Wendyl Nissen gets in touch with her spiritual, caring side on a trip to India.

I've always been very keen on healers who can look at your eyes and see a kidney spot, wave their arms over you and diagnose a lumpy colon or simply have a conversation with you and make you feel much better (who are actually called counsellors).

Recently I travelled to a country known for its many healers. India is populated by 1.2 billion people and few of them go to the doctor. Instead they rely, like me, on herbs, potions, meditation, yoga and blind faith.

Out of the window of the bus on my first day in Delhi I realised quite quickly that there was possibly not enough healing to go around.

And within days I found myself becoming a sort of healer in that I was required several times to revive women on my tour who had fainted in the 38C heat. Nurse Wendyl armed herself with rescue remedy, electrolyte powders and diarrhoea pills wherever she went.


My patients revived quickly and were ready to have another go at India just hours later. I, on the other hand, became less energetic with each patient.

"This must be what it's like for so many healers," I said to my husband as we crashed into bed. "I can see how all that caring just drains the energy from your very core."

"I hardly call dispensing a few drops of homeopathic nonsense and mixing up an electrolyte solution exhausting work," he said.

"It's a spiritual thing," I said, turning off the light.

The next day we were in a particularly gorgeous Jain temple, which is one of the many religions followed in India. It has among its edicts the requirements not to tell fibs, not to harm living things and celibacy. So, before we entered the white marble temple we removed all leather, covered ourselves from head to toe and left our water bottles outside (something to do with micro-organisms being living things in the water).

"I'm going to keel over," said one of my ladies as we were admiring the delicate carvings.

"Right you are," I said leaping into action.

It was at the precise moment I was leaning over her to get her into the recovery position that I noticed a bearded man in flowing yellow robes and lots of beads taking a long look down my top at my breasts.

"I am the high priest of this temple," he said. "Can I help?"

"Why not, you just helped yourself," I thought.

Water was blessed, brought in and applied to my patient, who was soon sitting up again.

"Shall I give this lady a healing blessing?" he asked me.

At that moment I noticed that he was actually quite hot, in a spiritual healer, high priest kind of way. About 40, deep brown eyes, not a worry-line to be seen on his face, and very nice teeth.

"Please do," I said enthusiastically. My patient was a staunch Anglican but she was nodding vigorously.

For a few minutes he held both of us transfixed as he went through what was obviously a very meaningful exchange with his god and I gently moved myself from behind my patient so that the whole of my right side was also included in his beneficence.

"Oh I feel wonderful," said my patient.

"Thank you so much," I said to the yellow-robed high priest.

"You are very welcome and please feel free to contribute to my temple," he replied.

I handed him US$10. It was money well spent.