Ruchi lived with chronic pain and erratic periods for almost 30 years of her life. She accepted these health issues as part of life and ‘adjusted’. On medications on and off, and having tried all ‘alternative treatments’ for pain management, she continued to search for the why. This was until she came across The Health Awareness Centre, Mumbai. Initially hesitant to make the changes, her reducing pains, triggered her to fully adopt to Natural Living. Not only did her body respond beautifully, this wellness journey transformed her overall outlook of life! Read her incredible story here.
43 years, Co-founder – Rejoiss
My health story is all about chronic pain which started in my early teens! It was not a life crippling pain but something that I managed to live with, so in a way life felt ‘normal’. But looking back, I now realise I always had some form of pain or other. Either it would be a back pain or shoulder pain or my feet would constantly hurt. I woke up every morning feeling sour, tired & grumpy.
Another major health issue was my period. My cycle started at the age of 13 and it was unpredictable. The periods would start any time and instead of the usual 5-8 days they would go on & on, sometimes even continuing till 25 days! Physically, it was not like I was fainting or anything, and my body seemed to cope with the daily tasks. But mentally, I was forever anxious. I wouldn’t travel much, I wouldn’t go out much. I was always scared of staining my clothes as the period could start just about any time. This made me an anxious person but after consulting several gynaecologists, endocrinologists, homeopaths, etc I could not find a way around it. So I adjusted my life the best I could.
I used to get regular hormone check-upsand ultrasounds done. My prolactin hormone was high on and off, but nobody could explain why and how to bring it down. It used to get controlled with medication, but you stop medication & it came back. Whenever my prolactin was high, it would give me a breakout on the face and I also started getting dark patches on my face.
In my twenties, once I started working, I developed tailbone pain. I just didn’t do anything about it for many months. When I finally went to a doctor and got an x-ray done, there was a small fracture at the tip of the tailbone. Nothing could be done about this type of fracture, it just needs physiotherapy. I did physio with many therapists before I found one who told me I would be better in 4-5 consultations and she lived up to her word! The intensity of pain reduced by 90%. But sitting for long hours was still a challenge.
At the same time, I developed foot pain, so standing up and walking was also a challenge now. The pain used to be extremely intense especially in the morning. I wanted to travel and see the world. But the thought of sitting for hours in a flight or walking around a city, used to give me shudders. I found a place who could manufacture custom insoles for me and I took to using them all the time including at home. In between, I tried many alternative therapies for getting relief from pain, but nothing helped much. One of the therapists told me to reduce grain in my diet and stop having dairy. This was the first time I heard something of this sort & I didn’t take it too seriously!
My pain condition worsened & I developed a frozen shoulder. I thought I was used to bearing pain, but this was debilitating. I had already become allergic to pain killers and many other medicines. But this pain was so bad, I didn’t have an option. I started taking pain killers & developed hives. The well known orthopaedic I consulted wrote at the top of my prescription “MENTAL RELAXATION”. I didn’t understand the connection between pain and mental stress at that time, but I took him seriously. I knew medication was not the solution for me.
Gradually the frozen shoulder became less intense, tail bone pain was manageable, and for foot pain I was wearing insoles. I didn’t have much choice in shoes I was wearing sneakers most of the time.
In June 2015, my husband, Rohan & his parents were meeting The Health Awareness Centre, Mumbai (THAC) for their health issues. I went along as I thought it is always good to know some natural ways of being healthy. They told me you got to eat a lot of fruits, I said yeah that’s ok, I can do that, I like fruits. They said you have to eat only fruits in breakfast, I thought what if I get hungry, I mean how much fruit can you really eat!! Also they said no dairy no wheat. But I am a North Indian and I have lived all my life eating them. I felt this was a big disruption to my life & decided I didn’t want to do it.
Rohan said don’t do it if you don’t want to, but help me in doing it. He was on an all fruits no salt diet for a few days, so I thought let me also join him. Interestingly, in the first few days of eating fruits, I got what seemed like a urinary tract infection and it was very painful. I was shocked because all my life I never had any UTI problem. I consulted THAC and they helped me understand that when we change our eating pattern, especially when eating a full fruit diet, the body gets a lot of energy which it utilises to throw out toxins. This may feel scary initially, but was a normal body function. They assured me and guided me to few suggestions and in a day the pain was all gone, without medicines!!
After the initial few days of eating just fruits, gradually I got settled on to a pattern. At first, I struggled because I used to feel like I am hungry all the time, now what do I eat, I can’t keep eating the same fruit again and again, it’s not satisfying. The challenge was more about how to organise for the next day/week. Eventually I settled down into a rhythm & I found ways to make my food more interesting. I didn’t even realise when dairy, wheat, milk, sugar and cooking oil disappeared from my home!
In the meanwhile, I had also started doing pilates twice a week. Pilates is an intense exercise and you need a lot of energy for it. I followed this food & exercise routine for 2 years & my health flourished. Body became toned, skin & hair became fabulous, my pain disappeared.
I initially credited my exercise for making me pain-free. But then i realised what had happened - one day i had just made up my mind that i don’t want this pain any more. That day, I had gotten in touch with THAC again & strictly followed their recommendations. Over a period of three to four weeks, my pain of twenty years had disappeared!! I started to sleep well through the night & in the morning i would wake up Rohan & tell him excitedly that I don’t have pain, can you believe it?
My menstrual cycle also improved. Now periods would come almost every 40 days, last for 4 days, flow would not be too heavy. I was no longer afraid of my periods. My mood swings & crankiness went down. Rohan used to joke that it’s much easier to deal with you now.
As I deepened my understanding of health, I learnt that I had taken care of the food (aahaar), now I had to take care of the Thoughts (vichaar) and my Me-Time (vihaar). I thought I was a very positive person, but my professional training was to look at the worst case scenario. My professional experience has been in operations in financial services sector. We were always looking at what can go wrong and be prepared to prevent it. I changed that attitude and started thinking about what is going right, how can i enjoy it.
I have been a very aggressive person all my life. I toned that down and I am still working on it. The recreation and me-time, I am working on these aspects. Deactivation, calming down, not being in action mode all the time, this is something I am still learning. My parents live in the same complex where I do, my in-laws were living with me, and I run a full time business with my husband. I was so used to getting up and managing all of that. But now I am consciously making time for myself.
I have started to bring in some art in my life. Earlier it was all just about numbers, getting work done, progress, profitability. I started to realize life won’t hit any emergency even if you stop to smell the roses. It made me feel lighter.
Today I enjoy my new lifestyle. I have learnt that there are two types of food - food for the mind & food for the body. I want to primarily eat for the body and sometimes also eat for the mind, because if you don’t satisfy the mind it is going to rebel. I found ways to make food for the body appealing to the mind, and also indulge in food for the mind. For e.g. Today, if I want to eat a chicken dish, which is food for the mind, I will go find the best kind of chicken dish which will satisfy my memory to the fullest. Or if I want to eat a pizza, i’ll choose the best in town.
The dark patches I got on my face due to high prolactin levels, are slowly beginning to fade on their own, without use of any gels or creams or medicines. I had a lump in my breast for many years. I had shown it to a gynaecologist & she had told me not to worry. But I was scared because I thought it could turn into breast cancer. And now, that too has disappeared. My shift to a holistic lifestyle helped me get rid of all issues. That’s how the body works. Through different health problems, it tries to raise as many alarms as it can to tell you that there is toxicity in your body. You have to give it the right kind of time, space and energy to clear up the toxicity. Our body is extremely capable of giving us good health.
(About Ruchi Maheshwari: A Chartered Accountant & MBA by qualification, Ruchi worked in the financial services sector for 10 years. She is currently co-founder of a corporate training firm where her role is all-encompassing. Her hobbies include gift wrapping, origami, craft, reading, travel, spending time in nature, watching birds).
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