An ancient traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda is considered to be the oldest system of health care, with literature going back 5000 years and an oral tradition that is much older. This healing system has been practiced in daily life in India for more than 5000 years.
'Ayur' means 'Life' and 'Veda' means 'Science'. Thus Ayurveda is the 'Science of Life'.
In Ayurveda, health is a state of spiritual and physical attainment. It is a medical, metaphysical healing life science - the mother of all healing arts. The practice of ayurveda is designed to promote human happiness, health and creative growth. It is the science of daily living and this system of knowledge evolved from the sage's practical, philosophical and religious illumination which was rooted in their understanding of the creation. Ayurveda helps the healthy person to maintain health and the diseased person to regain health.
The body is made up of Tridoshas (Tri' means 'Three' and 'Doshas' mean 'Humours') - Vata is Air, Pitta is Fire and Kapha is Water. Good health means a normalcy in the Tridoshas, balance of metabolic, systemic and excretory functions, all five senses and in the mind and spirit.
There are 7 constitutional doshas and each individual falls into any one of these categories They are-
Vata is predominant in Old age, Pitta in the Middle age and Kapha in Childhood. According to the season, Kapha is predominant early morning, Pitta in the afternoon and Vata late at night. For good health, each person has to maintain the balance of their doshas and not aggravate it and an imbalance in them is the cause of illness. It is thus essential to identify one's body type and follow dietary regimes according to the seasonal regimes to maintain optimum health. Ayurvedic treatment helps to restore this imbalance without any side effects. This helps in several conditions including liver disorders, strokes, mental and muscular dystrophy, rheumatic and chronic conditions.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT SIMPLY HAVING A MASSAGE WITH AYURVEDIC OIL IS NOT AYURVEDIC TREATMENT. IF MASSAGE IS NOT PROVIDED WITH PROPER MEDICATED OILS BASED ON DIFFERENT PERSONAL FACTORS, IT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS AT A LATER STAGE.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT REQUIRES AN EXPERIENCED DOCTOR TO DECIDE WHAT TREATMENT IS TO BE GIVEN, WITH WHAT COMBINATION OF OILS AND MEDICINES, AND IT HAS TO BE DELIVERED BY WELL TRAINED THERAPISTS.
Spa-like Ayurvedic massages can cause health problems.
Authentic ayurvedic massages are done by therapists of the same sex as the patient.
A lot of medicated oil is used in the massage, chosen by a qualified, experienced doctor.
The strokes of the massage are invigorating.
The massage is ideally done with two therapists simultaneously.
The massage covers the entire body except the groin.
Ayurvedic Abhyanga massage to reduce stress, performed by doctors at SOUKYA wellness resort in Bangalore, India
The Ayurvedic doctor selects the ayurvedic oils based on your body type which is used in the massage. In addition to the beneficial effects of massage which reduces stress, improves circulation and relaxes taut muscles, these ayurvedic oils have a rejuvenating effect as they also help eliminate impurities. They also reduce hair-loss and dandruff, condition the scalp, and improve sleep and eyesight. This kind of oleation serves as an absolute preventive measure against many ailments related to the Vata dosha.
The massage is more effective when done by 2 therapists. There is a lot of oil used in the massage and these massages are done man-man and woman-woman only
It is the massage of the legs below the knees which improves circulation to the extremities, is beneficial for diabetics, increases joint mobility and muscle tightness and is useful in destressing.
Shirodhara a continuous stream of oil is gently swayed on the forehead to relax the nervous system at SOUKYA wellness resort in Bangalore, India
Shiro means head and dhara is a steady flow of warm ayurvedic oil which is specially selected by the ayurvedic doctor. Dhara can also be done with other ingredients like buttermilk, but they are specifically chosen as per the condition. Shirodhara involves a continuous stream of oil that is gently swayed on the forehead which completely relaxes the nervous system and calms the mind. It is very beneficial in conditions like hypertension, anxiety, insomnia and psychiatric problems and also is effective for paralysis, senile dementia and other neurological disorders and improves the memory as well.
Finely chopped herbal leaves and herbal powders are warmed in medicated oil and bundled in a poultice which is used for the fomentation massage. In cases of rheumatism and other diseases, fomentation in the affected area brings great relief. Ellakizhi promotes better circulation, relieves stress, and treats osteo-arthritis. It is also ministered to those with spondylosis and sports injuries resulting from soft tissue inflammations and joint pains.
This specialised massage uses ayurvedic powders or churnas to help reduce obesity, impart mobility to the joints and strengthen muscles. The most promising benefit is an all over slimming and toning effect on the body.
A linen bag filled with churna (medicated powder) is used for fomentation, the duration of which varies according to disease conditions. This is effective for ailments due to Vata and Kapha disorders as it produces a therapeutic sweat, which relieves neurological disorders, rheumatism and arthritis.
This is a special Ayurvedic treatment to set right the degenerative changes in the retina and lens of the eyes, to strengthen the optic nerve, ciliary muscles, and to correct the refractive errors in diabetic retinopathy, etc.
Application of medicated paste on the crown of the head is called Thalam. Thalams are of various types according to the nature of the ailment.
This is a palliative treatment for ailments in the head region. It is good for diseases affecting the cranial nerves due to Vata disorders. The treatment is named after the folded piece of cloth used to cover the crown called the pichu.
This is a traditional Kerala Ayurvedic treatment meant for disorders of facial nerve and different neurological disorders of facial muscles. This is very important in treating facial palsy.
It involves holding warm ayurvedic oils on the affected areas, that help immensely in cases of lower back problems, cervical problems, arthritic knees and in cases of hypertension and cardiac related conditions.
Kati Vasti, a special ayurvedic treatment for lower backache at SOUKYA Wellness resort in Bangalore, India
The secret of beauty, according to Ayurveda, is Ojas - the subtle quality of vigour or vitality, which is the superfine essence of the seven dhatus. If one stays healthy in body, mind and spirit, one's Ojas stay strong and this force creates a radiant inner self and a beautiful outer self.
However, for enhancing physical beauty, Ayurveda recommends a number of time-honoured natural treatments.
This treatment includes procedures like cleansing, massage, herbal steam, gentle scrub, nutrifiying packs, toning, rejuvenating and moisturizing. This is done with combination of ayurvedic herbs based on the constitution, and fresh fruits and vegetables according to skin types. This nourishes the skin by providing vitamins and minerals and rejuvenating the pores. The pack heals and lightens scars, evens out the color tone, soothes and moisturizes the skin and makes the skin soft and supple. It also stimulates the deepest layer of the skin to make healthy new growth.
This exotic massage is a signature treatment of SOUKYA, the special protocol being developed here.
After application of the ayurvedic oil based on your body type, the hot lava stones are used to massage your body. Excellent for tired and aching muscles and to destress the body making you feel lighter than ever. It relieves spasms of the muscles by improving the circulation. It also tones the muscles, relaxes the nerves, helps mobilize fat in a mild way and removes the stiffness from the joints and improves posture.
An intensive treatment that works on neuro muscular tissues, strengthens the nervous system and tones the body. The strong and vigorous massages with deep pressure used in the strokes helps the very stressed body and also helps in weight loss. It tones the muscles and helps to get rid off deep seated toxins.
'Pizhi' means 'Squeezing' and 'Chil' means 'Vigorous movement.' It is a procedure of squeezing large quantities of warm medicated oil all over the body with one hand and massaging with the other hand. When administered many times in succession is found to alleviate pains and is very invigorating. This is a unique contribution of Kerala. It has also been proved to be highly effective on its own for treating diseases caused due to vitiation of the Vata humour, especially hemiplegia, paralysis, muscle spasms and other degenerative diseases affecting the muscles. This massage protects you from illnesses and builds up your immunity for a healthy life. It is very useful for rheumatic diseases, sexual weakness, blood pressure, nerve weakness and helps to arrest the ageing process.
A bolus of Navara or Shastika rice cooked with milk and herbal decoctions is made into a fist-sized bundle called a kizhi which is used for fomentation. This is done after the application of medicated oil over the whole body and this induces a sweat. It has its proven efficacy and indicated in muscular disorders, neurological anomalies from paralysis to neuralgias, emaciation, and blood related disorders. This in healthy individuals gives a sedation effect, improves blood circulations and metabolism, makes body feels lighter and relaxed. It makes skin soft and gives special luster and glow. It is used not only as part of Panchakarma but also as an effective treatment for many diseases due to Vata disorders. This strengthening formulation helps combat neurological disorders, rheumatism, arthritis, and malnutrition of limbs.
This is the application of herbal preparations in paste over the hairy part of the head for 30 to 60 minutes. Ingredients of the paste vary according to the nature of the ailment. This is helpful in treating sleep disorders, headache, herriplegia, facial paralysis, trigeminal neuralgia, hair falling, premature graying, dandruff, etc.
It is a kind of immersion bath where the patient is made to sweat while sitting in a tub filled with a specific warm medical decoction for the whole body or different parts of the body like the hips or feet. This is good for rheumatism, painful urination, hernia, lower backache, arthritis, etc.
An exotic facial using fresh, natural beauty enhancing herbs like milk cream, curd, mint, honey, turmeric and various other ayurvedic herbs. The fresh herbs rejuvenate the skin and the aromas relax the mind. It also helps remove scars, improves the complexion and it soothes and moisturizes the skin.
A complete facial procedure using a combination of ayurvedic herbs and the highly nourishing and detoxifying mud from the Dead Sea. The high mineral content of the mud is what makes it so effective in detoxifying and rejuvenating the skin by improving the flow of nutrients to the skin surface.