Dharamsala — one of the most diverse towns of the region in terms of ethnic diversity — is gradually becoming home to alternative treatments.
Varied people who have settled here under the serene snow-clad Dhauladhar mountain ranges have brought with them their treatment skills for various ailments.Dharamsala is already famous for its Tibetan medicines and cancer patients from across the world come here to get treatment from Tibetan doctors.
A small clinic in Dharamsala cantonment is also attracting people towards Sujok therapy, a Korean way of alternative treatment that is said to be an amalgamation of 14 therapies. In the Army Cantt, Harpreet Brar, wife of Brigadier Navdeep Brar, is running the clinic.
Brar said she started learning about Sujok therapy when her husband injured his back in a helicopter crash during Kargil War. “I learnt how to treat my husband from Bhupinder Kaur, a master Sujok healer in Delhi. The healing helped my husband in recovering from his back injury, after which I decided to extend the benefits to other people. Since then, I have acquired international certifications in Sujok therapy and provided relief to many patients of chronic pain, ulcers and kidney stones. The treatment at my clinic in Dharamsala is free of cost,” she said.
Harpreet Kaur said Sujok therapy has even been adopted by the US Army for battlefield pain management. But despite the fact that India is home to several alternative treatments, people adopt these only after they have tried and failed in getting results from allopathic medicines. “In Sujok there are no side-effects and only magnets, natural substances and colours are used externally to sensitise the nerve endings in hands and feet to control the natural flow of energy in the body,” she said. Park Jea Woo, a Korean doctor, is considered to be the father of Sujok therapy. It is a combination of two Korean words — Su meaning hands and Jok feet.
91-yr-old master of Sowa-rigpa
Dr Yeshi Dhonden (91) is famous in India and world for giving cancer medication. Cancer patients from adjoining Punjab and Haryana are seen standing in queues on cold winter nights outside Ashoka hotel in the narrow alley of McLeodganj to get tokens for seeking an audience with Dr Yeshi Dhonden.
Inquires revealed that since Dhonden has become too old, he attends just 30 to 40 patients a day. Patients have to wait for more than a month for his audience. They are given tokens by people managing his clinic, which provides the date for audience with Dhonden.
The services of Dr Dhonden, who has been treating patients from India and across the world through his Tibetan medicine and promoting health tourism in McLeodganj, have been recognised by the government of India, as he has been awarded the Padma Shri.
Dhonden was a personal physician to Dalai Lama for a long time. He is a master of Sowa-rigpa (Tibetan medicine). He looks around 40 patients a day in routine and there is a long wait to get his appointment. He was a former director of Tibetan Astro and Medical Institute, which has global operations now.
Dr Yeshi Dhoden does not rely on the reports of allopathic medicine and diagnoses patients from fresh urine samples and pulse. His medicines are pellets created from secret herbs. However, many cancer patients, who take medicine from him, claim that it slows down the growth of cancer cells. Government officials posted in Dharamsala are generally laden with requests from acquaintances for getting tokens for audience with Dr Yeshi Dhonden.
Ashwani Bamba, president of Hoteliers’ Association of Upper Dharamsala, says if there are three flights for Dharamsala in off season, it means half of the seats are booked by people coming to meet Dhonden. A disciple of Yashi Dhoden has opened up a clinic is Garoh, a small village in lower Dharamsala, where he treats about 100 patients daily for cancer and other ailments. His clinic has led to the development of many hotels and guest houses that are used by patients visiting the area.