Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nic's Birthday Basket of Liu Pao Tea

Here's something different from all the herbs and plants that I post about. This video is about Nic's recent birthday and how he decided to give himself a basket of tea. A 6kg basket of Liu Pao tea all the way from Wuzhou, China (from one of China's largest tea manufacturers and exporters).

We are big tea drinkers. In fact, if you read my blog long enough, you know I don't drink coffee. Not at all.

So friends who know me well will often buy me tea when they travel. I've got an entire tea cabinet filled with tea from all over the world.

Now besides teas that friends buy me, Nic and I drink Pu-Erh daily after our dinner. Pu-Erh is a digestive tea that helps people to keep slim and fit. It's also suitable for night drinking as some people do find it hard to fall asleep if they drink too much of other teas like jasmine.

This tea that Nic is unboxing is Liu Pao tea. It is a fermented tea that is good for detoxification. While Pu-Erh dissolves all the fats (supposedly), Liu Pao is a healing tea that cools the body. It is named after a village in China called Liu Pao but it gained popularity in Malaysia over the years, thanks to the tin miners in Ipoh who used to imbibe this tea daily. Right now, it is becoming popular in China again thanks to its humble beginnings in Perak.

We got reacquainted with this tea early this year and it is a good addition to our tea collection.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Hair Fall Update After Drinking Lots (And I Mean LOTS) of Ba Zhen Tang!

I have been drinking Ba Zhen Tang twice a week now for about 6 weeks. (See my previous post)

When I say twice a week, it's not that I boil Ba Zhen twice a week. I brew Ba Zhen herbs in my slow cooker in 700ml of water for about 4 to 5 hours on Auto mode.

I usually drink 350ml of the soup and save the remainder for two days later. Two days later, I'll gently reheat the soup on the stove and drink it while it's warm. This means my one pot of soup lasts me two sessions.

I've also switched up my drinking time. I used to drink it at night (11pm or so) because I used to brew the soup around 7pm.

But the problem is that at night I used to toss and turn, unable to sleep!

When I told my sinseh this, she told me to drink it in the evening around 6pm (or at least before dinner time).

I found that switching up the time of drinking Ba Zhen Tang was better. I didn't have difficulty sleeping - apparently, Ba Zhen invigorates the body so all that energy at night was not suitable at all.

When I switched my Ba Zhen drinking time to 6pm I also made my life easier! I would then start brewing the herbs in my slow cooker around 1pm (yes, it helps that I work from home mostly) and by 6pm, it's ready.

Then, of course, I don't throw out the herbs but add another 700ml of hot water to the slow cooker and switch it on to brew for another 5 hours until 11pm. Then I take out the soup, put it into a thermos so that my husband can drink this the next morning!

So what's the verdict after weeks of doing this?

I did find that my hair fall was lessened considerably! I am not kidding. So all the while it is the blood and nourishment (well, at least for me).

The hair fall reduced a lot so this means that Ba Zhen does work.

I think that's like the best thing so far. Just a packet of herbs, twice a week.

Another thing I've been taking is this pill that I don't know the name for. I went back to my sinseh a week or so ago and she checked my pulse and said I needed more nourishment for my stomach. So she gave me these white balls which contain a black, gingery tasting soft nougat-like medicine. I was supposed to chew this black ball thingy before I ate. The first time I tried it, it was so pungent on my tongue. I quickly chewed and swallowed the awful stuff.

A plastic ball coated with wax. Need to break it open. 

The black chewy ball of medicine inside! 

After taking one pill per day for the past 10 days or so, I am getting used to the taste and the chewing.

Not sure if this pill helps reduce the hair fall but my sinseh says it's perfectly OK to take this pill and also drink Ba Zhen, as long as I am not heaty.

I'll be back to see her in a week or so. Will update more then!

P/S: I tried a type of massage called DDS Bio-electric Therapy early this week when I was in town. This tiny shop is in Komtar and I wouldn't have known about it had a friend not posted this on her FB page (yes, FB has its benefits). Nic and I were in town and we wanted a foot massage. So we went in search of this place and when we found it, there was only one reflexologist for foot massage. Nic opted for this while the lady asked if I would like to try a Bio-electric therapy massage. It was electricity running through me as she massaged me gently. It felt really good and relaxing. Even she told me that drinking Ba Zhen was good for women.

This is my sinseh's shop all the way at Paya Terubong. 

Monday, March 05, 2018

Drinking Ba Zhen Tang Again & More Hair Secrets!

Remember the last round where I mentioned I was having hair fall issues?

Well, I read through my blog and found out that I have been crazily suffering from this issue for a few years now. (This is why blogging not only serves as knowledge to others but also a reminder to myself each time I forget my health issues. I just comb through my own blog and find out stuff that I've forgotten!)

So in 2017, I was still having hair fall issues. I hated washing my hair because I'd get so depressed looking at the clump of hair at the drain cover. I would wash my hair every 2 days because I think over-washing the hair also could cause hair loss.

It didn't help that the weather in Malaysia is always hot and humid. My scalp would itch and sweat so that was also a reminder to wash my hair. I tried a few shampoos - from the expensive L'Occittane (which did nothing spectacular despite the price tag of RM80) to the commercial supermarket Rejoice (it gave me a clean scalp BUT I kept thinking of all the SLS in the shampoo).

I also tried chemical-free shampoos from Human Nature, a Philippine brand, but the clarifying range made my hair squeaky clean but still, the hairs kept falling.

I knew deep down that it was internal. It was the food. It probably was some imbalance somewhere inside me.

So this year, what with making resolutions to kickstart 2018, I gave myself the challenge to find out what the heck is wrong with my aptly named Project Hair Restoration.

Yes, I was going to uncover what rubbish was clogging up my system.

A few years back, I met a young Chinese physician/TCM practitioner when I brought Lauren, an Australian artist to this Chinese medical herbal shop in Paya Terubong. How I met Lauren was serendipity or maybe not.

(Lauren does botanical fine art and before she left, she even gave me the ginseng root she bought. She said she wouldn't be able to take the root back to Australia anyway and even if she did, she wouldn't know how to brew the concoction.)

Lauren was drawing pencil sketches of Chinese herbs in Penang. I met her when she was doing her herb research at Ren I Tang, a cafe/boutique hotel in Little India. We started talking as you know, I'm just curious why this ang moh was interested in herbs. As Nic is an artist and I'm a TCM fan, we had lots of things in common to chat about.

She also told us that the original folks who ran and managed Ren I Tang (which was really an old Chinese medical hall turned cafe/hotel) had moved their operations to Paya Terubong. She introduced us to Melissa, who was the daughter-in-law of the original owner. Melissa was also a TCM practitioner and spoke English and was helping Lauren identify herbs for her art project. At that time, Lauren was staying at Hotel Penaga which has offered her a studio to use (yes, right on the top floor of Hotel Penaga) as she was the artist in residence.

It was only later that I discovered the brand Ren I Tang (or Yin Oi Tong) is ancient. The medical hall has been existence since 1796!

Now if you live in Penang, you would have seen a few variations of the name. There's Nyin Oi Tong. Then there's this Yin Oi Tong. Apparently, there is no relationship between both (I asked my Chinese physician who is a direct descendant of one of the partners who owned the Yin Oi Tong circa 1786). Whether it is Ren I Tang or Yin Oi Tong, it is basically a generic name.

Lauren remarked that she had wanted to visit the Paya Terubong medical shop but she didn't have a car and she didn't know how the bus routes were like. We love taking friends around Penang and I told her that we could take her there in our car. She was thrilled and that's how we ended up at the Yin Oi Tong medical hall in Paya Terubong.

Of course, Lauren has since left Penang. I think we met her in 2012 and I can't believe it has taken me this long to blog about this adventure. But you see, one never quite pieces the jigsaw together until a much later date.

That's how I met Priscilla, my current TCM physician.

When I met her, I thought it was rather cool that she was a young sinseh. I've always met old sinsehs and many were gnarled men in their 70s at least. Here was a young woman in her 30s who didn't look like a sinseh but she was and she was also running her family business - selling Chinese herbs and pills. Her father was a sinseh and her sister-in-law Melissa is a sinseh too. 

I was so sick and tired of the hair loss that I burst out crying one day in front of Nic. My husband only sees me tear up when I'm upset with him so this was a totally new experience. I blurted out my worries and I adamantly told him that I was going to find out the root cause, once and for all and I was going to start with visiting a sinseh. 

That was my 2018 resolution among my many other resolutions. 

That was how I ended up WhatsApping Priscilla and telling her my woes. I told her I was going to visit her that week. And I did. 

Her shop is totally nondescript in a row of rather plain shops along Paya Terubong. She sat me down and felt my right and left pulse. She asked me to stick out my tongue. Asked me a few questions and then she said that I have a lot of wind issues. That was true. Even my reflexologist told me that I had a lot of "angin" or gassiness. 

Maybe it was stress or irregular meal times. Maybe it was both. I wasn't treating myself too well. I slept late. I worked a lot on the computer.

She also asked if I drank filtered water that wasn't boiled. I said yes. It seems filtered water is too cooling for women's constitutions. Nic laughed the idea off (well, not in front of her) but I said I was going to boil my drinking water from now on if that simple step helped me reduce gassiness. 

She prescribed me these tiny black pills. Said I was to take them twice a day, each time before meals. It was supposed to restore order to my stomach.

(I never drink ice water or ice-cold drinks. I never drink coffee. I hardly snack on junk food except on those days of PMS when I want a salty snack. I never have ice cubes in my freezer unless I am making soap! Yes, I need ice for the ice water bath when I make soaps.) 

As to my hair fall issues, she recommended that I brew Ba Zhen Tang. I always thought I drank enough of it monthly but she surprises me with 3 statements:

1. Ba Zhen Tang can be brewed and drunk weekly. 
2. Ba Zhen Tang can be brewed on its own without needing to add any meat/chicken or egg. 
3. Ba Zhen Tang can be imbibed by men without any harmful side effects so long as it is the second brew (after brewing the first time, the herbs can be re-used to brew the second time. This second - albeit more diluted version - is suitable for men)

The reason for hair fall, she says, is a blood issue. There's just not enough blood and the blood doesn't circulate. The best way to replenish blood is through drinking a weekly brew of Ba Zhen Tang. 

Won't I get heaty? I ask hesitantly. 

Power through it, she says confidently. 

Won't the Ba Zhen Tang be affected by the pills she gave me? Apparently it won't. 

As I write this, I've drunk my Ba Zhen Tang weekly thrice already. I brew it in my slow cooker on Auto for 4 hours. It's enough for 2 bowls. I drink one bowl before I sleep and keep the other in the fridge for the next day. 

My Ba Zhen Tang herbs. They look clean and fresh! 

A closer look at the Ba Zhen Tang herbs, in my metal colander. I give the herbs a quick rinse before putting them into the slow cooker. 

I don't throw out the herbs - I do a second, lighter brew by adding hot water to the same herbs in the slow cooker and brewing it on Auto for the next 8 hours (I just switch it on when I go to sleep). It's ready the next day for Nic. I usually store this second brew in a thermos flask so that Nic can drink it any time he likes. He finds it invigorating. He says it gives him more energy and he feels less fatigued even after late nights and doing work on the PC. 

I also find that I have more energy. Maybe it's all that Qi being powered up and blood being built up. 

After taking the pills too, my gassiness has reduced a lot. I used to burp a lot in the mornings but now that's a thing of the past. I am on my 5th bottle of the pills (each bottle lasts me a week only) so that's about 5 weeks of taking the pills.

I also noticed the lack of gassiness after my last 2 rounds of reflexology sessions which I am pleased about. 

While I am on these pills, I have cut out my regular vitamins C and cod liver oil capsules. 

My hair fall seems to have lessened. I am still monitoring the hairs on the drain cover after each shampooing. 

I am also using a rosemary shampoo from the Human Nature brand (yes, the same Philippine brand of non-chemical products) which I find has helped in a way too. Rosemary, after all, is known for helping with hair growth. This shampoo also is most suitable for my hair - it doesn't dry out my hair or scalp and it smells pleasant! I'm reordering my second bottle and topping it up with the rosemary conditioner too. 

I'll share more as I drink more Ba Zhen and see what happens.

Already I feel better - not sure if it's psychological or not. I feel more optimistic that my hair problem will disappear. I believe Project Hair Restoration is off to a good start, don't you think? 

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

I Used To Hate Cilantro...

Do you like cilantro or coriander? Most people hate this herb because it is pungent. And most people mistake this herb for parsley.

The tiny sprouts of this herb are usually served as a garnish on top of steamed chicken, Cantonese-style. I never found out that this was cilantro until I asked my vegetable vendor in the market. 

When I was young, I hated the smell of coriander. It seemed too strong, too pungent. It smelled a bit like bugs. 

But then it seems our taste buds change as we grow older. 

I started to like coriander. There are times that I actually craved coriander. I'd go to the fridge and pull out a bunch and start eating them!

I believe I was lacking iron so my body told me to go get some iron! 

Coriander to me is the leaves of the herb. Another manifestation of coriander is coriander seeds or biji ketumbar (in Malay language) which you probably use if you cook curries or grind your own spices. 

I use ground coriander as a spice when I cook curries. The dried spice is a little different from the fresh herb. 

You can read all about coriander's benefits  but what I found most interesting is that coriander is a heavy metal detoxifier. It gets rid of mercury in your body. 

Another key benefit to cilantro is its ability to prevent hair loss and encourage hair to grow! (Which I like a lot as sometimes, I lose a lot of hair!) 

"Cilantro juice is a wonderful remedy for promoting new hair growth and combating hair loss as it contains essential vitamins and proteins which help in hair growth. You can make a paste from fresh cilantro leaves using few drops of water and extracting its juice. Apply this on your scalp for an hour before shampooing. This pack should be used twice a week for 2 to 3 weeks to get effective results. Alternatively, you can infuse your hair oil with a powder made from cilantro seeds while massaging your hair. You can also prepare a hair rinse by boiling a bunch of cilantro leaves in water and cooling it." - says this article. 

It's also high in iron which means women should really incorporate more cilantro in their diets.

So one of the easiest ways that I eat cilantro is to make a salad. This is my go-to salad for days when it's humid and hot and I don't have much of an appetite.

Do try out this salad and tell me how it goes.

Cilantro Salad

  • 1 ripe tomato, cubed 
  • 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly
  • half an onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bird's eye chilli, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Juice from 5 ripe limes 

Mix all the above in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. It can be eaten on its own or served as a condiment with rice or taken with barbecued meats. It is excellent on its own but it also goes well with meats. 

If you have leftovers, make sure you drain out all the liquid from the salad before you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge otherwise your salad will be too soggy to eat. 

Bon appetit!

My cilantro salad that is great for a hot day! Perks up your appetite instantly.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Brewing Hakka Medicinal Ointment

One of the things that Nic believes (and strongly too) is that he is a healer.

Perhaps it is a past life connection.

But it's not just wishful thinking.

He does seem to intuitively know which parts of the body to massage whenever I start saying my body aches.

He is quite attuned to healing, I must say. I used to scoff at him, thinking he was just pulling my leg when he really wasn't.

Over the years, we've both had our own thoughts about health and healing and conventional medicines.

His younger brother is a neurosurgeon by the way so this is quite an interesting topic. His brother is in mainstream medicine while Nic believes in natural healing.

I believe in natural healing too hence this blog. I believe that you can eat your way to good health. We prefer non-mainstream healing because we strongly believe the body knows best.

Here's an example.

Sometimes, I crave certain foods. It's not a woman-PMS thing.

Lately, I've been craving peanuts and sunflower seeds and lamb.

I didn't know why until I read in Lelord Kordel's book (a fabulous book by the way) that these foods contained Vitamin B5 and Vitamin D which helped with hair growth!

Remember my hair loss episodes?

I wonder if it's work or the change in weather but my hair did drop quite a bit. I figured my body was telling me I needed these vitamins from these foods.

So I always listen to my body.

After munching on sunflower seeds and peanuts, I did realise my hair loss decreased. I am not kidding because I always look at the drain cover in my bathroom each time I wash my hair.

Anyway, that's a sidetrack to what I wanted to talk about today.

Nic got a Hakka medicinal ointment recipe from Joe, who has been following my blog and whom I finally met this year.

See how amazing this blog is? One thing leads to another and he gives Nic a recipe for brewing liniment or in Cantonese, "thit thar zhaow".

A few weeks ago, we went shopping in Little India (Enrico's actually on Beach Street) to buy the cinnamon, star anise and cloves. I managed to find my stash of dried nutmeg seeds and we bought fresh lemongrass stalks.

Plus we bought Chinese cooking wine too.

I would've like to use vodka but hey, Chinese wine is a lot less expensive!

Anyway, this ointment is for external use so no point using vodka right? Might as well drink the vodka. (I use vodka to steep my dried vanilla pods and the results is a homemade vanilla essence of the best kind!)

First production of Hakka medicated oil or "thit that zhaow" - thanks to Joe's recipe! 

All the ingredients go into a glass jar (cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, smashed nutmeg seeds, fresh lemongrass stalks) and topped with Chinese wine. This sits in a dark corner for a good few weeks to get all the spicy goodness.

This is an intoxicating brew because it smells like fruitcake! It also reminds me of German mulled wine!

Nic is quite excited with the idea of producing his own medicated oil because he also wanted to design his own labels (he's also an artist) for the medicated oil bottles when they're ready.

We even managed to find a shop in George Town that sold all types of glass bottles - perfect for our oil when it is ready! (The universe works in mysterious ways. Nic was telling a friend that he wanted to get some bottles and this friend gave us this contact and we moseyed our way to the amazing shop of bottles and jars.)

He has always been keen on producing medicated oil ever since he recalled his grandfather (who came all the way from China and worked as a coolie in Kuching) had a special recipe. But as with all things, the recipe got thrown away when his grandfather passed away!

Apparently, this recipe required the fat of monitor lizards! The ointment or salve is used if one accidentally stepped on iron nails - the nail would be easily pulled out without any ensuing problems if one used this salve. I would think this would be useful for coolies back then who didn't have access to proper medical care or doctors.

But where the heck do we get monitor lizards' fat even if we did have the recipe?

Anyway, we decided to go with Joe's Hakka medicated oil recipe for now. Who knows, one day I might get some monitor lizard fat!

With all the ingredients costing quite a bit, this will be quite an expensive medicated oil. It can be used for painful joints and bruises and all manners of removing aches and pains. That's what Chinese medicated oils are used for.

According to Joe, we can keep topping up the jar with wine but the extraction will not be as concentrated as the first 'brew'.

I'll keep everyone posted on our Hakka medicated oil production. ;-)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Benefits of Black Goji or Black Wolfberry - Newest Herb in Town!

I ran out of my dang gui pills recently so I decided to pop by Veng Tatt Soon in town.

I usually try to eat one dang gui pill per day after my menses. I try to be as consistent with this but even so, I sometimes forget! I thought this would be a better option on days when I am too tired to double boil dried dang gui soup or even ba zhen soup.

If I am to make these soups, I must first check if my freezer has chicken drumstick. I find my soups more palatable if I have at least some chicken in it. Also, I read that protein combines better with the nourishing goodness of these soups.

So dang gui pills (RM25 for 100 clear capsules) will have to make do when I am not in the mood to boil any soups!

Anyway, as I was about to walk out of the herbalist shop, I saw some plastic jars stacked near the counter. I'm always curious about new herbs so I asked the guy.

He told me these were black wolfberry or black goji berry.

Looks like black peppercorns, don't they? They're black wolfberries though they look nothing like the red ones. 

I was surprised.

All this while, I only thought there were only (red) wolfberries or red goji berries.

As with most herbs, the black wolfberries are from China (I believe Qing Hai).

But they don't look like the red ones. They're not longish at all. In fact, if you look closely, they resemble dried blackcurrants. They're black and tiny and a little shriveled.

As with most black coloured herbs, these black wolfberries (Lycium ruthenicum) are supposedly excellent for the eyes and kidneys.

I'm a sucker for anything that helps maintain good eyesight because I believe the eyes are important and much more so in my business - where I need to be online mostly.

Did I tell you that I have developed some farsightedness? I did my iLasik surgery years ago and did away with my short-sightedness. I can see into the distance and read words most people can't. That's the beauty of ilasik!

However, now I am having problems reading small print.

I need to hold the small print further away in order to see the words! I have been trying NOT to get reading glasses because I don't want to rely on them. Glasses are like crutches. The more you rely on them, the more you will rely on them and never give your eyes the ability to regain their ability.

I looked a little hesitant until the guy told me I could buy a bigger packet for far less. Plus I was attracted to the idea of just steeping these tiny berries and drinking them as a warm tea. Always a plus point for me if I don't have to do lots of preparation.

So what are black wolfberries good for?

They're good for people with fatigue, with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and maintaining eye health.

Apparently, these tiny black goji pack a punch of goodness in antioxidants and vitamins galore like 50x more vitamin E (but compared to what?). This information came from Eu Yan Sang. But theirs is super pricey. I am still a tad doubtful of the veracity of their claims but I do believe that these berries should be good for eyes and kidneys.

That's how tiny they are! Taste-wise, they're slightly sweetish. 

So how do you eat them?

You can eat them as a snack or steep 1 teaspoon in a cup of warm water (do not use boiling water). You don't need to boil or simmer. So it's perfect for lazy asses like me haha.

Just pour warm water over them and you can drink them in 5 minutes. Even faster than drinking chia seeds.

There are no instructions if they're safe for daily consumption but as with all herbs, go easy. If I am in doubt, I usually space my consumption out in a week.

There is too much of a good thing sometimes! (Even with burdock which I love to bits, I take it easy too. Just 2-3 times a week will do!)

So I'd say, maybe 3 times a week of this black goji tea (if you take it as a tea). I've heard it being called Russian gojiberries too.

Here's a regular red wolfberry tea that you can make at home.

In the meantime, I shall try this and update everyone here if I feel any different after consuming this black wolfberry tea. The tea looks dark purple. I bet you it's similar to my clitoria ternetea (bunga telang) purple!

And if you're curious what the plant looks like, take a look at this video.

Have you tried this black wolfberry before? What are your thoughts?

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Weekend Of Learning How To Use Prana To Heal

Last weekend, I was immersed in a two-day workshop on learning how to heal with prana. I didn't plan on going for this workshop called Prana Violet Healing or PVH for short as I wasn't even keen on healing or becoming a healer.

That's Mr Siva right up front. 

But life is strange. Nic had attended the PVH workshops before - in fact, how he came to know of this healing modality is in itself a story of strange incidents. He attended one session last year when I was back in Banting taking care of my mum and as everyone who reads this blog knows, my mum passed away eventually.

While she was fighting for her life in the ICU, PVH came to her via Nic and me. I was desolate and didn't know how else to help my mum. PVH came to mum through the forgiveness affirmations - affirmations that my mum managed to read before she passed away. I believe that forgiveness is the basis of all humanity. I was glad in a way that my mum managed to read the forgiveness affirmations - forgiving herself, her family and more.

That was last year.

In February this year, PVH came to Penang again. Nic went for the 2-day workshop - a totally free one, by the way - and was taught by its founder, Mr Siva, how to use the healing wand to help oneself and others.

The healing wand looks like a cocktail stirrer. It is plastic with a square end on one side and a tiny knob on the other.

This healing wand is the instrument that participants will learn to use during the workshop. It is used to clean the aura, sense the aura and heal the physical body.

I didn't give it much thought until my sister told me she was flying into Penang from Singapore to attend Mr Siva's workshop. My sis is a big fan of Joey Yap and Bazi and all kinds of metaphysical stuff. Nic was already planning to go. So I thought, what the heck, let me go and check it out even though I had a pile of work that I thought I wanted to tend to during the weekend.

All PVH workshops are conducted for free by Mr Siva who is of Malaysian Indian descent. He is a 56-year-old man who is rather humorous and engaging. He also owns his own business in KL but travels around the world giving his PVH workshops for free in the hope that more people can use his healing modality to help others. You can check him out on the many Youtube videos. He usually travels to India so the videos are mostly in Tamil.

The workshops he conducts in Malaysia are in English of course but if the audience is made up of Indians, he lapses into Tamil which is fine by me as I am reacquainted with Tamil - the language that I grew up hearing my neighbours and best friends speak!

I know a few words here and there but that's the beauty of growing up in Malaysia, well at least back when I was a child. These days, kids are all mixing only with their own race. I had Indian neighbours on my both sides of my house (we lived in a terrace house) and I had plenty of Indian and Malay friends.

Anyway, this time the workshop was held at Bodhi Heart Sanctuary, right smack in the middle of Mount Erskine. For those not in the know, Mount Erskine is where the Chinese cemetery is!

We had to drive through a narrow pathway where both sides were Chinese graves and tombs. However, the venue itself was serene.

So what is PVH? PVH is premised on these principles and if you don't believe in these principles, it's not for you.

1. It's a no-touch, no-drug healing modality that anyone can be engaged in, if they learn how to do it properly, practise regularly with the intention to help others get well. It is also non-religious.
2. It's based on the idea that the body can heal itself. Good health is our birthright.
3. Prana plays a role in healing. Prana is qi, life energy or ki. It flows in all living beings, from trees to animals to humans. PVH encourages good thoughts, good words, good deeds which is Buddhistic in nature.
4. There are only a few simple steps involved - cleansing the aura, then using the healing wand to sense the aura or sense for "cords" or sense for health issues and using the healing wand to heal.
5. PVH is also about being grateful to Nature, understanding our connection and link to the Cosmic Universe and therefore, reading the forgiveness affirmations is a must. It is about existing harmoniously with others and others can mean other people, other living beings, other spiritual beings.
6. Cords are emotional connections of a strong nature, usually negative that affect people and causes health and emotional issues. They can't be seen but they can be sensed using the healing wand. Part of why some health issues are longstanding is that they are ill-will sent by others towards a person or emitted by you towards others.
7. Karma and reincarnation play a role in understanding PVH. Part of the affirmations is to understand and accept that we are all here on earth to "balance our karma". Because we are all in some way or another connected to each other, we are not individuals living individual lives but spiritual beings coming back on earth to learn lessons before we move on to the next phase of our 'journey'.

It sounds challenging for many people to accept. One lady remarked at that she was skeptical. But during the workshop, Mr Siva did eliminate a longstanding soya milk allergy of an Australian woman in the audience using the method he taught us all. She said she would have a terrible migraine if she took soya bean milk. We saw her gulping down a small cup in the morning and throughout the day, she finished the bottle of soya bean milk and she looked finer than fine in the evening. She even told a friend that she thought it was magic that her allergy of 28 years suddenly disappeared!

Maybe that's the problem. After years and years of being indoctrinated that medicine/drugs were the only way to heal the body, our logical selves cannot comprehend that a simple purple wand, waved over soya bean milk and over a Caucasian, can destroy whatever allergies she had.

It seemed too simple. Surely there must be a more complicated way! Surely something so difficult must have multiple steps and involve many days and nights of callisthenics, incantations and invocations. It must involve some guru and some medical equipment so expensive that no one can even pronounce its name.

And yet, the healing wand worked.

It worked by channelling universal prana to the affected area. It worked by thanking the universe. It worked by thanking our organs - yes, we thanked our kidneys, liver, lungs, heart.

We took turns to practice on each other - sensing each other's aura and cords. We took turns to send collective prana to a Mr Nadarajan who was in a wheel chair and whose glazed eyes took on an alert look after some 70 people focused their prana on him.

I cannot explain why it works. Because it comes in 2 parts - you can heal yourself using the wand and you can heal others in need. And Mr Siva encourages us to practice so that we can continue to be healers and help others.

When I got home, the big toe on my right foot was throbbing. I took out the healing wand and did the steps he taught and to my surprise, the throbbing disappeared in 5 minutes. I cannot explain what it is that took away the pain.

I tried the wand on emotional issues. Nic was upset with me (now that I'm writing this I can't even remember what it was all about) and I used the wand to remove his anger and all of a sudden, he came into the room to make up with me! That was the fastest cure-all for anger.

If what I've said intrigued you, attend any one of the PVH workshops if it comes to your city. Have an open mind but know that you will come away impressed, skeptical, amazed and in wonderment.

I'm not here to turn you into a PVH believer but what I experienced over the past 2 days was nothing short of out of this world. Lest you think Mr Siva is one of those guru types, he's not. He's one of those down-to-earth guys who think that we all have the power to heal ourselves if only we believe it. He charges no money and even the food he provides during the 2 days are free for all. The affirmation pamphlets and healing wands are freely distributed.

Check it out http://www.pranaviolethealing.com