Read on if you feel disconnected: with your body, with a loved one, with a profession or with life in general. If ‘disconnection’ seems difficult to grasp, just know that it is the underlying factor that causes all physical and mental illness. This space is the outcome of a seeker’s journey towards connection – with the self, with the immediate environment and with nature. And in the process , regaining health both physical and mental.
It is also a place to get acquainted with the practice of naturopathy, a complete healing system, while also learning about mindfulness, breathwork and movement therapy, all tools that help one connect.
This space will offer you practical suggestions on how to live in tune with nature, with the rhythms of your physical body while living a modern urban life.
Meet Rupinder, your Urban Naturopath!
Hello! I am Rupinder, a certified naturopath (NDDY) who practices both online and in-person in Gurgaon.
My association with naturopathy dates back to early childhood when I instinctively knew that the body has an inherent intelligence and an energy that can self-heal. All we have to do is either aid that energy or get out of its way.
Forever reluctant to take pills for health, I have searched long and hard for drugless systems of healing, finally settling on naturopathy. In 2018, I decided to plunge full time into it. From doing a 3.5 year diploma, to doing internships at different naturopathy facilities in India, I finally did my apprenticeship under Dr SS Goindi, who today at 93 has been practising naturopathy for over 50 years.
I have learned to integrate naturopathy, a system that works with nature’s rhythms into my own modern lifestyle and help others do the same.
The blogs written in this space are an expression of my learnings in naturopathy, explorations into living a meaningful life and experiences of my clients. They are also aimed at giving you small nudges, practical tips that you can integrate in your own daily lives.
Before I became a naturopath, I worked for 18 years; serving in the Indian Army and working in India’s social sector. You can see my earlier avatar here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rupinderk/
My Search for a guide
It was January 2022 (2.5 years since I had started my deep dive into naturopathy), when a phone call turned a bend in my life. My closest and dearest friend of 20 years, M called that night. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family and had called to let me know that she had been diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid. The cancer had invaded her lymph nodes, and a surgery was to be scheduled as soon as next week. I lay awake most of the night, restless and worried.
Surgeries bother me, mainly because I strongly believe no organ in the human body can be made redundant or replaced as easily as surgeons would like us to believe. Surgeons also spend very little time explaining the long-term consequences of organ removals. Perhaps they themselves don’t know.
I speak from personal experience here. I live with a titanium plate in my spine, which doctors surgically placed after removing my TB infected C5 vertebra in 2008. They also scooped some hip bone and put it right up there with the titanium plate. The long terms pains, disbalance in skeletal symmetry that come with removing bone from a weight bearing joint, is something that I continued to experience for almost 14 years after.
Back to my restless night!
I felt my friend should atleast have a chance at exploring other options before going in for surgery. I kicked myself for not having enough experience yet of naturopathy to treat her condition and felt restless again at my own search for experienced teachers.
Simultaneously, my own learnings in naturopathy were pulling me again and again towards a treatment modality called ’mono-diets’. Mono-diets are a phenomenon where one eats only one food item for a prolonged period, making the body get rid of all its accumulated ailments. As one friend told me, it sounds too simple to be true.
Truth often is!
The most famous books on the subject of one food item diets (grapes in this case) and cancer were by foreign authors: ‘Grape Cure’ by Johanna Brandt and ‘ The Grape Cure’ by Basil Shakelton. I was waiting on my ordered copies to arrive, one a friend had to physically get from the UK.
But waiting at this time was tough and I dialled back my known naturopathy contacts to trace a living teacher. I called up Dr Vedprakash, whom I had briefly met in Ambala. He was moving establishment and referred a Hindi book called ‘Doodh kalp’ or milk treatment written by the famous Vithal Das Modi, whose son, Dr Vimal Kumar Modi, I had recently met in Gorakhpur, UP.
Dr Modi informed that he continued to practice mono-diets using milk and buttermilk but didn’t deal with cancer and I made a mental note of deep-diving with him sometime in the near future.
But I was worried about my friend. I thought long and hard about other naturopaths in India, who could deal with cancer. It was then that the name of Dr Goindi surfaced again in my consciousness.
My faint memory of visiting the Chandigarh Gandhi Smarak Naturopathy centre almost 20 years back with my father surfaced. And I remembered vaguely a Sikh gentleman who always made everyone eat apples! I had looked for Mr Goindi atleast 3-4 times in the past and had been informed that he had passed away. I called the Chandigarh office again to check if there were books written by him and a male voice on the other end said, “Maybe you should ask him directly”! I learned that Dr Satyendra Singh Goindi was very much alive at 92 and was living with his son, as his wife and lifelong companion had recently passed away. I got his contact number and immediately dialled!
My friend chose to go ahead with her surgery and get her thyroid and parathyroids removed. She didn’t want to wait, and also didn’t have enough belief in alternate treatments. But her phone call that night, made me find my guide.
That day in January 2022, when I first dialled Dr Goindi, a teacher -student relationship started which continues till date. From 1-hour long daily phone conversations (we were still under COVID restrictions), to frequent meetings at Chandigarh, to being an apprentice on his cases, I could not be more grateful.
Dr Satyendra Singh Goindi
Born on 24 October 1929 into a Gandhian family, Satyendra Singh Goindi felt like the answer to my searching.
His father, Sardar Bhagwan Singh Goindi, resigned from British Government service at the age of 25 to follow the Gandhian philosophy. His mother belonged to the nobel family of Patiala. Dr Goindi, describes his mother as an affluent noble, who had never encountered poverty before. But as she stared working with lower class women, she got deeply disturbed by their plight and the injustices that they suffered while trying to make a living. She started reading Gandhian literature and felt that the best thing at that time for women would be to get involved with Khadi and Charkha.
“My parents then set up an organization to promote Khadi in Sialkot, Punjab. As their work increased, my father became someone even Gandhiji would trust and soon people started referring to him as ‘Sialkot Gandhi’”, said Dr Goindi.
“It was common in those days for Gandhian followers to also believe in and follow naturopathy, which is how I initially encountered it”.
One amongst 5 siblings, Dr SS Goindi has had an interesting life. Struck by coma at the age of 6, where he lay in bed motionless for 30 days to having his wife nearly die at the age of 39, Dr Goindi has seen health at its ugliest.
“I have learned naturopathy in the ‘School of life’”, Dr Goindi would often say to me. But really it all started with his wife, Gurkirpal Kaur.
Born in Rawalpindi (Pakistan) she moved to Delhi in 1946 with her family. This big shift completely changed the family’s lifestyle, and she started falling sick. She became ridden with allergies and started getting joint pains. “When we got married in 1959, she was 27 and joint pains and allergies were very much a part of her life”, said Dr Goindi.
“She too was familiar with naturopathy. In 1959, while we were in Allahabad, she got bed-ridden because of Rheumatoid arthritis and our nephew who was a doctor in muclear medicine, told us that there was no cure other than lifelong medication. We decided to go to Hyderabad’s nature cure hospital. We even took our kids with us and stayed there for 40 days. They made her do a 17 day fast on lemon water along with other treatments. She got rid of her bone issues there. Since both her and me were interested, we also studied all the naturopathy treatments”, explained Dr Goindi.
“But just 3 months later, my wife got very sick. Her lungs gave up and she was coughing blood. Doctors suspected tuberculosis. The doctor gave her 4-5 days to live, and the choice was between having her die in the hospital or at home. She said to me “I don’t want to die in the hospital, please treat me yourself”. I did my first ever naturopathy treatment on my own wife, feeding her only milk for 80 days. Her weight increased by 16 kgs from 42kgs. She started feeling much better just after 2 weeks but stayed on the milk diet for 80 days to completely rebuild her health”.
“After this experience, my wife never looked back. She was convinced that the food we ate made us either healthy or sick. She learned to self- treat herself with mono-diets and fasts”.
“She fasted once for 15 days and lost 10kgs. Then had orange juice for 45 days only because it was in season and got rid of the problem from the root, as she would call it. This love affair with food would continue for her till she died peacefully, at the age of 83. She did multiple mono-diet experiments on herself from oranges, muskmelons, snake gourd to fenugreek. Sometimes her weight would drop to 35 kgs but she never got hassled”.
“Seeing her I learned to use mono-diets to treat other people. Personally, I was more interested in experimenting with eating grains in a way that would promote health. Hence, I did a lot of experimentation with sprouts. Also, we had two small children, who needed to be fed and sprouted food worked wonders for them too!”
“Naturopathy hence became our way of life”.
“Both me and wife were conferred the Doctor of Naturopathy degree (ND) by All India Nature Cure Federation in 1988 (having studied MSC mathematics from Allahabad University earlier). I went on to head the Haryana/Punjab Gandhi Smarak Samiti as Director between 1986 to 1998.”
“Naturopathy has also made me meet some interesting people. From Lal Bahadur Shastri (prime minister of India) to Governors of State. Most memorable is spending time with Ann Wigmore, who is famously know for the ‘wheatgrass cure’. I was with her for many days as she went about touring and conducting workshops in India”, said Dr Goindi.
Dr SS Goindi continues to live in Chandigarh and work with food to treat diseases.