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Within Auroville itself there are many diverse approaches, beliefs, attitudes and ideologies about both the nature of health and how it can be achieved. Individual Aurovilians have experienced many different health care approaches and systems, coming as they do from diverse cultural backgrounds. As a result there is a wide range of health promoting activities which includes a number of experimental approaches based on different hypotheses and philosophies in health.
Health and Integral Yoga
The subject of health was addressed extensively by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on many different levels of the individual being, from the physical to the mental to the psychic/spiritual levels. 'Health' is an important aspect of the Integral Yoga which has the aspiration towards the transformation of the body being guided by evolutionary forces. In this light, health crises of various sorts can sometimes be perceived as part of the transformatory process. For the individual, the maintenance of his or her health and dealing with health crises can be perceived as an opportunity to learn more about physical/mental/psychic balance on the spiritual path, one more aspect of the unending education one submits oneself to in Auroville.
Nurturing of awareness
More formally in the schools here, the physical side of developing young bodies is balanced with the development and nurturing of awareness of this development and the meaning this has for the individual.
Health of the community at large
The question of how this city of Auroville is to manifest is central to the health and wholeness of the individuals who live there. The way we feed ourselves, the way we balance our work with other aspects of our lives, the kind of physical environment we create, the way we communicate and support each other are the subject of intense discussion within the community. The decisions that are taken (or not) about each of these issues have considerable implications for the health of the community and the individuals within it, and to a larger extent for the entire bio-region in which Auroville is situated.
Holistically healthy environment
It is commonly understood that if true health is to be achieved, the health of the individual and of the community must support and complement each other, and that the well-springs of health for the individual are more easily accessed and activated in a holistically healthy environment. We're working on this!
Wide variety of treatments
Within Auroville there are at present many different treatment modes available. These are not exclusively for Aurovilians, but also provide for those living in the bio-region as well as visitors, some of whom come specially to take advantage of what is offered. The treatments range from the allopathic model to various alternative and complementary therapies which are provided within a range of different settings.
Health in Auroville is, however, a dynamic process with not only new and experimental treatment approaches but also a wide range of activities that foster a physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy life and enable individuals to reach the source of all health within.
Some available activities in Auroville
HATHA YOGAIn these classes we learn the technique of the basic classical Hatha Yoga postures in combination with directed breathing. Using a firm and dynamic approach, we learn to mold our body and create greater flexibility and awareness while stimulating and harmonizing organs, glands and nerves.
The Holographic Body: a dance and movement sessionWe combine dance techniques, hatha yoga, postural concentration, meditative alignments of subtle energy and breath control in concentrated yet playful sessions which develop increased bodily awareness.
ACUPUNCTUREIt is based on the ancient Chinese knowledge of the meridians, or energy pathways through the body. By inserting ultra fine needles into points along the meridians energy blockages can be cleared and energy flow stimulated allowing for the treatment of a wide range of problems.
Free FlowQuiet's version of the therapy variously known as Watsu, Aqua balancing, etc. Done in a shallow tank, in warm water, the therapist (standing) cradles and manipulates the patient (floating) through a series of gentle movements and stretches inducing (frequently) a profoundly blissful state of both physical and mental relaxation. This state greatly facilitates the releasing of various blockages which are both cause and effect of much ill health.
RESONANCE (with bicom machine)
All the body's cells emit electro- magnetic vibrations. During illness or injury these vibrations become disharmonious. The bicom machine can “read” these vibrations and transmit to the body the complimentary vibrations required to reestablish harmony. Thus it can be utilized for both diagnosis and treatment .The bicom machine contains computerized programs for The therapist tests to make an energetic diagnosis and to determine which therapy programs are appropriate specific symptoms, organs and meridians..
INTEGRAL MEDITATIONIn Integral Meditation we reenter and reactivate the intelligence that knows how simultaneously to compress itself into matter , condense itself into energy , expand itself as love and diffuse itself as light –all pervading.
Breathing, initiative, faith and the body's alignments are coordinated for the purpose of establishing peace and silence in body, heart and mind.
YOGA NIDRAThrough Yoga Nidra we can reclaim, within moments, a concentrated, calm, sensitive state of being, which ordinarily takes many hours of sleep, meditation and exercise to reach.
A simple method: coordinating breathing, the attention of the mind and sensory currents of awareness. While lying on our backs, we enter and engage deeper levels of our being to an energy that fills, repairs and recharges the body's substances and structures, as well as the auric field.
REIKIThe initiated Reiki practitioner serves as a channel for the universal healing power whose efficacy, through the “laying on of hands”, to comfort, relieve pain and heal has been recognized throughout the ages.
Instruction and initiation is available for those wishing to become Reiki practitioners.
COUNSELINGThis approach relates to our difficulties, dilemmas, challenges, confusion, frustration, and error in terms that allow for observation, analysis and the encouragement that stimulates a true connection with myself. Through this connection with our center we come to understand our freely chosen goals and the means by which we strive to realize them.
HOMEOPATHYA system of medicine that views disease as the manifestation of a misbalance of the vital force and employs remedies delivered in (materially) infinitesimal doses to stimulate the patient's own immune mechanisms in order to gently restore health.
FACIALEach session runs approximately one and a half hours and includes massage of face and neck, application of special herbal / clay packs and treatment with colored polarized light which is said to have a regulating and regenerating effect on the skin cells.
POLARITY THERAPYA powerful healing approach that processes imbalances, blockages and distortions simultaneously on the material, energetic, emotional and mental levels. The technique combines deep massage, light soothing touch, stimulation and redirection of subtle energies through the meridians, chakric and auric fields along with m ovement therapy, verbal counseling and regenerative trance.
PRANIC HEALING / CRYSTAL HEALING / SOUND BEDThis is a technique which uses “Prana”, or vital energy to remove disharmonious energy from the patient's aura and chakras. It also transfers fresh vital energy to the affected areas of the body. Pranic Healing is also effective in the treatment of emotional and mental aliments and when applied regularly acts preventively. The healing work does not require physical contact and is done directly on the energy field. Crystals , especially various precious and semi precious gemstones, have the ability to focus characteristic energies, and are sometimes used in conjunction with pranic healing.
With the sound bed one is, essentially, lying on the sounding board of a giant veena-like instrument (tuned to the harmonic frequency of the earth) and being played. Definitely a consciousness altering experience.
FOOT MASSAGE / FOOT REFLEXOLOGYSimply described: an hour of bliss consciousness (and it's good for you too).
AYURVEDIC MASSAGE/AYURVEDIC KALARI MASSAGEThis method works primarily to stimulate, relax and balance the whole body-mind continuum alleviating many complaints such as muscle pain, headaches and digestive disorders, structural problems such as sciatica, spinal difficulties such as shoulder and neck pain. Treatment involves the generous use of special oils and a thorough and rhythmic process of tracing, kneading, stretching and twisting manipulations.
FULL BODY MASSAGE (DEEP TISSUE or RELAXING MASSAGE)Fragrant oils are used and the entire body is massaged producing deep relaxation and relief from mental and physical stress. While essentially a gentle technique, the therapist may work more deeply depending on the condition (or preference) of the patient. This technique improves blood circulation, boosts the immune response and the endocrine, muscular, digestive and lymphatic functions.
LYMPH DRAINAGEThis massage employs a very soft rhythmic touch that acts directly on the lymphatic system. It specifically removes edema- swelling due to over accumulation of fluids in body tissue, thereby detoxifying the whole internal milieu.
SHIATSUShiatsu is a meditative massage technique based on the ancient Taoist knowledge of Yin/Yang and the five elements.
A Shiatsu massage relaxes body and mind while invigorating and harmonizing the body's energies. It releases tension, alleviates stiffness, improves respiration and circulation and has a general toning effect on the nervous and muscular/ skeletal systems.
THAI MASSAGEThe traditional massage of Thailand is a full body experience in which a variety of elements (stretching, bending, kneading, acupressure, etc.) are employed and every part of the body from scalp to toes to internal organs receives attention. Its debt to ancient Chinese medical knowledge is evident in the attention paid to the meridians and to removing blockages in these energy pathways.
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