Did you know essential oils can give you these 3 surprising benefits for your overall wellbeing?

Essential oils can be your magic elixir for stress, sleep and heightened focus
By Sonia Rao 


  • If perfume ads are to be believed, it turns the user into an irresistible, magnet attracting people (or that certain someone) like flies to honey.

  • Ever got an unexpected whiff of, say freshly baked cookies, and that triggered a host of strong memories from childhood?
  • Or, a stenchy room freshener at work that totally screwed up your concentration and took you a long time to bring your focus back to your work?

The common factor in all the above is scent. Studies have shown that the sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. But at the same time, it is also known to have a strong immediate effect on one’s emotions, e.g. certain smells are known to help students do well in their tests (without negating the necessity of being academically prepped for them).

Aromatherapy is the science of using these characteristics of smell through the medium of essential oils, for physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. This ancient art has travelled through China, Egypt and India, getting perfected along the way.

Essential oils are the highly concentrated ‘essence’ of the aromatic plants they are extracted from. They are mixed in a carrier oil for use. Today, essential oils are being used for the treatment of a variety of conditions.

Here are 3 very popular, must-have essential oils for your wellbeing kit:


Extracted from flowers of the lavender plant, Lavender oil is very effective for treating stress-related issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia. It’s also great for burns and cuts, dryness and even dandruff (rub a few drops into your scalp)

Rub your hands with a few drops of this oil and inhale the wonderful scent or put a few drops on your pillow for a deep, restful sleep.


When the attraction begins to fade away in a long-term relationship and dullness deadens the soul, Rose essential oil can bring back the zing. Extracted from rose petals, this oil is an aphrodisiac (it supports blood flow to the nether regions) and its sensual fragrance is emotionally uplifting.

Mix a few drops of rose essential oil to a carrier oil and use as a sensual massage oil, or diffuse throughout the bedroom and get the action going.


Get fatigue, dulled creativity and loss of concentration out of the way as you get on the fast track of enhanced productivity and memory power with Rosemary essential oil.

Use it in a diffuser and let the entire office enjoy the renewal of energy. Get a body massage with this oil to increase your personal effectiveness.

*essential oils should be only used under supervision during pregnancy

Sonia Rao is the Editor-in-Chief at Thriive Art & Soul.

Once you know the meaning of these Sacred Geometry Christmas ornaments, they'll look even more adorable on the tree

Christmas gets an added lustre with these special sacred geometry tree-ornaments
By Samuel Silva

It’s Christmas season again, everyone’s favourite time of the year, where families have wonderful and loving get-togethers. What do you love about Christmas, what excites you about this day? I’m guessing everything does: the colours, the food, the decorations, the Christmas presents. Seeing the whole family together and decorating the tree together has its own charm (get your decorations from here, if need be).

But do you know what these amazing sacred geometry symbols signify?

Flower of life

That circular geometrical shape composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles arranged in a flower like pattern with six fold symmetry like a hexagon is called the Flower of Life. It can be seen in the Ancient Temple of Abydos in Egypt and Galilee Masada in Israel.

There are many beliefs surrounding the significance of the Flower of Life but is it basically believed to contain information of all living things and is a visual expression of connections of life that runs through all living beings. It is also the basis of the Fibonacci spiral.

In India it is seen in The Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Hampi, and the Buddhist Temples in Ajanta.

Metatron's Cube

Metatron’s Cube, derived from the Flower of life, is named after the Archangel Metatron. It is made from 13 circles of the same size, with lines extending from the center of every circle to the center of all the other twelve circles. Metatron’s Cube is said to contain the five key sacred patterns or shapes that make up all matter in this universe. The straight lines represent the Masculine and the spheres represent the Feminine, working together to create a symbol of universal unity and inter-connectedness.

Seed of Life

Six symmetrical circles enclosed within a seventh circle depict the dynamic field of possibilities contained within this Seed of Life. It depicts the 7 days of Creation, and represents the foundation of the many forms of nature such as the 7 chakras, the 7 colours of the rainbow and even the musical scales.

Fruit of Life

The Fruit of Life is composed of 13 circles. Meditating on this symbol can help one access higher dimensions and evolve spiritually. It contains the geometric basis for the formation of Metatron's Cube.

The Egg of Life

The Egg of Life symbols composed of seven circles is taken from the Flower of Life. It is a 3-dimension figure and is said to be the shape of a multi-cellular embryo in the first hours of its creation.

Make sure it isn’t just another Christmas, but the best Christmas. Now you know what you’re using to decorate your Christmas tree, all those wonderful shapes that you probably have on the tree right now bring nothing but life to you and your family to get you through the year and on to the next one. Merry Christmas everyone!

Samuel Silva is a freelance writer. His interests include entrepreneurship, business, and short stories. He lives by the credo that until it's all said and done giving up is not an option.

Acupressure: Quick and safe home remedies at the tips of your fingers

For those who want quick and safe solutions to common health ailments 
With inputs from Acupressure Expert Swetha Mehta

An Ancient Therapy
Your body is made up of two aspects: emotional and physical. Ancient texts dating back to more than 5000 years ago believe that a life force which is also called chi, flows through 14 channels or meridians inside the body.

Often, due to traumas caused by mental or physical abuse, the flow of this chi is blocked and this leads to illness. Located on our hands and feet is our personal medicine chest - the key healing points, which correspond to the energy meridians, which in turn are connected to various organs.

Acupressure is an ancient therapy that heals through the stimulation of the points corresponding to the affected organ. This activates the energy flow and the illness is cured. It is a safe-to-use therapy with no harmful side-effects.

Given below are a few points you can use for immediate relief of some common disorders:

1) LI - 4: The Best Painkiller Point
Located: On the back of the hand just below the web

Helps: Relieves pain, back pain, stomach pain, periods pain, any pain in any part of the body…this is the point to press for immediate relief.

2) ST – 36: Strengthen Your Core with this cure for all stomach ailments
Located: On the shin bone, 4 fingers below where the kneecap ends and I finger space outwards.

Helps: The body is healthy if the core is strong. Stimulate the stomach point a 100 times to bring relief to any stomach related ailment that gets you in its grip: acidity, nausea, vomiting, constipation.

3) H- 7: The Heart point for both heartaches and heart blocks, stress and anxiety included
Located: On the crease of the wrist, corresponding to the spot between the ring finger and little finger.

Helps: Stress-related anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks, palpitations, chest pain are some of the ailments that can be relieved by stimulating this heart point as you count from 1 to 100 - won’t take more than a couple of minutes.

4) LI – 11: Immunity booster point
Located: On the outer crease of the elbow, on the outer side of the arm.

Helps: With seasonal changes come the sniffles and sneezes. Pump up the body immunity with the required 100 stimulations (applying pressure) on this point. Excellent for boosting children’s immunity. Coughs and colds will now be a thing of the past.

5) SP – 6: All abdominal women-specific ailments
Located: Four finger space above the ankle in the depression under the bone (tibia).

Helps: PCOD, painful periods, infertility, abdominal bloating and even emotional eating - get relief from these and many other women-specific ailments by stimulating this single point.

About Swetha Mehta
Swetha Mehta is a Thriive-verified Acupressure & Alternative Medicine Expert. She firmly believes that we can be our own doctor and is actively involved in practising and also teaching these therapies. Swetha was recently chosen as the Thriive Healer of the Month. She can be contacted here: https://tinyurl.com/yacdeva7

Give, especially when you’re feeling down! Here’s how!

When a human heart opens, it craves nothing more than to give back to the world!
By Sonia Rao

Festivals are about catching up with family and friends, wearing new clothes, tucking into celebratory food and in general, feeling happy and having a great time.

But happiness is not served in equal cups to everyone. Had a bad year? Lost a dear one to death or a breakup? Perhaps, a debilitating illness has you in its grip? You might be in such a situation or might know someone in one. The temptation (and often, it needs medical support to be tackled) is to spiral down into an abyss of darkness to avoid the pain.

We human beings are always in pursuit of happiness. And studies reveal that the sure-fire path to happiness is by giving. Yes, that is the rope that will help you pull yourself out of the pit of melancholy.

Give as much as you can (no, over-giving to an ex who has clearly moved on does not count). Open up your heart and give back to the world.

Here are 5 ways you can give and make a much-needed difference in people’s lives:

1) Gift smiles to at-risk kids with your old/new toys
This festive season bring a smile on the faces of at-risk children (those kids who are disadvantaged physically, financially and psychologically) by gifting them toys. The children get an additional benefit of honing their cognitive, social, physical and emotional skills at their young, impressionable age.

We, at Thriive Art & Soul, have tied up with Toy Bank, an NGO that promotes the Right To Play for all children, in this activity.

You can drop off the toys at the Thriive office from Monday - Friday (10am - 5pm) till the 10th of January. Call on +91 7506424584 / +91 22 6666 6036 / E-mail: events@thriive.in if you need assistance with the dropoff.

Do spread the word and spread the smiles.



2) Gift warmth to those who shiver in the cold outdoors
It’s celebration time but the weather can be a huge spoilsport for those whose homes are the pavements with the sky as their roof. Award-winning NGO, Goonj, has been doing stupendous work to uplift the rural sector with the aid of the urban. Check their website for the list of things you can provide that would make a huge difference in someone’s life (often a case of life and death, when it becomes extremely cold). If your altruistic self is still seeking an outlet, there are many ways to volunteer with Goonj. 

3) Gift yourself a new Granny
No, your own grandmother need not feel threatened. Helpage India has activated a new programme to provide support to thousands of destitute elders so that they too can live a life of sustenance and dignity. If your family is far away and you’re feeling low because of that, call up the NGO and volunteer some quality time with the elders. You will definitely get much more happiness out of this.

Gift yourself a clear aura this season

Become a manifesting-machine with these aura-improving exercises
By Pratibha Shetty

You Are The Creator
Whatever’s happening with you in your outer world reality has been created by you. Yes, you are the Creator of the life you’re living today. If you’re still wondering how, think back to the words of Buddha who said: “Your thoughts create your reality.” But this journey of life requires you to be in union with all that is created: the world, its objects and the creator (which is You). To be able to do this with ease, you have energy tools called Chakras and Auras.

The Chakras are a system of 7 energy centres that are positioned on a core that runs up and down from the crown of the head to the base of the spine. The Aura is an energy field that surrounds the physical body. Any imbalance in the chakra network results in corresponding mutations and seepages in the Auric field.

If you’ve been doing any of these things, chances are your auric field is contaminated:
  • Neglecting your self-care
  • Too much exposure to negative people and situations
  • Undue worry or fear about the future
  • Too much attachment to the past
  • Overindulgence in electronic communications
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unclear boundaries in relationships
  • Emotional eating
Cleanse Your Aura

Clearing your Aura will protect you and help you function in coordination with your true purpose of existence, through proper alignment with your 7 Chakras. That is when your intention is running at full power and your manifesting power is at its peak.

Chakras function best when they are aligned vertically, slightly in front of the spinal column. This allows the vital force or energy to flow evenly up and down the length and breadth of the body.

Spiritual practices like meditation and healing go a long way in aligning the chakras. But we’ve got a few quick-fix steps for smoothing your chakra energies.

Tune into your inner power by aligning your chakras with your auric field with these exercises to become a lean, mean, manifesting machine:
  • While sitting, driving a car, simply standing or even getting ready for meditation, begin by ensuring that your Spine is erect.
  • Imagine that you are like a Pyramid, with the base broad enough to hold all the energies of the Earth. Widen your hips to elongate your spine and make the base of your body, wide enough to hold the weight of your body and that of the Universe.
  • Take a deep breath and watch as your breath goes up and down, from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet.
  • Imagine that this Life Force Energy is penetrating every cell in your body, every atom, every molecule, every neuron, every proton, every electron, penetrating all those tissues, bones, joints, muscles in your body.
  • Now imagine the Seven radiant Jewels of your chakras, spinning with splendour along the centre line of your body, through your spine, bringing your chakras into alignment.
You can also protect your aura by:
  • Placing salt bowls or salt lamps (rock salt or Himalayan salt) in your area of activity to prevent the absorption of negative energy from the environment or from objects and people who are energy vampires.
  • Brushing off negativity by physically jumping up and down
  • Practising various yogic exercises
  • Meditating on your deeper Self
Adopt the method(s) that work for you and practise them regularly to protect yourself from negative contamination and enable your Mind/Body alignment with their individual chakras to tune into perfect harmony and manifest that what will give you ultimate satisfaction.

About Pratibha Shetty
After 20 glorious years as a banker, Pratibha Shetty, answered the call from the world of Spiritual Science. Leaving the corporate world to concentrate on her inner evolution she did the 10 day stint at the Vipassana retreat in Dubai, almost 18 years ago. This set her on her journey as a healer. A trained Reiki Master, Pranic Healer, Emotional Freedom therapist, Past Life Regression Therapist with Re-birthing, Acupressure practitioner, Pratibha realised these are all body & Mind related. She was moved to the Soul dimension of Being, through Preethi Siddhi Shakti, where nothing is done and it all happens on its own, like Meditation. These days, she allows the Divine within her to work and just move away, to allow the Love & Compassion to flow through her. She teaches Spiritual Science & Meditation and the by-product of it is Healing with Spiritual Love Energy (Preethi Siddhi Shakti).


These have-to-have food and décor-of-the-season resources will get you ready in a twinkle!

Xmas – that time of the year when family from all over the world flies down to be together. When the food is not just filling but also soul-nurturing. And when the décor is a reminder of a beautiful birth that taught us to love all beings. So, get ready to make some memorable moments with your family and friends as you gather around the cheerful fire burning in the hearth (okay, we people in Mumbai can dream, no?) and have a blast. Food? Check! Decorations? Check! Check out these resources we’ve collected for you so you don’t have to waste spend precious time doing it! You’re welcome!

Are you ready to dive deep into it?


Without a doubt, Christmas won’t feel like Christmas without the pudding. The recipe is such a treasure that many families swear by their handed-down-
over-generations method of making this pudding. if you haven’t begun making it by November end, you’re probably late in making it (though instant pudding recipes abound on google, meh)! And what about gingerbread cookies, plum cakes and eggnog.

Stop, stop, we’ve got you covered. Here are links to some fabulous bakers of
an amazing Christmas foodie-goodies. You gotta hurry though as some of
them stop taking orders soon:

  • Mav’s Cakes & Bakes at Bandra West: call / message +91 9819873959
  • Katy’s Kitchen at Mazgaon: call / message +91 9820904694
  • American Express Bakery: call / message 022 26422857

Get your fill of Christmas treats and hampers at Sassy Teaspoon:
Bonus tip: Keep all those food delivery apps updated and be quick on the
finger when their exciting offers come up during this season.

Transform your home into a Christmas wonderland with these delightful decoration ideas: get a traditional Christmas Tree or then make your own, with books:
https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bookworm-Christmas-Tree. Bring out those wreaths, those tree-toppers like angels and stars, the twinkly led lights, candy canes, mini santa claus figures, wrapped presents, candy canes and other baubles.

Check out these online stores for the decorations:

Looking for wider choices? You’ll get them all here, if you don’t mind giving your feet a workout (wear comfy shoes):
  •  Hill Road, Bandra West: THIS IS THE PLACE. Get all your decorations from the experts who’ve been doing it since years: Cheap Jack, Mota’s, Party Hunterz…they’ve got it all in this small Christmas town (at least in December).
  • Abdul Rehman Street, Crawford market: The place is the oldest & the best to shop for Christmas decorating items. The street is studded with shops stocked with a profusion of Christmas hangings, colorful lightings, and tiny Santas.
  • IC Colony, Borivali West: This place is a treat for Christmas shopping, be it for decorations or even food-goodies. Best time to visit is in the late afternoon to avoid chaos and crowds.
  • MMRDA Ground, BKC: Be the early worm and grab those fabulous offerings at Lil Flea and Times Fest where you can find some really unique homemade décor to give your place a cozy, Christmassy feel.
  • Off Prarthana Samaj & Park Road, Vile Parle East: Looking for Christmas decorations that are both easy on the eye and the wallet? Go no further than Vile Parle. Mini Santa dolls, Santa Claus Costumes and Caps, Xmas lights and baubles, you’ll get them all here.
*(all resources mentioned here are subject to change)

Is Your Relationship Giving You That Kind of Love You Crave?

Do these 10 things and you will surely get the love you deserve 
By Meenu Mehrotra

Aha! Got you there! Loving and being loved is one of our most basic needs (according to Maslow). But, believing that our happiness lies in receiving love from our relationship is a big error and can only result in unnecessary struggles and pain. Relationships play a crucial role in our higher evolution and love that we really crave is self-love.

Self-love is the practice of appreciating oneself, accepting all our weaknesses and strengths and having compassion for oneself as we often bumble along trying to find the meaning of our life.

Keeping that inner spark alive and the relationship hot is a challenge but here’s a quote which will surely give you a refreshing perspective on relationships- “Without you I am whole, with you I am more!

Here are some tips for keeping those love fires burning:

1. Do not make the relationship, the be-all and end- all of your existence. Relationship is just an important part of your life and NOT your whole being. So, aspire to be in an evolutionary love partnership instead of a co-dependent (read toxic) relationship.

2. Never underestimate the power of patience. Have faith in divine timing and allow the relationship to develop at its own speed. A fruit that was picked before it was ripe is of no use. Patience is a golden virtue. Use it to maneuver your way through the blind alleys of a relationship.

3. Know and understand yourself deeply. Work on yourself, especially your shadow self and bring the highest version of yourself to the table so you can know and understand your partner profoundly.

4. Gratitude begets more gratitude. Always look for positives and not focus on the negatives in your partner.

5. Nothing creates a deeper intimacy than being authentic. Be true to your feelings in a relationship. It can take your intimacy to higher levels.

6. Choose kindness always. Even at your worst, do not let anger or frustration make you disrespect your partner beyond redemption. Unkind/ disrespectful words uttered in a fight have the potential to destroy a relationship and nothing you do can redeem it.

7. To use my own quote- “Lust is the fire, Love is the fuel and without one the other doesn’t last for too long.”
Remember lust is cardinal to understanding love. You need to feel the fire between bodies; you need to feel attracted to each other- no matter what your age or the age of your relationship and that is the catalyst for experiencing love and yet you should be able to understand one from the other, even if they are finally meshed.

Lust is the physical desire -to be around someone, to touch, to feel their presence. Love is the soul; Body is the temple and lust is the expression of that divine temple.

8. Do not take everything personally. Most of the times, it is never about YOU but about the other person. Learn to look at the truth impersonally and let it refresh and enlighten you. Be soul-centric instead of being ego-centric.

9. “Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of heaven dance between you”- Khalil Gibran. Allow enough space for your partner to evolve and for you to grow as well. Allow the relationship to flow like a river. Meet people where they are. Remember, love meets us halfway.

10. Expectations are the biggest cause of all suffering and heartbreak. Work consciously on lowering them. Have realistic expectations from your partner.

Meenu Mehrotra is a Thriive-verified Intuitive Coach/Healer and a certified Archetypal Consultant as well as Angel Card Reader. She has written 6 books and is also a well-known fiction writer, poet, blogger and editor. You can get in touch with her here: https://tinyurl.com/yb9acbdp

I’m A Thriiver: How Shikha Mehta found her perfect body weight

Shikha Mehta had a breakthrough when she realised it is not just calories that decides one’s body weight. Her journey, in her own words.

Two years ago, I was 30kgs. above my optimum weight. I’d have excruciating pain on my thighs and I couldn’t even sleep. A nerve in my leg got pulled and this made my lower body rigid. I could not move, almost became bedridden. I was listless and wasn’t energetic enough to do things for my kids. My obesity was causing difficulties in my intimate life. Thyroid issues began to plague me. The last straw was that my elder daughter who was around 14 years old began to experience the same issues I had with weight.

I decided that this situation had to change and I was the one who had to make the changes.

Judgemental patterns
As a child I was extremely skinny so my mom put me on homeopathy. Result: I couldn’t stop eating and by Grade 10, I was bloated up like a balloon. My mom suggested yoga and I also started Shiamak Davar’s classes – I’d walk from Walkeshwar to Taraporvala for yoga and back. After college, I’d walk to Shiamak’s classes at Gamdevi. That was a heck of a lot of walking. In 8 months, I’d released 20kgs.

My parents were extremely strong headed and judgemental of me. They were always pointing out things that they felt I had not done well or could have done better. I loved photography and wanted to be a glamour photographer. But my father didn’t want me to be one. I even got a 70% scholarship from an international design school but my parents did not allow me to take that up.

By the time I got married, I had done a catering course and a diploma in commercial art. My in-laws were a patriarchal family and they too were the dominating type.

I began to understand that I was attracting this energy because I had very fluid boundaries – it was difficult for me to set borders. I also realized that all these judgements that were being thrown at me were holding me back from doing what I loved and what I was good at.

Soon, my creativity found an outlet in baking, in organizing birthday parties from scratch, designing handbags and even educational board games for kids. These were partnership ventures which soon fizzled out. This began to get very frustrating.

How not to feel invisible and unwanted
My body weight fluctuated depending on my mental state - whenever I was happy I was skinny and when I was allowing others to bother me I became obese. For most of my married life I have been obese. At that time, I’d have no self-confidence and people would not acknowledge me or respond to my greeting – I felt invisible and unwanted.

It has been one and a half years, I’ve worked on myself and have released all the excess 30kgs – Now they see me through a completely different eye. They call out to me, want to get in touch me. I was talking to a friend and a person I don’t know just came over and introduced himself.

It is all about how you present yourself – What you show the world is what they see. And this is exactly what energy does – it’s your vibe and what you feel about yourself is what your energy will be and that is what you will attract.

Holistic Healing with Alternative Therapies
The journey has been holistic. I started theta healing but realised that my body and energy was more attuned and responded well to Access Consciousness or Access bars.

Access bars has a lot of body processes that change the molecular structures - I also practice energetic facelift that access. While working on the face it also releases the clutter of deeply-entrenched false beliefs about ageing such as the idea that one cannot lose even a pound after the age of 40 and suchlike.

I even practised Pranic Healing. It has something called body sculpting and also Pranic facials- it can be done whether the person is far away or sitting next to you - good thing is you don’t have to touch the person.

Next was Mantra Healing which I self-learnt. By then I had realized that all the weight I was holding mainly on my lower area was all the anger and frustration that was there and I released it through the use of different mantras.

Very recently I launched an unblocking meditation mantra with Bhaktamar - it’s a Jain mantra. It has 48 staznas which are 48 keys to 48 locks. So, I get the person to meditate to prepare the body to receive the mantra which I facilitate to circulate within the body. After the entire process is completed, the body is at rest to allow the energy to settle down.

Eat to live
Foodwise, I’ve experimented with keto, no carbs, naturopathy and so on. They have their plus points but I wanted something that I could adopt as a lifestyle. For over a year, I did not eat outside at all. I cook my own food. I have 2 rotis, veggies, dal, rice, sometimes, bajri, jowari rotis, thalipeeth. I use ghee in my food.

Gary Douglas always said your body needs only homeopathic portions of food - In Indian culture, we say one should eat only what fits on a tulsi ka patta, it sufficed then so it can suffice now - you don’t need food, your body needs food. How much does it need? Are you eating only for yourself or for everyone else? Or are you feeding your emotions?

Everything has actually been like a stepping stone to reach where I need to be, even those people who have taken up roles to trouble me. They have given me the wisdom to understand that I don’t need to buy into their POVs.

At one point, I was aghast to realise I was emulating my parents and being judgemental with my kids. But ever since I went on this path of change, my elder daughter has become proactive about her own health. She now goes jogging in the mornings and is aware of what she is eating. Becoming aware of one’s own actions and asking oneself questions brings us in touch with ourselves. This brings clarity.

Follow this mantra: DESTROY YOUR REATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS! This will give you a chance to create a new relationship with yourself and the permission to leave behind whatever’s not working.

Can Intermittent Fasting Reverse Diabetes? Test Results Say Yes!

Endocrinologist Dr. Roshani Sanghani shows us how this small lifestyle change can give you huge benefits in health

India has become the Diabetes Capital of the World. This disease is a silent killer and can cause loss of eyesight, foot problems, as well as organ failure. It has no cure and till recently, it was being managed with pills and insulin injections (in advanced cases). Endocrinologist Dr. Roshani Sanghani has helped many of her patients to reverse their Diabetes with Intermittent Fasting (IF).

We grilled Dr. Sanghani about her success with IF and how by making a small change in the way and what we eat, can benefit both diabetics as well as those wanting to avoid diabetes:

THRIIVE: Diabetes is said to be a lifestyle disease. What sort of lifestyle does one need to follow to avoid getting Diabetes?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease. Agreed, there are genetic traits we can inherit from our families to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but, many people are able to reverse type 2 diabetes when they change their diet and lose weight and none of them refunded the DNA they got from their parents!

In a nutshell, the lifestyle changes that help are:

  1. Low carbohydrate diets
  2. Avoidance of snacking
  3. Avoidance of regular intake of processed, artificially sweetened foods, sugar substitutes
  4. Exercise 5-6 times a week (a mix of cardio, strength training and flexibility)
  5. Proper sleep routine (which means minimizing blue wavelength light pollution which spoils our late evening melatonin release: think tubelights, LED bulbs and LED screens)
  6. Stress management
  7. Intermittent fasting helps keep insulin levels low. This helps reduce insulin resistance which is the starting point of type 2 diabetes.

THRIIVE: You have said elsewhere that Type 2 diabetes is case of too much insulin. How can one control this other through the use of medicines?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: The lifestyle changes mentioned above all are effective at reducing insulin levels. As a doctor, I have always emphasized lifestyle change over medication because I want to address the disease at the ROOT. Most medication does not work to reduce insulin levels. That’s often why you often hear that once a person starts medication or insulin for type 2 diabetes, the prescriptions don’t stop! If I have to prescribe drugs for a short period, I use medication that does not raise insulin levels. After learning about intermittent fasting, my prescriptions of insulin for type 2 diabetes have dropped by more than 95%. A fasting C-PEPTIDE test helps me show the patient that their body is still making it’s own insulin so why give insulin from the outside when a lifestyle change is what the patient really needs at the root level?

THRIIVE: How did you discover that Intermittent Fasting could help reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: I was invited to a diabetes reversal seminar in the fall of October 2017. That was the first time I came across Dr Jason Fung’s work. I was already insisting on lifestyle change with my patients but did not have fasting in my toolkit till then. Always curious to learn new ways of approaching diabetes, I went ahead and read all three of his books and watched all his YouTube videos. Everything I came across in his approach made scientific sense! I was in fact a bit upset as to why I hadn’t come across this approach earlier in my career! Once I was convinced about the clinical benefits, I started prescribing fasting. Also it’s important to say here that I have personally never fasted for religious or spiritual reasons but this logic made me embrace fasting for myself as well!! The fasting prescription differs from patient to patient. That is why when using it for Diabetes, it has to be medically supervised.

THRIIVE: I read somewhere that diabetics must eat the same amount and kind of food at the same time every day to keep the blood sugar stable. Also, diabetics are advised that fasting could be dangerous for them. If those statements are true, IF contradicts them so how can it still be beneficial for diabetics?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: You are right in observing this contradiction. Patients who are given medication that INCREASE insulin, cannot fast without medical supervision because they are at risk of low blood sugar. The biggest misunderstanding is that people think the low blood sugar is happening because of Diabetes. It is not. The low blood sugar is happening because of the type of PRESCRIPTION that has been given. That is exactly why I don’t use the medications that make it dangerous to change lifestyle!

THRIIVE: How can the diabetic person get started with fasting?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: To increase our patients’ chance of success we look at many factors simultaneously. An airplane can’t be flown safely by just making sure the windows are okay. The brakes, the fuel, the engine and all aspects of the aircraft have to be checked for flight-worthiness to ensure safe takeoff and landing. So, we first get patients started with a low carbohydrate diet all through the week. No particular food is banned or off limits but we encourage the patients to realize how certain foods affect their blood sugar levels. This means they need to start checking levels with a personal glucometer. A lot of patients have a phobia of needles and would prefer to just go to the lab and supply a sample to check fasting and PP blood sugar levels. This is not enough because we need the patient to directly understand how various aspects of their lifestyle are affecting the sugar levels on a day-to-day, moment to moment basis.

THRIIVE: Can IF help prevent diabetes in those who are pre-diabetic? How?

DR. ROSHANI SANGHANI: We have to understand that Diabetes and pre-Diabetes start initially as insulin resistance. In simple words, you don’t start off with high blood sugar. First, the lifestyle that promotes Type 2 Diabetes starts putting a high carbohydrate load on the system, and maybe there is additional family history, stress, lack of exercise and/or poor sleep. All this makes our insulin less effective at keeping blood sugar levels normal. So the body needs to circulate higher insulin levels to keep the blood sugar levels normal. 

It’s time for us to increase our understanding of diabetes at the root: the first step in the disease is your body is forced into making too much insulin to cope with the lifestyle. That’s why intermittent fasting is an excellent way to reverse pre-diabetes because it lowers insulin.

Dr. Roshani Sanghani is an American board certified Endocrinologist. After practicing in Chicago for two years she relocated to Mumbai with her husband and two daughters to be closer to family. After a 4-year stint at Hinduja Hospital she left to start her own center for a holistic approach to diabetes and other hormone related conditions like obesity, PCOS and thyroid imbalance. Her goal is to help her patients reverse their medical conditions through a holistic lifestyle & lead by example by living a low carb fit lifestyle despite being a busy working parent.

To know more about her, visit www.aasaanhealth.com