Author: Marivir R. Montebon
I recently experienced a revolution. But it was not a bloody revolution. Rather it was an internal revolution experienced during my stay at a natural therapy healing center in Cebu, Philippines.
This is a health revolution I am talking about, a completely new way to keep myself healthy in the most natural sense of the word. It was definitely one of the best decisions I made in my life.
When my daughter spent her usual summer vacation in Larena (my Mom's hometown in the island of Siquijor), I figured it was the only time I would be able to undergo the natural therapies this year. For practical and professional reasons, and for curiosity's sake, I decided to go for the 10-day regimen.
The Ananda Marga Wellness Center in Green View Subdivision in Pagsabungan, Mandaue in Cebu is a comfortable dome-shaped house, fully carpeted with 22 rooms, including an art room, meditation room (also called cave), and a media room, a huge exercise room, and a garden. Its design is so well-planned to harmonize all physical, mental, and spiritual activities that promote our well-being. Upon entering the house, there is immediately this positive feeling of ease.
One can choose to learn about heathy and happy lifestyles through the Wellness Center in the most urgent of times - now. We do not have to wait for a debilitating disease in order to do a reversal of our unhealthy ways of living. It is better to be pro-active.
As a journalist who writes extensively on environmental issues, believing in natural ways of health care is a given. Experiencing the natural holistic health program of Ananda Marga was thus a major undertaking in my personal and professional life. A 10-day regimen is only a short one for those who are not seriously sick and only want a detoxification process.
I thought it was exciting and enjoyable to experience the mud pack treatment as well as the sun bathing. Done systematically in the early morning so that the sun is not yet so fiercely shining, the treatments are thus healthful to the skin. Oil and water massage were applied locally and generally on the body to gain best results.
Mud and sunshine are two natural elements that detoxify the skin which make the treatments necessary, more than just being an act of vanity, as what commercial health centers have somehow impressed.
These therapies are quite popular in commercial spas and I thought they are truly a luxury. Having experienced these treatments easily made me feel pampered. Of course, that was the immediate psychic reward.
The daily exercises (yoga asanas) which were done in the mornings were a good way to start my day. These posture exercises were soothing and rejuvenating, and immediately at the outset, detoxified my skin because of the sweat that is emitted by doing the exercises.
The asanas have however more value than just skin detox. They correct hormonal imbalance thereby enabling the body to cure itself of whatever malfunction or disease it has. The yoga was complimented with
My food was pleasurable and prepared in accordance with my health condition and in compliance with the detox process. I had purely fruits and vegetables for the first three days and fresh fruit juices for the next seven days.
Honestly, I dreaded thinking of the seven-day fruit juices diet. I have never done fasting in my life. Not once did I deliberately starve myself even for just a few hours, despite personal problems or enormous work load. Many times I thought of asking if I can just postpone my fasting.
But then, like a brave soldier conquering one's fear, I marched through the days of just taking liquid food. And to my surprise, I did not feel weak. Although I felt very hungry and salivating at the thought of all my favorite food, I had to shot off my brain from making fuss. After gulping a huge jar of buko juice, or at times apple juice, or melon juice, or pipino mixed with melon juice, I was full and all right.
What made me intact and able to sustain were the detox powder and capsules I took along with the fruit juices. Without these, I doubt if I would have finished my fasting without fainting. The powder and capsules were essentially food and cleaners of the colon.
There were many other treatments that immediately made me feel good after experiencing them - the hot foot bath, steam bath, and hip bath.
But the best detox was colema, a painless method of cleaning the colon. That really made me cleansed from the inside and each time was a truly liberating experience! It was a relief to see that I have at last released the very ugly stuff I have been harboring for a long time!
I also went through art therapy sessions that was psychologically helpful. My own art work revealed my present concerns and state of mind. In a way, it served as a mirror of my current state of being, both consciously and unconsciously. The experience was a reaffirmation that art is indeed a powerful tool for self-understanding and realization.
Finally, the meditation sessions. For so many times that I sat down and closed my eyes to meditate, my mind wandered through all corners of the universe. There is always a mad scramble of thoughts in my head.
But I gradually learned to find the key to still my mind (after all the many sessions that I did) and to focus on a single beautiful thought. This beautiful thought, embedded inside me in silence, eradicated confusion, fear, and all the monsters in my mind.
Meditation is a style of thinking that teaches us to focus on our individuality and to discover that inside us there is an infinite reservoir of love that will nourish us to go through anything in life. It is a spiritual journey into oneself, regardless of his or her religious background.
My mind is amazing, if it is calm and quiet, it can naturally and effortlessly pick up from its own vastness the solutions to its concerns, both real or perceived.
Each time I open my eyes, I become increasingly calm and confident that anything in life can be handled well and beautifully. Through regular meditation, I can sense that I have developed the ability to focus on good thoughts, get inspired by these thoughts and try to maintain a cheerful disposition.
The greatest lesson I learned in my 10-day regimen at the Wellness Center could be said in one statement - my happiness and good health begin and depend on me, primarily, and ultimately. It is a choice I gladly
(The Ananda Marga Wellness Center is at N. Alinsug Street, Green View Subdivision, Pagsabungan, Mandaue City. Tel. No. 346-9664 and can be reached at email@example.com or www.amwellness.org)
The author is a Cebu-based book writer and television host and executive producer of Babaye, a television talk show on women aired over Channel 47 or the Catholic Television Network). The website for the AM Wellness Center is http://www.amwellness.org