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Sunday, 25 February 2007 12:29

Ayurveda Healing

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Ayurveda is the traditional holistic medical system that originated in India some 3000 to 5000 years ago. Derived from Sanskrit roots, ‘ayus’ (life) and ‘ved’ (knowledge) means “Knowledge of Life.” Ayurveda is based on the belief that the natural state of the body is one of balance between the mind, body, and soul. The fundamental belief of Ayurveda is that the power to heal lies within the individual. Based on the principle that disease is the natural end result of living out of harmony with our environment, Ayurveda views symptoms of disease as the body’s normal way of communicating disharmony.

Ayurveda does not approach the cure of a disease as much as it approaches the cure of the person who has the disease.
The aim of Ayurveda is to achieve and maintain health by reaching a state of balance or equilibrium among the three doshas, called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The doshas govern all bodily functions. In Ayurveda, when the body doshic balance of Vata-Pitta-Kapha is agitated the individual may become unwell. All physical manifestations of disease are a result from imbalances in the doshas.

Ayurveda Spa Treatment
A visit to an Ayurvedic spa can be a transforming experience. Typically, an Ayurvedic spa offers a range of healing therapies to balance the doshas including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Diet
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Healing through Music
  • Yoga

Sri Lanka and India are renowned for Ayurvedic spas that offer the above programs. A visit to an Ayurvedic spa in these countries gives an authentic experience of this ancient medical wisdom.

Eight Fold Classification of Ayurveda

Sri Lankan Ayurvedic Terminology

English Translation


Internal Medicine and therapeutics


Gynecology-obstetrics, Pediatrics




ENT (ear, nose, throat), Ophthalmology


Spiritual therapy, psychiatry




Rejuvenation therapy


Virilification therapy/Aphrodisiacs

Physician Consultation
Typically, an Ayurvedic spa has a physician who gives initial and ongoing consultations to patients. After identifying a client’s constitutional type and imbalances, the physician prescribes a combination of Ayurvedic treatments, including herbal remedies, lifestyle and dietary modifications, meditation and Yoga postures, breathing exercises, and cleansing measures.
For example, if you are found to be suffering from excess Kapha, you may have a slow metabolism and perhaps be overweight. The practitioner might suggest that you start an exercise routine and choose light foods over heavy foods to improve your diet.
Vata types, on the other, hand are usually thin and tend to be prone to nervous disorders such as anxiety and insomnia. If you are suffering from excess Vata, an Ayurvedic practitioner might recommend that you keep a regular routine by eating at set intervals and going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.
If you are a Pitta type you are probably in good shape but may be subject to moodiness, heartburn, and hemorrhoids. If you suffer from excess Pitta, the Ayurvedic physician may ask you to give up alcohol and fried foods to avoid stressful situations.

Ayurvedic Treatments
Ayurveda remedies are simple and natural, using common household herbs strategies such as a warm bath and soothing herbal tea. Some of the Ayurveda treatments include:

  • Body synchronous massages
  • Herbal baths
  • Flower baths
  • Facial cosmetic treatments
  • Lymph stimulation massages
  • Body peeling
  • Purgation
  • Daily meditation
  • Sirobhyanga (head massage)
  • Karna Parna (filling the ears with medicated oil)
  • Panchakarma
  • Kaya Kalpa

Panchakarma is Ayurveda’s primary purification and detoxification treatment. Panchakarma or “five therapies” are a specialized treatment consisting of internal detoxification and balancing of doshas or three energies of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Panchakarma cleanses and rejuvenates the body, mind, and consciousness.
Panchakarma is a deep cleansing process, unique to Ayurveda, which enables the body to release excess doshas and toxins from its cells. Panchakarma consists of medicated emesis (vamana) to remove excess Kapha, therapeutic purgation (Viracana) to clear excess Pitta, medicated enema (Vasti) to eject excess Vata, nasal drops (Nasya) for disease of the head and neck, and bloodletting (Raktamokshana) in case of blood disorders.

Ayurveda Herbal Bath
Herbal leaves and roots are boiled and the water is poured on the patients. Different types of herbal water are used according to any prevalent ailment and the condition of the patient. The herbal bath is good for joint pains and muscle tension.

Sirobhyanga (Head Massage)
The head is the most important organ of the body. Therefore, head massage provides nourishment to all the sense organs and promotes their normal and natural functions. Its benefits are:

  • Prevents and cures headaches
  • Prevents hair loss
  • Prevents premature graying hair
  • Makes the hair roots strong
  • Promotes a healthy complexion on the face

Ayurveda and Beauty
In Ayurveda, the inner and outer radiance and aging are closely related. The secret in retaining youth and beauty is ensuring the proper circulation of vital life fluids and the regular discharge of waste materials through therapies such as Panchakarma. In the Ayurvedic tradition massage is considered just as essential to overall health and beauty as good diet and positive lifestyle. An Ayurvedic facial massage activates deep centers of the brain, reflex points, and facial circulation to completely soothe the body. Tensions in the neck, shoulders, and face are freed and energy is rebalanced from head to toe. Herbal extracts and essential oils are added for their additional healing properties and pleasant fragrances.

Ayurveda Diet
Ayurveda diet is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other naturally fiber-rich and wholesome foods which provide lasting energy throughout the day and keep the body toned and radiant. Fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. Vegetable proteins, on the other hand, fully nourish the body, being quickly and efficiently metabolized. Ayurveda has the means of making meals more digestible with such spices as garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper. In Ayurveda a very low salt diet is suggested whenever there are skin problems. Strong stimulants or depressants such as coffee, sodas, and alcohol stress the body’s organs and make the skin loose and flabby. Fresh organic foods are nutritionally the richest, coming from healthy soils and thus, carry the strongest vital energy. A vegetarian diet is recommended.
Receiving an Ayurvedic treatment surpasses massages. Ayurveda is a philosophy of living. In Ayurveda, healing each condition comes with not only medication and herbal formulas, but also other measures like special diets, exercise and yoga, relaxation therapies like massages, musical healing, and art therapy. Together with medicinal treatment, changing your daily routine can help you improve health and live harmoniously in your surroundings with nature.

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