The turnout of at least 1,000 people on a Sunday afternoon at the exhibition grounds in Nampally for the national health exhibition - Arogya 2012 is an indication of the growing concern that a sedentary lifestyle is less than ideal. Organised by the Central government in collaboration with the State, the three-day expo showcases alternate medicine, viz., naturopathy, ayurveda, siddha, unani, yoga and homeopathy. With about 100 stalls of medication and remedies made from natural ingredients, the exhibition had posters of different kinds of diseases with their respective remedies, exhibits of plants and seeds from our everyday life with foot notes on what illnesses they can cure, samples of various medicinal candies, health and energy drinks, a tea that promises to reduce weight, acupuntcure devices and even recipes for healthy snacks!
The common thread among all is that being healthy isn’t just a reduced number of trips to the doctor, but is a state of being and a lifestyle choice. Which is where medical systems like naturopathy, ayurveda and siddha come into the picture. For the many who aren’t aware of what exactly these schools of thought are, a whole section of the exhibition is dedicated to government institutes such as the National Institute of Naturopathy, National Institute of Homeopathy, National Institute of Siddha and the Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine, where representatives explain the science and benefits of the said therapy, aided by charts and videos that added to the buzz in the air.
Common day to day ingredients like tulasi, coriander, amala, rose petals, cardamom, nutmeg, drumstick, ginger, besides simple yogic postures and pranayam exercises are displayed just about everywhere, reminding us once again that the age-old remedies are the simplest and most effective in dealing with common afflictions like cough and cold to more severe ones like diabetes, Parkinson’s and the growing epidemic of obesity.
Making the experience more interactive, yoga instructors teach visitors on the spot basic Asanas and Suryanamaskar that help in maintaining body flexibility and improving blood circulation.
The denser the crowd at a stall, the more likely one is to find a tasting sample, if not a free one. These include a coffee stall (`10 per cup), an energy drink, a body slimming tea and a memory boosting jelly that could also be a remedy for Parkinson’s.
Off to a corner, a lecture hall has people walking in and walking out where experts talk of how the change in lifestyle is affecting our health and health problems that are becoming common and benefits of the various medical systems.
For those not convinced of the alternative school of medicine, a free health check-up by either or all practitioners of Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Naturopathy is available.
On the other hand, for those who do put their faith in natural science, a sale of medicinal plants will be of interest. Arogya 2012 will conclude today. This is a chance, you might want to explore if not for anything, at least just for the heck of it.