This is an image of heart made with hands in a blog post on Celebrating Love by Haripriya Suraj in her blog When Spirit Meets Science
modern medicine, reiki

Primum Non Nocere – First Do No Harm

When Suraj and I were newly married, we met a Reiki practitioner friend of mine.

After engaging in small talk for a while, my friend began to talk to Suraj about Reiki.

She spoke of how Reiki had helped her in terms of physical wellness, personal development, synchronistic happenings and spiritual growth. Everything she shared seemed pleasant and plausible. Suraj listened earnestly to her.

Suddenly, the tone changed and she began to talk about how Reiki had helped her charge electronics, stop a hailstorm, and also clear traffic jams.

I noticed the expression on Suraj’s face changed for a split second. I knew this may have been a tad too much for a scientific person like him. However, he was polite and continued to listen with interest.

The conversation took an even crazier turn when my friend finally claimed that her Reiki teacher had cured hypertension, heart disease, and even cancer through Reiki.

At this point, I knew Suraj had much to say. However, for my sake, he probably just listened and didn’t get into an argument with her.

On our way back home, I said, “I guess everything my friend shared was a bit ‘too much’ for you.”

He was quiet for a few seconds, after which he said, “You see, the problem is not about something being ‘too much.’ What concerns me is the potential harm that can come out of claims that no one can verify.”

This was all new to me back then. So, I said, “Can you elaborate?”

“If Reiki is really able to charge devices and clear storms, is there harm to anyone?” he asked.

“No, there isn’t. I understand it may be hard to believe such stuff. I think what she meant was when you have a strong enough intention, miraculous things happen. Reiki is just an instrument to make something happen,” I explained.

“That’s alright. But my point is – this claim causes no harm to anyone. And if Reiki can perform such feats, good for the world,” he went on, “But the other stuff she said about her teacher curing hypertension, heart disease, and cancer is what I am concerned about. If there is even the slightest bit of untruth there, you do know it can end up causing harm right?”

“Can you elaborate again?” I asked.

“I constantly see cancer patients who try a hundred other therapies and finally land in the hospital with advanced disease. By the time they approach us, it’s too late for us to help. If the same people had come at an early stage, they could have easily been cured,” he said.

“Yes. I understand,” I said.

“Your friend started off sounding perfectly normal. And there was a sudden jump to a totally different wavelength that didn’t match what she said initially. Unless there is solid evidence to support medical claims, I don’t think they should be made. It has the potential to mislead another. You owe it to Reiki to talk about its true essence and beauty,” he said.

I listened quietly and contemplated his words.

“If her teacher claimed she could make an aircraft fly through Reiki and that there was no need for technology or for a pilot, would you board the aircraft?” he asked.

“No way!” I said.

“Because you clearly see the practical aspects of it – you recognise the dangers of allowing an aircraft to take off without solid evidence that Reiki can make it fly. Then why wouldn’t you question tall medical claims like these?” he asked.

Based on this conversation that happened way back in 2008, Suraj wrote in our co-authored book ‘When Spirit Meets Science’-

A very important guiding principle taught to all medical students is ‘Primum Non Nocere’ which in Latin means, ‘First, do no harm.’ It is wiser to do nothing than to do something which would make a sick person worse.

From this tenet of non-maleficience emerges the need for evidence.

If a doctor/healer offers something to a patient, he should be as certain as possible that it works. The downside of not being certain is that it often creates more harm than good. Even if a particular therapy does not cause direct harm to a patient, it may cause indirect harm by preventing him from taking therapy that would have been more effective.

When in doubt, the principle of ‘Primum Non Nocere’ acts as a guiding light.

It took me some years to to truly understand the essence of this principle. Now, I am able to see and honour it completely and I also apply it in my own Reiki practice.

modern medicine, womb healing

Womb Surgery: Black, White, Or Grey?

Some months back, a good friend of ours, who is a counselor, said to Suraj, “You know, all these surgeries that you doctors perform on the pregnant womb leave a deep scar not just on the body but also on the mind. I really think they ought not to be done.”

Since she was so blunt, Suraj was also equally blunt and asked, “Well, what do you want us to do then? Just allow pregnant women with life-threatening conditions to bleed to death? It’s a question of saving someone’s life or saving their womb. What would you recommend in that situation?”

Our friend smiled and said, “Yes, of course. I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t look at the situation from that perspective. Just wondering how these women can be helped with the repercussions of what they go through.”

“Well, that’s what people like you and Haripriya are here for. So, go ahead and help them!” he said.

“Right. Of course,” she said and laughed.

Recently, I heard about a patient with a medical condition called ‘Placenta Accreta’ where the placenta grows into the wall of the uterus. Under normal circumstances, the placenta detaches from the uterine wall post childbirth. However, this condition causes the placenta to remain attached. After delivery, this can cause severe blood loss and endanger the mother’s life. Very often, surgical removal of the uterus along with the baby is the medical solution to keep the mother safe.

My heart went out to this patient. I felt it must be such a difficult time for her.

From a psychological standpoint, the question that may arise in such a situation is-

Has this woman lost a significant part of herself- her womb?
Many women would say – ‘Yes.’

Could this woman be emotionally distressed by the loss of her womb?
Possibly. The degree of distress may vary from person to person. But some distress is natural.

The other question that usually troubles many is –

Could the surgery have been avoided?
And very often, the answer to that question is ‘Not if you want to save her life.’

Losing an organ is not easy at all. And it can certainly have a negative impact on the psyche.

But, sometimes, surgery seems to be the safest solution for a person, so life can go on.

Over the centuries, millions of women have risked their lives to give birth. In the current time, with hospitals, cesarean sections, bright lights, and high-tech instruments, the process of childbirth may not have a natural feel to it. But there has never been a safer time to give birth either.

One thing I have learned over the years is this –

Situations aren’t always black and white.
Very often, they are grey.

Is surgery on the womb a negative thing to happen to a person?
The answer can never be a simple yes because there are so many factors to consider.

Do difficult unnatural birthing experiences result in the formation of traumatic memories within mother and baby? I don’t know if conventional science would agree. But, as an energy healer, I do believe they can.

But again, it’s about weighing the trauma experienced against the benefit received from the unnatural birthing experience. If there was benefit to mother or baby, it makes sense to feel grateful for the same, while also acknowledging the pain one may have felt along the way. Healing ourselves from the painful aspect of the experience comes next so we can be free to move on.

To achieve a complete understanding, situations have to be seen from different perspectives. And choices have to be made based on what’s best for a person in a given situation. Most people would probably agree that saving a life comes first.

One thing is for certain – it is possible to heal from even the most distressing of situations, including the loss of the womb.

Grief, guilt, shame, and a myriad of distressing emotions may have to be dealt with along the way. But there is a way to heal.

And as long as there is a way, there is hope.
,

energy medicine, when spirit meets science

Chakra Healing Analysis

Of the seven chakras, my crown and third eye have always felt open.

My throat and heart were partly open. They began to blossom further when I set foot on the healing path. It required years of extensive inner work to clear the many blocks and wounds they carried. But today, I can say confidently that they are over 90% open and healthy.

My sacral was also partially open. I began to experience deep healing of the sacral chakra in the year 2018 when I began my journey of ‘Healing The Womb.’ The healing of the sacral was near complete around the time Suraj and I co-authored the book ‘When Spirit Meets science’ in February 2019, which was immediately followed by a trip to Masai Mara in Kenya. I have no clue what shifted within me around that time period. But that book and trip together did something to complete my healing of the sacral chakra.

My guess is that the book helped me achieve Feminine-Masculine Energetic Union, and the energy of the land at Masai Mara helped with deeper integration of the healing. Today, I can say with pride and joy that my sacral has never felt so free and healthy!

Now, just the solar plexus and root chakras remain to be worked on! Almost all difficulties and challenges I face now are associated with these two chakras. Just observing how the philosophy of the Chakra System co-relates to my own life, helps me appreciate the wisdom in it.

I am being easy on myself as I work on my solar plexus and root because the journey has not been easy for me either. Unless I can be patient and compassionate with myself, there is no way deep healing can occur.

It may take some more years to complete the healing of these two chakras. But, no matter how long it takes, I am sticking with the process and making the most of the journey. Healing, after all, is a journey.

I intend that one day in the future, I will write another post and declare “All my seven major chakras are fully open, healthy, joyful, and in perfect balance. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

modern medicine, when spirit meets science

Your Health, Whose Responsibility?

Many of us think having one illness to deal with is a big thing in itself.

But ever so often, I hear of people who are battling so many illnesses all at once.

Every three months or so, Suraj will have a patient diagnosed with cancer but who also has been coping with multiple other illnesses, one after the other.

The patient profile will be somewhat like this-

  1. Smoker
  2. Obese
  3. Uncontrolled hypertension for 15 years
  4. Uncontrolled diabetes for 10 years
  5. Borderline kidney disease
  6. Heart attack 3 years back.
  7. Cardiac bypass done
  8. Stroke one year back
  9. And now another major surgery for cancer

Sometimes, non-smokers and people who aren’t obese also feature on this list.

I can’t help but wonder how someone can have so many bodily troubles all at once and what went wrong – physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually –  that they ended up in this position.

In some cases, it’s obvious people brought their misery upon themselves – as in the case of smokers, alcoholics, and people who don’t comply with medical advice with regards to medication and lifestyle. In other cases, the reason for their misery is not obvious and it may require some soul searching to arrive at an answer. I empathise more with the latter category.

There was one patient who had a history of multiple illnesses and was also diagnosed with cancer. Even after successful completion of his treatment for cancer, he landed in hospital every few months. Reason being – his addiction to smoking was making him fall sick over and over again – in different ways.

He was advised repeatedly to stop smoking. But he refused to even try – never mind that he had to end up in the ICU every few months.

Sometimes, such patients also have an attitude. They say – “Doctor, you don’t worry about my smoking. Your job is only to treat us, make us get well and out of this hospital.”

And when some such patients succumb to their illness, their family thinks the doctor was responsible for not helping them get better!

Never mind that the patient didn’t care to take any responsibility for their own health. And talk about conveniently placing the blame on others so we can be blind to our own shortcomings!

Unfortunately, law requires that anyone who comes in for conventional treatment be offered the same, irrespective of how they lead their lives or how they behave in hospital.

If people with such attitudes come to me for energy healing, I would bid them goodbye very soon and tell them I cannot help them set their lives right. And no one could sue me for it!

modern medicine, when spirit meets science, womb healing

Womb Healing For Cesarean Birth Mamas

I know a lot of women who are unhappy about the fact that they required a cesarean section to bring their babies into the world.

They usually report feeling angry or inadequate, like they weren’t capable of giving birth naturally.

While it is perfectly normal to feel those emotions, this is a trauma you don’t want to carry in your womb. On the healing path, we have enough to deal with already. For our own well-being, it is best we learn to see things we couldn’t have done much about from higher perspectives so we may be free to move forward.

Womb Healing For Cesarean Birth Mamas

  1. Completely acknowledge the emotions you are feeling. Journal about them or use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). The more you acknowledge them, the faster they are neutralized and easier they become to release. This paves way for you to see the same upsetting event from a different perspective and heal yourself in the process.
  2. Reflect on why you needed a cesarean section in the first place. You would have been informed by your medical team about why you required the surgery. This surgery is done when allowing labour to progress naturally poses a risk to the baby or mother. Until several decades back, rates of infant and maternal mortality were pretty high. Women risked their lives in order to give birth. Thanks to advances in medicine that make a timely diagnosis of complications and intervention possible, mortality rates have been brought down significantly. Yes, you were deprived of your natural birthing experience. However, you or your baby also gained something in the process. Acknowledging the benefit you received will help you release the associated trauma faster and may even bring in feelings of gratitude.
  3. Contemplate on feelings of ‘let down’ you may be holding on to. If you feel like your body let you down by not allowing you to birth naturally, ask yourself if that’s true or if it’s just another limiting belief you’ve taken on. A lot of women hold on to the belief that in order to be seen as women they must be perfect in every way – fair, beautiful, slim, blemishless, perfect moms, wives, and daughters and the list goes on. Could it be that you’re harbouring a subconscious belief that says you must also be the perfect ‘birther’ of life?
  4. Nature is perfect and imperfect at the same time. There is nothing like a ‘perfect birther.’ Left to nature, births happen perfectly and imperfectly all the time. Left to nature, some mothers and offspring survive, some don’t. This is the case with animals too, and not just humans. That’s just how nature works on Planet Earth. When seen from this perspective, have you ever considered that it may not even be your fault or your body’s fault that you couldn’t have a perfect natural birth?
  5. Having said that, it’s also equally true (at least for those of us on the healing path) that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. There are times when we know why we manifested a certain experience into our lives. There could be soul lessons to learn, especially if something bothers us more than it should. Looking at an experience from your soul’s perspective may help you find answers to deeper questions you may be asking and bring solace to your body, mind, heart, and soul.

In conclusion, remember, we are at a pivotal point in the story of humanity. Many of us women now have the freedom to awaken to the power of our Divine Feminine and our wombs. Nothing that you experienced – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and medically – can stop you from awakening and connecting to your womb on a whole new level. The only thing that can stop anyone is their reluctance to see events from more balanced perspectives and their unwillingness to let go of stored pain. Accepting life for what it presents while also being open to its mysteries and newer possibilities can bring peace and healing.

when spirit meets science, womb healing

Healing The Womb: A Journey Into Your Sacral

I see the womb as a sacred space, a powerhouse.

However, for many, this sacred powerhouse turns into a junkyard that houses trash of varied kinds – negative beliefs around menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and sexuality, and wounds associated with any or all of them. These beliefs and wounds can block their connection to one of the most beautiful energy centers – the sacral chakra.

I did not always see the womb as sacred. Until some years back, I held some very negative beliefs about my womb too. I saw my menstrual cycles as a nuisance and childbirth as something to dread.

Being on the healing path has taught me the significance of the womb and completely shifted how I view it.

The womb houses your creative potential. From an energetic perspective, this creative potential is not restricted to creating new life but to creating anything of value, beauty, or significance.

Connecting to your womb is a healing journey in itself.

Just as Reiki begins to speak to you when you connect to it, the womb also speaks to you when you become quiet enough to tune in to its wisdom.

I will be writing a lot more about this in the future as I explore the depths of womb healing and deepen my understanding of it.

But for now, all I wish to say is –

  1. There is beauty in your menstrual cycles. When you stop seeing them as a ‘nuisance,’ they reveal their splendour to you.
  2. Much like the moon, your cycles get you to travel through different phases – sometimes you are full of energy, sometimes you are low on energy, sometimes you shine bright, sometimes you encounter darkness, sometimes you brim with creative potential and get into ‘doing mode’, sometimes you retreat and need to ‘just be.’ When you are completely in sync with your body, you will know exactly how it is feeling at a given point in your cycle. Our worldly responsibilities may make it impossible for us to live in perfect accordance with the phases of the cycle. However, we can certainly do as much as we practically can. Something is better than nothing!
  3. So also with pregnancy and childbirth – when you see them for the miracle that they are and come into sync with the process unfolding within you, your entire experience of it shifts.
  4. What if you don’t menstruate anymore? What if you’re way past your childbearing years? What if you cannot bear children for some reason? What if you do not wish to bear children? Doesn’t matter. You still have a womb and you can learn to connect to its wisdom. Even if your physical womb has been removed for medical reasons, you still can connect to the energetic equivalent of it – your sacral chakra.
  5. And how could doing all of this help you? Personally, I have found that healing my womb has freed up a lot of stagnant energy and put me in touch with all aspects of my womanhood on a much deeper level. I feel more at ease within my body and enjoy my cycles. I try to live in accordance with the wisdom of my cycles to the extent possible. My creative potential is at its peak and I am able to churn out creative projects effortlessly. I cannot go back to the days of my pregnancy but I am able to connect to the experience energetically, relive it on a whole new level and integrate this new healed energy into my being.

I have a feeling this journey is going to get deeper and reveal more to me with time. I will share it with you as it unfolds. Until then, do see if you would like to embark on this sacred journey of healing your womb. If you feel called to it, you can be certain the path will be revealed to you!

energy medicine, modern medicine, when spirit meets science

Energy Principles: When Resistance Blocks Flow

The minute he saw us, he began the conversation with a snide remark – “What Suraj? How is your practice going? I wish you had been a doctor of natural medicine! I would have come to you for treatment of all my ailments.”

We recently met an Uncle of mine at a family gathering. Something seems to come over him when he sees Suraj. He is ‘anti-modern medicine’ and believes allopathy (modern medicine) is ‘bad medicine.’ He tries to drag Suraj and me into pointless arguments that prove his belief is valid.

Since one cannot reason with Uncle, we try to limit our conversations and excuse ourselves politely as quickly as possible. However, this time around, I decided we had had enough and chose to give him a piece of my mind (with due respect).  

Suraj simply smiled when Uncle began the conversation in a strange manner as always. He is now used to his annoying ways and has stopped participating in these medical discussions. But I said –

“Well, I think Suraj is great doing exactly what he is doing. He’s helping so many cancer-afflicted people live a long and disease-free life.”

Uncle ignored my comment and went on in a judgmental tone.

“Allopathy cannot cure a single disease – diabetes, hypertension, arthritis – you name it. Plus all those side effects to deal with.”

He glanced at Suraj, who chose not to comment. But I couldn’t stop myself.  

“Well, allopathy may not be able to cure many illnesses, including hypertension and diabetes. But applied in the right manner, it can certainly manage them effectively,” I said.

“Well, you are wrong Haripriya,” he said.

“No Uncle, I’m not. So many in our own family are alive today only because, thanks to modern medicine, they have been able to manage hypertension and diabetes well. Mind you – I’m saying ‘manage,’ not cure. And some died miserably because they left those conditions unmanaged. And you know who all these people are,” I said.

“Well, that doesn’t mean anything,” he said.

“What does it mean then? I asked.

“I have always lived in accordance with principles of natural medicine. I believe in preventive medicine. I take only natural medicine for all my ailments. Everyone in our family could have done the same,” he said.

“Uncle, if you have always lived by principles that you believe prevent illnesses, why did you develop so many ailments in the first place?” I asked, “Should you not have been disease-free?”

The expression on his face changed.

“Well, my bad luck probably,” he said, “But it’s my good luck I choose to take natural medicine for my ailments.”

“Then why did you undergo an angioplasty when you were diagnosed with a heart condition?” I asked, “Isn’t that a modern medical procedure too? Couldn’t you heal it the natural way?”

“No choice there dear,” he said

“We always have a choice Uncle. If a treatment is all ‘bad’ and there’s absolutely nothing good about it, why take it at all?” I asked.  

Uncle laughed, “You don’t understand Haripriya.”

“So, help me understand the logic Uncle. What are your current blood pressure and blood sugar readings? You said they were high last year. Are they under control now?” I went on.

“Oh, don’t you worry about that!” he said, sounding hesitant to answer my question and changed the subject, “You talk in favour of modern medicine because your husband is a surgeon. Being a Reiki practitioner, you should be able to understand what I am trying to say.”

“You are mistaken Uncle. I don’t talk this way because Suraj is a surgeon. I talk like this because I have learned to see things from a neutral perspective. Nothing can be all bad. Good sides exist too. Modern Medicine is practiced world over and everyone knows people who have benefited from it one way or the other. To say allopathy is all bad and can’t manage any disease sounds biased to me,” I said.

“Well, you can come talk to my Yoga teacher. He will explain to you in detail about the dangers of allopathy,” he said.

“I can learn all about that from my husband right here Uncle. He is able to explain perfectly well the risks of any modern medicine or medical procedure. But he is also able to explain the benefits offered by the same. All benefits and risks are rigorously documented. Nothing is sugar-coated. Modern medical treatments are meant to be taken only when their benefits outweigh their risks. And when that’s the case, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be taken when genuinely required,” I said. 

“Well, Haripriya, you are blind,” he said and patted me on the head with a smile.

“I’d rather be blind than biased Uncle,” I said, “When I am biased towards anything in life, my energy drops. When I talk bad of something, even if it’s just a form of medicine, life ensures I get a dose of exactly that which I was resisting! But when I am able to see the greater good in everything, while also being aware of the potential negatives, my life flows with ease and I am at peace. I have learned my lessons the hard way.”

“Well, all this sounds like Greek and Latin to me!” he said.

‘It won’t be if you work with energy Uncle,” I said, “Why don’t you get trained in Reiki?”

At that point, another person entered the room, our conversation ended and Uncle walked away.

“Whew! What came over you today?” asked Suraj.

“Nothing! I just spoke my heart,” I said, “Hopefully, we will never have one of these draining conversations with Uncle again!”

“Hmm… Let’s see. Knowing him, you never know!” said Suraj.

Two hours passed and there was no sign of Uncle. As we prepared to leave, he appeared suddenly and said, “Haripriya, I will get in touch with you regarding Reiki. I wish to learn this strange language you speak!”

“You’re most welcome to Uncle. Call me and we’ll plan it out, ” I said.

“God bless,” he uttered and left.

What’s going to happen next? I will know only after I receive that phone call from him! I am certain it will come exactly when he is ready for it – not one moment sooner or later.

law of attraction, Twin Flames, when spirit meets science

The Grand Thread Of Universal Energy

I believe beyond doubt that we are all connected by an invisible yet grand thread of energy.

I believe beyond doubt there is more to our existence than meets the physical eye.

My belief is not blind. Nor has it been imposed by anyone.

It has formed as a result of my own experiences.

When I look back at my life, I see that an invisible thread of energy was functional in my life, even when I wasn’t conscious of its presence. It has been functional since the time I was a child and continues to be present to this day.

I can write an entire book explaining the role this invisible energy thread has played in my life. I have drawn into my life both negative as well as positive people and experiences and I can see the place each of them takes in this invisible thread of energy.

Prior to the year 2007, my life was mostly filled with negative energy of varied kinds. In this article, I choose to share examples from the period of 2007 and beyond, when I learned to tap into the power of this energy thread in positive and conscious ways and began to draw more positive energy into my life as a result.

I share three positive examples from the year 2007-

Sixth Sense At Work

In the years 2006-07, I often traveled past a hospital in Bangalore. Every time I went past it, I felt an irresistible urge to gaze at it. And I gave in to this urge every single time. I didn’t give much thought to why I felt that way. All I knew was that looking at that hospital gave me a subtle sense of peace. And I forgot all about it until I went past it again!

When I met Suraj in 2007, he told me he worked for the very hospital I had been looking at for a year! He had completed his super-specialty training in cancer surgery in 2006 and was employed by that hospital the very same year.

When he told me about his workplace, I had a fleeting thought – “How interesting that I was drawn to this hospital for no logical reason! Maybe it wasn’t illogical after all! My sixth sense probably picked up something the other five could not.”

‘Almost Meeting’ Just Before ‘The Meeting’

Suraj dropped me home the day we met for the first time, and when he saw where I lived, he smiled in surprise. He said he had visited the office of a Medical Council located right next to my home exactly a week ago!

And when we traced it even further, we deciphered that on that day, a week ago, I had walked out of my home around the same time that he walked into the Medical Council. It may even have been the same moment or barely a few minutes apart!

“How interesting again!” I thought.

I personally feel this was because the time for our meeting was drawing closer. And I believe this phenomenon of almost brushing past one another was a way for our souls to re-connect before we could meet in person.

And why do I say re-connect?

Eternal Connections

Right from my childhood, I felt connected to an unknown soul who I felt was out there but who I hadn’t yet met. I knew deep within that I would meet this soul in physical form one day.

And I personally feel Suraj was that soul. Reasons being-

The minute I looked into his eyes, I saw a hidden light and his energy felt familiar.

I barely knew him, yet I felt very safe in his energy.

From the period of 2003 leading up to 2007, I was constantly attracting people who ended up being terrible for the ‘human me’, though they were great catalysts for my growth as a soul! When I had a spiritual awakening in 2007, I decided I was done drawing the wrong people into my circle.

Suraj was grounded, stable, sensible, and sincere. It was refreshing, to say the least.

The roller coaster ride through years of chaos and craziness was brought to a screeching halt by his grounding presence in my life.

He was my exact opposite in some ways but we shared a similar vibration and core values. His contrasting energy infused with the higher vibrations of safety and unconditional love grounded me and healed me in more ways than one.

This was just the beginning of another journey on the thread – a journey towards greater evolution and unconditional love!

energy medicine, meditation

When Meditation Helps Relieve Stress

Over the last few months, I have developed an unusual condition that I have named a ‘Stress Cold.’

This ‘Stress Cold’ starts with me feeling the itch to move the muscles of my throat in a certain manner, which then triggers a runny nose and leads to continuous sneezing for a few minutes. If I pay attention to this condition, it seems to take on a life of its own and gets worse. It persists until I consciously decide to stop engaging with it or distract myself with another activity.

Of late, this mysterious condition has also begun to affect my sleep. Twice a week or so, I experience bouts of sneezing in my sleep and awaken as a result.

Recently, I was fast asleep when I developed one of these ‘Stress Colds.’ My husband Suraj was still up reading.

He shook me gently and said, “Are you alright?”

I was half-asleep and mumbled something that didn’t exactly make sense.

The sneezing persisted.

After a while, he placed his hand gently on my shoulder and asked again, “Are you alright? Do you need anything?”

At this point, I sensed a lovely flow of energy through his palm. He is not a Reiki practitioner. Yet, there was this sweet energy I could feel. The energy felt very comforting and reassuring. I believe anyone with an open heart can transmit healing energy to others. The frequency may be different from ‘Reiki’ but it is healing energy nonetheless.

This boost of energy helped me drift into restful sleep for a few minutes, after which I woke up. This time around, I was fully conscious and also had a wonderful feeling of well-being in my body, thanks to the surprise mini healing session I received!”

He said again, “Are you alright? You’ve been sneezing for a while now.”

I said, “I don’t understand what’s wrong! I can’t believe this condition has begun to bother me even while I am asleep. Something seems to be triggering me subconsciously.”

“Why don’t you do one of your energy healing practices before you head to bed? See if that helps?” he said.

I smiled and said, “Wow! You sure seem to know what will help me. Thanks a ton for reminding me to apply my own practices!”

I have now begun a bedtime meditation routine where I quickly tune in to my body and consciously release all traces of stress-energy before falling asleep. I got good results when I started off with this practice and enjoyed uninterrupted sleep. However, I plan to do it consistently for a few weeks and track my progress. This will help me see if this can be applied effectively long term.

I did not get into an analysis of what could be stressing me out. It could be any number of things, considering I have two energetic children to look after and lots of running around to do through the day. Stress cannot be avoided in life. However, it can certainly be managed effectively with all the wellness tools we have!

modern medicine, when spirit meets science

Toughness & Temperaments: Stories From The Operation Theatre

“Good evening Sir!”

Suraj and I were walking towards the hospital car park when I heard some cheerful voices behind me. I turned around and saw two young women and a man passing by. 

The greeting was for Suraj. The three of them walked up to us, smiling.

“Hello! Meet Haripriya, my wife” said Suraj to the three of them. 

They smiled and nodded at me.  

“Meet Savita, Vinod and Nisha,” he said to me, “Savita and Vinod are among our best theatre nurses. They must have assisted me with at least 50 surgeries over the last one year. Nisha joined recently and is training to be a theatre nurse too.”

“That’s wonderful! Nice to meet you all,” I said.

“I’ve seen you often on the residential campus Ma’am,” said Nisha to me, “I live there too.”

“Ahhh, yes! I did think you looked familiar as well,” I replied.

We engaged in small talk for a few minutes and then parted ways. 

A week later, I was waiting for Suraj outside the operation theatre block, when I saw Nisha emerging from the entrance. She was walking hurriedly and had tears in her eyes.

She bumped into a senior nurse on her way out and wiped her tears as she explained something to her solemnly.

“Something seems to be wrong,” I thought to myself, feeling concerned.

A month later, I was on a walk in the residential campus when I ran into Nisha near the gate.

She recognized me immediately and said,

“Hello Ma’am! How are you?”

“I’m good Nisha.” I said, “Are you done for the day?”

“Yes Ma’am,” she said, “I assisted a complex case today. It went on for seven hours.”

“Wow!” I said, “You must have a lot of stamina.”

“Thank you Ma’am,” said Nisha and the expression on her face changed suddenly.

“Being a theatre nurse is tough Ma’am,” she said and paused.

“Yes, I can imagine,” I said, sensing there was more to her statement.

“It’s easy to work with some surgeons, difficult with others,” she went on, “I couldn’t handle the temperaments of some surgeons. So, I gave up last month and moved to ward nursing.”

I listened empathetically.

“However, I love to assist surgeries and thought my passion must be more important than the temperaments of others. So, I decided to switch back to working as a theatre nurse,” she said.

I recalled that day last month when I had seen Nisha in tears.

“Something upsetting must have happened while she was assisting that day,” I thought to myself.

“You’ve taken a good decision Nisha. Your love for you work is what counts most,” I said.

I shared this with Suraj later and asked him if it was really so hard for theatre nurses.

He said, “High pressure situations are commonplace during surgery – unexpected obstacles can show up and theatre nurses have to assist seamlessly. Some surgeons lose their temper when assistants aren’t able to keep up in the operation theatre.”

“Oh I see,” I said, “This high pressure environment must be hard on the surgeons as well as theatre nurses. Isn’t learning to be calm a part of your training? Isn’t it a helpful skill to have when one must perform under pressure?”

“Yes, it is. But it isn’t a formal part of training. It’s all learnt on the job,” he said, “Some people possess these skills naturally, some pick it up along the way and some never do.”

“So, problems with human behaviour and interpersonal skills are common to all professions I guess,” I said.

“Yes, of course,” he said.

I thought to myself that being a nurse must be hard. The work is demanding, while the pay isn’t great. In addition, nurses are required to withstand pressure from multiple ends.

Some months later, I bumped into Nisha again during one of my evening walks. She shared with me excitedly that she had received a good job offer from a reputed hospital in Oman and was relocating shortly.

“That’s very good news. Congratulations Nisha!” I said.

“Thank you Ma’am,” she said, “Thank God I decided to pursue my passion. The work experience I gathered as a theatre nurse here and the recommendation letters I got from several surgeons, including Dr Suraj, helped me get the job.”

“That’s awesome!” I said, feeling truly happy for her, “I wish you the best life has to offer.”

This incident made me reflect on different aspects of life – sensitivity in human beings, ability to stay calm under pressure, and the value of persistence and perseverance.