Raised in a stronghold on Ayurveda, Malayalis know that modern medicine is sometimes incompetent or expensive in treating motor impairments. Yet, there are a lot of people restricted to the frameworks of their minds, who are convinced by some practitioners of Western medicine that they’ll be limited to their beds for a lifetime.
Rajeev P Nair encountered such cases during his 12-year-long professional life as the yoga therapist at General Hospital, Ernakulam. “A few years back I happened on a woman in her mid-20s paralysed by meningitis. I could successfully help her to get on with her life and was inspired to provide free treatment for such people around Kochi, who cannot afford to get expensive help,” says Rajeev, who’s an MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) graduate with specialisation to use yoga in healing.
Slowly, his mission expanded to others (including nearly a dozen completely bedridden patients) and has caught the attention of popular medical practitioners like orthopedist Dr Biju Jacob Abraham who refers cases over to Rajeev.
Treating the mind
Over a decade of experience in working with immobile patients has helped him evolve an approach to help them. “I believe that the mind carries the body and not vice-versa. So the first step is to impart hope and help them focus their entire energy into making minor movements,” says the therapist, who also informs that his treatment works best on youngsters below 50 years of age.
He also seeks the help of other alternative traditions including Reiki, as yoga alone cannot be of help to those who have very limited movement.
“Each body responds differently, so it’s about learning and applying different methods. Sometimes, for people who’re completely stuck to their beds, even sunlight therapy can be magical,” says the ex-bodybuilder, who studied anatomy to bag the Mr Kerala title in 1993.
Also known for his Panampilly Nagar-based Slim Yoga centre, this professional incorporates his experience acquired as a physical trainer into his treatment methods which uses unconventional material like cycle tubes and cricket pads to reduce the expenditure.