Dr Haseena Chokkiyil is the author of the recently published bestselling and widely appreciated The Kintsugi Moms. She has mentioned the secrets of holistic healing in the book, along with the true accounts of ordeals that the women featured in the book had to go through. Dr Haseena is a holistic healer, homoeopath, and proud single mother. Know more about her – https://drhaseenacp.com/
Alok Mishra: What prompted you to write this book?
Dr Haseena Chokkiyil: To be a published author was a teenage dream but never got the right subject or guts to embark upon the journey, nor did I have enough life experience or imagination. But as life took its twists and turns, many profound experiences both on the personal and professional fronts happened; good and bad which eventually prepared me to become who I am today far wiser and rich with experience.
Many tools were added to my treasure box of knowledge as a healer, apart from my basic degree in Homoeopathic medicine.
I could be of assistance to innumerable people in their healing journeys of many diseases stamped incurable by modern concepts of medicine. Add on to those, I had personal challenges to overcome in course of life like a separation from my spouse, the challenges of single parenting and physical and emotional diseases like an initial stage of Cancer of the uterus, Addison’s disease and emotional breakdowns as part of them. However, I could tackle all of them with the holistic healing tools I have acquired throughout life and also advocate for my patients. Finally, I felt like it is high time that I started penning down my observations. My main aim was to bring out the possibilities of Homoeopathic medicine and other Holistic healing modules in the treatment and radical cure of diseases to the world at large. But I knew not how to consolidate all of them into the parameters of a small book. However, like a play of serendipity, at the Heal your life teachers training, when we were asked to write our intentions for the near future, the first one on my list was that I am writing a best-seller book and all my colleagues chorused. SO IT IS.
Immediately after that, the covid lockdown happened and I got enough time to reflect and write the book. I got a good author to mentor Jyotsna Ramachandran of the Author success academy who very efficiently helped me carve out the manuscript within days.
Alok Mishra: What were the reasons you chose to write The Kintsugi Moms in this form – two parts with problems and answers side by side?
Dr Haseena Chokkiyil: First of all, I felt that if I write a self-help book narrating all the healing tools like a text, it would not catch the attention of readers as there are umpteen self-help books in the market. Then I thought if I take the stories of my clients from my case file and explain the healing tools through storytelling mode, readers would find it more interesting as there is a child in every one of us who loves stories. Again as my mentor at author success academy suggested, I had to fix a target reader to make the book more focused. It is said that a mess you have gone through becomes the message you can tell the world. So, I filtered my stories to incorporate single mothers who have gone through health challenges, a mess I have gone through in my own life. Hence I selected 8 of my single mom clients’ stories in the first section of the book with the healing tools I used on them.
But since I had to wind up each chapter for better readability, I limited each chapter to explaining one healing module in detail and then just mentioning the others with a referral to the coming chapters. This way I felt that the curiosity of the reader would be maintained till the end.
But to a random reader, it would be impossible to keep track of all the tools if left at that. Therefore, I decided to consolidate all the tools explained in the first 8 chapters into a separate section which can be a complete self-help guide anyone can resort to again and again and incorporate into their daily routines.
Moreover, though my stories are those of single moms, I needed to emphasize that the tools are universally applicable. So the second section of the book can be used exclusively by anyone in need of healing at any level of existence, irrespective of gender, race or relationship status.
By the time the reader reaches the second section, the transformational stories of the women depicted in the first part would have ingrained the effectiveness of each of those tools and motivated the reader to try it on themselves.
Alok Mishra: How much did your interactions with other women during the counselling sessions contribute to writing this book? How much credit do you ascribe to the books you have read?
Dr Haseena: The interactions with my clients form the whole basis of the book. In fact, I feel that the relatable stories of the women are the most important factor which made the book gain instant acceptance around the globe, assuming from the countless calls and enquiries I am getting from far and wide.
To be frank, the giant part of what I have written is assimilated from books I have read in the course of my life which was filled with health challenges; together with my training in Medicine, clinical nutrition, counselling, Heal your life teacher training and personal experiences.
In fact, when I faced my first difficult health challenge, at the initial stage of cancer of the uterus, it was self-help books by Louise L Hay, Paula Horan and Harvey Diamond that got me through in addition to Homoeopathic medicines. Later on, a whole lot of wonderful books were added to the list. The works of Dr Joseph Murphy, Dr.Wayne Dyer, Rhonda Byrne, Ekarte Tolle, Micheal J Tamura, Chris and Janet Atwood, Pam Grout, Parama Hansa Yogananda, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Robin Sharma, Cheryl Richardson, Donna Eden, Vishen Lakhiani are some the names that come to mind, not to mention the spiritual texts like the Holy Quran, The Bhagavad Gita and The Holy Bible.
Alok: Holistic healing, as a concept and community gossip, is becoming very popular. However, what do you want those who listen about it for the first time to think about it – is it really that helpful or something that looks rainbowish only in theory?
Dr Haseena: My only intention for writing this book is to enlighten the world at large about the possibilities of Holistic healing in curing every disease under the sun at any level of human existence, psychological, physical or psychosomatic through real-life experiences of my own and my clients in my three decades in the field.
Many a time alternative medical systems like Homoeopathy are stamped unscientific and even called pseudo-science by the torchbearers of Modern medicine due to a lack of evidential research papers based on the existing protocols of research.
I have innumerable successful case reports of every disease faced by humanity -cancer, autoimmune disorders and psychological disorders to name a few and have presented papers at many scientific conferences like the Indian and International Science Congresses. Yet there was no significant validation for holistic healing systems of medicine. In fact, in my state Kerala, IMA the medical association of Modern medicine doctors and Bureaucracy literally look down upon every other alternative system of medicine citing that they are all unscientific. My conscience used to boil witnessing their untoward comments and resistance but was always helpless. Just the fact that the Homoeopathic system of medicine cannot be proved based on existing research models of RCT or case-cohort study due to its individualized nature, does not mean that it is not effective or not scientific. A new protocol will have to be devised in order to explain the modus operandi of Homoeopathy and other holistic healing methods. All I can produce are clinical evidence of fully recovered cases like lab reports and investigation reports and living testimonials from my totally cured patients. But none of these is acceptable to the media or modern medical community. That’s when I decided that I need to jot down my observations in a book where I don’t have to seek approval or validation from any controlling body but can express myself freely. There is a large community out there seeking help from alternative systems of medicine yet have no true guidance or direction. This book is my contribution to the world, to enlighten anyone seeking holistic healing methods as a resort to cure themselves. Having said that I don’t refute the concepts of modern medicine nor do I establish that Homoeopathy is the only way to radical cure. On the contrary, I believe that every system of medicine has its own possibilities and an integrative approach is the right way to tackle diseases. This book is a testament to this belief of mine.
Alok: What were the challenges you faced in your personal life, Dr Haseena? You have written about some in your book as well. Can you summarise your journey so that readers can know more about you personally?
Dr Haseena: As mentioned in the answer to the first question, there were many challenges in life which actually prepared me to become what I am today. A failed marriage, the experience of single parenting and all the ostracisation from society in that era, professional challenges as a Homoeopath -lack of societal acceptance and the stress and strain to establish the sixty bedded hospital and Pharmacy school the only of its kind my province. All those stress and strain took their toll on my mental and physical health. As mentioned earlier, my body succumbed to an initial stage of cancer and Addison’s disease over the years. But I was adamant that I would come out of these with the healing tools I have got trained in. Otherwise, how could I walk my talk or set my example for my son who believes in me more than anyone in this world? He is an outright scientifically oriented boy, yet has never questioned the medicines I give him. He has never had any other medicine except Homoeopathy in his 26 years. Though I take help from my friends in Allopathy and other systems as the case calls for, I had to prove to my son and the world that alternative medicine also has the answer to every baffling disease under the sun. My question to all those who doubt the effectiveness of Holistic healing and Homoeopathy is this? If this is a pseudoscience with no effect, how did I use it on my own son for 26 years without having to resort to any other system of medicine and how could I overcome two seemingly incurable diseases with these tools? Am I and millions of Holistic physicians and followers of Holistic healing, mere fools to spend a whole life perpetuating a system which is harmful or just placebos?
Alok: What lies in the road ahead for single mothers in society? With evolving social conditions in metropolitan cities, how far does one have to wait before society accepts the role of women naturally?
Dr Haseena: Broadly speaking, most of the challenges for single moms come from the social, psychological, and physical realms. The myriad of societal pressures that leaves a single mother overwhelmed and haggard at the end of the day are many. Alienation, non-acceptance, ostracisation, and conflicts pertaining to sex, dating, and remarriage are some of the major social challenges she has to face. Add to this the preying eyes and illicit approaches of some perverted men folk, and life becomes unbearable.
There are single moms who told me how difficult it is to survive even in a professional setting because they were taken for granted as easy prey to sexual advances. Solo travel becomes a herculean task. ‘If you happen to disclose that you are a single mother even during a casual conversation, the attitude changes and you are made to feel like an alien from some remote planet,’ said one of my clients. Some react with sympathy while some get sarcastic but both responses are totally unacceptable. Also, attacks and suggestive remarks on social media handles mostly force single mothers to go into seclusion.
In the Indian subcontinent—mostly in rural North India—single moms, especially widows, are considered a bad omen and alienated from auspicious family functions. There are cases where they have been rejected for rented houses and even ousted from residential communities simply because of their marital status. It is also not uncommon for neighbours and relatives to constantly pry into their personal lives and gossip about everything they do with a preconceived malicious outlook. Their children are subjected to isolation and the reasoning for this is given as stating that single-parented children are bound to be spoilt and would be a bad influence on their so-called ‘normal bred’ counterparts.
Unsolicited advice from every Tom, Dick, and Harry, legal issues, and financial and career pressures are just a few of the other challenges a single mom has to face on an external level. But even more devastating are the internal demons and the physical implications that they have to face.
Internal demons take the form of psychological challenges of varied hues and intensity. Insecurity, fear, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, depression, anger/mania, guilt, resentment, loss of confidence and self-esteem, feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy of her capabilities as a parent, etc. are just some examples. Apart from these, the craving for acceptance and validation are some of the other major issues in the psychological realm that plague single mothers.
These psychological stresses many a time affect physical health and can manifest as multifarious ailments like migraine, hypertension, diabetes, thyroid and other hormonal disorders, auto-immune disorders, diseases of the breast, ovary, or uterus, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, etc.
When I opted for single parenting two decades back I was like an alien in the so-called normal patriarchial society where I lived. I had to face almost all the challenges described above but times have changed. Nowadays separation and single parenting by choice are very common and people have become a little broader than before, at least in the part of the State where I live.
Society has changed much for the better. I see a better future for single moms now. With great celebrities like Ms Sushmita Sen, Shobhana and Revathi setting examples, ladies are more encouraged and bold to thrive and survive on their own, shouldering the responsibility of raising their children single-handedly. I foresee a more dignified existence for single women in the coming years.
Alok: What is ahead for you as an author? Did you already think about books you may be published in the future?
Dr Haseena: I am truly encouraged by the overwhelming response to The Kintsugi Moms from all around the world. Ladies have been reaching out from all over the globe and now my client base has become international, whereas all these 28 years my reach was limited to my state and maybe some NRIs.
So now I realize that I need to write and create more awareness among the global community about the effectiveness of Holistic medicine, especially Homoeopathy. My next book is a compilation of successful case studies from my case file of psychosomatic disorders. It is also a tribute to my mentor in Homoeopathic medicine, Dr. Ajaykumar Babu.
Alok: What is your message for the readers who have not yet read The Kintsugi Moms? What makes the book unique?
My message to all those who have not yet read The Kintsugi Moms is: There is no challenge in life that cannot be overcome with the right choices of healing tools and guidance in the right direction. This book is not just an anthology of painful stories of single women, it is a complete guidebook for anyone seeking total healing from the inside out. It is the culmination of my three decades of study, research and experiences with myriads of health challenges in my clientele as well as from personal experience. It is also a calling to all of you irrespective of gender race or nationality to delve into your own inner recesses and discover your true purpose in life. Understand that we all have it in us to repair ourselves and emerge as the best possible versions of ourselves…to get Kintsugied from any and every Crack life inflicts on us…and emerge more resilient and beautiful than our previous selves. The only pre-requisite is to be willing to accept yourself exactly as you are and have faith in the working of the Universe. Everything that happened is for Good. Your challenges made you what you are now. Accept them, forgive and forget the people and circumstances you feel did not do justice to you, and thank them for the lessons they taught you. Learn to love yourself more than anything and anyone. Take good care of yourself. Then you become love itself-empowered to heal the world with your all-encompassing treasure house of knowledge and love.
As Khalil Gibran has said, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest of souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
So be proud of your scars and make them adornments you can flaunt with pride…by getting them Kintsugied each time life situations Crack you.