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Three Healing Arts Derive Their Power from Nature

By webadmin on 11:40 pm Jul 06, 2010 | Aria Danaparamita

In a medical world teeming with MRIs, PET scans and NMDA receptors, loaded with nitroglycerin, atorvastatin and isosorbide dinitrates, one may long for the simpler days. For some, those days are already here.

Naturopathy, or complementary healing using natural medicines or methods, existed long before contemporary medicine. Through the years, modern medicine has taken over, but naturopathy is making a comeback of sorts, including in Jakarta.

Indonesia is no stranger to alternative medicine, with many singing the praises of traditional jamu (herbal drinks), massages and even shamanistic healing. But naturopathy in Jakarta has a more international flavor.

The Jakarta Globe recently sought out three different types of complementary healing: homeopathy from Germany, Ayur­veda from India and reiki from Japan, which promise results without the side effects or high costs of modern medicine.

Homeopathy was first proposed in 1796 by German physician Samuel Hahnemann. The method, often derided as pseudoscience, is based on the theory that serial dilutions of a substance that causes a symptom can cure that symptom.

“It’s all about reharmonizing the body and letting it repair the broken tissues naturally,” said Sugiharto, who practices at a small family clinic in Central Jakarta.

Homeopathic substances are obtained from herbs and plants. The same plant or medicine can cure several ailments, proponents claim. The remedies are available in pill, cream or liquid form, and are still mainly imported from the United States, Germany and elsewhere.

Nur Aini, a homeopath based in South Jakarta, says it can cure anything from migraines to chronic internal diseases.

“Homeopathy is also more efficient and practical,” she said. “In the end, it’s much cheaper than modern allopathy.”

Though popular in many parts of the world, homeopathy is only practiced sparingly and sporadically in Indonesia.

“A lot of doctors condone homeopathy or even dabble in it themselves, but it’s still not very well known here,” Nur said, adding that it was recently introduced into the curriculum of the University of Indonesia’s School of Medicine.

Ayurveda, meanwhile, dates back thousands of years. Originating from Hinduism’s oldest texts, Ayurveda has been said to be the mother of medicine, and is believed to have given rise to herbal remedies such as jamu .

“Ayurveda is a lifestyle,” said Maya Safira Muchtar, director of L’Ayurveda spa in Fatmawati, South Jakarta. “It provides a holistic treatment to achieve a harmonious balance among the mind, body and soul.”

Ayurveda heals by rebalancing a sick person’s elements — water, earth, wind, fire and ether — with those of the universe.

“Each bodily organ is governed by an element,” Maya said. “When that balance is disturbed, that’s when you fall ill.”

The ayurvedic way also helps prevent illness by promoting a healthy lifestyle through yoga, crystal therapy and good food.

Another form of alternative healing that uses natural energy is reiki, developed in 1922 in Japan by Mikao Usui. Literally meaning universal energy, reiki heals using the natural forces in the universe, channeling them to patients to retune their bodies.

“There is energy all around us, and anyone can access it,” said reiki master Yuli Sambodho, from the Waskita Reiki clinic in East Jakarta. “The healer absorbs the positive energy from nature and transfers it to the patient, while the negative energy is let out of the body.”

Yuli claims reiki has cured heart disease, diabetes and lupus. The healing process depends on the severity of the illness and usually takes about 30 minutes.

For all the claims and skepticism surrounding these methods of alternative healing, it is hard to argue with the placebo effect that they promote. “Whatever makes you feel good, whatever is suitable for you, must be good for you,” Maya said.

Besides, in this material world, we could all stand to get more in touch with nature.

Gymnastics Laughter Eliminate Stress

Research conducted Indonesian Psychiatric Association, said 94 percent of the population of Indonesia is experiencing a kind of depression or other disorders. This is one reason National Integration Movement (NIM) organize gymnastics laugh.

“Laughter can create the hormone melatonin, which soothe us so we can cope with stress and depression,” said President NIM Maya Safira Muchtar met in the middle of the People’s Party event in Gymnastics Laughter page Monas Jakarta, Sunday (14 / 6).

Furthermore, Maya said, laughing one minute, based research with 20 minutes of light exercise. Therefore, with a laugh we can improve oxygen levels in blood, the concentration of 8 points, nerves, relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure, increase endurance, blood flow, massaging the lungs and heart, relieve constipation, blood flow, balancing function and left brain-right brain, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease.

In addition, because at these events there are also sing-song, Maya said that the sound vibrations created from the song gives the brain. Brain like a massage. “That’s what stimulates the brain to produce the hormone melatonin. Again, the hormone that keeps us from stress and depression,” said Maya.

Gymnastic technique has also become a vehicle for a laugh to know each other. “Another aim to strengthen one another. More relaxed. More understanding. As of 3000 those present were not acquainted,” she concluded.

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Signs of The Times: Stressed Out, Cheap Eats (2009)

Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:56pm EST

(Reuters) – The global recession manifests itself in big and small ways, most gloomy, some quirky and often reflecting the inventive human spirit. Here is a look at some signs of the times.

* The mood was exuberant, even giddy, in Washington’s Lafayette Square, across from the White House, a few hours after Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. But a lone figure holding up a yellow placard struck a jarring note. “WE BUY HOUSES,” read the placard, a reminder of the economic crisis that confronts the country after eight years of laissez-faire Republican policies. “Cash in 24 Hours,” said the sign, which offered a toll-free telephone number. What was the placard bearer paid for hoisting the sign? “Minimum wage, man. I think,” said the man, who gave his name only as Diego.

* More Indonesians have been seeking alternative treatments as the financial crisis raises stress levels, says Maya Safira Muchtar, owner of a Jakarta holistic care center that uses Ayurveda, a system of traditional medicine that includes herbs, nutrition, meditation and massage to treat ailments like stomach ulcers. “We have been quite busy lately because people have high stress levels. They try to find something that can calm them down or help them cope with their daily stress,” Muchtar said.

* A Japanese fast-food chain’s sales have been rising since October as customers flock to its cheap beef-on-rice dishes. “The impact of the current economic situation has yet to come down to our price range,” said Haruhiko Kizu, a spokesman for the Yoshinoya restaurant chain. A typical Yoshinoya dish costs 380 yen ($4.20), offering a cheap meal option in urban Japan, where lunch often costs around 1,000 yen ($11).

* Australians are turning to camping holidays as the financial crisis bites. Caravan and holiday parks are reporting high occupancy rates for first time campers, says the Caravan and Camping Industry Association of New South Wales. Occupancy has increased up to 10 percent for many coastal holiday parks.

* The economic crisis may dim the lights on Brazil’s Carnival. O Globo newspaper reported that many Rio de Janeiro Samba schools are struggling to raise funds before the end-of-February celebrations and are running late in their float preparations. “We decided to do something smaller, but which will have the same brilliance. We still haven’t decided what we will take to the street,” said Jorge Castanheira, president of the Independent League of Samba Schools.

* Australian car sales may be sluggish, but bicycle sales are holding up much better as more commuters pedal to work. The Cycling Promotion Fund said bike sales outstripped car sales by 38 percent in 2008, the biggest margin in at least eight years. “The economic downturn and the affordability of cycling is one of the key reasons for the continued surge in bicycle sales,” said the fund’s Elliot Fishman.

* Beauty salons are big business in Indonesia and Roger’s Salon in Jakarta, is helping customers save as much as half the price of a hair coloring if they bring in their own dye. The treatment usually costs between 400,000 and 1,000,000 rupiah ($35-$88). “If customers come to the salon, they have a special budget for services, because it is a basic need,” said Ami, one of the salon’s hairdressers.

* Some Australian employers have come up with a novel way to cut staff costs without losing their brightest young talents: paying graduate recruits to take a “gap year” and come back in 2010. The Australian Financial Review said at least two law firms had offered A$10,000 ($6,676) in cash to graduates to defer their start dates and some had been offered airline tickets.

(Compiled by Eric Beech and David Storey; Reporting by Todd Eastham in Washington; Jennifer Henderson and Julie Shingleton in Jakarta, Taiga Uranaka in Tokyo; Stuart Grudgings in Rio de Janeiro; Michael Perry and Mark Bendeich in Sydney; Editing by Chris Wilson)

Heal It with Crystals – The Jakarta Post (2009)

Dian Kuswandini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Wed, May 13 2009, 10:19 AM


They say gold is ruled by the sun – a masculine energy – while silver is controlled by the moon – a feminine energy. But crystal comes under both forces, so works with both energies, which in turns brings balance to our bodies.

You might not buy into those claims – for you crystals might simply be beautiful stones that are easy to fall in love with. But have you ever gazed into a crystal and felt a strange bliss flowing through your body? Did you suddenly feel its soothing and calming effects within your inner self?

Well, if you have, then it means that the crystal attracted you in ways beyond the aesthetic – it has magnetized you spiritually or metaphysically. And this is what lies behind the popularity of crystal therapy.

An aspect of holistic healing, crystal therapy has at its center the use of various kinds of crystal or gemstone to facilitate healing of both emotional and physical disturbances.

Ancient history has documented widespread use of various kinds of crystals in healing tradition. Jade, for example, is a green-colored stone that is believed to be able to attract love and protect us from misfortune. Or the purple amethyst, which was used by the legendary Cleopatra during her bathing ritual to maintain her beauty. Various ethnic groups have been also known to use malachite as a cure against kidney stones and hematite for aching bones and sore backs.

In brief, crystals have been used across centuries and civilizations for both internal and external purposes. From broken hearts to low self-esteem, migraines to sore throats, muscular pain to cancer, any ailment can benefit from the healing power of crystal. You might wonder: How could that be possible?

First, it should be understood that the tradition of holistic healing believes that all living things, including humans, are surrounded by an electromagnetic field, simply known as an aura or natural energy. According to Ayurvedic therapist Maya Safira Muchtar, this electromagnetic field attracts other energies – both negative and positive – from its environment.

Crystal, on the other hand, she says, has the ability to gather, focus and amplify these energies. It also resonates with the energies in such a way that they can stimulate our aura, which in turn brings harmony to the body.

“Crystal consists of certain elements like minerals, iron and more, which are composed in a way that can influence our body’s electromagnetic field,” says Maya, who is the director of L’Ayurveda holistic center in Jakarta.

“Crystal has the ability to synchronize our body’s energy with its surroundings, thus it can energize and protect our body and mind.”

This actually can be explained from the crystal’s structures. Scientists have found that elements in crystal such as silicon and oxygen molecules are arranged with geometric precision and in a rigid formation, meaning it can generate great force. Scientist Marcel Vogel, for example, who spent years researching crystals, shaped a quartz crystal into a double terminator, which he found resonates at the same frequency as water, the main ingredient of the human body.

And Vogel’s research isn’t alone. Maya reveals that several studies on the use of crystal on plants or electronic devices have proved that the healing power of crystal really exists.

In the case of a dying plant, for example, “it grows back after a crystal is buried underneath it,” she says.

Or what about quartz watches? According to Maya, they are so called simply because they use crystal quartz. And guess what? “Crystal quartz is used because it can prolong the battery’s power and helps the clock’s hands move accordingly.”

Even television, Maya reveals further, benefits from crystal.

“There are these small crystals attached in the diodes used in television,” she says. “These crystals work to create a clearer and brighter view of television.”

So thanks to these scientific advances, more and more people are interested in crystal therapy today. They incorporate this therapy by simply carrying or wearing crystal, or placing a crystal in a location where they can feel its healing vibrations. People also come to crystal therapists to enhance the healing progress.

“Some people come to my place just to deal with self-esteem problems,” Maya says, adding, ”while others come to battle stress and even to treat cancer.”

According to Maya, crystal therapists first diagnose the patient’s problems to find out the right type of crystal for him or her. This is because each type of crystal has its own unique ability because of the different proportion of elements that form it.

“The colors, shapes and textures of crystals have special meanings that can focus on particular forms of healing energy, which is used to overcome specific complaints,” she says.

A crystal therapy session with Maya usually takes 45 minutes and costs Rp 175,000, and the total number of sessions required depends on the individual situation.

“In the case of cancer patients, for example, they have to have one session every day. But other disturbances could need once a week or so,” she explains. Generally speaking, Maya adds, patients usually have a total of seven sessions, although that depends on the illness.

“And after completing [the required number of sessions], it’s also important to maintain progress,” she adds. “That’s because our body’s energy is actually like a battery. It needs to be recharged at least twice a month.”

Maya says further that because crystal therapy is part of holistic healing, practitioners like her often combine it with other healing procedures such as reiki, breathing techniques and color therapy.

“Using reiki, for example, the therapist will transfer his or her positive energy to the patient,” she says. “And in this case, the crystal acts as a medium to increase the therapist’s energy which is channeled to the patient.”

Color therapy, on the other hand, has to do with treating specific problems associated with the seven energy points (or chakra).

“Our body has seven chakras, each of which deals with specific problems and has a different color to the others,” Maya says. “Crystals are sometimes placed on the chakras that correspond to the colors of the crystals. This is to cleanse and energize the chakras and thereby bring greater health and sense of well-being.”

The first or base chakra, for example, which comes under the color red, corresponds with tiger’s eye and black obsidian. The fourth chakra, also known as heart chakra, is green and suits rose quartz. The violet-colored seventh chakra, or the crown chakra, will find good vibrations with the amethyst.

The use of color therapy to complement crystal therapy is later combined with certain breathing techniques that work as a kind of catharsis to purge emotional tension. This is because, Maya says, our physical aspect isn’t the only thing that needs to be healed.

“We also have to manage our emotional and psychological [aspects] in order to be balanced,” she says. “And purging our emotional tensions can really influence our body’s electromagnetic field, which later can bring this balance.”

Kompleks Ruko Golden Fatmawati
Blok J No. 35, South Jakarta 12421

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