Having a Healing Experience in Nepal

My healing Lama

People come to Nepal to trek and see the sites, but may completely miss the opportunity to have a spiritual or healing experience. The Vipasana meditation retreats are available in a few monastaries; we are happy to help arrange something for you while you are here. These are usually for a donation only.

My badly sprained ankle
There are also lesser known things to do. There are shamen in various traditions from Hindu and Buddhist to lesser known, indigenious methods. The majority of  these people don't speak English, so you will need to have a Nepali guide take you. I went to a few of these healers with mixed results. One time I went to a Nepali man in a dark room up a few flights of ancient, wooden stairs. I sat on the floor while he treated others by giving them special oils, herbs and religious instruction. Then there was the main treatment, hitting the patient with a broom.

I didn't really have a complaint, but had been dealing with intermittent pain in my right shoulder joint from riding on the back of a motorcycle on the backroads of the Kathmandu Valley. It wasn't until the next day that I realized my shoulder had stopped hurting.

There are many sacred places in the Kathmandu Valley and throughout Nepal. There are nearby places mentioned in the sacred, Hindu scriptures and many legends and miracles throughout Nepal. For example, Changunarayan has a headless horseman legend and a nearby mountain in Bhaktapur is where Hanuman went to get the herb for Lord Ram.
There are many kinds of temples and variations of Hinduism; Jainism, Siks and many gurus and ashrams. Osho has a meditation center, as do many Buddhist lenages and traditions.

Small figures of gods for the offering

These things are fun to try and it's always good to get away with some solitude or spiritual teaching. But what about Western medicine? What opportunities are available in Nepal for testing, treating or proceedures?

My first experience with dentistry in Nepal was with a traditional, local dentist who capped a tooth I broke on a buff mo:mo. It was old fashion and dark. Back then we had 12 hours a day electric outages and the work didn't last very long. It was so cheap I felt like I cheated the doctor.

Now I have excellent dental care and know where to go if I ever need a doctor. I've written about medical care in Nepal and what to expect in several blog posts such as this one.

The prices are incredibly cheap, the equipment surprisingly state-of-the-art. I wouldn't suggest coming to Nepal for open heart surgery, but if something came up while a person is here there is a brand new cardiac hospital in Kathmandu.

I'd rather suggest that you have any medical testing done, consult a doctor and possibly try some alternative treatments. There are at least two Tibetan Medicine Clinics, one in Thamel and one in Boudha. Additionally, there are aryvedic, accupuncture and massage clinics.

The best part about using some of these medical treatments in Nepal is the price. I got a dental MRI for $11, root canal for under $250. They even emailed the report to me. When I got pneumonia the entire ordeal cost less than $50-with X-rays and all. The hospitals aren't usually air conditioned, but some hospitals have room air conditioners for tourists. Usually there are a few upscale rooms for tourists. By 'hospital' I mean a hospital with an international presence from Europe. This will be of the highest standard due to where the funding comes from. You will also find many interns and westerners doing their residency in Nepal, so it isn't necessarily nearly as bad as we've been told.

There are also great values in skin clinics that can do laser and other treatments for a small price compared to American prices. Another benefit is that everything is completely anonomous. One of the advantages of staying at Star View Guest House in Changunarayan is that we can help you to take care of these things.

Check out our newest website, http://WhatAboutNepal.org Although we are still uploading, it's just about anything you want to know about Nepal-All free/open source.

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