Established in 2016 by Pinky Daga, Thriive Art & Soul claims to be India’s only state-of-the-art digital wellness portal, showcasing a ‘verified’ network of alternative healers and therapists from across 150+ alternative health modalities. As ‘India’s first integrated alternative and holistic wellness platform’, Thriive claims it aims to build a collective community of healers, seekers and explorers, through partnerships and collaborations.
While those in the Indian context may not be completely averse to what is being called ‘alternative therapy’ – considering that many Indians still try and treat ailments through prayer and ‘traditional’ therapies – to the majority of the Western world, alternative health treatments are still a very nouveau concept. It is certainly Instagrammable and is a great conversation starter, but it is criticised as pseudoscience by the scientific community.
Nevertheless, there has been a rise in the popularity of alternative therapy all over the world, and while some – like yoga and meditation – are widely accepted to have proven health benefits, many other forms are looked at with a fair amount of scepticism.
“My spiritual journey began at 24, and I realized how we are always a victim of life’s problems and situations. This led me to explore a plethora of courses, and discourses of many masters, countless books, all leading me to one thought: the paths are many, the destination is one. In a shrinking world ruled by technology, there was no better space for me to utilise than the online space, and so came the birth of Thriive Art & Soul,” says Daga.
“We have attracted world-renowned speakers, and a large audience nationally, to strengthen our ever increasing network. After spending time with such a variety of masters and exploring many modalities, I realised that our job is to facilitate the seeker’s exploration through myriad roads,” she adds. Aakriti Srivastava, a PR professional, agrees with Daga. “I had tried everything, but sound healing really worked for me. I have started practising that, along with meditation, and have really felt a change,” she says.
Many of the therapists on the network work not with ‘actual’ science, but with what they describe as prana, energy and a larger cosmic life force. Here, we’ve listed a few of the therapists on the platform, who have been bashed and venerated in equal measure for their work.
Perhaps the most controversial person on this list, Jasmuheen has been researching ancient, alternate nourishment sources that can feed everyone – on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. As a proponent of Breatharianism, she feeds on “prana”, the life force that resides within each one us or so says the ancient Hindu texts. In fact, for the last 26 years, Jasmuheen claims she has been living without the need to eat food. She claims to have survived on barely 300 calories a day, and usually drinks tea or eats mere mouthfuls of anything she craves. She has stated that her DNA expanded from 2 to 12 strands, to take up more hydrogen, but refuses any attempt to have it scientifically verified. “You cannot view spiritual energy under a microscope,” she has stated.
Professor Kaya Muller
A global expert on Dreams, Signs and Symbolic Language, Muller believes that Dream Analysis is a method of gaining a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s path in life, through an analysis of the symbolism, which is the subconscious material that rises to the conscious mind while we are asleep. Dreams also supposedly connect us to the subtler realms of existence and indicate messages from guides, masters or our ‘Higher Self’, or simply give us signs and help uncover our emotions. His notable work includes Dictionary Dreams-Signs-Symbols and The Source Code.
Dr Newton Kondaveti
Dr Newton Kondaveti and Dr.Lakshmi – both medical doctors – met, married, and went on to change the landscape of Past Life Regression Therapy in India. Past Life Regression is based on the belief that we carry the memory of all of our lives and experiences deep within our psyches/ causal bodies. By using hypnotherapy, the therapist helps the patient to delve into their psyche and access past memories from other reincarnations, which still affect the individual at a subconscious level. Once this information has been received, the therapist can help the patient complete the healing, at both conscious and subconscious levels.
Vashisht and his wife Shubhangi have been in the profession of understanding human behaviour for the last 14 years. They trained in various healing therapies under Dr Kondaveti, and have shared their own insights at the many workshops they’ve presented. One of the therapies they practise is Family Constellation, also known as trans-generational healing, which is apparently a dynamic form of therapy that aims to heal an individual from deep, underlying family patterns and trauma within their family system. This process involves taking the individual’s issues into a group with the therapist, where others in the group play roles of his/her family members.
Selke is an international author, seminar leader, lecturer and musician. A trained ‘dolphin healer’, she is published in many languages and has conducted workshops around the world for the last 30 years. She believes that dolphins can help one receive powerful healing energies, due to the high frequency of their own collective consciousness. She believes that dolphins have incarnated on earth to help heal the energy of the planet and humans. One doesn’t have to swim with dolphins to receive these healing energies; practitioners who can connect with dolphins claim they can send the energy of the dolphins either in person or through a distant healing session. It is supposedly useful in overcoming physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges.
Pseudoscience or downright dangerous?
Breatharianism, the belief that one doesn’t need physical nutrition to survive, is highly controversial. You thought eating kale was healthy? How about eating nothing? In the last few years, at least five deaths have been directly linked to breatharianism and Jasmuheen’s publications. She refuses to take responsibility for these deaths, however. There are many other alternative therapies and diet fads that claim to cure diseases like cancer. Plenty of people also believe that yoga can cure anything, and this approach can be dangerous, as it makes people ignore actual medical treatment in the hope that something else will work out. Alternative forms of therapy that rely on spirituality can take the onus of responsible living away from the individual, making them believe that there are larger forces at play. This can hamper treatment and medication.