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Overcoming Lifetime Habits and Addictions

Link to the Episode

Anshu Bahanda: This is Anshu Bahanda on Wellness Curated. Thanks for joining me on this podcast. My mission is to empower you with health and wellness so that you can then go and empower others. Hello Dr. Doja. How are you? 

Dr. Doja Purkit: Hello. Hi.

AB: How are you?

Dr. DP: I’m fine, thank you. And how are you?

AB: I’m very good

Dr. DP: Thank you for inviting me to the talk.

AB: You’re welcome, you’re welcome. It’s always a pleasure to have someone with your expertise on line. So, I will do a quick introduction to you, Dr. Doja, and then we’ll start with our chat. 

Dr. DP: Okay.

AB:  Okay. So, as a lot of you know, Dr. Doja Purkit is an Ayurvedic practitioner, a consultant with the Hale clinic. He’s been doing this for 25 years. And when I was responding to your queries about addictions, I thought, which practitioner do I know who can deal with addictions? And Dr. Doja came to my mind immediately. He’s helped a number of people with addictions… with lifetime habits. And without further ado, I’m going to start asking him some questions. So welcome, Dr. Doja.

Dr. DP: Thank you.

AB: Tell me something. Has your view of wellness changed given the pandemic? Given the lockdown?

Dr. DP: Yeah, the pandemic has tremendously changed the meaning of wellness. Now, the meaning of wellness is the sense of good health. Good health requires rest and time to look after yourself. Due to the pandemic, you have time to rest and time to look after yourself. It is the best time to look after your habits, your addiction, your own well-being. It all comes from now. You have time to rest and look after yourself. And it has changed tremendously.

AB: Lovely. And tell me, so getting into the topic which is addictions, how do you develop an addiction?

Dr. DP: We develop an addiction. It comes from a habit we always love… instant comfort, pleasure, joy, and happiness. Whenever you’re looking for instant happiness, instant joy, and instant pleasure, then you become addicted to your actions. Whether it is a sugar addiction, alcohol, shopping, or the internet, either running, jogging, or walking… all comes because you are looking for pleasure and comfort, joy and happiness. That’s how addictions develop. A lot of addiction comes from our childhood memories and traumas. And that’s how it starts to develop. It’s scientifically said that addiction develops from a genetic point of view, but it’s not from the genes because in the early stage of development, there’s a science thing that it comes from the genes, but it’s not from the genes. It is your habit which you develop from childhood, which you absorb from your surrounding environment, from the father, mother, family member, friend, schools and you absorb all those negative habits— and that leads to addiction.

AB: Okay. And so at what point can you say that it becomes an addiction?

Dr. DP: Addiction is that… you always say if you get addicted, if you repeatedly do an action and are unable to control your action, then you become addicted. Once you are addicted, it is a problem and we say there is no order [or control] of your mind. 

AB: Okay. And tell me something, Dr. Doja, how do you break an addiction? Like addictions come in many forms as we were discussing, it doesn’t have to be substance or drugs or alcohol. I mean, it could be, of course, but it could be excess sugar, it could be biting your nails, it could be excess shopping. So how do you break all these different habits?

Dr. DP: [For] breaking an addiction, the best way is to first listen to your craving. What [do] you crave for? What is the mind doing as repetitive action? First, you understand your craving. The moment you understand the craving, then you start to eliminate them. Like a sugar craving, why does the sugar craving come? Because your body is too acidic. That’s why you need more sugar and more instant energy. That’s how a sugar craving comes up. Then, this is what you have to do. Make the diet alkaline and then make [room for] some sort of happiness in your life. And that will help your sugar craving. And how to create happiness? Happiness always comes from the right mind. Either you can do some singing or chanting to help substitute the [sugar craving with some] kind of habit. It changes with different habits. And a different habit means you can do some singing or you can do some dancing, so that habit gives you some sort of a sense of pleasure that breaks down the habit of sugars.

AB: So, you’re saying there’s two things in an addiction. One is that the body is craving it. So, the body could be acidic. 

Dr. DP: Yes.

AB: And the other is creativity helps overcome an addiction.

Dr. DP: Yes, creativity, which is called inner peace. 

AB: Okay.

Dr. DP: Because we have a mind, we have a body, we have a spirit, which is known as a soul. When they are in order, whatever the mind is thinking, the body has the power to act on it. The soul is there to get bliss, get happiness. And those three things need to be in order. And with those three things in order, automatically, you will enjoy your own peace and happiness.

AB: Okay. So, Dr. Doja, I know you have a number of tools, really interesting tools that have helped people in the past. Can you give us some quick ones on this one?

Dr. DP: When you are addicted, the first thing you should do with that is check which nostril you are breathing [from]. Whether you are breathing from the right nostril or if you’re breathing from the left nostril. The nostril you are breathing from more repeatedly, that’s when you are sending the oxygen feeding the mind [messages] to think repeatedly. You close that nostril which is open and breathe from the nostril which is breathing slowly. Then, you breathe 20 times.

AB: So, you’re saying breathe in and out from the nostril, which is less open.

Dr. DP: Less open.

AB: And there’s always one nostril that’s less open. 

Dr. DP: It is the natural law of any addictive behavior. And that is one of the ways you can rectify that one. Then after that, immediately what does the mind need? The mind needs the basic necessity of the human mind. Human mind doesn’t need food, it doesn’t need exercises. Mind needs oxygen.

AB: Yes.

Dr. DP: And oxygen is the basic ingredient of the mind. And how does oxygenation of the thing [happen?] Then, the Indian system has developed a technique they call alternate nose breathing. Breathe in from the nose and breathe out from the nose. And that will help you to set the brain in order.

AB: So, you are saying to breathe in from one nostril and out from the other nostril?

Dr. DP: Yes.

AB: And then you breathe out from the nostril and you breathe in from the nostril you breathe out from?

Dr. DP: It is advisable to breathe in from the left, breathe out from the right, and then breathe in from the right, and out from the left. Exactly the way the military… they do it left-right, left-right, left-right. [What they attain] is the consciousness [that] you have to remain within the order. That’s why they do the left-right [movement]. Instead of the physical level of doing left-right, you are doing the mental left-right, left-right that brings a creative consciousness and order in the mind.

AB: Okay, and for how long should one do this if you’re trying to overcome something?

Dr. DP: To overcome things, it has to be done three times a day.

AB: Okay.

Dr. DP: And then if you are very addicted, you can do even six times a day, every hour. You can do it about 20 times. If you do it each time, you’ll do it 20 times.

AB: Okay. So, breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in from the left, breathe out from the right. Which is basically ‘Anulom Vilom’. Breathe in from the right, breathe out from the left.

Dr. DP: Yeah, if you think along the yoga point of view, it’s known as your ‘Anulom Vilom’. It’s a yoga point of view.

AB: And do this 20 times, three times a day.

Dr. DP: Three times a day.

AB: Or more. If you’re still struggling with an addiction.

Dr. DP:  I think that within 20 times you should get some peace. Again, if the web comes to your mind, I’m addicted again, I have to go shopping or smoke, I have to have alcohol… First try to do that for one or two minutes, maybe it’s not sorting out, then there are other tools. So there are other tools you can apply, at a later stage we’ll talk about it when I’ll give you the complete view of the addiction tools, that is the time I’ll tell you more tools. You can take action plans like a seven or eight action plan. I’ll give it to the individual.

AB: Fabulous.

Dr. DP: We help them overall to overcome the addiction.

AB: Okay, and Dr. Doja, before we get on to that, what are the scientific reasons behind an addiction?

Dr. DP: Scientific reason behind addiction is that first I tell you scientifically they think the addiction comes from genetic things. But because it’s the earliest stage of the habit, the earlier stage of the emotional trauma develops, that’s why you become addicted or you become habitual to your action, a repeated action. When the habit comes in, addiction comes in. It first appears on your frontal lobe of the brain. And when it appears on the frontal lobe of the brain then you are looking for the action of how I’m going to get more happiness, how I’m going to be more uplifted in energy, how I’m going to get more joy and peace and pleasure. Then they send it to your conscious brain— the conscious brain which is the top of the crown of the head. They produce dopamine and endorphins. Dopamine and endorphin is increased repeatedly with thinking, thinking and then eventually the body has started to produce unnatural dopamine or endorphin, to give you that from a scientific physical point of view. It gives you an instant dopamine and endorphins that helps your mind and body to deal with your stress. That gives you comfort, pleasure, joy and happiness. But it’s artificial. 

AB: Right, right. And I guess that’s why, you know, once the dopamine goes away you want more.

Dr. DP: Yeah

AB: You want that dopamine rush.

Dr. DP: Yeah as you’re saying in India, only ‘maharajas’ can smoke ‘ganja’. One of the reasons is that when ‘maharaja’ smoked the ‘ganja’, when he woke up, at least he had a kingdom. And when ordinary people smoke…when the ‘ganja’ addict or the weed addict smokes, they feel like they are the king, they are the queen, but next day there’s no kingdom and that is damaging to their health.

AB: I see. That’s a lovely story. But tell me Dr. Doja, when you work with people to try and overcome their addictions or their habits, how long does it normally take you and them working with you to get rid of it?

Dr. DP: Basically, in the beginning, I said the meaning of addiction means a habit that is basically an abnormal order of the mind, and that within six weeks you can create the order in your mind. And once we have an order, then you have abilities to control your addiction and habit. But then if you’re in a chronic addiction, addiction becomes like you are continuously in an environment that puts you [into the state of addiction] or you are continuously friends [with people] who are addicted. [More often] an addictive person will always have a friend who is addictive. That’s why you have a wavelength [with them]. And that is one of the reasons that when I help people, the first thing I say is, okay, I’m going to help you, but the one thing you are going to lose in your life is your friend. Your [addictive] friend. And that’s the reason…because of that environment [it facilitates] your addictive behaviors repeatedly, again and again. Firstly, [we have] to create an order in the mind [that takes] six weeks. Secondly, which is basically six months you’re away from the triggers and then we lose those six months. You’ll lose a lot of friends [in that time].

AB: Oh goodness. Okay.

Dr. DP: Yourself. And then once you have controlled [your mind] for six months, [then] he’s done the job. But if he is very addictive, kind of on cocaine or drugs or alcohol, that will take you basically seven years to get out of it. 

AB: Oh My God! But Dr. Doja, doesn’t that put people off? Seven years is a long time.

Dr. DP: Addiction comes in kind of waves. It’s kind of like snow and rain. It doesn’t rain for 365 days. It doesn’t snow for 365 days. But whenever it rains, whenever it snows, whenever you have a feeling of an addictive thing, that’s why I teach them the tools then they can deal with [at those times]. If you have an addiction…. If it snows or rains, then you take an umbrella. In the same way, if you are addicted, then have a tool that can help you deal with that one.

AB: Okay, so you’re telling me that even if someone is deeply addicted to, say a drug, to some drug, you can help them get rid of it as long as they stick to the tools you’ve taught them, for seven years?

Dr. DP: Yes.

AB: Fabulous. That is actually very incredible.

Dr. DP: Because what happens when the addiction becomes chronic it goes to the cellular level and [when it] goes to the cellular level, we have to clean that one. We have a trillion cells. If the trillion cells get information…addictive information, [then] to clean them all… we only have a population of 7 billion. And we are holding trillions in our cellular memory and each of them has to be eliminated of the things to their behavior of action. And that takes some time.

AB: Okay, I see.

Dr. DP: Emotions and memory are the biggest obstacles of modern life addiction. That’s why you are always advised to regularly clean your memory. And then clearly balance your emotions regularly. We say you have to do it every three months… your memory needs to be cleansed. Clean the emotion. Like a computer hard drive. You’re continuously using it and it becomes flooded with information which leads to the collapse of the computer after a while. That’s the way the virus has started to come. Same thing [happens to the] human mind as well. So, you need to clean, you need to balance your emotions. Changing the memory, changing the cellular rejuvenation, detoxing the body. This is necessary for the system.

AB: So, you’re saying if you’re trying to get rid of an addiction, every two months you have to go through some sort of process of cleansing.

Dr. DP: Yeah. You need to do cleansing. Otherwise, you are feeding again. You are again feeding with this thing. You go into the environment, friends are drinking and you are there and you just stop drinking. Because then you have to clean yourself. Keep yourself uplifted above the crisis.

AB: Okay, so tell me Dr. Doja what is your best success story?

Dr. DP: A success story? There’s a client who was taking drugs from the age of 16.

AB: Oh my God!

Dr. DP: And he has taken all sorts of drugs. You can’t imagine it, including biting glass.

AB: Oh my God!

Dr. DP: And then he was taking all the things. Then we sat down and we had 3 hours of consultation with each other. Then we recognized that one is basically a lack of love from the family members. He is constantly searching for love. Constantly searching for pleasure and happiness and artificial happiness. Then you end up taking drugs.

AB: Oh my God!

Dr. DP: One of the things I say to people is that look you can’t buy happiness. You can buy cocaine, you can buy drugs. But that doesn’t give you happiness. It’s a kind of temporary happiness. You have to produce your own happiness. I gave him… the first thing I said, “Look, if you want to create an order in the mind… mind is not in your control. Mind is controlled by all environmental issues. Your friends, family, country, and society, all control the mind. But one thing you have control over is your liver, stomach and abdomen.” That is known as a physical brain. First thing I did was I said, “Look, I’m going to work on your abdominal area to make your liver and stomach function. Then you have a command and you have an order in your mind.” The mind always gets an order from the liver and stomach. The moment he got that order, he had the abilities to deal better. And then I teach you a technique on how to create your own happiness. You can’t buy happiness. Either go shopping to make you happy, to get your identity back and that will make you feel better. Otherwise, go for hours and hours searching for knowledge on the internet. That doesn’t make you happier. Happiness always comes from the right brain. You have to empty your right brain. And when the right brain is empty, that we call as creating ignorance in your mind and that gives you peace and happiness. And you always look for bliss. I said look, mostly according to the Western world we said humans have five sense organs. According to the Indian system, humans have eleven sense organs. And when you balance your senses, then you have abilities to balance your emotions, ability to balance, to create your own inner peace. And what brings inner peace? Inner peace always emerges from the blissful atmosphere. How can you create your bliss? One of the simplest ways to create your bliss is to soak your feet around 06:00 in the evening up to ankle level. As much as you can tolerate your feet and see you sit there for ten minutes and that brings you peace. 

AB: Hot water? Soaking feet in hot water?

Dr. DP: Yes.

AB:  With something in the water like salt?

Dr. DP: If they want to put something, then salt is the ideal thing. Or they can use essential oil. The rose, lavender. These are the ones they can put in. This will help you to get rid of or to eliminate the dead cells. And when the dead cells are removed from your system then your memory starts to function. Memory always feeds on our dead cells. So, when you clear out the dead cells, it not only gives you bliss, it always gives you inner peace and always helps you to live longer. If you look at the history between the men and women, women live longer than the men. It’s a natural thing. And one of the reasons that women live longer is because before going to bed, they always soak their feet and wash their feet. Or the farmers, when they go to bed, they always wash their feet. But people who work in the offices don’t wash their feet. The men, they just go to wash the hand, wash the face and go to bed. That’s a blissful condition. If you want to have it, I taught him to regularly soak his feet and he started to enjoy his own bliss. And then also I taught him how to create inner peace and happiness. Each time, whenever he had a drug addiction or drug thing, he tried to look for a drug, he did it for like five minutes and the [urge to take] drugs disappeared. And this is simple and [also] very powerful. Not only am I saying you will get the benefit two days later, three days later, six months later, no, you do it and  you’ll see the benefit right now.

AB: Oh, wow. Okay. Why don’t you give us any advice that you have?

Dr. DP: Yeah, of course [my] advice is that, one, I said that addiction is a mental abnormality; mental [state] is not in order. And how to create an order? The basic ingredient of the mind is need. The first job of the human brain when you are addicted, when you have to go to sleep or you have to digest the food, the main job of the mind is breathing. First learn how to breathe and simple breathing technique is that one , [where] I always say, the alternate nose breathing. Second breathing is that one two count— breathe in, and three count— breathe out. You do this technique for five minutes and that will help you to create order in your mind. And the second technique is where you create your own peace where the human emotions exist in the brain, and where human happiness emerges. You can look for happiness anywhere in the world. Happiness exists within yourself and it exists in the right brain and so, empty the right brain. The Indian master has developed [a tool/technique] 5000 years ago to create your own happiness known as a ‘Brahmari Pranayama’ or the bee sound. Breathe in. Close your ear, close your eyes. Take a breath in. Concentrate on your right brain for a second and then breathe out with the humming noise. As long as you can comfortably breathe out. [demonstrates the sound]. This [has to be done] seven times minimum. Then you can do it for up to three to five minutes, two or three times a day when the addiction comes. And then you do it each time you feel happier. Each time, immediately you can feel happier. That I can guarantee you. Otherwise, you can talk to me. If you’re not getting happy, there is a problem. I can 100% guarantee you… I’ve been teaching since the last 25 years. This brings you instant happiness.

AB: Okay, so you’re saying ‘Brahmari Pranayama’?

Dr. DP: Yeah.

AB: Three times a day?

Dr. DP: Three times a day.

AB: And seven times each. The ‘pranayama’ is where you close your ears, close your eyes, breathe in and breathe out with the humming sound, seven times.

Dr. DP: Seven times. And then because addiction is like a repeated thought and action… Thought feeds the thought and action. The thoughts and actions are always fed by the carbon molecules in our bodies. And we have to learn to eliminate the carbon molecules to breathe out in ten directions. First put the hands together, clap the hand together up to the abdominal level, and then breathe out. First, start with ten times. Then you can increase up to 20 times from right to left.

AB: So you say put your hands together and move them from right to the left side.

Dr. DP: No, first right-hand side to abdomen. [demonstrates].

AB: Okay. Toward the abdomen

Dr. DP: Then left hand side, then up and down. 

AB: Okay. So, up and down. Yes.

Dr. DP: But the second one is then from the right to left in the back.

AB: So, that you clasp your hands in the back. Right to left.

Dr. DP: Yes. Then the side to side, then up and down. And then clockwise of the head.

AB: And then you clasp your hands and move them clockwise around the head. Okay.

Dr. DP: And then anticlockwise.

AB: Okay, anticlockwise, yes.

Dr. DP: And then up and down.

AB: And all this while you’re breathing out?

Dr. DP: All the breathing out… In between you’ll breathe in and then in the front.

AB: And then forward, outward.

Dr. DP: Outward. And that will immediately give you emptiness in the mind. And then you will feel, okay, I’m receiving the happiness. I’m receiving happiness. Because you just empty the brain. And that’s another reason we call you emptying the mind. There are no carbon molecules in the system. And that will help you to deal with your day-to-day crisis. Either your drug addiction or smoking addiction. [For] any kind of addiction this will be helpful immediately. If you’re coming, if you’re smoking like eight cigarettes, then you have to do eight times. If every 3 hours your addiction comes up, then you have to do it every 3 hours. Breathe out. Breathe out. Breathe out.

AB: Okay. Lovely.

Dr. DP: I’ve seen these very addictive clients in my dictionaries. I’ve always preached the ‘Brahmi pranayama’ and then breathe out, which I’ve developed for like three days. That will help them too. And then, also a certain level of the rejuvenating food is required in the body… food supplements because bodies need to be detoxified [along with] liver detoxification. One of the Indian tablets is known as the Sooktyn tablet. And then there is also a brain food which is known as a ‘Brahmi’ and ‘Shankhpushpi’ and then cells need to rejuvenate. There is something called ‘Chyawanprash’—it is a 5000-year-old formula people are taking to rejuvenate their cells. And that you can take it for two, three months, every two, three months. When you feel you are not fresh inside then take ‘Chyawanprash’. That makes you feel fresh and then if you feel you’re very sad and depressed and then that means your soul needs to revive. And what [do] souls need? We know the feeding for the mind is oxygen; feeding for the body is the food. What is the feeding for the soul? Feeding for the soul is perfume. They know those perfumes and that is the feeding for the soul. If you go to meet an Indian master first thing they will give you, especially the ‘Sufi’ master, the first thing they will give you is perfume. And the best perfume is that one with rose that feeds your soul and where to apply? Apply it between the eyebrows which is known as the third eye. Just put one or two drops and on the wrist point two fingers in the middle.

AB: Okay.

Dr. DP: And that will immediately uplift your soul.

AB: So, you’re saying take rose essential oil or rose perfume.

Dr. DP: Yeah, the rose essential oil.

AB: And put it between the eyebrows and other pulse points.

Dr. DP: Yes, the pulse points. That will help your soul to get rid of the sadness. What happens when they wake up? Even for the addicted people, when the addiction disappears then comes the action and reaction and that is the time the body feels very low and sad and different. And the best remedy is to apply a comfortable perfume which is a rose one and if your wavelength is very, very low then you use the sandalwood which dictates another level of consciousness. And if your soul is totally traumatized, then you use another perfume known as ‘Oudh’.

AB: ‘Oudh’? Oh right.

Dr. DP: Yeah, the ‘Oudh’.

AB: Which the Arabs use, right? Very, very strong smell.

Dr. DP: Yes. Because they’re eating a lot of meat products and then because of the meat’s energy— it somehow takes away a certain amount of energy from the spirit. Same way whether you’re taking a drug or whether you’re eating meat— that is one of the reasons people who take too much of meat don’t like too much perfume. That’s why you have to give a strong kind of perfume called the ‘Oudh’ and if you use the same way or you can just smell it, that will uplift your spirit immediately. Not like you’re doing it today and then tomorrow you’re going to feel uplifted. No. Then and then.

AB: Fabulous. But Dr. Doja, I wanted to ask you one question, which came in. I know we’ve talked a lot about different kinds of addictions, but what a lot of people are saying is that they’re addicted to social media.

Dr. DP: Yes.

AB: That’s something that is very common today. So, how would you advise them to handle that?

Dr. DP: I think to handle that, one of the best ways the Indian Masters has developed— they call it the fasting. And the fasting from social media, 24 hours. And if you’re very addicted, do it like three times every month. Otherwise, do it once a week. And after dinner, use it for only 1 hour. After that, completely switch off. Sleeping time is not advisable. That is the time the body refreshes, the mind refreshes. For instance, if you’re sleeping at 10:00, but if you use social media even after 12:00, after midnight, or after 11:00, if you use social media, it is always damaging to your health.

AB: Okay.

Dr. DP: That’s why it’s not advisable after 11:00. Listen to some music, listen to some other things, read some books, but no social media after 11:00 p.m. Because eleven and two, is the time our thoughts are processed. The processes rejuvenate us. That is the time, if you put anything it’s damaging to your health. And then the radiation comes from it, because that’s the radiation that is actually damaging more than using it, because radiation is a problem. And that sort of information… If you have the ability to carry 10 kilos, if someone gives you 100 kilos, eventually you would collapse. You can do it one night, two nights, three nights. After the fourth night, boredom will set in. After boredom comes in, then you start using more. The best way to do the fasting, just do it for 24 hours. No social media.

AB: Okay, that’s lovely. Thank you so much for your time and for this very, very valuable chat, Dr. Doja. I’m sure lots of people are going to benefit from it.

Dr. DP: Yes. Thank you for having me.

AB: Thank you. It’s always a pleasure. Thanks for joining us. Hope you enjoyed the Wellness Curated podcast. Please subscribe and tell your friends and family about it. And here’s to you leading your best life.