In March I had the opportunity to teach Myotherapy massage techniques to a group of ‘Goonies’ in Udaipur, India. A Goonie is a traditional healer who helps people in their community for all kinds of health and personal issues. The non-for-profit organisation Jagran Jan Vikis Samiti (JJVS) bring various health care professionals from all over the world, in order to teach the Goonies different skills. Many had been travelling for days to make it to the training centre.
My previous University teacher from RMIT, Josh, invited me along to help teach the Goonies techniques to reduce nerve pain including numbness, pins and needles and loss of strength in upper and lower limbs. We also taught them treatment techniques for lower back and knee pain which is a common ailment due to all the squatting they do. The Goonies had a Hindi translator, however their Hindi was limited as they spoke a different dialect. We learned basic words in Hindi such as: slowly, gently, pain, good, relief and thank you.
The language barrier did not stop the connection between us and the Goonies; there was a lot of laughter and smiles during the classes. Between classes, the Goonies liked to have chai breaks where they would drink tea and ask us questions about Australia. They also really enjoyed playing music and so they would get out all the instruments and everyone would be banging something or clapping along while people got up and danced. I quickly became the regular dancer for the group and they often requested me to get up and dance in the middle of the circle. This was a beautiful reminder to share joy and smile in everyday life. The community feel of the group was inspiring.
The Goonies had a wonderful attitude toward learning and were very particular about making sure they were practicing correctly. They picked it up very quickly and their techniques developed throughout the training. There were a couple of members in the group who had symptoms of the pain we were talking about; the other Goonies experienced the rewarding feeling when the person in pain had reduced symptoms post treatment.
The Goonies were very excited to go back home and practice these techniques on their community. One of them sent a photo of him treating someone in his local village. We had very good feedback from the Goonies who said they got a lot out of the training. The feeling of helping these traditional healers is immeasurable and a sure career highlight as a Myotherapist. I am so grateful for the time spent at JJVS and hope to return one day.
I hope you enjoyed this small insight into my time in India. See you in the clinic soon!