From the Expert’s Desk

Wellness journeys and emotional health are seldom seen from the male perspective. However, it’s about time that this conversation is brought on the table to ensure a holistic and transformational journey of the strong shoulders that we rely on. Mahesh Natarajan, COO, Ananda in the Himalayas speaks about the gravity of attention on the male mental and physical wellbeing in today’s age.

“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.”
Joan Welsh

This age-old accepted norm of health being physical has goaded men to adopt active lifestyles in gyms and sports. On the other hand, openly seeking advice on health issues and adapting to alternative healing methods or traditional kitchen remedies remains predominantly in the woman’s domain. Men pursue these suggestions frugally, while pushing away pain signals in the body, of the mind or heart, till everything within flares up demanding unavoidable attention.

Alongside this attitude, as men grow older, the perceived identity wanting to be the key decision maker at home or work front unconsciously begins to develop a need to feel ‘in-charge” and to overdo everything. Combined with riskier lifestyle choices, the stress of wanting to take control has resulted in men topping the charts for heart problems, mental health challenges and lifestyle disorders ranging from diabetes, liver disease, unintentional injuries, respiratory problems, clinical depression, cancers and aging with muscular tensions and stiffness.

Dr.Roma Singh, a senior clinical hypnotherapist and regressionist at Ananda in the Himalayas observes a common pattern as an underlying cause of rising health issues in men. She says “standing delicately on expectations to appear strong, men take failures personally. When control in one area of life seems to be slipping away, men get sucked into anxious responses. Some tend to turn towards addictions. Overindulgence in food, exercise, sex, work or other similar behavioural patterns are all efforts to feel ‘in-charge’”. On the other end of the spectrum, some men withdraw.” “Depression in men often manifests as anti-social syndrome. It’s an escape mechanism, because avoiding seems easier than coping” reveals Chandana Ganguly, a spiritual psychologist at Ananda.

Galileo’s famous words– ““You cannot teach a man anything. You can only teach him to discover it in himself”, qualify as a roaring affirmation for the male tribe within a world awakening to the path of overall wellbeing. 

Seeking timely emotional healing will avoid several complications in the future. Mahesh Natarajan, Chief Operating Officer – Ananda in the Himalayas, says from experience Sometimes regression techniques take the client all the way back to childhood or even a past life. From birth onwards, we face a wide variety of experiences. Many situations affect us temporarily, while many affect us deeply. For example, many children are bullied in school over appearances, causing them to carry the trauma of that bullying experience into their adult lives, causing them to feel inferior and underperform. Issues of physical or verbal abuse could have caused deep scarring.  It is important to address these situations so we may learn how to deal with them affectively. This is where the concept of emotional healing comes in to help.

Another very aspect is the importance of social connections and support networks for mental well-being. Against all the stressors of life, these connections form a protective sheath. Psychologists confirm that broadly we rely on either emotional support, which includes a sustained listening outlet and empathy; or instrumental support, which is a more immediate and practical assistance. Studies show that men rely mostly on instrumental support, whereas women seek more of emotional support. On the outside men maintain a strong persona of masculinity appearing in perfect balance, while on the inside seeking emotional support from a spouse or partner in private, but even there unsure of how much to share. At Ananda, men interacting with Yogis or Emotional Healers, Vedanta guides or their personal Ayurvedic Physician often reveal deep felt feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness which has been impacting their wellbeing.

If you thought all of this work on emotional blockages has an impact only on the emotional side, think again. One of our clients – a very successful middle aged businessman  who was at Ananda regularly to address a chronic pain issue started seeing significant reduction in pain once he went through emotional healing sessions ! How was this possible? Clearly this is an empirical case of illness aggravated by emotional stress and manifesting in the body as psychogenic pain which could be tapped into only through a cathartic emotional healing process.

My first emotional healing session started with visualisations and Dr. Roma’s objective was to try and identify emotional blocks. The initial half of the session felt more like a deeper state of relaxation. And then out of the blue, as I was talking about some issues and memories, I felt this wave of warmth and relief sweep through my whole body! I was stunned at this phenomenon that I couldn’t explain, yet very conscious that something had shifted inside. I have had the benefit of such sessions with other therapists at Ananda and I feel energetically and spiritually lifted after each experience. Many guests have spoken about such  transformational changes as part of their wellness journey at Ananda.”