From Hell to Heaven
There are truly no words to thoroughly express my love for the staff at Oneworld Ayurveda. I could have never predicted this experience to be as life-changing and beautiful as it was. If I had to sum up my experience in a nutshell, I would simply say I just want to help people to feel the way I feel.
My story is not an easy one to tell… really, I can’t even believe I am doing this right now. But I am doing so because I strongly feel it could be helpful to someone out there, and that is my true goal. It is long, but please continue to read if you are interested in a Panchakarma, as I really try to give you the full story so you can see the immense impact this can have on one’s life.
So, here it goes:
Several months ago, my partner and I were attacked and robbed at gunpoint in our sleep. The men, maybe 5-7 of them, were extremely violent, pulling me out of the bed by my hair, dragging me to the floor, and while holding me to the ground, cutting away at my long hair. They tied together my wrists and ankles, cut and ripped all of my clothes off of me, then sexually abused me. Meanwhile, they had severely injured my partner and left with him. I was alone in the room, naked, with one man for what seemed like a lifetime. They returned, only after attempting to bury him alive. They made us sit on the bed and put a blanket over us while they fought amongst each other trying to decide whether or not to kill us.
At this point, they realized they had attacked the wrong house and the wrong people. They then poured the liquid over us, which at the time my partner and I both imagined being lighter fluid and thought we were about to be set on fire. Then, suddenly, a gunshot went off in the room. One of them had accidentally shot his gun, not hurting either of us, but scaring them enough to leave. As they were rushing to grab anything they could before running away, they sprayed us with a fire extinguisher. My partner and I sat there, not wanting to move in case they came back and found us trying to escape. We waited, then eventually crawled around the room in the dark to try and find some clothes and a knife to cut our hands and legs free. It was the most unreal thing I have ever experienced.
Several months later, I was still feeling the effects. I had told myself I was strong enough to let it go, using yoga, meditation, support from friends, and even trying a counselor. But it seemed I was still not ok, waking up throughout the night, sweating from the nightmares, scared of being left alone for even a moment, and fearful of putting any amount of trust in anyone. Everywhere I went, I felt they were waiting for me; waiting to capture and kill me to make sure they would never be caught. Even writing this right now is crazy to me – I never wanted to even say what had happened out loud, in fear they would hear me and come after me.
My body began showing the effects of my stress; swollen joints, acne, severe headaches, unexplainable rashes, and even a kidney stone!! Yes! On my 13-hour flight to Taipei, headed to Bali, I experienced a kidney stone only about 5 hours into the trip. Then I got to Oneworld…
Even though I arrived late at night, I was greeted immediately by Dr. Ninnu, sincerely concerned about my pain levels and eager to help. I was taken to my room, which was absolutely beautiful and immediately comforting. After my first consultation with Dr. Ninnu, I knew I was in good hands. He listens to you. He asks you questions and actually looks at you with care. These doctors, both Dr. Ninnu and Dr. Aparna, are truly loving, caring individuals who really want to help. Seeing the results of their work is “thanks enough,” they say.
But I’ll be honest. I was very worried when I realized the doctors were focusing on my kidney stone, treating me for this instead of what I had initially come for. After a few days, I became concerned that their practices may not be able to help me, and that I might have to go to the hospital in Denpasar to get further help because I was in such constant pain. However, I decided against the hospital and put all my trust in the doctors, and after their recommended detox treatments, I passed my kidney stone on my tenth day. I felt a huge weight lifted that day, but still had no idea how much more healing I was in for.
The treatments and daily yoga and meditation classes were my healing grounds. The beautifully warm Balinese therapists performed all treatments, and they infuse every touch with such love and care that you truly feel. For me, they were not just my therapists. They have now become some of my closest friends, and I still keep in contact with them. Some of them even gifted me beautiful memorabilia to help remind me their support is always with me in spirit. And Tekok, the Retreat Supervisor and one of the yoga instructors, is another one of the most kind-hearted, loving individuals I have ever met. He truly, deeply cares about each and every one of his guests. I started to break down one morning in class, and he asked no questions, and just let me cry. I don’t think I have ever had someone just let me cry before…
Throughout the rest of my stay, Tekok checked in with me, making sure I was ok and always offering to listen. He helped me to realize I was holding on to so many other things that had happened in my past – these emotions weren’t just from the incident. A broken relationship with my mother, a history of severe depression, an eating disorder, and a 6-year relationship with a physically and sexually abusive partner had been sitting in my gut for years, yet I had never even acknowledged these issues to be real. Tekok somehow made me feel comfortable enough to share my experiences with him and the doctors, allowing them to help me heal even deeper. I couldn’t believe I was sharing these extremely personal stories and emotions with these people, especially male figures, whom I had only known for less than a week!
Furthermore, the support at OWA isn’t limited to the staff. I have met beautiful people of all ages who will be life-long friends and considered family. I met a guest, a young woman, who I feel helped me just as much as I helped her, and together we leaned on each other for support and advice and overcame so many obstacles together. We are almost 6,000 miles away from each other now and we still connect almost daily.
My decision to go to Bali was not an easy one. I was so scared to be alone and so fearful of the robbers waiting for me at my first stop in Taipei. My depressed state was not allowing me to make any decisions, and I felt lost. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, I just knew I needed help. I contacted OWA and quickly receive
a response from Nora. She made herself available to speak with me via Skype, and she answered all of my questions. I could tell she truly cared about my concerns, taking her time to really make me feel comfortable and helping me to understand what OWA offers and if it would be the right fit for me. I am so thankful for that, and I truly believe I would not have chosen OWA if I hadn’t talked with her. This type of human connection is lacking in so many of the Panchakarmas I researched, and it really made me feel safe knowing I was being taken care of fully.
After my 21-day stay at OWA, I felt like a completely different person. I felt strong, confident, content, aware, and worthy, and for the first time ever, I truly loved myself. At 29 years old, I am just now learning to love myself! And I’m proud to say I do. I am forever grateful to the staff and my fellow guests at Oneworld Ayurveda, and I can only pray that this honest review helps someone feel anything similar to what I was feeling. From the receptionists to housekeeping, to kitchen staff, the gardeners, therapists, yoga instructors, physicians, to the management, Claude and Ulla… to literally every single individual at OWA, thank you, from the deepest, warmest place in my heart, for helping me to see the beauty in life again; and furthermore, the beauty in me.
If you would like to get in touch with Jess, let us know.