Ayurvedha and Wellness

The ultimate mind-body healing and detoxification

Sri Lanka is famous for its natural healing and medicine which is known as ‘Ayurveda’. This is an ancient system of medicine developed in South Asia. The name is derived from two conjoined Sanskrit words "Ayuh" (life) and "Veda" (science or knowledge). Since the ancient times, man has constantly been engaged in the pursuit of achieving and maintaining an optimum state of health. Going back to 600bc, Ayurveda emerged in South Asia as the natural way of healing. In the modern day, it has evolved into a scientific system of holistic healing that has gained worldwide recognition. This traditional medicine is used by over 75% of the country’s population.

The major source of Ayurvedic knowledge is the "Vedas" the sacred texts of knowledge of Hindu God called Load Brahma, (MAHA BRAHMA). The God Maha Brahma introduced this healing system for both achievement of "Enlightenment" and also to prevent against disorders. The fundamentals of Ayurveda entails three vital forces or "Tri Dosha" - Vayu, Pitha and Kapha. This is generally translated as Wind, Bile and Phlegm. Vayu is interpreted as the transmission of energy within the body which in modern medical terms is nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and hormonal activity. Pitha is not limited to only bile but actually signifies the whole scope of the body’s metabolism as well as the internal heat production within the body. Kapha means mucus, often described as "The Protective Fluid". The modern medical identification of mucus as an antibody containing liquid which coats and protects internal linings of the body, seems to fit in with Ayurvedic thinking.When the balance of all three Dosha’s are achieved the body is considered to be in good health.

Illness takes over when the equilibrium is disturbed and the balance of these complementary forces is unbalanced. Ayurvedic practitioners study the patient in detail and as a whole with the end object of restoring balance, by getting to the root of the problem and treating it this directly. Traditional thinking is said to the thought that while western medicine classifieds germs and attempts to destroy them, while Ayurveda classifies human beings and attempts to save them.

Ayurvedic calls for the use a multitude of medicinal plant, herbs, trees, roots, seeds and a variety of minerals. Contemporary Ayurvedic theory tends to emphasis that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion lead to vitality. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, and meditation to strike a balance between physical and mental health.

Several Ayurvedic and wellness treatments are practiced in Sri Lanka across specialized wellness retreats, boutique hotels, hostpitals and spas. A range of treatments are offered from authentic Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation and Thai influenced massages and treatment techniques aimed at vitalizing one’s mind, body and soul.

Ayurvedha Panchakarma

The ultimate mind-body healing and detoxification

Panchakarma is the ultimate holistic healing experience for detoxifying the body, strengthening the immune system, and in restoring the balance and well-being of one"s body. It is one the most effective healing modality in Ayurveda. The treatment promotes Detoxification and Rejuvenation. It is recommended to be carried out on a seasonal basis, as well as when an individual feels out of balance or is experiencing illness.

Panchakarma is an ancient Sanskrit word which means "five actions" or "five treatments". This is a process used to cleanse the body of all toxic materials left by disease and poor nutrition. Generally the body has the innate ability to efficiently process and remove these waste materials, including the vitiated doshas. However due to one"s repeated dietary lifestyle, poor exercise patterns and genetic predisposition the digestive enzymes, metabolic co-factors, hormones, and agnis which regulate the body"s internal homeostasis become disorganized. This can lead to the accumulation and spread of toxins throughout the body resulting in disease. This waste matter is called ama in Ayurveda. Ama is a foul-smelling, sticky, harmful substance that needs to be completely evacuated from the body.

Panchakarma is a five-fold therapy; it is highly individualized based on the custom needs of the individual depending on the Ayurvedic constitutional type, doshic imbalances, age, digestive strength, immune status, and many other factors. Depending on each individual"s needs all or select parts of the five therapies are utilized. Specially trained therapists must administer these procedures in a definite sequence for a specified period of time. In addition, although Panchakarma is for the most part a delightful and comfortable therapy, there can be periods of discomfort associated with the profound release of toxins, which does occur. It is therefore essential that a knowledgeable expert or doctor who can recognize the signs of properly and improperly administered Panchakarma supervise the therapy at all times.

Like all medical procedures in the West, Panchakarma Therapy always must begin with an initial consultation by a qualified Ayurvedic Physician who can determine the individual"s prakriti (constitutional type), the nature of the health problem (if any), and the appropriate degree of intensity of the prescribed therapies.

Panchakarma treatments have been shown to create measurable brain wave coherence and to lower metabolic activity. They allow the body and mind to drop into a profound level of peacefulness. In this state of relaxation, it is possible to cleanse toxins from tissues as well as to release deeply held emotional tensions.

Abhyanga is an individually prepared herbal-oil massage designed to deeply penetrate the skin, relax the mind-body, break up impurities, and stimulate both arterial and lymphatic circulation. It enhances the ability of nutrients to reach starved cells and allows for the removal of stagnant waste. The desired result is a heightened state of awareness that will direct the internal healing system of the body.

Shirodhara is administered by gently and methodically pouring warm herbalized oil over the forehead, synchronizing brain waves and profoundly coordinating and calming the mind, body, and spirit.

Garshana treatments consist of a dry lymphatic skin brushing with either wool or a silk glove. This enhances circulation and cleans the skin so that subsequent oil and herbal treatments can penetrate deeply into freshly cleansed pores of the skin.

Swedana is an individually herbalized steam bath, during which the head and the heart are kept cool while the body is heated to remove mental, emotional and physical toxins lodged deeply within the tissues. The cool head and heart provide a sense of calm and openness while the therapeutic steam over the entire body can penetrate and cleanse deeply, without the body becoming overheated and stressed.

Pizichili is a continuous stream of warm herbalized oil soothingly poured over the body by two Ayurvedic therapists as they massage the body in perfect unison. The warmth of the oil and synchronicity of the massage combine for a deep tissue cleansing while supporting a heightened state of awareness that transcends description.

Udvartana is a deeply penetrating herbal paste lymphatic massage. This powerful exfoliating treatment magically Restore Your Natural Radiance conditions the skin while pressing stagnant lymphatic toxins out of the body.

Five Senses Therapy treatment combines the therapeutic effect of all five senses working in concert. Sound therapies are specific Vedic hymns and mantras recommended for each imbalance. Touch therapy enlivens specific vital points on the body called marma points. Taste therapy uses certain herbal medicines. Sight uses Ayurvedic color therapy, and smell is accessed with combinations of rare aromatics. The effect is a harmonizing of all the senses to bring one"s awareness to the source of thought and feeling within the heart.

Basti is an herbal enema specially prepared to pull toxins out of the colon. This is the final stage of each daily Panchakarma treatment. The freshly loosened impurities from each day of treatment are flushed out of the body via the effects of the basti. The basti also transports Ayurvedic medicines into the blood and tissues in order to trans-form the memory of damaged and toxic cells. It is considered one of the most important and most powerful aspects of the Panchakarma treatment.

Nasya consists of individually prescribed herbs and oil drops, inhaled through the nose, which clear the sinuses of excessive mucus. It is also an important therapy when medicating the central nervous system. This treatment combats the deep dryness that exists at the root of many respiratory and allergic conditions.

Shiro-Abhyanga-Nasya is a luxurious combination of a deep head/neck/shoulder massage and facial lymphatic massage, followed by deep inhalation of therapeutic aromatic steam, and a nasal and sinus nasya with herbalized nose drops. This popular treatment is an invaluable tool balancing most head, neck and respiratory disorders.

Pinda Swedana is a deep cleansing treatment where rice boiled in milk and herbs is massaged deeply into the tissues and joints. The treatment is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating as well as powerfully detoxifying.

The more authentic wellness centres typically conduct one to two week treatment programmes which are dedicated to providing a holistic experience to guests and to treat numerous ailments. There are also specialized meditation and Buddhist centres conduct programmes that help their guests gain a greater understanding of Buddhist philosophy.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga originally focused on applying and understanding the world.

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj which means the union of the Individuals Consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Yoga is a 5000 year old Indian body of knowledge. Though many think of yoga only as a physical exercise where people twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in the most complex ways, these are actually only the most superficial aspect of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul.

The science of Yoga imbibe itself the complete essence of the Way of Life, including - Gyan Yoga or philosophy, Bhakti Yoga or path of devotional bliss, Karma Yoga or path of blissful action, and Raja Yoga or path of mind control. Raja Yoga is further divided into eight parts. At the heart of the Raja Yoga system, balancing and unifying these various approaches, is the practice of definite, scientific methods of meditation that enable one to perceive, from the very beginning of one's efforts, glimpses of the ultimate goal — conscious union with the inexhaustibly blissful Spirit.

Yoga originally focused on applying and understanding the world. Its focus later changed to the self. Self-enlightenment became the ultimate goal. It was not until the sixth century B.C. that the poses and meditation became a critical element. They were implemented by Buddhist teachings. Sri Lanka has many yoga retreats and remote locations which are ideal to practice Yoga, with stunning backdrops and soothing views by the beach front or in the highlands amidst jungle settings. In a number of specialist wellness resorts and boutique hotels, yoga programmes are presided over by yoga gurus and complemented by a largely vegan and wheat-free menu.

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