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

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Bleeding Under The Skin

This is a quick post and a shout out to one of my readers who found my blog because he was helping a friend find out more about Five Flower Tea!

You see, it doesn't surprise me anymore now as I meet more and more people who come up to me and say they read my blog. In fact, it gives me a glow of pleasure even though I've been blogging for years and years!

Once at an event, a man in his fifties tapped me on my shoulder. He asked if I was the Soup Queen! He was from Ipoh but he had come to Penang for this particular event (where my friend was promoting powdered ginseng) and he recognised me in a sea of 50 or so people.

Anyway, back to Joe.

I'm not sure if Joe would like me to describe him but suffice to say, we've met! He came to our marketing event called Marketing Mojo in March because he won a ticket.

He is a fount of knowledge about Chinese kung fu, Chinese medicinal ointment (Nic is adamant that one day he will produce his own "tit tar jau" because this husband of mine believes in some far off life in his past, he was a medicine man) and Chinese herbs. And Joe is Cantonese (yay, my kind of people haha).

Joe has been emailing me interesting links and articles to Chinese herbs and health.

Just this week, he sent me a link to this article about bleeding under the skin. The article also recommends some herbs and one of the helpful herbs/vegetables is lotus root.

As you know, I am a huge fan of lotus root soup. I love its simplicity. I love eating the crunchy roots and as a child, I was always fascinated by the holes!

In my Lip Sin market, I usually get to choose from 2 types of lotus roots. It's not that they're 2 different species. They're the same. It's just that the origins differ. The larger ones usually come from China. The thinner, longer and scrawnier ones are local. I prefer to buy local. Or maybe I am too scared of what the Chinese farmers put into their fields and ponds!

So have a go and read this article on bruising under the skin and the healthy and natural kitchen remedies that can help you.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Jamu Kunyit Asam From Freshly Grown, Organic Turmeric & Tamarind Paste

A friend gave me a packet of freshly harvested turmeric from an organic garden and I was wondering what to do with this when I remembered the jamu that I tasted at an Indonesian Consulate event last year.

(Did I mention that I love tempeh, sambal pecel and all things Indonesian? I was in Bali last year and loved eating Indonesian food. In fact, tempeh chips are still my all-time favourite. In Bali, they're sold as snacks in supermarkets.)

fresh turmeric root
Fresh turmeric root, tamarind paste/asam jawa & gula melaka. 

tamarind paste
Tamarind paste mixed with water. Strain before using. 

sliced turmeric root
Sliced turmeric root. Look at the bright orange colour. It's been called Indian saffron but beware, the orange does stain! 

Turmeric is getting into the news for all the right reasons. Fresh turmeric is getting popular in the Western world though us here in Asia have been using this root in curries. I usually use turmeric powder when I marinate fish before frying. (If you marinate fish with turmeric powder, add a few sprinkles of grated black pepper.) Apparently, turmeric and black pepper pack a powerful combo and black pepper makes turmeric more bio-available! Plus if you add fat, it's even better. Who would've known?

I didn't want to just make curry with the fresh turmeric root. I wanted to make a jamu. I googled an Indonesian jamu recipe which called for a few simple ingredients - ingredients easily available in an Asian market - such as gula melaka, asam jawa and of course, turmeric. I counterchecked with my Indonesian friend who lives in Penang and yes, she confirmed that those were the ingredients.

She didn't give me any measurements so I used the "agak-agak" method which is a handful of turmeric root, sliced. Beware when you're slicing turmeric root. The orange does stain! I still have orange stains on my nails hours after cutting up the root.

I placed these root slices into the inner pot of my magic cooker (a new kitchen gadget I bought before Chinese New Year) with a block of gula melaka and reconstituted asam jawa paste. Add about 1 liter of water and bring it to a boil on the stove for 20 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to balance it all out.

Taste after 20 minutes. It shouldn't be too sourish/tangy. If it is, add more gula melaka. Then remove the pot from the stove and place this pot into your magic cooker. Close it and let the brew "cook" in the magic cooker for about 7 hours.

Boil for 20 minutes before placing in magic cooker. 

I made it during lunch time and let it brew till past dinner.

So did my jamu taste after 7 hours in the magic cooker? I came home after a day of shopping to drink this unbelievably smooth and warm beverage that is a little tangy, a little peppery but all goodness! It tasted absolutely wonderful. It had a lovely flavour of turmeric and asam jawa, leaving a slight spicy taste on the tongue. I'm no Indonesian but I'm quite proud that my first ever jamu came out pretty damn good.

I shall weigh the ingredients the next round to ensure the recipe is more "scientific" rather than go by the "agak-agak" method.

Jamu is basically an Indonesian herbal drink drunk for health maintenance purposes. This jamu kunyit asam is meant for slimming and helps to reduce bloated tummies (which is great for all of us with flabby bellies!). I was supposed to peel the skin off the turmeric root but I didn't. I just washed the turmeric and sliced it, skin and all.

According to WebMD, "turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation). Because of this, turmeric might be beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation."

In fact, there are some 9902 studies referencing curcumin and its healing properties. If you want a full list of what turmeric or curcumin in turmeric does, read this article by Dr Axe. One of the biggest discoveries is that curcumin kills and prevents cancer cells. It also reverses Type 2 diabetes and is able to neutralize free radicals (that's why it is such a good antioxidant).

This website states that taking whole turmeric is more advantageous than its extract (curcumin). Whole turmeric includes three different curcuminoids: curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and demethoxycurcumin plus volatile oils like tumerone, atlantone, and zingiberone. And all these components are all health-giving! 

And did you know that satay - my favourite food of all time - uses turmeric in its marinade? Turmeric also helps prevent the formation of HCAs (heterocyclic amines) in grilled meat. HCAs are the culprits in health risks in grilled meat protein. Turmeric, when combined with carrot or pumpkin, reduces the loss of beta carotene from these vegetables. 

What I am learning these days that the best way to get the benefits of turmeric or any other herb for that matter is through cooking. Many studies use the extract of turmeric on rodents in lab research and some websites have stated that they would rather see effects of the actual herb on humans instead of the curcumin extract. 

I agree quite as much. I think the best way to get the most out of herbs is using the way our grandmothers did - eat your food as medicine. Make them into teas, soups, broths or dishes. Because certain herbs complement vegetables. You can't get one to work without the other. 

But I underestimated the humble turmeric. It is arguably Nature's pharmacy without the side effects. (Planting turmeric is easy. Just pop the root into the ground and it will grow. The leaves can be used in cooking. I have a small pot of tumeric in my garden though I've never harvested the roots!)