Aches and Pains?

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

Do aches and pains bog you down? It may be nothing very serious but yet it comes in the way of our day-to-day living. We often take painkillers and just get on with it. But this can be counter-productive because every symptom is a message from our body. Symptoms let us know the changes that need to be made. As long as you don’t make the necessary changes the pains will linger. Taking medications so that you can get on with your day, would allow you to make movements that should never be made, as it upsets the healing process, and eventually can lead to a chronic condition.

Pains can be due to several reasons, the most common amongst which are injury, inflammation, and lack of circulation. If we truly want to get rid of the pains, we must give that part rest while it’s healing, minimise inflammation inducing agents, and increase blood flow and oxygenation to the part.

At our 21-day health retreats we often have patients who have debilitating pains. Sometimes they are unable to walk or climb stairs. I’ve seen that in a period of 21 days many of them are able to move in ways that they thought they never could. If you are suffering from aches and pains, please follow these  tips  to heal.

Don’t miss out our last Immunity Revolution this weekend, where you will get to learn how fasting builds up your immunity and how non-organic foods reduce your immunity. You will also learn how to grow simple greens at home! Register here for this free session..


Aches & Pains? – Use the balm of diet

Did you know that the right diet could be the best way to relieve the pains permanently? Watch some of our participants share how it’s helped them.

Mixed Vegetable Salad with Coconut Mustard Dressing 

A dressing can do wonders to a salad. Find out how by whipping up this easy yet delicious salad, which is nutritious and filling too.


  • 2 medium-sized unpeeled cucumbers
  • 1 small 2” x 4” pc unpeeled yellow pumpkin (kaddu)
  • 1 green bell pepper (green capsicum)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (yellow capsicum)
  • 1 red bell pepper (red capsicum)
  • 1 large or 2 small unpeeled carrots, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 medium-sized unpeeled white radish (optional), chopped into small cubes
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini, chopped into small cubes
  • 15-20 tender ivy gourd (tindora/ tendli), diced thin and diagonally
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, for the garnish

For the Dressing

  • 1½ cups grated fresh coconut
  • 1¼ tbsp ground mustard (rai)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (kali mirch) powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt


Mix all vegetables together in a bowl.

For the dressing, grind together coconut, mustard, pepper powder, lemon juice and salt to a smooth paste. Mix the dressing with the vegetables. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Serves 8

Food For The Mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We are offering two possibilities

1. SHARAN India is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.


Aches and Pains 

Here are a few tips to help heal those aches and pains.

1. Check your posture

Slumping and slouching while walking or sitting, uncomfortable desks, chairs, or soft beds need to be looked into. Sometimes props such as neck collars or waist belts and bands can help.

2. Rest

If a part is painful check if the pain increases or decreases while moving. If the pain increases, avoid those movements that cause the pain. Especially after an injury, allow the part to heal.

3. Exercise

If the pain is not worse with movement, physiotherapy can help. So can gentle stretches and yoga. It’s best to do this with the help of an expert. Avoiding movement for too long can result in disuse atrophy of the muscles leading to lower mobility. For weight bearing joints sometimes exercise in water helps..

4. Check vitamin D levels

Low vitamin D levels can affect both muscles and bones. Vitamin D is essential for calcium metabolism. Check vitamin D levels annually at least, and supplement with the advice of a doctor. Excess vitamin D is as harmful as the lack of it is.

5. Check vitamin B12 levels

Vitamin B 12 deficiency can result in frozen shoulders or other neurological problems resulting in pain.

6. Improve the circulation to the part

This can be done by opening up those arteries through a low fat high fibre diet which makes the blood thinner and helps dissolve the intra-arterial plaque. Smoking should be avoided.

7. Minimise the free radicals and maximise the anti-oxidants

Free radicals increase the inflammatory quotient in the arteries and antioxidants decrease them. Avoid all animal products to minimise the free radicals. At the same time increase plant-based foods that are full of antioxidants that have the opposite effect. 

8. Avoid chemicals in food

Many chemicals increase the inflammatory response. These chemicals may be found in foods grown with pesticides, packaged foods that contain preservatives, refined foods such as oils and sugar which contain the chemicals used to refine them. Always choose high quality nutrient dense foods.

9.  Avoid chemicals in personal care products 

Medicines, toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, hair dyes, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, deodorants, hand-sanitizers etc. can all be a source of chemicals entering our body adding to inflammation quotient of the body

10. Avoid chemicals in home care products 

Air fresheners, mosquito repellents, incense, detergents, fabric softeners, surface cleaners, may enter our body through inhalation or touch.

11. Weight loss 

Weight loss often helps in pains of the weight bearing joints. A whole plant based diet is the first step to healthy weight loss.

12. Avoid acid yielding foods

Avoid acid yielding foods like tea, coffee, colas, alcohol and all high proteins like meat, fish, eggs and dairy as they leach calcium from the body. Have more alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables.

13. Minimise medications

Minimise medications and maximise on nutrition to reap long term benefits rather than short term gains.

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Deepa Ballal, a freelance writer based in Dubai.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a social enterprise with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.
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