Reenita Malhotra Hora

Reenita Malhotra HoraOccupation:
Alternative Health Educator/ Practitioner
Time in Japan:
Three years

Where are you from?


What brought you to Japan?
My husband and I were working in Hong Kong and we decided that Japan would be a better place to live and lead our lives.

What do you do here?
I' an Ayurveda practitioner. I set up products and answer distribution inquiries for our natural health products. We've also established a salon called Salon de Dr. Linn, where we do consultations and treatments such as Aromaveda massages. I consider myself part practitioner, part educator and trainer, and part marketing distributor.

What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda literally means "science of life." It is natural Indian healing, similar to kanpoyaku (Chinese herbal medicine). It's a way of life based on a theory of elements, and the notion that we as human beings are made up of a composition of different elements. When in a state of balance, we have perfect health, but when off balance - due to lifestyle, stress, environmental issues, diet, etc. - our body elements go out of balance and this brings on poor health. Restoring the body back to natural health means restoring its balance. Created in India 5000 years ago, it's the oldest form of medicine in the world, but unfortunately, the least known. As Indians, we haven't been very successful in marketing Ayurveda, even though we did very well with Buddhism! It's a system of health but also a culture, so I like to consider myself its ambassador.

How do you help people who come in?
We try to determine the person's imbalance. We determine their ideal state of well being (or the normal state of balance when they are healthy). Then we determine what is wrong right now. We try to get to the root of the problem and work on it. There's no such thing as a standard treatment because everyone has a different standard.

What is the most difficult thing about working in Japan?
I want more Japanese clients, both in the salon and using the products. I'm trying hard to reach out to the Japanese. The biggest problem is that it takes a lot to explain. Usually in the first consultation, the Japanese client will sit with the interpreter and me and go through the procedure, but I find that Japanese people cannot really describe their problems, either from language barriers or just not knowing exactly how they feel. I hope that we can overcome this so people can come to me and say exactly what is wrong. Also, we're targeting salons all over the country for our products but this also takes a lot of explaining and time.

What do you like about Japan most?
Tokyo. It's such a cool place. The perfect metropolis-it has everything. And I love Yoyogi, the area where I live.

If you could change one thing about Tokyo, what would it be?
The traffic situation and taxi drivers. Not all the drivers are bad but the many I've come across were just downright obnoxious.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen or experienced in Japan?
A few years ago, we went to a restaurant and it was incredibly hot. We were sitting and eating, thinking how hot it was, when all of a sudden, the restaurant declared that today was the hottest day of the year and started throwing cold water at all the customers! It was incredible. I think some people were angry but most people just had a good time. Too bad I can't remember the name of the place.

If you could take one thing back from Japan to your native country, what would it be?
Oh my God, the food.

What's your recipe for a happy and successful life in Japan?
Don't let the system get to you and don't expect the whole world to change for you because it won't.

The Aromaveda Wellness Center: 03-3370-9173. Salon de Dr. Linn: 03-3498-9330.

Reenita Malhotra Hora spoke to Maki Nibayashi.

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