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1' 0MPLEMENTARY HEALTH
CONTINUED l these mystical rocks have the power 9 to communicate an energy to the mind. leading one instinctively to know whether or not something. including food. is good or bad. Hare Krishnas also have to trust their instincts implicitly - they are not allowed to taste their food at all during its preparation. it has to be offered first to Krishna. who has his own place set at the table.
At Alva. Edinburgh‘s Natural J Health Centre. Ann Lebaschi advises clients on a range of holistic. not necessarily spiritual. diet alternatives to counter the effects of modern urban life. with its pollution. l processed food and tension. Rather l than prescribe a blanket approach to l
diet. as macrobiotics do. she gauges each person's problems — exhaustion. PMT. cancer. heart problems and others — and prescribes a suitable diet. based around eating wholefoods and drinking at least 2'/: I pints of ordinary water a day. One diet popular in the treatment of various ailments. or for a general clean out. is the anti-Candida diet. Candida is a fungus which can build up in the body causing cystitis. thrush. indigestion and even migraine. lts treatment involves cutting out all sugars and yeast. leaving a diet principally based around vegetables. For general cleaning-out diets. Ms Lebaschi recommends a 24 or 48-hour diet of fruit and water or a mono diet. in which just one kind of fruit. grapes for instance. is consumed. These have the advantage of being easily broken down in digestion.
Whether you eat to live. or live to eat. the point is that you can now pick a diet to suit an ideology. to enhance a busy lifestyle. even to change your psyche. particularly if you have a certain amount of money and live in a city with good shops. There is. of course. an irony in the fact that our society should have taken so many years of refining foods to decide that what we really want is simple. unrefined. wholefoods. More ironic still is the fact that these cheap foods are more usually to be found on the supermarket shelves of wealthy neighbourhoods. Having said that. it is within evcryone‘s reach to change themselves. and the world. through their stomachs. If you really are what you eat. I think I‘d rather be a bowl of unsweetened muesli than a black pudding. come
Furnd tongue or lose at appetite.
In the cause ofjournalistic research. Mark Fisher enjoys twelve months of muscular relaxation.
The most unusual Christmas present I received last year was an hour-long session of therapeutic massage. The most compulsive present too: I've returned for a hands-on experience every fortnight since. Looking back over the year. it's interesting to note how my attitude to massage has shifted from regarding it as a pleasurably indulgent way to brighten up a day off work. to seeing it as a regular chance to improve my physical well-being.
You can. of course. dismiss your notions of seedy backstreet massage parlours catering for men who can't wait to get out of their dirty macs. Yes. you‘ve got to get your clothes off and yes. massage is done on a one-to-one basis. but the whole business is as respectable as visiting your granny. The Society of Holistic
Practitioners is an established body which officially recognises courses taught in London and Glasgow by the College of Holistic Medicine and also those by the Natural Therapeutic Research Trust. Practitioners are thoroughly trained. not simply to relieve muscle tension, but to be both sensitive and responsive. identifying trouble spots and correcting them in terms of the whole body.
People take up massage for any number of reasons — and I don‘t suppose being given one as a Christmas present is at the top of the list — so I won‘t claim my own experience is typical. It is true to say, though. that most people have similar basic problems which manifest themselves in different forms — maybe back strain. maybe
Practitioners are sensitive and responsive. identifying trouble-spots and correcting them in terms at the whole body
88 The List 20 December 1991— 16 January 1992