, pepper, balsa- the Osho Ashram later in the season. salads (Rs 90-160), sandwiches (Rs 90- period the body can tolerate it thereafter.
mic vinegar, ginger and cumin) for Their website explains: “At the 160), spaghetti (Rs 110-150), momos
Rs 50. Also check out notices about moment we are mainly a Yoga centre,
other health-related activities. but from time to time we have highly
Further south from Palolem, recommended masseurs or Reiki
walking on the very empty Patnem teachers who grace us with their
Beach, I came across the happy sight talents as they pass through here on
of Bhalu, Oko, Mala and Pepe — their India travels, usually in the peak
German Shepherds all — relaxing on season October to March.”
the water’s edge while people Back in Anjuna, I meet Sandra, a
meditated nearby. They were part of dietary advisor from England who has
the Moksha Nivas Holistic Healing been living in Goa for a couple of
Centre run by Uma and Greg years now and insists that she has
“Mahesh” Wright who teach Yoga in given up staying in England for good.
the Iyengar tradition and practise You can meet Sandra at the Blue Tao
Reiki. The centre has a beautiful Organic Restaurant and Café; she is
location right on the beach and close intimately connected with Blue Tao

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NATUROPATHY AND HOLISTIC HEALTH HEALING IN GOA

KEDAR BHAT
goes beyond the physical body to
address the unconscious.
Shiatsu Massage:

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Anand inspired confidence and
my session was indeed a very relaxing
one, but, perhaps because it was the
Pressure tactics
only sitting I had, it came nowhere Finger pressure: that’s the simple meaning of
close to what I later read of this the Japanese word Shiatsu, and the system of
treatment. Sample this: “The therapy healing known by this word believes that we all
uses gentle touch to change life have the capability to heal and get healed by
patterns by re-educating the mere touch. The system of Shiatsu massage
unconscious mind and eliminating originated in China and was further developed
deeply seated influences, resulting in in Japan. Now Shiatsu is a popular method of
profound shifts in illness, disease and alternative healing practised in many countries.
emotional disturbances.” This system believes that our bodies work
Then there are Debby and and heal themselves by the operations of the
Mahesh, who, when they are not body’s energy called chi, which flows in 12
relaxing somebody’s tensed up channels called ‘meridians’. These meridians
muscles with their nimble fingers, are are given names such as Spleen Meridian or
to be found sitting on the steps Stomach Meridian and run longitudinally
outside their lovely tall house on the through the body. At specific pressure points,
Anjuna Beach Road. Mahesh prac- located on the meridians, one can influence the
tises a whole lot of massages and flow of this energy, induce it to move towards a
A Yoga class in progess at the Blue Planet restaurant treatments, which he has learned state of balance and thus, achieve healing.
over the years from various sources. A typical Shiatsu massage is done on the
(Rs 90-140) and pancakes (Rs 40-60). If you have formed an impression He does Aromatherapy massage, patient lying on a mat. The healer presses
You can also have innovative options that healing in Goa is an activity Reflexology, Ayurvedic massage various points along the meridians depending
such as coconut-mushroom-green practised by only non-Indians, check and treatments such as Kizhi, upon the patient’s condition. Only the natural
peas spaghetti with pumpkin miso out Mr Anand at Johnny’s Hotel in Kadivasti, Shirodhara… Debby is pressure of the hands and the body is applied
soup or an avocado-soya sandwich Calangute. He will single-handedly trained in Aromatherapy and in during the massage. The massage is a very
with leek-carrot-ginger soup. Bever- cure you of this impression, and Ayurvedic treatments. In summer relaxing experience even though some points
ages to choose from are juices like much else. He offers a host of they run a Reflexology clinic in can be painful. Shiatsu is good for a general
papaya orange juice (Rs 50) and green treatments and courses: Reiki, Yoga, Finland, and are very proud of a improvement in health and also for a wide
tea (Rs 40). Reflexology as well as Metamor- Finnish newspaper’s reportage about range of problems from migraines and back
Unlike most tourism-oriented phosis Healing. them. Mahesh has good firm hands as pains to constipation and skin diseases.
establishments in Goa, Blue Tao Anand is a portly-looking middle- he manoeuvres the contours and
functions throughout the year. It is a aged man, very much the teacher he
happening place health-wise and is otherwise. However, he has been a
addresses ill health on many fronts. healer for many years. He charges Rs
During the high season (mid-Novem- 300 per session for Yoga and Rs 600
ber to April) Blue Tao organises Yoga for other treatments. Indians are
and Meditation classes in the likely to get some discount. I had a
morning; for bookings and prices you session of Reiki and Metamorphosis
can directly contact Jagran (Mobile: Healing each. Metamorphosis is a
09850419782). They also have a technique developed in England in
natural health shop, a small affair the 1950s by Dr Robert St John, and
with natural incenses, Aromatherapy relies on the body’s self-healing
oils, natural alcohol-free perfumes capacity. The healer uses a very soft
and cosmetics. Their notice board is a touch on the feet, hands and head
good place to find health and healing deploying a butterfly-like action of
related information for Goa. the fingers. Metamorphosis therapy

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HP Vishnu is in his fifties, hails


from Pune and has an experience of
Dorn Therapy: The

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15 years in Marma and Ayurveda; he
has been in Goa for about six years.
After a session, if he feels the need, he
modern folk art
will teach some Yoga asanas and Dorn is a method of healing, often described as
Pranayama. You can also learn the a ‘gentle relative to osteopathy and chiro-
basics of Ayurveda and Marma practic’, developed in the 1970s by Dieter
massages with him in a 15-day long Dorn. A farmer and sawmill owner in Germany,
course, 2-21/2 hours everyday, costing Dieter Dorn wanted this method to be freely
approximately Rs 10,000. available to anybody to use and to become a
‘Health’ is a large concept and folk medicine. He did not use his right to make
everybody agrees that there is a deep it a trademark. Dorn is now a popular technique
connection between health and to cure back pain, sciatica, hip problems and
happiness. Some sure ways of keeping other problems.
happy (and thus, healthy?) on the The Dorn Method is based on the principle
Goan beaches are: chilled beers under that our spinal column is symmetrical and in a
the shade of beach umbrellas, fish harmonic equilibrium. Due to inequality in the
and chips on the edge of the rocky lengths of a patient’s legs, the pelvis becomes
promontory hanging above the blue somewhat twisted and causes asymmetries in
waters, and beach volleyball or foot- the spinal column. During the therapy, a practi-
Sun, sand and smiles under the massage-man’s hands ball with the restaurant workers. If you tioner carries out a correction of the unequal
cannot leave the beach and still want leg lengths and treats many conditions related
structures of your body. He feels hour). He doused me in herbal oils some healing, then try the tradition- to spinal misalignments. These misalignments
Reflexology is the most effective of that he had prepared himself and, al Hindustani massage — Rs 400 for are to be found in almost everybody these days
the treatments he practises, and the while intoning Vedic chants, worked full body, Rs 200 for half (head and and cause a range of spinal and joint problems.
toughest for him to do. They charge on my Marma points. Even though torso or arms and legs) on Anjuna Dorn is a gentle method in which pressure
Rs 500-900 for the different therapies; Vishnu practises in a small room with Beach. This is absolutely delightful by hands and thumbs is used to correct the
the time of a session varies from 45 minimal trimmings, he knows his stuff on a beach bed (Rs 100 for the vertebrae and other joints. No medicines are
mins to an hour and 15 mins. massage. It left a feeling of being day) in one of the beach shacks. The administered. The re-alignment is done by a
In the establishments run by thoroughly scrubbed and cleansed as rough but comforting hands of a dynamic process — the bones are brought
Debby and Mahesh, men work on well as kneaded to the point of stupor. North Indian male will squeeze out back into proper position while they are
men and women on women, and Marma therapy is a part of the tiredness from your shoulders and moving. Usually, the effect of the therapy is felt
they are scathingly contemptuous of Ayurveda according to some, and of calves. Follow this with a swim in the immediately.
what they claim is a flourishing the Siddha system according to rolling waves.
practice in Goa — women offering others. There are said to be 107 Marma
Ayurvedic massage services to men, points on the body, related to the
thereby demeaning Ayurveda. This is seven chakras, and by striking or
a refrain I heard often enough, but massaging them one can produce
did not get a single such offer in more harmful or healing effects. In fact, it is
than a week’s time (although it might claimed that the Marma system
be a more clandestine activity or travelled, like Buddhism, to Tibet,
offered to better men than I). China and Japan from India and
In fact, a common sight was the formed the precursor to the Japanese
men doing maalish on the beaches Shiatsu massage. Interestingly, Vishnu
for men as well as women with found a painful point in the centre of
nonchalant ease. my calf and said it was related to
On the same Anjuna Beach Road digestion — earlier Susi had said the
I found HP Vishnu offering Marma same thing about the same point
massage (Rs 500, more than an according to the Shiatsu principles.

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KEDAR BHAT
therapies. I tried Rebirthing, in
Craniosacral: Fine-tuning the body which, “through guided breathing a

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person can be made to see his
The atmosphere in which our cranium and Craniosacral is the subtlest of therapies problems clearly”. We tried that for a
spine exist form a system called Cranio- and generates a profound sense of relaxation while but as the clock ticked Rs 5 per
sacral, and for trained fingers it is possible to with the slightest of touches by the therapist. minute to no great result, I asked him
perceive the subtle rhythms in cerebrospinal In a typical session, the patient lies down or to stop. He looks like an interesting
fluid and the membranes that surround the sits and the healer will gently place their character, claims a lot of knowledge,
cerebrum and the spine. This non-invasive hands on the patient’s body and will ‘tune’ in and might be good in some of the
subtle art of healing was discovered by Dr to the system. At the same time this helps stuff he does but I suggest that if you
Sutherland in the early 1900s in the US and release the restrictions in the body, which go to him fix up a price beforehand
involves ‘listening’ with the hands by the inhibit the body’s natural healing capabilities. and save yourself from the threat of
therapist. John Upledger improved upon his This healing is good for general well being the ticking timepiece.
work in the 1970s and began Craniosacral as and is beneficial for all kinds of conditions Again in Calangute, Nishant and
a healing system. including physical and emotional problems. Manish are boyish-looking young
men, strong and muscular. They look
just like the image I have of gym
In Calangute, this is cheaper (Rs subaltern mad artist’s studio; the floor trainers. However, they prefer to be
300, full body) and there are more and the walls of the small cube are known as Swami Manish and Swami
masseurs and masseuses. Check out at speckled with photocopied hand- Nishant and operate in winters from
any of the beach cafés with names charts, Yoga postures, Reflexology Goa, and in summers from Manali.
like Goan Waves, Sea King and Sea diagrams and Acupressure schemas. Their centre is located in a small flat It’s all in your hands
Breeze. If you can’t find one — and Guru Shruti Prakash manages a on the first floor of a housing block in
this is unlikely — just ask the vendors soft diffused appearance in his kurta- the main bazaar in a locality replete 1,500/ 2 hrs). However, their setting
or the waiters. pyjama and a whitening beard. He with restaurants with names like Red in a tired, box-like flat did not inspire
occupies the centre among the tricks Lion Bar, Red NDA, Cassandre. They much confidence.
Business as unusual of his trade. I wanted to know and are trained in Ayurvedic massages, You are also sure to find
This happening wellness scene, of experience the ‘Rebirthing’ and Thai massage, Reflexology, pretenders like Srinivas — Ayurvedic
course, attracts a motley crowd of ‘Chakra Energy Healing’ that he Meditation and Yoga, and have Healer, s/o K Sanjiv Rao Mukhia,
healers — aspirants and charlatans, advertised but he insisted that we learnt most of their trade in Pune. unmissable thanks to his choice of
and all the in-between, difficult-to- began with palm reading and that it They appear knowledgeable and perch. He sits on the pavement on the
trust shades. In Calangute, Guru would indicate the healing we should confident, and their prices are main road that goes to the Anjuna
Shruti Prakash will win hands down choose. The idea, he said, was not to reasonable: Yoga (Rs 150/ 1 hr), Thai Beach, outside the popular Dhum
a contest for the most hand-billed test his skills but to together see if we massage (Rs 600/ 1 hr), Reflexology Biryani Restaurant. The stuff of his
healer. His leaflets were all over the could reach somewhere significant. (Rs 600/ 1 hr), Marma therapy (Rs trade — herbs, roots, choornas and
pillars and walls of the Calangute He took my palm and spoke in a soft,
market — thankfully they were small. happy, enchanted voice — he sounded
He calls himself a palmist and healer deliriously joyful like a Sufi mystic in
and his place the ‘Natural Healing, a trance and had fitting Punjabi-
Soul Realisation and Mysteries tinged English to go with it.
Experience Centre’. He can read your However, his system of charging
palm and give you insights into clients is a letdown. He keeps a time-
yourself and suggestions for happier piece next to him and charges Rs 5 for
life, cure you of acidity, pain in the a minute with the proviso that you
neck and headaches, but also of stop him when you want. This, of
confusion, sadness and restlessness. course, means that you keep track of
He practises Chakra Energy Healing, the time, for he can go on speaking
Shiatsu, Meditation, Yoga, Colour endlessly, often suggesting that a little
Therapy — the claims are exhaustive more time will be worthwhile. The
and exhausting. His room is a same price holds for his other

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KEDAR BHAT
oils are spread out around him and he
waits. He comes from Karnataka,

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claims Ayurveda as a family heirloom,
charges Rs 50 for consultation, Rs 400
for medicine for a month and can try
helping any condition, except
gonorrhea and AIDS. He took my
pulse, concentrated and let loose a
verbal barrage of vata-pita at me. This
he followed with a highly compli-
cated statement, concocting a
miasma of anxiety with words like
‘too much heat’, ‘cells’, ‘sperm’ and
‘water’. I inferred that he was tar-
getting my supposed male insecurity,
as is the practice of many commercial
enterprises, and was predicting a
dilution of sperm if I did not take him
seriously. I decided not to.
Genuine practitioners or con
artists, the healers in Goa are in a state
KEDAR BHAT
of continual flux; they are an itiner-
The outdoors can be invited indoors at Bhakti Kutir ant lot. For one, most are seasonal, In the name of Ayurveda
functioning usually from November
Bhakti Kutir: Living out of the box to April. Secondly, they may or may
not come here year after year. Susi,
gap of more than a decade. And at
Moksha Niwas, different healers visit
As it darkened outside and I climbed up to Bhakti Kutir routinely organises Yoga even though she has come for 20 the place as and when they can.
my room in Bhakti Kutir, I had two choices for classes and Meditation workshops. They years, is not sure whether she is doing Do not plan too much when you
the south wall of my room. If I drew the also have an Ayurvedic centre called Kailas the right things in her life and might go to Goa, go there with the spirit of
curtain the wall would be a bamboo screen. Kerala Traditional Ayurveda, located in not return the next season. Karuna, adventure, let Goa surprise you with
Otherwise, with the curtain removed, the beautiful and spotless huts. I had a Kalari on the other hand, is in her first the unexpected. Its healers may
leafy foliage of a tree fenced the room. Bhakti massage in which I was made to lie down on season here and is already finding the change, but healing will go on.
Kutir is this delightful place run by a Goan- a mat and the therapist did a whole-body warmth of a community and of
German couple just off the Palolem Beach, massage with his feet, while holding on to home. Shruti Prakash has spent only For contact details of these healers in
with huts made of bamboo and straw ropes for support. His feet moved dexter- two seasons here, and those over a Goa, turn to next page
located on a wooded hillock. ously up and down my body, knowing
The accommodation is clean and exactly how much pressure was to be given
comfortable (do not expect luxury) and where. Often he would be standing on my
ecologically sensitive. The squat toilets are back, even on the belly. Implausible as it may
compost-type and the walls are mud- sound, the experience is an extremely
plastered. The food is simple, earthy, organic rejuvenating one. The massages and treat-
and usually vegetarian. Tofu, homemade ments cost Rs 600 and more.
pasta and local drinks like kokum syrup are
served. However, Bhakti Kutir is not into Contact
asceticism — fresh seafood, beer and wine Bhakti Kutir, 296 Colomb, Palolem
are readily available. Care has been taken to Canacona, Goa
make eating a pleasant communal experi- Tel: 0832-2643469/ 72
ence. The dining area has old wooden furni- Email: bhaktikutir@yahoo.com
ture and trees form a lovely canopy. Tariff: Rs 1,500-3,000

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NATUROPATHY AND HOLISTIC HEALTH HEALING IN GOA

SUNSHINE, WATER... AND THE REST ◆Guru Shruti Prakash, Natural Healing, ◆Karuna Next to the Blue Planet
Soul Realisation & Mysteries Restaurant, Main Street to Palolem

SPECIAL FEATURE
Like most of Goa’s tourism-related activities taking place around sunshine and Experience Centre Beach. Mobile: 09860656541
water, the wellness business also gets concentrated around the prime beach Cottage 2, Hotel Calangute Mahal Speciality: Yoga, Meditation, Shiatsu
stretches: Anjuna-Vagator in the north, Calangute-Baga towards the centre and Baga Road massage. Cost: Rs 200 upwards
Palolem-Patnem in the south Mobile: 09860531108 ◆Moksha Nivas Holistic Healing Centre
Speciality: Palmistry, Rebirthing, (Uma and Mahesh)
Anjuna-Vagator ◆Yoga Magic Assagao Chakra Meditation, Colour therapy Patnem Beach
For many, Anjuna is the place if you want Tel: 0832-5623796. Speciality: Yoga Cost: On request Mobile: 09890875992
to combine health and holiday. Anjuna retreat. Cost: Rs 400 upwards ◆Swami Manish and Swami Nishant, Speciality: Yoga, Reiki, Meditation
and the area around it — Vagator and ◆Healthy Healing Centre The Patanjali Yoga & Ayurvedic Centre Cost: Rs 200 upwards
Assagao — are a beehive of healing (Shikha Aggarwal) Flat No. 11, Simplex Chamber ◆Palolem Ayurvedic Centre
activity. You’ll find esoteric stuff like 861/ 2 Sorantto Vaddo UMTA Vaddo, Calangute Behind Hotel Good Shepherd
colour healing and chelation therapy but Anjuna, Bardez Mobile: 09226818294. Speciality: Yoga, Mobile: 09422640193
also the usual Yoga and Ayurveda. A new Tel: 0832-3253657. Speciality: Chelation Ayurveda, Reflexology Speciality: An excellent place to get a
Ayurveda centre materialises every day, therapy and oxygen healing therapies Cost: Rs 150 upwards taste or the full course of Ayurveda
ready to pour warm medicated oils on Cost: Therapies — Rs 50-1,500 Cost: Rs 500 upwards
painful bodies. Packages — Rs 3,500 upwards Palolem-Patnem ◆Kailas Kerala Traditional Ayurveda
The Palolem-Patnem stretch in South Bhakti Kutir (see page 312)
◆Susi Arpora, 5 km from Anjuna Calangute-Baga Goa is famous for its beautifully shaped Cost: Rs 600 upwards
near Hotel Nilaya The Calangute-Baga beach stretch is the beach, dolphin sightings and wellness ◆Joby’s House of Ayurveda
Mobile: 09850464895 Speciality: Shiatsu, centre of the Goan tourists’ universe. tourism. South Goa is discernibly Behind Bhakti Kutir Palolem, Canacona
Craniosacral therapy. Cost: On request Shops, cafés, people, water sports, different from the North — it is more Mobile: 09850457471
◆Sandra Blue Tao Restaurant beach activities — the blend creates a wooded than inhabited, forest rather Speciality: Ayurveda massage
Anjuna Beach Road perpetually festive atmosphere. than fields flanks the roads between Cost: Rs 450 upwards
Mobile: 09822176791 Compared to the other beaches in Goa, towns. Ayurveda is flourishing in ◆Hotel Premier Cabana
Speciality: Dietary advice and Food Calangute has more people — more Palolem too. You can find an Ayurvedic Calangute-Baga Road
Intolerance Test. Cost: Rs 950 upwards Indians who are more protective of their massage in the hotels on the beach; Mobile: 09373712721
◆Debby and Mahesh The Asian bodies, they shield themselves diligently most of these hotels have small wooden Speciality: Reiki and Shiatsu courses
Ayurvedic Centre, Sorrantto from the sun and from others. Ayurveda cottages on stilts. There are many other Cost: Rs 400 upwards
Anjuna Beach Road has become a major ingredient in this therapies to be found. Check the light ◆Hotel Neptune Point
Mobile: 09822708577 holidaying mix, converting it into a tower as you approach Palolem Beach Mobile: 09923095927. Speciality: Yoga
or healthy disorder. Signs advertising and the wall near the stairs of Patnem
The True Ayurvedic Health Centre Ayurveda can be found all over the place Beach. New notices crop up every now Note: These listings carry therapy
Gaon-Vadi — you have low-end options and high- and then. costs only
Anjuna-Baga Road end ones. You can have single
Tel: 0832-3250777; Mobile: 09850417779 massages, Ayurveda treatment
Speciality: Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, packages, Panchakarma therapy and
Reflexology beauty and health care products.
Cost: Rs 500-900
◆HP Vishnu Kakapai House ◆Pousada Tauma
Anjuna Beach Road Porba Vado, Calangute. Tel: 0832-
Mobile: 09822481748 279061-63 Speciality: Ayurveda
Speciality: Marma massage Cost: Rs 1,500 upwards
Cost: Rs 500 upwards ◆Johnny’s Hotel
◆Healing Here and Now (Anand) Cabrawado, Baga Road
St Michael’s Vaddo, Anjuna Tel: 0832-277458
Tel: 0832-32272487 Speciality: Colour Mobile: 09823207592
healing, colon cleansing Speciality: Reiki, metamorphosis, Yoga
Cost: On request Cost: Rs 300 upwards

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