Thomas master, my friend’s father and retired professor, is extra-ordinarily healthy and active, even after the age of hundred. When I met him last, he was reading a book, but he showed interest to talk to me. Seeing his energy, vigour and enthusiasm even at this age, I wanted to know the secret of his health, and longevity. I asked him; “Will you please reveal to me the secret of your super health?”
He smiled at me and after a while said; “I always have five doctors with me and they take care of my health”.
Astonished by his answer I enquired; “Sir, now you are alone. I don’t see any doctor or nurse with you”.
To this, he quickly responded; “My doctors are my five senses; sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Sense organs are wonderful instruments for human healing and well being, if properly and effectively used”.
Seeing my growing interests, he convincingly explained how our five senses can be used to conserve or waste energy. We can mindfully use our senses to experience and enjoy the world around us. But today people are too busy and they are not getting time to use their senses sensibly. That is the major cause for their growing distress and diseases.
Healing Powers of our Senses
According to the science of Ayurveda everything in the universe, including humans is made up of five elements (Pancha maha bhutas) such as earth, water, fire, air and ether (space). In a healthy body all these five elements are balanced and working in harmony. Any imbalance in any of these elements can cause various health problems. Our five senses are directly related to these five elements as follows.
- Hearing – Ether
- Touch – Air
- Sight – Fire
- Taste – Water
- Smell – Earth
So nurturing each of your five senses properly can bring balance to the corresponding elements in your body and thus solve your health problems. Actually, your five senses constitute your inner pharmacy. As the famous American- Indian author and physician Dr. Deepak Chopra aptly revealed; “If we want greater physical and emotional well being we can use sounds, feelings, sights and smells to balance and heal ourselves”.
How to use your senses for health and well being
Nurturing your five senses through your daily routine can bring balance to your elements, alleviating distress and diseases. How each of your senses can be nourished and sharpened for awakening and activating your inner pharmacy is outlined here.
Hearing – Related to Ether element
Ether or space is the medium through which sound waves are travelling and hearing is related to this element. Sound has a physiological and psychological effect on humans. Sound therapy and music therapy are based on this principle. When you are stressed, listen to a calming music or to the various sounds and melodies of the nature; the rhythmic sound of the ocean waves, chirping of the birds, the soothing sounds of a chattering rain. You can even listen to a recording of the sounds of nature, if you live in a noisy urban area. Also, you can create a small fountain in your house and enjoy the relaxing sounds of the running water.
When you listen to classical music of various ragas the seven notes or swaras will activate the seven energy centers called chakras in your body, bringing healthy balance in the energy flow. Music is considered as a valuable therapeutic tool for healing your body, mind and soul. As the renowned author and founder of Sufism in the west, Hazrat Inayat Khan pointed out; ‘The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe’.
Touch – Related to Air element
As the famous chess world champion Bobby Fischer pointed out; ‘Nothing eases suffering like human touch’. Doctors say that touch is fundamental to health and well being. Your skin is stimulated by touch or massage leading to the release of healing chemicals and hormones that enhance immune function and improve blood circulation to various parts including brain. Touch is related to air element and helps to balance this element to a healthy level.
Skin is the largest sense organ. As human beings we connect to one another through touch. Touch can release your stress and bring you to a happy mood. You can also do many things with your bare hands; cooking, gardening, eating etc.. When you eat with your hands, feel and enjoy the sensation of the food in your fingers. That will give a start up signal to the digestive system, causing to enhance the appetite.
If you are not able to touch or hug others in this period of Covid 19 and social distancing, you can hug yourselves. You can touch and hug even the trees and get energized naturally. If you have a pet dog or cat, you can caress or hug it with love and feel the joy. It is a good strategy to soak you in a warm bath under a shower every day. Make it a practice to walk on earth with bare feet regularly. This in fact helps you to stimulate your brain and cure your diabetes as well.
The power of sense of touch is amazing as the Russian-American writer and psychologist, Maria Konnikova aptly pointed out; ‘The more we learn about touch, the more we realize just how central it is in all aspects of our lives-cognitive, developmental, behavioral- from womb in to the old age. It’s no surprise that a single touch can affect us in multiple, powerful ways’.
Sight – Related to Fire element
Normally, vision is the most dominant sense and is related to the fire element. What you choose to see and the way you perceive it, affects your overall health and wellbeing. Watching the sun rise gives you tremendous positive energy. Sunlight contains seven colors (VIBGYOR). Each of these colors activates each of the seven chakras (energy centers) of the body from crown chakra to root chakra. This will help to rectify the hormone imbalance in the body and restore holistic health.
Mindfully viewing the nature around you, can make you enjoy the vivid colors and beauties of the butterflies, flowers, plants, trees, hills and mountains. The unbounded vast ocean, the limitless blue sky, the flowing streams and rivers are all enchanting to your eyes and soul.
You may try to bring nature into your room also. You can make it colorful and beautiful by arranging some fresh cut flowers so that you can view them frequently. Enchanting and colorful pictures of landscapes, flowers and trees can be hung on your wall so that you can have a frequent feast to your eyes.
Taste – Related to Water element
George Bernard Shaw once said ‘There is no sincere love than love of food’. Try to practice the art of mindful eating and enjoy the delicious flavors, aromas, and colors of the food. Feel the softness and warmth of the food on your fingers and taste buds on your tongue. The six tastes ; sweet, sour, salty , pungent, bitter, astringent , included in the meals provide the body with balancing and healing benefits. Your taste buds make you like the food you require for your health and well being. The famous American writer and the humorist Mark Twain remarked; ‘Part of the success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside’.
Smell – Related to Earth element
According to Helen Keller smells are the fallen angels of senses. Smell is a powerful sense that affects directly your limbic systems having a direct influence on your moods. Try to experience and enjoy the various aromas of nature, the scent of flowers or leaves. Aroma therapy is widely used for healing several physical and psychological problems. It was Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine who advised that the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day. Developing and sharpening the sense of smell will help you to improve your overall cerebral activity and mental capabilities including attention, memory and alertness.
You may use essential oils to get the required aroma for healing yourself. Jasmine, lavender and peppermint are the best for reducing depression, anxiety and stress. Sage oil is beneficial for boosting memory. Eucalyptus, sandal wood and rosemary are used for healing headaches and lifting mood. Make it a practice to breathe deeply for sensing the aroma in your immediate environment. Go outside and inhale the smell of the earth and fragrance of the plants and the flowers. As Walter Hagen, the American golfer and writer pointed out; ‘You are only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And, be sure to smell the flowers along the way’.
Use the power of your five senses
The famous English poet William Blake called our senses the windows of the inner soul. We can tap the amazing powers of our senses to vitalize and heal ourselves. The American author Nancy Farmer prudently advises us; ‘Look around you: feel the wind, smell the air, listen to the birds and watch the sky. Tell me what is happening in the wild world’. Helen Keller once exclaimed; ‘If I, deaf and blind, find life rich and interesting, how much more can you gain by the use of your five senses.’ Always remember that your senses are the wonderful gateways to your holistic health and well being.
Image credit: www.pixabay.com
About the author
Dr. JOHN MUZHUTHETTU is a Human Resource Consultant, National Trainer, and Counselor. Formerly he was the Deputy Chief Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board and is still working as an external faculty of HRD Programmes of KSEB. He is also a faculty of Department of Management Studies, Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, under M.G.University, Kerala. He is the PG course co-ordinator of MHRM.
He is a columnist in several Magazines, like ‘Business Deepika’, ‘Creative Business’, ‘Donbosco’ etc. His articles have been published in many magazines and journals. His several speeches have been aired by All India Radio. His interviews on various subjects have been telecasted by Power Vision TV. He is the author of five best-selling books:
‘Stress-Manassasthra- Aathmeeya Pariharangel’. (Current Books, Thrissur) 4th Edition
Vijayiyude Vyakthithwam (Current Books, Thrissur)
Jeevitham Santhushtamakan, Nithya Yauvanam Nedan.(CSS, Thiruvalla)2ndEdition
Emotional Intelligence-Jeevithavijayathinu (CSS, Thiruvalla)
Vijayarahsyangal (Current Books, Thrissur)
As a trainer, he has conducted more than a thousand seminars and workshops for teachers, parents, students, executives and others, on several subjects like Stress Management, Time Management, Personality Development, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual intelligence for Excellence, Communicative Skills, Assertiveness, Motivation, Study Skills, Effective Parenting, Counselling Skills etc. He is an external training faculty of Power Engineers Training and Research Centre of KSEB. He is an external faculty of IMG Cochin. He is also the Secretary of Upasana Cultural Centre, Thodupuzha.
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