Tarot card reader, crystal healer, Reiki master, hypnotherapist – the feathers on Pankhuri Agarwal’s cap are surely jostling for space. For this 26-year-old, who travels across the world giving lectures about alternative healing, it all started with a refusal to believe that she had to suffer all her life for her ailments.
“I was suffering for hypothyroidism. I was under treatment for 14 years and the doctors said that there was no cure. But I didn’t want to live with this. I tried experimenting with various kinds of medicines like Ayurveda and others, but I ended up in hypnotherapy. I was cured after the treatment and stopped taking pills I was using all those years,” says Pankhuri.
That was when Pankhuri first began thinking about medicines without pills. “Stress is an ailment of the mind and it affects your body. If you go by that logic, curing the mind without taking medicines should be able to cure the body too,” she says.
This thinking took Pankhuri, who has an MBA in hospital management, to alternative medicine and a range of courses in psychology, crystal healing, Reiki and hypnotherapy – all the while helping her devise her own healing techniques. She also uses Tarot cards in healing, calling it a method of psychological healing.
“When I ask a patient to pick a card and describe it, the patient describes the picture on the card in a way that relates to his problems. If you have the sufficient training, you will be able to understand where the problem lies and thus help them cure it,” she says.
After being trained in various healing techniques, Pankhuri began her own clinic in Chennai, but she stopped her practice after three years due to the unbearable workload. Now, she only gives lectures.
“The city was very open right from the beginning. In fact, when I went to Mumbai and Delhi, there was more resistance. Internationally, there is much more demand, though,” she says.
But for all her academic qualifications, Pankhuri is not concerned about the lack of acceptance of the techniques by the scientific community. “As long as we are able to show results for people who seek our help, it does not matter. We don’t interfere with the allopathy treatment of the patients. They themselves stop using it after they are cured,” she says.
But a lingering problem is that the lack of any criterion to certify one’s qualification in the field makes it easier for quacks.
“There is a tendency for people to be taken over by quacks. People should be beware of therapists who make them dependent on them and ask them to keep coming back over and over again. Though there is no fixed time to be cured, one must feel some difference within a couple of sessions,” she says.