Ayurveda is an intricate system of healing that originated in India thousands of years ago. This system of medicine stressed on the prevention of body ailments in addition to curing them. Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. It is a Science of Life. Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual back into equilibrium with their true self. Ayurveda is the system of nature cure.

It is known to promote positive health, natural beauty and long life. Ayurveda is based on universal principles and is a living, growing body of knowledge - as useful today as it was in earlier centuries.

Branches of Ayurveda

Ayurveda has eight specialized branches, namely internal medicine including gynaecology, surgery, the treatment of diseases of the head and neck, toxicology, paediatrics, psychiatry and rejuvenation therapy. In India, Ayurvedic spas can be found all over the country. The most famous Ayurveda Shalas are found in Kerala.

Kerala's equable climate, natural abundance of forests (with a wealth of herbs and medicinal plants), and the cool monsoon season (June - November) are best suited for Ayurveda's curative and restorative packages. Kerala is the only State in India, which practises this system of medicine with absolute dedication.

Today, it's a unique, indispensable branch of medicine - a complete naturalistic system that depends on the diagnosis of your body's vata, pitta and kapha - to achieve the right balance. Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but also the individual as a whole. Making it the natural way to refresh yourself, eliminate all toxic imbalances from the body and thus regain resistance and good health.

Traditional texts reveal that the monsoon is the best season for rejuvenation programmes. The atmosphere remains dust-free and cool, opening the pores of the body to the maximum, making it most receptive to herbal oils and therapy.

The Ancient method of Medication

The main quality that Ayurveda has drawn from Charaka Samhita is the removing the cause of the illness & not just curing the disease itself.

He should first study all the factors, including environment, which influence a patient's disease, and then prescribe medication. Prevention is more important than cure. Ayurveda believes that human being consists of the five elements, air, water, fire, ether & earth. And the combination of any of these elements exists in each one of us. There are mainly three types of Dosha's or combinations

Vata - ether & air, governs the movement, nervous system, circulation, respiration & elimination.

Pitta - Fire & water combined governs the metabolism

Kapha - water & earth combined governs growth

The system of Ayurveda says that there are unique proportions of the dosha's in each body & the accumulation of any one dosha could cause physical ailments or disorders. Ayurveda suggests lifestyle & nutritional remedial measures and sometimes medicines or massages to reduce the excess of the dosha.

Benefits of Ayurveda

When alternative lifestyles and stressful schedules are talking points in the cosmopolitan circuits, Ayurveda, the art of ancient Indian healing cannot be far behind. The inability of modern allopathy to allay all sicknesses and diseases has made an increasing number of people turn to Ayurveda, which has a cornucopia of ancient secret cures for stubborn diseases. It uses natural herbs and their oils to treat ailments and ensure a healthy life.

Most of the centres for Ayurveda, called Ayurveda Shalas, are in Kerala on the South Coast. This is beach country as well, so bring along your sunscreens and hats. In fact many westerners have made Ayurvedic spas their annual treat, combining a relaxing holiday with cleansing for their bodies.

Ayurvedic Massages

These are serious life-enriching massages, so be prepared to get some energetic flesh pounding from experts. While you soak in the herbs you can watch the beaches of Vizhinjam packed with boats out to sail in the sunset. From the beach you can see their lights strung out like pearls in a necklace from the coast. Look forward to being draped with pieces of linen, dipped in lukewarm herbal oils, all over the body by two to four trained therapists in a special rhythmic way. This goes on continuously for about 60 to 90 minutes per day for a period of 7 to 21 days, and is said to be an effective remedy for rheumatic diseases. It's supposed to be good for your nerves too and should pep up your overall energy levels as well.

Restoring Balance

Ayurveda believes that the imbalance of fire, air and phlegm causes disease in the human body and tries to correct it majorly through cleaning and massage. Once the balance of humours is restored, the body copes better with external factors like pollution, strain and infections.

Oils and herbs

The herbs used in Ayurveda are indigenous to Kerala's moist climate. The type of oil used for massage differs according to the ailment being treated. It is one of these: camphor, neem, mustard and castor. To these are added various powdered herbs, nuts and the bark of trees. The Ayurvedic practitioner may conduct the massage using the palm of the hand, poultices, and cloth.
Traditionally, Ayurvedic massage is used on trainee Kathakali dancers, and students of kalaraipayattu. The guru massages the student's head and shoulders with his hands, but uses his feet to stretch and flex the student's legs and back, since flexibility is essential to classical dance and martial art.

Abhyanga -- A synchronized full body massage performed by two therapists using specific herbal oils prescribed according to the body type. Improves eyesight, promotes sleep and gives a glow to the skin.

Shirodhara -- Treatment for chronic headaches, insomnia, mental tension and cases of hysteria, hallucination and insanity. Lukewarm herbal oil is poured in a continuous stream on the forehead, while a gentle massage is simultaneously given, also on the forehead, for rejuvenating and revitalizing the body and
mind. It relieves stress and strain related problems, slows the aging process, improves memory, and is known to have a curative effect on paralysis and other neurological malfunctions.

Herbal oils, medicated milk or buttermilk and decoctions are poured on the forehead/whole body in a special manner. Variations include Oordhwanga Dhara (good for diseases of the eyes, ears and skin),

Choornaswedan -- A vigorous massage, with a cloth bundle containing herbal powders. Induces profuse perspiration leading to relief of neurological disorders, rheumatism, arthritis and sports injuries.

Takra Dhara -- Medicated buttermilk (takra) is poured in a stream (dhara) on the forehead to calm and give relief from conditions like insomnia, depression and other stress related problems. (For those suffering from memory loss, severe headache or insanity) Sarvanga Dhara (for both head and body).

Snehapanam -- Treatment to alleviate Osteo-arthritis, leukaemia etc.

Kashaya Vasti -- This therapy is usually taken after a course of Sneha Vasti. A cleansing enema of honey, oil and herbs leads to nourishment and rebuilding of the Dhatus (body tissues), strengthens their respective functioning, restores and fortifies the body's immune system. Medicated ghee is given internally in a gradually increased quantity for specific periods.

Sirovasti -- Treatment for dryness of nostrils, mouth and throat, severe headaches, facial paralysis and burning sensation in the head. Lukewarm herbal oils are poured into a leather cap fitted on the head for specific durations as per physician's recommendation.

Kaval -- Holding in the mouth and gargling with medicated oil/decoction. Is highly beneficial for ear, nose, throat disorders; improves the voice and brings a glow to the face.

Pizhichil -- Treatment for spondiliosis, rheumatic diseases like arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia, nervous weaknesses and nervous disorders. A combination of two classical Ayurvedic treatments: Snehana (oliation) and Swedana (sudation). Pizhichil is considered to be the most natural way to purify different body systems, to protect from illnesses and build up immunity for a healthy life.

Lukewarm herbal oil is applied with fresh linen all over the body by trained masseurs in a rhythmic manner for a period of 1 to 11/2 hours daily for 7 to 21 days.

Udvarthanam -- Treatment for diseases like hemiplegia, paralysis, obesity and certain rheumatic ailments. A deep, dry massage using herbal powders to stimulate hair follicles and tissue in order to break down the subcutaneous, stored fat. Slimming of the body is the significant effect. Therapeutic massage with herbal powders.

Marma Chikitsa -- Treatment for musculo-skeletal ailments due to trauma or accidents.Treatment that works on the extremely sensitive vital points of the body .

Gandusa -- Retention of medicated oil / decoration in the mouth for several minutes. Lends a radiance to the face, improves lines and wrinkles, tones the skin and assists with any kind of mouth, voice or teeth disorders while cleansing the ear, nose and throat pathways.

Nasyam -- Treatment for nasal ailments. The face, shoulders and chest are massaged with specific herbal oils, inducing perspiration. The medicine is measured out in the exact doze and poured into the nostrils while inhaling. A highly effective treatment for headaches, sinusitis and migraine. Inhalation of medicated herbal preparations, decoction oils, ghee etc. to eliminate the morbid factors from the head and neck area.

Karnapooranam -- Treatment for ear ailments.Medicated oils are applied to the ear for 5 to 10 minutes daily to clean as well as treat specific ailments.

Tharpanam -- Preventing cataract and strengthening vision. Medicated ghee made with black gram powder, is smeared on the eyes. This has a cooling effect on irritated and stressed eyes.A treatment for the eyes effective in preventing cataract and strengthening the optic nerve.

Njavarakizhi -- Treatment for wasting of muscles, rheumatism, sports injuries, pain in the joints, emaciation of the body or parts of the body and certain kinds of skin diseases. Massage with small linen bags filled with cooked Njavara rice. This procedure is highly rejuvenating, nourishing and prepares the body for the stress and strain of a busy lifestyle.The whole body is made to perspire by the external application of medicated rice packs in the form of boluses tied in muslin bags.

The Ayurvedic physician will decide on a separate programme for every individual after evaluation.Short duration treatments for minor ailments like back pain, muscular pain, etc. with herbal steam bath,spinal bath and therapeutic massages will be provided only on the advice of the physician.Often women have female technicians for body massage and other health programmes.Some of the programmes are not suitable for the very aged, very young (under 7) infirm , heart patients and pregnant women.If you have a previous medical history of heart trouble, blood pressure, blood sugar, chronic skin disease or asthma, please inform your physician in advance.

Ayurvedic Therapies are found in:

Thiruvananthapuram- -Shivananda Asharam
Kerala --- Taj Tamara
Agra (Mussoorie) -Sansha Healthspa
Conoor -Natural Health Farm
Mysore -Indus Valley Ayurvdic Centre & Spa
Travelog --Ayurvda Beach Resort
Neemrana Hotels - Ayurvedic Rejuvnation
Kairali Centres - Kerala,Delhi,Mumbai ,Khajuraho
Rishikesh - Ananda Spa
Haryana - Yorks health Resort, Nolta

Our Wellness Team can organize tailor made Ayurveda packages as per your requirements at your doorstep in India.

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