Book Review

FEATURES

February 17, 1997

Simple steps to a healthy life

In part one of our series on natural ways to achieve good health, Shyam Singha explains how to maintain your body's balance without resorting to drugs.

Excerpted from his new book, Secrets To Natural Health.

Since time immemorial, mankind has searched for an ambrosia, a panacea, a secret formula which would provide relief from illness, and offer longevity,eternal youth, strength, and stamina.

The old approach to medication was to make the body strong by purging it of debris, old blood, and toxins, and feeding it with nutritious food. Modern medicine does not worry about food, but concerns itself mainly with pathogens ­ bacteria and viruses. But it often happens that when you kill the bacteria or viruses, you also harm the host. Bacteria which are subdued by a drug mutate and change and return to affect us again, in a more virulent manner than before. In the end, chronic disease increases and the resistance of the body is lowered.

Good health involves listening to the body. Once we learn this art, many illnesses can be overcome by allowing the body to heal and re-balance itself without resorting to drugs and chemicals, which could well be the primary cause of the breakdown of our immune systems.

The Western approach to treatment seeks to persuade us that one specific remedy can be applied to a given symptom, regardless of the individual. But specific causes can be different for each person. This approach induces us to be insensitive to our bodies, to ignore the first signs of discomfort and imbalance. And then, when it is almost too late, we subject ourselves to a massive over-reaction of Western-style drugs.

It is like ignoring the first signs when your car is not running properly, waiting until it finally breaks down at some inconvenient time, and then involving yourself in paying a huge bill for the eventual repair. A little preventive medicine to rectify the disorder would be far more convenient, and save you from a large subsequent bill.

A more considered approach to health would save us from the damaging side-effects of "modern" medicine, by noticing the mild disorder earlier and practising preventative medicine. A number of commonly available foods or simple remedies can supply this corrective treatment.

When the body tells you, "I am experiencing discomfort", the discomfort will become disease if you fail to listen. The important lesson is to learn to "catch it early".

Our tendency is to suppress what the body is saying, with or without drugs. Although we may take aspirin or paracetamol for a a headache, the headache is still there even though we no longer feel it. If the condition is suppressed rather than expressed, it may become inflammation. Thereafter, more drastic measures are called for, such as operations to remove tonsils, appendix or kidney stones. But surgery does not necessarily remove the cause of an illness.

There are more gentle ways to help the body. We can treat a disease byincreasing the energy of the body, so that it can heal itself. We treat the body from the inside out, instead from the outside in.

Good health also requires regular maintenance of our bodies and monitoring of our lives. It entails listening to our bodies and viewing our discomforts in a whole way, rather than as a specific and particular set of symptoms. While I am not advocating the non-use of medication, I am strongly against the unnecessary, continuous, and repetitive use of medication without regular evaluation. Many ailments are caused by an inappropriate lifestyle and bad eating habits. It is an old truism that "we are what we eat".

*Extracted from The Secrets of Natural Health , by Shyam Singha. Element Books, £9.99

A second excerpt ...

February 18 1997

BODY AND MIND

Spring-clean

As the name suggests, this is a springtime diet. In the same way that we spring-clean our homes after the winter, you can detoxify and cleanse your body from the effects of winter foods, which are often preserved and rich in starch and proteins. To initiate this change of diet, eat only raw food for a day before starting it.

First day: Fruit juice diluted with distilled or decalcified water, alternating with clear-vegetable soup from seasonal vegetables. Use six cups of diced or grated vegetables for the vegetable soup. Boil four litres of water until two litres are left. Drink one cupful every two hours during the day.

Second day: Repeat.

Third day: Three meals of fresh fruit only. Any fruit that you can buy - pineapples, peaches, apples, oranges, pears, etc.

Fourth day: Repeat, plus a glass of instant biological vegetable bouillon at each meal.

Fifth day: Breakfast: Fresh fruit and bioyoghurt.

Lunch: Large salad comprising lettuce, watercress, grated carrots. Follow it up with raisins and soaked prunes or figs.

Dinner: Steamed cabbage and carrots with 50g of marinated tofu, cooked or raw.

Sixth day: Breakfast: Fresh fruit and wheatgerm bio-yoghurt.

Lunch: Large mixed salad with three crispbreads and butter.

Dinner: Steamed sprouts or greens. Organically grown potatoes baked with their skins. Baked apples stuffed with raisins and cloves.

Seventh day: Design your meal with wholemeal bread, honey, wholewheat cereals, fresh fruit, mixed green salads, diluted fruit juices.

Assignments: Take a hot bath every night with 500g Epsom salts 500g sea salt and 125g bicarbonate of soda. You may also add a teaspoon each of mustard powder and paprika. Be careful not to touch or rub your eyes. Stand up slowly to avoid dizziness, then take a cold shower. Go straight to bed with warm night clothes.

If a bath is not available, take hot and cold showers. Let the water run on the spine: three minutes hot and one minute cold. Repeat three times.

Extracted from The Secrets of Natural Health by Shyam Singha, Element Books.

Brought to you by the Dr. Singha's Natural Therapeutics Centre. If you would like to order a copy of Dr. Singha's book, please call 1-800-856-2862