Grandfather’s Old-School Health Practices that Supported Healing

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This blog is another opportunity to feel grateful and thank you dear Universe: You continue to bless me with recovery and overall health. 

When the body targets its own defensive mechanism, medicine ought to step in, and what better than to gain insights and implement old-school practices to support health?

Typically, at times our body disagrees to live in tandem when there is a mismatch between our genes and environment. It is simply an indication that we need to make modifications to support harmony.

Rare and Chronic diseases are by and large associated and are a language of living a modern lifestyle. I lived a healthy life, far healthier than many people around, I got diagnosed with a rare disease called Isaacs’ Syndrome (a neuromuscular condition stemming from muscle hyperactivity), my life underwent a drastic change, following that diagnosis, and I also discovered I was suffering from Lyme disease (a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks), Glaucoma (which damages the optic nerve), and Membranous Glomerulonephritis (a progressive kidney disease).

Post diagnosis, I carried a list of diverse symptoms and various prescriptions that spelled and dictated a dose of 42 pills spread throughout the day. The doctors recommended taking support from ‘old-school traditional health practices’ to reduce dependency on direct medicines and promote overall health. It was definitely not a hard one as many of these traditional practices are ones I grew up with. If I go back to my family roots, by and large, we lived a life free of major ailments. Though certain customs and traditions may look ordinary in their appearance however have numerous health benefits attached to them.

However, with time, these ethics changed for the good and the bad, isn’t it?

I always looked to my grandfather to stay healthy.

It goes without saying that colonialism shook us to our core however still in certain traditional Indian families, ancestral belief has inevitably influenced health matters for their strong long-standing effect.

My mother always reiterates how my grandfather laid the blueprint for a healthy lifestyle. He made a habit of engaging in muti-faceted activities that kept a good balance and emphasized the natural healing power of the body by giving him enough time to recover whenever ill. Even till the last day, he was healthy enough to carry out his daily routine independently. As a kid, I was fortunate to spend time in his company to understand the secrets to his graceful healthy, and adventurous life. First thing first, his key ideology was to ‘keep things simple. For most people of his generation, authentic Ayurvedic practices were a way of living and not a prescription. It came naturally to focus on a well-curated diet and try home remedies, acupressure, balance physical and mental work, and practice pranayama. He often reiterated that his daily practices were designed to keep him physically balanced and mentally peaceful. Today after years I remember him as an inspiration, a powerful man whose long-lasting habits and behaviour reinforced my values and helped me in the toughest moments of life. His practices had a simple, practical, and scientific approach to life though it might seem strange nowadays:

  • His day started and ended early
  • Went for a walk and while returning chose and picked his own vegetables
  • Smiled for no rhyme or reason
  • Drank warm water empty stomach
  • Used a copper utensil for drinking water throughout the day
  • The desire to maintain a specific gesture made him sit with crossed legs while eating
  • Kept vegetarian
  • Chew his food nicely before gulping it down
  • Thoroughly believed in the concept of Eat with the Sun
  • Detox once in 15 days
  • Daily practice of Yogic postures except for Saturdays, full & no moon days
  • Practiced Abhayanga at least 3 times a week
  • Relied completely on herbal formulations
  • Connected daily with Nature
  • Had fixed timings to chant Vedic Mantra
  • Loved playing Chess as his hobby
  • Always sounded grateful for even little things
  • Made sure to share his Happiness

It goes without saying that staying healthy is important however we experience many life changes that accompany us growing older including physical and mental health challenges. The art of gracefully handling these changes is the key to living life to the fullest.

Even when sick my grandfather hardly found the need to consult a doctor as he believed in the philosophy of my body knows it all’. Typically, he had an approach that is widely gaining popularity today, as ‘Holistic Healing’. Considering the age difference, I was amazed that how his metabolism was much stronger, and he stayed active through the day with the least possible rest. Today, many ailments are categorized as Lifestyle Diseases, and they can be managed better or treated with certain lifestyle shifts and not completely relying on medicines. Medicines could be used for short-term support whereas Healthy practices can go a long way in preventing, reversing, and curing diseases and nurture us from the core. Sometimes, the most effective stimulus to rearrange our lives is to understand and make sense of most intimate health situations.

Though there isn’t any measuring tool to weigh the impact of these practices however the lessons my grandfather left behind have helped me maintain my well-being. These multimodal treatments managed my symptoms and treated my core rather than a symptomatic approach.

It continues to thrive in any given life situation and is evident that I feel a lot stronger.


The views expressed above in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.

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