am. 'The Cold Treatment'
is around this time that activity in the ashram reaches a crescendo. As we walk towards an
open space plum in the centre of the ashram 'Grouping and Classification' of men is in
progress. In an act of reminiscent of a military exercise soon most of the people have
packed off towards their respective destinations.
tour-de-ashram began with the bathrooms! We began with kati bath, which for the uninitiated
is a cross between a bathtub and a wicker chair filled to the brim with either ice-cold or
steaming-hot water. The modus-operandi of the kati bath treatment is that the person needs
to strategically balance himself over the bath in such a way that only the hips remain
immersed in the water. If a person has loose motions then naturopathy prescribes that kati
-bath is a must. It is also useful in cases of high fever.
modified 'kati bath' is spinal bath where the whole of the back is immersed in water. It
is efficacious in treating paralysis and allied disorder of the spinal cord. . Our travel
across the vast expanse of the bathroom took us to the steam bath section. The steam
chambers struck a perfect resemblance to a washing machine. Only the human heads popping
out of their openings gave a clue of their washing things other than dirty linen.
friendly instructor soon enlightens us on the benefits of this washing
While steam gently warms the body , it cools the mind. It is soothing at the same time
rejuvenating. The maximum effect of steam however, is concentrated on the skin . It
unclogs blocked pores, stimulates the sweat glands and promotes expulsion of toxins from
the skin all this on its own steam. The benefits of steam can be heightened by adding Neem
leaves to the boiling water" he waves. Neem and steam , what a team!
no.2 : Always knock before you enter ; or you might get knocked out !
a.m. : Mud And massage.
takes the skilled hands and shrewd minds of Naturopath, to uplift the status of mud to
medicine. Explaining the magic of mud , Dr. Pawar , a resident doctor at the ashram
reveals, " Mud has cooling properties. When applied to the body as a balm it makes it
calm. Mud also has magnetic properties due to its mineral content. This cheers up the
person and charges up the entire nervous system. Last, but not the least mud is also good
for all skin ailments ."
thus engaged in conversation regarding the good , bad and the ugly of mud, we have moved
on to the mud bath section. Slathered from head to foot in mud are half a dozen men, as if
partaking in some strange tribal ritual. "They are only taking a mud bath,"
informs one of the instructors with a smile on his face.
No.3 : A mud pack a day keeps doctor away.