Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cancer and Family Support

(Please read the 'current news' on right side of this blog as you scroll down)

The doctor informed Soma about her disease and Soma was visibly not so upset. He also told us to look after her well so that she didn’t become mentally weak. So we took maximum care to help her mentally.

I had a very cordial relation with Soma. Her love for me was always exceptional. All she wanted to know that whether I still loved her. Once she became sanguine about my unconditional love for her, she became more determined to fight against cancer.

But she was silently always watchful about the huge expenses that my family had to bear. But at that time, I failed to notice this.

She had a wonderful relation with her mom in law (MIL). My mother, (her MIL), was just like her own mother. Her relationship with my mother was affable and never riddled with even minor controversies. It wasn’t like a typical daughter in law and MIL relation. Both loved each other.

My mom couldn’t accept the reality that Soma wouldn’t live for a long. My mother visited all the temples and did whatever she could do to cure Soma. She always encouraged Soma.

Looking at Soma’s frail body and her increasing pain, my mom sensed the worst and became sick. My mom never recovered again. She died one day prior to death of Soma. I, somehow, believe that they were inseparable souls.

My other family members were also very much supportive. Everyone was very much fond of Soma. No one ever complained about her sickness.

My other family members were so concerned about her health that they always ensured she receive the best treatment at the best hospital.

Cancer Treatment is really very costly. I didn’t have so much money to support huge hospital bills. One of my uncles paid all the hospital bills gladly and also kept on sending me money to ensure that other post treatment related expenses were never neglected.

We together enjoyed quality time. She liked to see TV programs but I affectionately convinced her to avoid movies because of violence and she agreed. We used to enjoy programs on music. Our lives were tough but we worked hard to make it joyous as much as possible.

She decided to start her own business after the completion of her treatment. She could draw on cloths. Soon her designs became very popular. She was happy as she was earning a good profit from her business.

Overall she apparently had a very good environment. We tried our level best to provide her the best moral support. But that wasn’t sufficient.

Being a common man, I overlooked certain things. A specialist could detect her twisted thoughts.

Even, I think, if I would encourage her to write descriptive articles, it would help a lot to understand the under current flowing down her mind. That mistake proved to be very costly in the long run.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cancer and female patients

(Please read the 'current news' on right side of this blog as you scroll down)

Cancer comes in a middle class family to ruin the whole family. Cancer not only badly affects the psychology of the patients, but also it creates a lot of other problems in the family.

In countries like India, female cancer patients often undergo tremendous mental torture. Even in some cases, these females are disowned by their in laws.

These middle class females are the most helpless if they become sick. When they need compassion, affection and moral support, in most of the cases, they get just the opposite.

Even if these females aren’t mentally tortured, they face indifference from their in laws. So, very few female patients are lucky to get positive moral support from the family members.

In other cases, families fail to understand the importance of a positive and cordial environment necessary for the sake of the patients. They often tend to fight over petty issues before the patient and never mind to view violence filled movies. Such chaotic situations create mental irritation.

In most of the cases, the educated middle class female patients aren’t treated according to their newly developed sensitivities. Their present mental condition, in most of the cases, are overlooked even by a compassionate and supportive familiy.

That’s why it is always advisable to consult a psychologist just when the treatment started. Psychologist can certainly improve the situation and help the patient a lot to develop a positive mental frame despite odds.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cancer - Psychological Blow

Cancer patients suffer from huge trauma which is detrimental to their health. Often, they themselves fail to realize that they under huge mental stress.

Cancer, when for the first time is diagnosed, gives a huge mental blow. The patient needs to absorb that shock which is often very difficult. They feel suffocated in the mental cave filled with the feelings of frustration and death. The family members initially overlook this condition as they are also shocked and busy to quickly arrange the treatment facilities for the patient.

The initial period plays an important role in deciding the mindset of the patient. If they are mentally broken, it’s hard to prolong the life. A strong desire to survive is essential.

My wife, Soma was initially too shocked to react. Moreover, it was very difficult to read her mind. She was emotional and sensitive. So when she realized that most of her dreams were not to be fulfilled because of this disease, she created a shell around her. Initially we were able to break that shell, but today I realize that we broke it only partially.

She wanted to fight all out against the disease. She cooperated with the doctors. But somewhere deep in her heart, may be, she knew that she was living on a cliff.

Further she was well aware of the fact that for her treatment we had to part away with a huge amount of money. She decided to start her own business. We encouraged her because we thought that would keep her busy with her works and she would be able to overcome the initial trauma.

But she had other plans in her mind. She worked very hard but only to cover up the cost. She, being a housewife of a middle class family, was also severely affected due to financial burden put on us for her treatment. She, in her mind, felt guilty but never expressed it.

That’s where the importance of a psychologist comes into picture. I didn’t realize it at that time. So I request all the cancer victims to regularly visit a psychologist. It’s very important.

Another important thing is to let them write elaborately about their feelings.

If we would know this technique, we would be able to correctly understand Soma. Because elaborate writings help to slowly expose the hidden fear or frustration. A psychologist will be able to easily note down and take appropriate actions.

A strong mind helps to combat cancer in a better way. So never ignore the mental health of a cancer patient. Take the maximum care of patient’s mental health with the help of a psychologist.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Should middle class families exist or extinct ?!!!

In India, may be in other countries too, several non profit organizations (NGOs) and few Govt agencies play a key role to provide treatment facilities to poor people at a subsidized rate. That’s really a good effort.

But who does think about the middle class families. No non-profit agencies provide monetary help to middle class families. The middle class families fall in the zone of having too much money to qualify to be a beneficiary and yet not enough money to afford the high cost of the treatment.

My wife, Soma was under treatment for 6 years. I didn’t have sufficient money to continue her costly treatment for such a long time. One of my maternal uncles came up and took the responsibility of her treatment.

But I know most of the middle class families are not so lucky like me. They drain out their savings, sell their properties and then go for private loans where rate of interest is around 2-3% per month, yes per month. Ultimately they lose everything.

Helplessly, after a certain stage, a middle class family members witness their loved one to die without any treatment because they’ve no more money to treat the patient but still that ‘middle class’ tag is there with them, so let the patient die, no NGOs will come up to help the family.

I have contacted more than 100 reputed NGOs all over India and all refused to help me although I detailed to them about my situation. Politely they informed me that Soma didn’t qualify.

Qualify for what? It seemed to me they wanted to tell me that Soma didn’t qualify to receive further treatment and hence to survive as She belonged to a middle class family. What a wonderful system.

Sometimes, when Soma’s doctors were talking about the cost, I was cursing myself to born in a middle class family. Soma felt so much guilty for all the financial pressure put on us due to her treatment that sometimes she couldn’t look at my eyes. I tried my level best to hide the tension, but she could easily understand the palpable tension.

It seemed to me that society didn’t bother at all if middle class families exist or extinct.

Everyday, Doctors and cancer hospital authorities are earning huge amount of money. If they come forward together and donate an amount, it would considerably help the middle class families.

Ironically such method benefits exist and are enjoyed by selected wealthy and influencial persons who don’t need any such benefits.

Let the good senses prevail in minds of the persons running the Govt and NGOs and find time to think about the plight of the middle class family and make some provisions to help needy patients of so called middle class families.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cancer – Hit it before it hits you

Please the read the following article. It’s very relevant.

October is being observed as “Awareness month” to initiate awareness programs that enable us to prevent and handle cancer. All the concerned non-profit organizations have launched several programs to educate people.

In our individual capacity, what can we do to actively and meaningfully participate in cancer awareness program?

Decide the date for your medical check up, if you haven’t done it yet. One may explain the importance of regular health check up to his/her family members and friends. And make sure that they take his/her suggestion sincerely. The early cancer is detected, the greater the chance of full recovery.

Fresh green vegetables are certainly better equipped than meat prevent cancer. So add a good amount of vegetables and fruits in your menu and try to avoid soft drinks, meat, burger etc. Remind your family members and friends the necessity of eating more vegetables than meat.

Most importantly, from today, in fact from now, make a determination to quit smoking. You, your family members and friends form a group where everyone will help and monitor each other to quit smoking.

Yes, it’s very easy to say, but hard to implement. If you are not a smoker, you should take a lead to help others not to smoke. But, if you are a smoker and yet not decided to quit smoking, you are in fact calling the best friend of smoking – cancer – to ruin your life.

If you find quitting smoking difficult, please visit a cancer patient and observe how he/she is squirming in pain. Unless one loves a painful death, he’ll be determined enough to quit smoking. Go all out to quit smoking.

Yes, I know even if those who never smoked also die of cancer. My wife, Soma never smoked yet she got cancer and died. Anyone may be affected by cancer, but for smokers, simply the chances are greater. So quit it as early as possible.

Awareness about cancer doesn’t mean to generate a continuous flow of negative thoughts that one can be affected by this disease any time. The purpose is to remind us that we should take care of our health (regular health check up) and lead a disciplined life (emphasis is on vegetables and quit smoking). Also, another purpose is to make us mentally strong to fight against the disease.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cancer awareness month

Please read the 'Current News - Cancer and psychology' section on the right pane of this blog for invaluable info.

October is the month to build up awareness about cancer around the world. I remember:

Oct 2007, my wife, a cancer patient was too sick to think of helping someone.

But Oct 2006, she was very much active and encouraged the other patients not to lose heart and fight it out. She believed that yoga would cure her disease. So she advised other patients to learn yoga from a teacher of competence.

But this year (2008) she is no more alive. So no good wishes to her co-patients who are still alive from her. I, on behalf of her, extend my best wishes to all the cancer affected patients.

A lot of programs have been initiated to educate people about the danger of cancer and importance of regular health check up.

Here I list some very common things we do and we don’t do with cancer patients:

Please don’t smoke near a cancer patient.

Please don’t allow them to view violent movies.

While dealing with them, please handle them with care, love and affection. Always remember that they are mentally too much vulnerable.

Try to wash off ‘fear of death’ from their minds. And never stop them listening to music.

Keep them busy – mentally and if possible physically too. It’ll not be wise to leave them alone.

Never discuss with them about the financial burden caused due to the disease.

Never rely on testimonial based alternative treatment methods. Always consult doctors before considering one.

Harsh fact: (I think) Cancer can’t be cured but can be controlled. To control it for a longer period, patient needs inner strength to battle against it all out. So always try to make the patient mentally determined more and more ……!!

All of us should make a sincere effort to support a cancer patient the way we can. But just not ignore them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cancer - A Suggestion

All the cancer patients suffer from a variety of psychological disorder. The disease itself causes a lot of psychological stress. Constant fear of relapse and death only add further woes.

A series of social factors too twist the psychological behavior. Sometimes the psychological reactions are so subtle yet very strongly decisive to affect the psychology of the patients.

From my experience, I have seen how my wife, Soma, was changed drastically over the years. I consulted a psychologist, but it was too late.

So, my sincere suggestion to all cancer patients and their families is to consult a psychologist regularly.

They should keep a watch on the patients to find out any psychological change and report to the psychologist immediately. Please don’t ignore this suggestion.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cancer - Important News 2

Please read the 'Current News - Cancer and psychology' section on the right pane of this blog for invaluable info.

Recently, in a study, patients were asked to write about their feelings and emotions. As the patients expressed their sentiments, it actually revealed their psychological needs. The doctors could take action to improve the mental condition of the patients accordingly. The relation between the mind and immune system is very much important.

Following link details the study:

In India, most of the doctors are aware of this, but still they pay less attention to this fact. Here I’m tempted to narrate my experience about how hospitals and few doctors squeeze out money from a patient.

If a patient has no problem, he/she shouldn’t visit a hospital. That’s quite natural. But in Mumbai, India, a reputed hospital authority thinks otherwise. They’ll charge an extra fee because a patient was fit enough and so didn’t visit them for 3 consecutive months!!! Yes, I’m not kidding. This is a fact.

Do you want to know another inhuman way to squeeze money from a dying patient?

They levy a charge, called ‘charge for planning’, on patients receiving chemotherapy. This charge is levied on the patient because the doctor prescribed the dose and drug. One has to pay both the consultancy fee and the planning charge. The patient will have to pay this ‘planning charge’ for every dose even if nothing new will be added in the process. Have you ever heard of a doctor who charges a patient twice because he is i) prescribing a drug and ii) deciding the dose of that drug? A well designed example of financial exploitation.

They charge ‘bed charge’ plus charges for the facilities like a/c, fan chairs and toilets. If any junior doctors are requested to visit the patient during chemo, they’ll again charge a fee. In total one will find himself paying an extra of Rs 4500 – Rs 5000 in Indian Rupee.

I met the person who ‘discovered’ various such illogical methods to earn money. He never looked like a human being; he was so faceless and emotionless. His idea was that a cancer patient would die, and so what’s wrong if the patient give us some of his /her wealth to make us rich. I’m sure he’ll be able to pull out money even from the ruins. And I hope he or his family members never get affected with cancer and realize how difficult it is for an affected family to arrange huge expenses for treatment.

Well, I have got another news to highlight. Read the following article if you go for ‘safe tan’.

But there is a controversy and confusion. So following report is good to understand things better.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cancer -- Important News

Please read the 'Current News - Cancer and psychology' section on the right pane of this blog for invaluable info.

This section brings up important news and studies related to cancer and psychology. The news reels will help general public to build up awareness and also help cancer patients about different latest improvements in these two fields.

Today I’m putting two different types of important news from and More such related news are available on the right side of this blog as you scroll down under the heading – “current news – cancer and psychology”

The 1st one is to develop awareness about different so called ‘cure all’ products available. This report lists how the concerned authorities react about these ‘cure all’ products. This’ll prevent the cancer patients from wasting money and getting disappointed. Here is the 1st link:

The 2nd report is the latest study of the effects of vitamin C on cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy.

This study brings up breaking news that Vitamin C may in fact reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Read the news in detail in the following site:

The patients should consult with their doctors regarding the above two report and study. But what is important is that a patient should rely on inner strength rather than running after new products and services with tall claims backed by testimonials.

Inner strength can be developed by the family members and well wishers. A positive environment will certainly help a cancer patient to develop an inner strength to fight against cancer.

Let us try to help a cancer patient to build up his/her mental power. Everyone will die one day, so does a cancer patient. But we should help them to win over the fear of death. This’ll have enormous impact on the cancer patients’ psychology which in turn may positively affect the immune system.

Stay tuned for more......................!!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cancer and a Doctor

Please read the 'Current News - Cancer and psychology' section on the right pane of this blog for invaluable info.

Psychological condition of a cancer patient plays an important role in defining how much effective a treatment will be. We often tend to ignore this fact. Role of doctors, family members and friends define the outline of the psychological frame of a sick person. This is more significant in case of middle aged Asian female patients.

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) also emphasizes the importance of psychology as it has a noticeable influence on the immune system.

The role of Doctors in this context is very much important. A cancer patient knows it very well that he/she won’t survive for a long. So he/she comes to a doctor with a certain amount of suspicions and negative vibes. Doctor also knows that he has a limitation - whether the medicine will work or not and even if works for how long.

Another important factor is the huge expense of treatment. In countries like India, where the females are in a relatively receiving end of various injustices, such a huge expense causes tremendous pressure on their minds. They start to develop a guilty conscience which often becomes a cause to lose interest about life.

Soma was treated in 3 leading cancer hospitals in Mumbai, India. During her 6 years of treatment period I met quite a few doctors.

One of them was an onco-surgeon. He was young, dynamic and very much efficient. But what I discovered was that his heart was filled with kindness for patients and their families.

One patient came from outside of Mumbai. He wasn’t much literate and belonged to lower stratum of income group. The patient needed an immediate surgery followed by chemotherapy and it would cost him around 2 lakhs in Indian rupee. The patient was in typical circumstances as he couldn’t arrange that much of money at a short notice. He had to sale his property to raise the amount.

Here that onco-surgeon stepped in and cordially talked to the patient. The doctor didn’t charge his fees and further personally contributed and requested other Doctors also to contribute money for the patient’s treatment. The doctor arranged around Rs. 1.75 lakhs.

Later on I heard from the hospital staffs that this particular doctor helped cancer victims in all the possible ways. In many cases he didn’t even charge his consultation fee. He seemed to me like a shinny oasis in the desert of hopelessness. I had to salute his compassion and feelings for the cancer patients. Unfortunately, the number of doctors like him is very low. Hope it increases with time, because only compassion and affectionate behavior may help a cancer patient to sustain.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yoga -- FAQ

I’m not the right person to reply all the queries related to yoga. But I’m overwhelmed with the kind of interest that the blog has generated. Here I make a valiant attempt to answer few selected queries received from my readers in the form of comments and mails.

Q1. Categorically please tell me if Yoga can cure a disease.

Reply: My experience is limited to cancer patients. And I believe that yoga can’t cure cancer. It doesn’t mean that one should stop practicing yoga because yoga may improve the quality of life and help to gain some kind of spiritual peace in mind. This remark is purely based on my experiences.

Q2. Why are you against of yoga system? Can you prove that yoga system doesn’t work?

Reply: I’m not against of yoga system. I’m against of using yoga to gain popularity and earn money with an assurance (yet to be proved authentic) of getting fully cured. One shouldn’t depend on yoga because such assurance and deny traditional medical treatment. Yes, medication too, in most of cases, can’t cure.

I have lost my wife and I have seen a good number of cancer patients to die of cancer – all of them were doing yoga sincerely. I’m not propagating any theory nor denouncing any theory. I’ve just mentioned what I observed. So better rely on your inner strength, not on testimonials of others.

Q3. In your posts you discussed about positive effects and next the negative effects of yoga. Isn’t it contradictory?

Reply: Yoga has an effect on body and mind. But there are certain rules like who’ll practice and what type of yoga he’ll practice. Here comes the analysis of physical and mental condition of the subject. Yoga should be practiced according to psychological and physical condition of the subject. Generalization of yoga and teaching the methods within a month or so, results in severe negative impacts in the long run.

The Father of yoga, Patanjali categorically mentioned that yoga was a method to bring our senses under control and to make mind look inwards to feel the oneness with the supreme energy. This is what ‘brain during meditation’ post of this blog establishes scientifically by discussing the cases of monks and nuns.

Swami Vivekananda emphasized that yoga should be taught by a saint like person who had attained equanimity. Well, it’s really difficult to find a yoga master who has attained calmness between joy and sorrow, adulation and criticism. So while doing yoga, be a good observer to watch every change occurs in your mind and body.

The last two paragraphs summarizes what I want to highlight. 1st para talks about the reason to use yoga and 2nd para defines the quality of the yoga master who is capable of deciding who will do which yoga.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A request to Prof. yoga masters !!!

Yoga is a journey to enjoy the eternal bliss. It’s a tool used by different monks since ancient days to attain a higher mental order to apprehend the truth of life. Unfortunately, few ‘want to be famous’ yoga masters are using this great ancient tool to squeeze out money from the terminally sick patients.

So the purpose of my last two posts is to make my readers aware about the danger to invest money on yoga (if claimed that yoga can cure any diseases).

Let the terminally ill patients to rely on their ‘free will’. I have read about few patients who know that they won’t live for a long. But they are determined not to surrender meekly. So they are trying out different things and in some cases they become successful too.

So please INSPIRE the patients to fight but don’t falsely assure them. I would like to request the victims of cancer to use their ‘free will’ to fight against the disease.

A tremendous desire to survive will certainly give your immune system a boost required to fight cancer. Along with the traditional medical treatment, one may opt for yoga or alternative treatment facilities available.

But please remember not to depend upon the so called success testimonials. Rely on your inner strength. I earnestly request yoga masters to stop luring patients with a false assurance instead motivate them to fight till the end.

As you have already read in my earlier posts that rampant use of transcendental meditation caused severe psychological disorder among a group of adult students (Read my negative effects of yoga post). So regularization of processes and postures of yoga system is very important. Every thing isn’t suitable for everyone.

Using my real life daily experiences, I would like to remind yoga masters that yoga is good but certainly not to be used as a curative or business mechanism. And yoga must be different for different group of people on the basis of the constitution of their mind and matter (body).

In my next article, I’ll take a detour to share my terrible experiences with a leading cancer hospital at Mumbai, India. Also now onwards, I’ll let yoga to take a short break and analyze different factors affecting the psychology and hence the immune system of a cancer patient. In those posts, I’ll share with you my experiences of meeting different cancer patients cutting across the religion, caste and social status.

I would also like to thank all the new subscribers. I know that I’m not a professional writer; still you are regularly reading my posts. I’m really thankful to all of you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yoga - A shattered dream II

Soma was very much sensitive as well as creative. She was an artist. She painted, in her mind, a portrait of small house filled with happiness. She was practicing yoga religiously. For me “all that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet” dream.

But rainbow is a natural beauty which slowly but surely fades away. After 18 months of rigorous practice, we realized that her condition, in fact, was deterioted. Her frail body signaled her mind not to dream anymore. We realized that yoga was an endless effort in a shoreless sea of toil.

Clouds of despair heaped upon clouds of pain and failure and it darkens. I kept gazing on the far-away dimness of the sky as my rainbow of dreams faded away. I couldn’t accept the reality; my heart wandered sobbing with the restless wind and growing discontent about the fact I had to live a life without Soma.

My mom and Soma had a wonderful relation. It wasn’t like a typical in-laws relation, but it was blended with affection and mutual respect. When Soma couldn’t bear her pain anymore, she used ask my mom, not me, to softly fondle her hair. And night after night, my mom did it without any shilly-shallying.

As my mom realized her beloved daughter in law wouldn’t be able to lead a normal life, she was so intensely affected that she got a fatal cerebral stroke.

All of us changed a lot both psychologically and philosophically. Soma was changed to be badly influenced by even a minor chaos. Her passion for me, her life and her songs transformed into a mute restlessness. She found her solace only in chanting “AUM”, but I was left with writhing with pain, observing her muteness and my mom’s semi coma condition helplessly.

Before meeting the yoga master, we knew that Soma’s days were numbered. The yoga master taught us to dream. When that dream was shattered I noticed how a lively and smiling lady could be changed into a mere dull creature. I bet we wouldn’t be so severely shaken if we wouldn’t meet the yoga master and believed in his words.

During her last days Soma was psychologically completely broken down. And I was also affected very badly. I wasn’t in right frame of mind to provide her psychological support when she needed it the most. We were sinking in a turbulent ocean like a directionless small vessel. And ultimately we were lost. My mom died a day prior to the death of Soma, leaving me all alone to roam around the rough ocean of life with a poor psychological and physical condition.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yoga - A shattered dream

I still remember the day when my late wife Soma went to meet a reputed yoga master along with me. There were few other patients too. The master taught us about yoga and demonstrated different poses and techniques in an easy and excellent manner.

He assured us that yoga would cure a patient even if he/she was suffering from ‘last stage cancer’. His way of speaking and intellectual use of words installed a belief in me and Soma. We not only hoped but strongly believed that Soma would be able to win over the fight against the deadly cancer and to enjoy her life free from pain and tension.

Soma loved me a lot, her unbounded love for me was so intense that she always wanted to shower more and more of her affection and love on me. I still can hear her singing “we shall overcome someday ….”.

Her objective was to make me happier and happier. She knew that I was under tremendous tension because of her health. She started practicing yoga with a strong belief, pure devotion and sincerity. I too was looking to the horizon thinking about the beauty of her love and happiness. Every one of my family, barring two of my relatives, became optimistic.

You already know that Soma is lying forever in eternal peace. If yoga could cure cancer she would be dancing with me instead of being a portrait, hugging a wall silently. But her case isn’t an isolated one. I have the unfortunate experience of roaming around three leading cancer hospitals in India. So far I haven’t met a cancer patient who claimed to be cured by yoga. Most of the cancer patients, in the age group of 20-40 years, pass away within 6-7 years after detection. This is the harsh fact.

But what I noticed was that the effects of yoga were different among the patients depending upon their physical and psychological frame work. Ridiculous yet true what a healthy person is practicing that same yoga method is applied on terminally sick patients. I guess yoga master should learn to judge the psychological and physical condition of a person before teaching him/her about yoga.

Splendid words from the yoga masters lead a patient to a serene smile for a short period only. But unfortunately long term empirical evidence doesn’t support that yoga can really cure. Once a patient realizes that yoga can’t really help him/her to win the battle against cancer, he/she may demonstrate severe psychological changes.

to be continued.................

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yoga and Yoga Master

Yoga and Yoga Masters

My agenda isn’t certainly to denounce the importance of yoga/meditation. These tools are very much powerful and effective. In case of Soma, I have observed reduced side effects of chemotherapy as she was doing yoga.

My objective is to highlight two important points:

1. Yoga can’t cure a disease but can improve the condition of the patient.

2. Postures and procedures of yoga need to be regulated. Whatever is applicable to a healthy person can’t be applicable to a sick person.

Later on I’ll discuss these two points in detail.

Most of the yoga masters know very well about the physical and mental effects of yoga. But they, may be considering their business prospect, never disclose all the facts related to yoga. They sell a dream to hopeless people disturbed by the severity of diseases and soon those helpless sick people realize the emptiness of his words. This has a devastating impact on the psychology of the patients. This is what I wanted to highlight using different case studies. Beware of such yoga masters if you aren’t interested to move away from reality.

The true purpose of yoga is to attain a higher mental order, explore higher realm of reality. A yoga master who teaches yoga for fame and money will radiate vibration which will cause a mind not to be inward, but restless and move around aimlessly. Such masters depend on his brilliance in using words to attract people.

A true master will resonate sympathetically with genuine spirituality. The light emanates from the teacher influences the mind and helps one to overcome ignorance. That’s how he sends out a wake up vibration to one’s consciousness. But unfortunately we rarely meet such a master. This type of master will suggest people the right postures and procedures of yoga according to their physical and mental conditions. This is, in fact, very much important.

Disclaimer: My personal views are expressed in this blog. I'm neither recommending nor discarding anything through this blog. Views are not intended to hurt any one in any sense.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cancer and Yoga - My unfortunate experiences

Soma was diagnosed having cancer on Nov. 2001. She underwent traditional chemo-surgery-chemo-radiation cycles of modern medical treatment. The medical treatment failed to cure it but just controlled the spread of cancer cells for a limited period only. So ultimately, a reputed saint cum yoga master showed us a dream that Yoga could cure cancer whatever was the stage of cancer. With vigor, determination and devotion Soma started practicing yoga/breathing exercise and meditation.

SOMA, started yoga/meditation/breathing exercise(pranayam) on 17 Dec, 2005.

On July 2006, her brain scan and bone scan revealed that cancer cells had invaded into her brain and bones. She had to receive radiotherapy on brain, shoulders and pelvis. But an earlier scan on July 2005 showed no such growth. Does it imply that, in her case, yoga has failed to control the disease?

During last part of 2006, Soma was better, both physically and mentally. We even went out for few pleasure trips and tours. But I noticed that she was losing her weight. Importantly, she actively participated in normal household activities in a jovial mood. Certainly her mental elevation was noticeable. Is it because of yoga?

March 2007 onwards, I observed significant change in her attitude. A huge and severe psychological change resulted in a ‘total withdrawal syndrome’ from life.

To remind you, I must mention that during these (almost) 18 months, she never skipped practicing yoga twice daily. Her physical condition worsened as well as her mental health. She preferred to dive deep into her heart.

She stopped practicing yoga and started chanting “AUM” endlessly. Her concentration was so strong that even pain in her bones couldn’t bother her. Her blood count dropped. Looking at her eyes I couldn’t understand what she was thinking about. Her eyes were full of extreme joy in the background of deep sadness. She seemed to be in a different realm of reality far away from what we can perceive; she seemed to be in a hurry. But for what?

I consulted a psychologist who prescribed few drugs. But by that time she preferred only to sleep, sleep and sleep and chant ‘AUM’ more and more…. !!!

Ultimately on Nov 21, 2007 SOMA became free from all the pain and pleasure of life. A talkative young lady became silent forever…………!!!!

What happened to her co-patients? Few expired before her death and few after. Yesterday, I came to know that only 1 of her co patient is still alive and he is in doing well. Thank God!!!

So I asked myself how yoga helped her or her co-patients to win against cancer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cancer -- Caverns of Despair

Soma led a life of lifelessness from July 2007 onwards. Her face was joyous but eyes were tearful. Her attitudes indicated her presence in a different realm, not in this world. She behaved like she was in a hurry, as if someone was calling and waiting for her.

A deft singer, simple and articulate lady was transformed into a silent but (may be a reluctant) a seeker of the ultimate truth.

One of my cousins, Rajdeep Bhattacharya, an MBA student translated a famous Bengali poem in her memory which summarized her mood during her last few months before she died on Nov 2007.

“I look for that eye that beholds this world, and all others, always the eye that guides the suns and stars, so that they lose not their ways.

I wade through the caverns of despair. As, blinded, I look for the sight clouded, by cobwebs of life, I wander, looking for my light.

Unaware, that it resides in me, high up in the skies of my mind, my guiding star in the seas, the light that I crave to find.”

Truly she was searching for that eternal light. She realized that yoga and other medical treatments were nothing but dust storms which could only inflict pain and blur her vision, preventing her from finding that brilliant glow of eternality.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brain and Meditation - Cancer and psychology

Recently I have read an article regarding the effects of meditation on brain which lists the condition of brain during and after meditation. Brain scans were conducted on Buddhist monks and nuns.

At the end of this post I have given the link of the site which conducted such a wonderful experiment on brain and effects of meditation. I wish yoga gurus read the article.

Advanced neuroscience and scientific tools allow the researchers to observe how Brain acts in different stages of meditation. According to a study, a significant decrease in parietal lobe’s activity was noticed after meditation. This portion of the brain is responsible for orientation. A decreased activity in this area suggests lack of perceiving relations (as of objects) in space.

Most of the yoga gurus know about this but don’t prefer to disclose this as it may hamper their business.

They are keen to highlight yoga as a tool to achieve physical well being. But certainly this is not the reality. As per ancient scriptures and scientific analysis, yoga is a tool, which if practiced properly, will lead to a higher mental state where we’ll always enjoy the glow of eternal beauty and happiness, ignoring our physical existence. In other words, matter isn’t important but mind is all important.

For a young couple like me and Soma, yoga guru painted a dreamy state where we expected that Soma would be cured by doing yoga as directed by the guruji. But that dream was badly shattered. Reality was exposed and I was left alone to realize that yoga can’t cure cancer.

In case of Soma, yoga failed to cure cancer even after rigorously practicing it for 18 months. But yes, certainly yoga helped Soma to attain a higher mental state where she lost her sense of being ‘local’ and became ‘global’ with respect to space to feel the flow of energy of this universe. I don’t know how her brain reacted during and after meditation and breathing exercises, but a detailed scientific analysis of brain’s response to meditation will give you a clear idea about what may happen during meditation.

The following Link will help you not to be a victim of a shattered dream :

In my next post, I’ll write about my real life experience on how Soma collapsed despite doing yoga. No yoga guru has such an unfortunate experience to tell you. All of their claims are based on very short term random study and guided by business purposes. My experience is based on what I witnessed as a helpless husband. I have nothing to promote. All I want to say that please know the reality and that the reality is very harsh.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Still is there any hope ??

Mediatation or yoga techniques are very much popular in asian countries from ancient periods. We find the mention of breathing exercise in the Gita too. All of these techniques were used as a method to achieve higher mental status.

Obviously, if physical condition isn't good enough, one can't attain a higher mental state. So I repeatedly mentioned that yoga/meditation/breathing exercise certainly have a positive effect on our bodies.

But in my last article , I have discussed about the negative long term effects of meditation. Mindless application of these very much effective techniques lead to some times devastating effects. In support of this claim, in my last post, I have given links where case studies were done for a longer period rather than 1-5 months.

Can we just allow such a tool, which certainly helps to provide a better quality of life, to be applied in a more scientific way? I guess, yes we can. I have almost prepared a post which analyses condition of brain during and after the meditation. This post will be very much helpful to understand what is transcendental yoga/meditation as well as how we can by pass the long term negative effects of TM.

Oh! recently I have included email subscription facility. So now you can receive my newest post by mail too. Don't miss to read all the most contemporary and controversial discussion on yoga mania.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yoga - case studies of negative effects

The experiences that I have so far shared with you is certainly based on my real experience associated my wife, SOMA and her co patients. I have observed them to do pranayam and meditation sincerely for period more than a year. They certainly enjoyed a better quality of life. I can remember my wife even could cook for me special dishes just 4 months before her death. At that time, I didn’t realize that very soon she won’t be around me anymore. But exactly that happened. She started to collapse at an alarming rate, which was beyond anybody’s control. She soon met the ultimate end. Similarly her other co patients died before or after her demise.

I have no intention to contradict the established belief that pranayam can cure. All the documentations done regarding the effects of yoga are based on short term basis. I haven’t seen any Long term case study which suggests that yoga can cure. But all I want to say that it’s just a belief. I have received huge emails after my last post. For all, here I’m going to add a link which suggests that yoga/meditation has in fact a negative effect in the long run.

Before I explore more on this topic, please feel free to read the following link. This link studies effect of Transcendental Meditation (TM) which is very much close to the style of pranayam so far as involvement of brain is concerned.

Here are the Links:

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned about PNI which says how yoga affects brain and immune system in a positive way. PNI also made a lot of short term studies which supported the concept but didn’t come up with long term effects as all of the patients they started with died after a certain period.

Here is another link which studied the long term effects of change of biochemistry of our brain and body.

The research is conducted by the people I’m not related with and neither I endorse nor deny the truth of the reports mentioned there.

Readers are requested not to stop here or loose heart. I have some more interesting facts which may be helpful to make yoga more effective.