Take a dip! Pinkie Roshan talks about taking up hydrotherapy to regain limb function
Turning down the suggestion to undergo knee surgery to tend to a meniscus tear, Hrithik's mother Pinkie Roshan discusses taking to hydrotherapy to regain limb function.
One need not look beyond the Roshan family when searching for stories of resilience. When injuries acquired on film sets repeatedly rendered Hrithik Roshan bed-bound, he would build himself up, piece by piece, commencing his rehabilitation process with physiotherapy, and culminating it with high-intensity weightlifting sessions. For the actor, it is father Rakesh Roshan who has served as a guiding light. It isn't easy to deter the senior filmmaker, who, even in the hours preceding his cancer surgery in 2019, was seen sweating it out at his home gym. Around the same time, mother Pinkie Roshan too developed crippling pain in her knees, owing to a meniscus tear. When the doctor suggested that she opt for surgery that could leave her bed-bound for six months, she politely declined.
"My exercise regimen is a crucial part of my life. I am passionate about it. Hence, I was disappointed with the recommendation, and began to look for methods of therapy instead. My search landed me at [an Andheri] hospital, where I tried hydrotherapy," says Roshan, going on to chart one among the most fascinating stories of healing that we've come across. "It involves walking or jogging under water on a treadmill, which offers resistance against movement. Over the six months that I practiced it, we performed lunges, squats, and various iterations of walks. We also executed several running drills. As I got better, the intensity was also increased.
The treadmill, with its intricate detailing, can pose a range of resistances," says Roshan, who would egg her instructor on to challenge her further by increasing the speed on the treadmill.
Given that running against the tide (literally) offers more resistance than doing so on land, the sessions had a two-fold effect — it facilitated healing, and also helped her muscles acquire definition. "Before I started the sessions, I couldn't climb the stairs to my home. Later, I felt confident enough to take a few steps, and instantly realised that I was improving. Initially, I wore knee braces that ran from six inches below my knee to four inches above it. Now, I was finally free. I would wonder how I would travel in the braces, often contemplating wearing loose clothes to mask it. But, during the family's yearly holiday in December 2019, I travelled to France without it. I couldn't ski, but at least I could walk in the snow! It was amazing."
Over the six months that she practiced hydrotherapy, Pinkie Roshan took to exercises like squats and lunges, which were executed under water
Even though she took to the treatment to tend to an injury, Roshan says the therapy unit saw all — young and old, masses and athletes — turn up to reap the benefits.
"My stamina and energy levels have improved. Since I was determined to heal my body, I didn't find it difficult. When one is determined, the journey becomes easier.
One must go through some pain to see results. Besides, the sound of water is relaxing, and encourages one to work hard."
Across her social media handles, Roshan emphasises the importance of physical fitness. She counts herself among the fortunate for being able to walk again. "I feel like I am flying. Only those who have suffered painful problems will realise the value of therapy, and experience the joy of restoring limb functions," says the 65-year-old, who is now able to take laps of her terrace for an hour each day.
This isn't her first tryst with physical training. Roshan was often spotted at a Bandra gym frequented by Hrithik, pulling off high-octane functional exercises. With the lockdown restricting her movement, she has now taken to virtual training, and is exploring the benefits of yoga.
Other celebrities who take to aqua-therapy
Waheeda Rehman reportedly reaped the benefits of therapy when she had recurrent neck pain. The veteran actor apparently claimed to have found significant improvement in her movement within five sessions at a city aqua-therapy centre.
Cancer survivor Sonali Bendre Behl had advocated hydrotherapy in 2019 when chronicling how the sessions — conducted at the same venue that is frequented by Pinkie Roshan — helped her "look for solutions" instead of creating excuses.
Bendre was seen executing a range of high-intensity exercises, including knee tucks and leg scissors, in the videos that were shared on social media.
Attention must be given to any form of physical training that piques Khiladi Kumar's interest. It is suggested that the actor flies to Germany each year to train in hydrotherapy under the same instructor. It is speculated that the sessions are attended by some of the top international artistes who execute stunts in their films. In a previous interview to this reporter, he had said: "Hydrotherapy is amazing to treat injuries, especially those of the back and spine. You are put in an environment where the body is weightless and impact-free, so muscles can be rehabilitated without stress."
Keep scrolling to read more news
Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe