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AYURVEDIC HOLIDAY ---- Ayurvedic Resorts in India.


EUROPEAN TOURISTS HAVE DISCOVERED THE AMAZING THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF AYUVEDIC MEDICINE. Despite being an ancient science of India, Ayurvedic medicine seems almost tailormade for remedying the stresses of modern life. These treatments are specially effective in paralysis, rheumatism, arthritis, spondylosis, and other psychosomatic diseases (source: Vaidyaratnam PS Varier's :::Arya Vaidya Sala:::). The classical therapies and techniques, developed over the centuries by Hindu scientists, are also being exploited to develop remedies for new ailments such as parkinsonism (Parkinson's disease), motor neuron diseases, cancer etc. No wonder then that so many people from Europe, America, and other parts of the world, are choosing to take a holiday at an Ayurveda or Yoga themed hospital resort in India. Indian medicine is making a comeback on the world stage, and plenty of money is being made in the process!
In short, if you have an ailment or merely want to chill out and improve the quality of your life, you might consider an Ayurveda holiday in India. With its vast hinterlands of tropical forests and its so old so distinctive culture, India is an ideal place to detoxify yourself from all the irritations of modern life. The country operates on a completely different timezone, and not I am not just referring to the Timezone of Greenwich! This is a land where time has taken a different course. And it is the heritage of Ayurveda which offers so much hope, in fighting against the inflictions of the Western technological world. Meditation and yogic practices are the cornerstone of all holistic Ayurvedic programs, as they cultivate a sattvic mind and teach the patient how to manage their internal energies.
For an example of how Ayurveda can be of help to those suffering modern ailments, let's consider Parkinson's Disease -- truly a scourge of the modern world and its overdependence on Thought (as UG Krishnamurti said in one of his anti-lectures once.) Parkinson's disease is known in Ayurveda as Kampa Vata. Medical research has determined the cause of the condition to be a loss of function of specialized cells in the brain stem which stimulate the production of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. The most common recognizable symptom of Parkinson's disease is known as a "pill rolling tremor." In this condition, the thumb and fingers move uncontrollably in a manner resembling the rolling of a pill between the fingers. Tremors most commonly appear in the hands, arms and legs, though other areas may be affected. Many patients also develop dementia.
According to the California College of Ayurveda: "Ayurvedic treatment for this condition centers around the treatment of vata disturbance. Oleation and fomentation form the basis of the constitutional treatment (4). Oleation through massage (abhyanga) and enema (basti) are indicated as well as the ingestion of oils. Naturally, jathargni must be strong enough to support such as a heavy regiman. If the patient exhibits significant ama and is strong enough, gentle purification procedures should be administered first. Oils medicated with ashwagandha (withania somnifera) and bala (sida cordifolia) are commonly used to pacify vata and build ojas. They are known to be rejuvenative with a strong nourishing action on the nervous system.
"The herb atmagupta (Mucuna Pruriens - also known as Kappikacchu) has received a lot of attention historically and again in recent years. A study in 1978, published in the journal, Neurology (India), showed its effectiveness on 23 patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. This study used only the powdered seed of the plant. In 1990, Manyam published the results of his study in the Journal Movement Disorders in which he found that Mucuna Pruriens contains Levodopamine or L -dopa within its seeds. This confirmed the 1937 study by Damodaram and Ramaswamy published in the journal, Biochemistry (8,10). L-dopa is the precursor of dopamine, the neurotransmitter which is absent or decreased in Parkinson's disease. The findings of these studies were confirmed at the Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine published research which was performed in the department of biology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. A controlled trial using a derivative Mucuna Pruriens called HP 200 was found to be effective in treating Parkinson's disease."

MAJOR AYURVEDIC THERAPIES ---- A Brief Description.


HERE ARE THE KINDS OF TREATMENTS YOU MIGHT EXPECT TO FIND AT A TYPICAL AYURVEDIC HOSPITAL OR RESORT IN INDIA (source: the ever dependable Arya Vaidya Sala!): Snehapanam Dhara (Oordhwanga Dhara & Sarvanga Dhara), Pizhichil, Navarakkizhi, Sirovasti, Pichu and Sirolepa. At Arya Vaidya Sala's hospital in Delhi, Panchakarma treatments like Kashayavasthy, Snehavasthy, Nasyam, Virechanam and Raktamoksham are also available.
Pizhichil: Pizhichil is also known as Sarvangadhara (the anointing of the whole body.) Under this practice, the patient is made to lie on a wooden Droni (a specially designed wooden plank). Then pieces of linen dipped in comfortably warm medicated oil are squeezed over the patient's body from a specific height. When the warm oil flows and spreads over the body, four masseurs sitting on either side give the patient a gentle massage. This is effective in diseases connected with the Vata Dosha and its allied manifestations like spondylosis, hemiplegia, arhtritis, back pain, muscular dystrophy etc.. This is done only on the body below the neck and the duration can be fixed from one to one and a half hours depending upon the strength of the patient.
Diese Massage wird mit einem Ganzkörperölguss, bestehend aus warmem Kräuteröl, durch zwei Therapeuten synchron durchgeführt. Pizzi Chilli bezeichnet man auch den "Königsguss". Der Stoffwechsel von Haut und Organen wird intensiv angeregt und bringt dem Patienten eine tiefe Entspannung. Diese Anwendung stellt den angenehmen Höhepunkt der Pancha-Karma-Behandlung dar.
Dhara: The patient is advised to lie on a special wooden droni with his neck and head comfortably placed. Then a non-stop continuous stream of the prescribed liquid medicine is gently poured on his forehead from a prescribed height through a specially devised apparatus called Dhara Chatti for a period of one to one and a half hours. Dhara is occassionally administered on whole body in special cases.
Dhara is considered to be effective for several diseases like stress related disorders, sleeplessness and many degenerated brain disorders. Different liquid mediums are used in Dhara for different diseases. Medicated oils, milk, tender coconut water and decoctions of herb extracts are some of the fluids used.
Navarakizhi: Medicated oil is first applied liberally over the patient's body. Then the body is massaged with small linen bags filled with cooked Navara rice. The rice is cooked by boiling it in cow's milk. The linen bags filled with rice are dipped in the same mixture kept boiling over a gentle flame and applied by masseurs at a comfortable temperature over the whole body of the patient.
Navarakkizhi is a special massage , which rejuvenates the body. It is very effective in degenerative muscle diseases like poliomyelitis muscular atrophy etc. It is more effective when done immediately after Pizhichil treatment . The course of treatment can last for 14 or 21 days.
Sirovasti: The treatment consists of keeping the prescribed medicated oil at a bearable temperature in a leather cap fitted around the head of the patient.The oil is filled in the cap up to a level of one finger above the crown of the head.The duration of treatment is between one and one and half hours.
"Sirovasti is an important procedure which is found to be very effective in trigiminal neuralgia, hemicrania, optic atrophy, otalgia, deafness, facial paralysis and in all diseases affecting cranial nerves . Generally the course of treatment is only seven days at a stretch."

AYURVEDIC HERBS ---- From A To Z.


A LITTLE EARLIER IN THIS ARTICLE WE MENTIONED THAT MEDICAL TRIALS HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED IN SEVERAL PARTS OF THE WORLD INTO THE BENEFITS OF A PARTICULAR AYURVEDIC HERB, ATMAGUPTA. Also known as Kappikacchu, atmagupta is one of the stars of the Ayurvedic world. It has far more potential applications than beating Parkinson's Disease, as certain spam emailers are fond of telling us:
"This rare herbal extract from India contains high levels of naturally occurring L-Dopa, the world's most extensively researched amino acid. L-Dopa is one of the few substances that crosses the blood brain barrier to convert into Dopamine. Dopamine is a very powerful neurotransmitter that stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary glands to release growth hormone, increase testosterone levels, boost libido, and increase sperm count. Besides having a powerful impact on sex drive, Atmagupta enhances mental alertness, improves coordination, elevates energy levels, and promotes lean muscle growth."
Some other Ayurvedic herbs and herbal extracts (most of which can be bought online these days), include:

Ashwagandha - Withania Somnifera ( Ashwangandha )
IZ, The Man and His Music by Israel Kamakawiwoole
IZ The Man and His Music Live by Israel Kamakawiwoole: Click picture to purchase

Ashwagandha - Withania Somnifera ( Ashwangandha )
Ashwagandha, powerful herb of Ayurvedic medicine Recommended in the ancient Kama Sutra for heightening sexual experience, Ashwagandha is easily the most potent aphrodisiac in the entire botanical kingdom.  It has the ability to restore sexual drive, increase endurance and improve overall vitality while promoting a calm state of mind.  Ashwagandha is an "adaptogenic" herb which nourishes nerves and improves nerve function to help your body adapt to stress, one of the common cause of sexual problems.  Hormones (such as adrenaline) produced during difficult times cause arteries to constrict, keeping blood from the extremities and negatively impacting sexual performance.  Ashwagandha brings the body back to equilibrium by relaxing it when stressed and energizing it when fatigued.  It also strengthens the reproductive and respiratory systems while serving as a powerful Medhya Rasayana, which means that it enhances all aspects of mind power.  Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of year to treat impotence, premature ejaculation, infertility, and erection disorders.

Chavanprash, powerful antioxidant of Ayurvedic medicine

Chavanprash - Various Ingredients ( Chavanprash )
Chavanprash is often compared with Amrit Nectar, a more powerful Ayurvedic herbal remedy. Like Amrit Nectar, Chavanprash is a dark-colored paste. They also have a few ingredients in common, such as Amalaki. These surface simularities, however, mask a huge difference in formulation and purpose. Chavanprash is traditionally taken in the winter months in India if you have colds or coughs -- it's a formulation targeted more towards the respiratory system. Amrit has a much more "global" or holistic impact on the entire physiology, and many of its wide-ranging benefits have been validated by independent research. Taking Chavanprash as a substitute for Amrit would mean that you do not really get the benefits Amrit provides to the physiology as a whole. As ayurvedic rasayanas, each of the two has its place and its role -- and the role of Amrit is far wider -- to nourish every cell in the body -- it is not targeted towards any one system in the physiology. So there is no comparison.

Shatavari - Asparagus Racemosus ( Shatavari )
Shatavari is a rejuvenating herb that soothes the body to relieve stress, nurtures the reproductive system, and strengthens and nourishes tissues.  It supports proper liver function and metabolic processes to remove toxins from the blood.  This herb is also known to increase Sattwa, or positivity and healing power.  It enhances the feelings of spiritual love and opens Ojas ("that through which consciousness enters the physiology").  When combined properly with Ashwagandha, Shatavari takes lovemaking capacity to new levels. 


AYURVEDIC INDIA ---- Ayurvedic Resorts in India.


Agastya Ayurveda Garden: 30 km (18 miles) South of Trivandrum and 80 km (45 miles) north of the tip of India. Phone: 41 71 278 64 64. Website: website here.
This seems to be an Ayurvedic resort in Kerala State, in the beautiful south of India... run by a Swiss company or intended for medical tourists from Switzerland, it is a little hard to judge for sure. But from what I can gather, the premise is this: you stay in bungalows (did you know they are an Indian invention, and bungalow is an Indian word?) with views of a beautiful ocean (the Lakshadweep Sea I believe, sweeping away endlessly, into the blue horizon.) The bungalows are made of natural materials only, this adds to the health athmosphere of this seemingly lost and hard to get to paradise. The bungalows, located right by the aforementioned Lakshadweep Sea, are situated in a natural garden dotted with palmtrees and many Ayurvedic plants. The bungalows are set 30m high above the sea level, high enough to give you a quality maritime view. The sandy beach, only a 6 minute walk away, invites for swimming and sunbathing.
These bunaglows have a purpose of course, and this is not just about lazing around on the beach, Koh Samui style -- this is all about medicine for God's sake! And the package for the package tourists staying at Agastya Ayurveda Garden includes: Seven Marma regeneration massages per week with an Ayurvedic massage therapist; consultations with the Ayurvedic doctor. (Two Ayurvedic doctors are working in Agastya Garden); administration of an Ayurvedic rejuvenation and strengthening remedy, made of herbs; twice a week evening entertainment sessions with classical Indian music or Indian dancers; servings of Ayurvedic herb tea according to your body type. On top of that, medical tourists will be given a half-day boat-trip on one of Kerala's backwaters (individually, not in a groups) or a trip to the big Hindu temple in Trivandrum. Prices to stay in the Garden range from US$245 per week.
Ayurveda Kendra: 30 km (18 miles) South of Trivandrum and 80 km (45 miles) north of the tip of India. Phone: 41 71 278 64 64. Website: website here.
Over the centuries, Ayurveda has had a nurturing influence on ancient Chinese systems of medicine, Unani medicine and the humoral medicine practiced by Hippocrates in Greece.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Massages:
- The massage releives stress and fatigue and induce relaxation to the mind and body.
- It improves the blood circulation, digestive power and vital physiological functions of the body.
- It induces good sleep, improves memory and concentration.
- It cleances the body of toxins and helps reduce weight.
According to the website of Ayurveda Kendra: "The main treatment at Ayurvedic Kendra is for rheumatic diseases like, arthritis, spondilitis, gout slip disc, sciticia, paralysis etc. We have brought relief & happiness to thousands who had been suffering from diseases like diabetes, respiratory disorders, epilepsy, migraine, hypertension, asthma, ulcer etc. Many cases referred for surgery by famous hospitals were successfully treated at our center. All these have been possible because of:
- No side effects: Contemporary lifestyles and living conditions have altered the approach to health care. More and more people are moving away from modern medicines not only because of their side effects but also due to their failure to address the root cause of the individual's illness. The most advantageous aspect of Ayurveda is that it is free from any kinds of side-effects. This is because Ayurveda bses it's treatment on herbs, extracts & natural oils which emphasizes on de-toxicity of the body through natural means.
- Disharmony between man & his environment: We approach to ailment as a change in the life of an individual. Our experts understand that it is the result of disharmony between the person and his or her environment. So, the treatment is more specific to the patients physiological chemistry & immunity. Otherwise, sickness should have become a mass affair affecting whole families and societies all at the same time.
Ayurveda and Yoga Rejuvenation Holidays in Goa, India: CHOGM Road, ANHC House, Saligao, Bardez, Goa 403 511, India. Website: website here.
Imagine washing away the toxins of modern life amid the palms and Portuguese ruins of Goa, the peaceful beach paradise of India? When it comes to detoxifying your body, nothing compares with Ayurveda; when it comes to destressing your mind, Yoga is king. These two ancient Hindu sciences are rolled together into one perfect mind/body balm by Ayurveda and Yoga Rejuvenation Holidays. Their website claims: "We offer Ayurveda and yoga rejuvenation packages in 2 locations in North Goa. These are designed for those who want to use their holiday time to get in better health.
"The daily routine includes a gentle yoga class before breakfast, two ayurvedic treatments (morning and afternoon), specifically tailored to the needs of the individual and including, if need be, treatment for various chronic diseases. Ayurvedic treatments are supervised by fully qualified ayurvedic doctors. There is some spare time in the afternoon to enjoy the beach or explore the area.
In both locations, the food is Indian food prepared according to the principle of ayurveda, using only natural ingredients (organic when possible) and as little fat as possible.
"The Baga beach resort is a modern complex by the beach and offer air conditioning, large rooms, direct access to the beach, etc... It is the favourite location for people who want use their holiday time to pamper themselves the ayurvedic way.
"The Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre in Saligao is 4 miles from the beach (a few minutes by taxi) and offers basic accommodation. It is a well equipped Ayurvedic hospital providing consultation and treatment from qualified doctors and well experienced therapists specialised in the treatment of various types of chronic diseases and is particularly suitable for those who suffer for a chronic ailment and want to use their holidays time to get better."

Prices for the Baga beach resort

Package

7 Days

14 Days

20 Days

Single Occupancy

750 euros /  520

1280 euros /  875

1750 euros /   1200

Double Occupancy (i.e two people booking together and sharing one room)

1280euros /  875

2200 euros/  1550

2950 euros /  2050

(note that sterling prices are approximate and may vary depending on exchange rates)
20% surcharge on booking over Xmas / New year period

Prices for the clinic in Saligao

Package

7 Days

14 Days

20 Days

30 Days

Single Occupancy

350 euros /  250

630 euros /  450

880  euros / 620

1290  euros /  890

Double Occupancy (i.e two people booking together and sharing one room)

600 euros /  420

1100  euros /  760

1 560  euros /  1100

2200  euros /  1550

(note that sterling prices are approximate and may vary depending on exchange rates)
20% surcharge on booking over Xmas / New year period


AYURVEDA ---- An Ayurvedhic Holiday in India.


THE HINDU, INDIA'S NATIONAL NEWSPAPER, REPORTED IN FEBRUARY 2006: "KOCHI: Only few tourists know that Ayurveda is not just massage spas but a full-fledged medical treatment system. "I did not realise what the whole system was about until I came down here to get treatment for my problem," said Morgan Stensson from Sweden, who is in the city taking treatment for severe ulcer that he had been living with for the last ten years.
"On treatment at an Ayurveda centre here for more than two weeks now, Mr. Stensson, who has no complaints about the strict diet that he has to follow, is looking forward to coming again next year with his family.
"Mr Stensson managed to get proper information about Ayurveda through an Indian Yoga teacher who is a faculty member at the Yoga and meditation centre that he promotes back home, south of Stockholm. He managed to discuss about his illness with the doctor through e-mail before packing his bag for his visit here.
"Not everybody is lucky to have such detailed information, said B. Rajeev, Associate Editor of APTA, an Ayurveda journal by the Ayurveda Medical Association of India. He said that an 18-member French team had arrived here to know about Ayurveda but were wondering how to differentiate a curative Ayurveda centre from a spa or massage parlour.
"The French team comprising industrialists, journalists, environmentalists and their families, who were on a tour in the State, had many queries after A.M. Anwar, physician and promoter of an Ayurveda hospital, gave a CD presentation on Ayurveda.
"They wanted to know more about the curative possibilities of lifestyle disease through Ayurveda.
"A few cases of eating disorders and depression had come from Germany, said Chithra Pradeep, a physician.
"There are usually two types of tourists who arrive here, said Dr. Rajiv. Some like to know about Ayurveda and arrive here as part of a package while others combine their visit with a health-care package. Most of these tourists end up in five-star spas and massage parlours. There are also a few tourists who arrive here seeking genuine treatment, but the numbers are few, he said..."
Enrich Salon: http://enrichsalon.com/reachenrich.html.
According to the website: "Enrich includes seven salons located in the Eastern, Central & Western Suburbs of Mumbai. We have designed our salons and day spas expressly for the purpose of creating an atmosphere where you can relax and restore balance to your body, mind, and spirit.


KERALA STATE - God's Own Country and the Land of Ayurveda
Hindu Business Times: Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 ++ by Madhu Gurung

Kerala, has marketed itself remarkably well as `God's Own Country' and the land of ayurvedic massages and treatment. The Kerala government had an outlay of about Rs 742 million for the financial year 2003-04. This investment makes available cheap, long-term funds to help finance the tourism infrastructure. Kerala is today a popular destination in India for foreign tourists. To cater to this growing demand, a number of upmarket spas and health centres offering ayurvedic treatment have cropped up all over the country.
Ananda, one such centre, close to Rishikesh, was judged first runner-up in 2003 for the Best Overseas Lifestyle Destination Spa by the Conde Nast Traveller. The spa's philosophy of `holistic wellness' comes at a price. A 30-minute consultation — which includes determination of the individual body constitution and prescription of guidelines for a daily routine, activities and diet plan — costs about Rs 750. This can go up to Rs 4,500 for pizhichil, a highly sought-after ayurvedic rejuvenation therapy, which is essentially a 14-day oil massage course that helps build immunity. It is prescribed as a remedy for blood pressure, rheumatic diseases and sexual weakness, and claims to help arrest ageing.
Says, Dr M.V. Vasudevan, who runs Arya Vaidyasala Kottakkal in Delhi, "When I was in college, there were just three Ayurveda colleges; now there are seven in Kerala alone. Every year, nearly 300 people become Ayurveda practitioners."
Although this science is practised all over the country, the Kerala School appears to dominate the scene. Dr V. R. Verma of the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy in Delhi says, "Ayurvedic curative therapies originated in Kerala and there are doctors still carrying on the old traditions."
Adds Dr Vasudevan, "Most of our patients come to us after trying allopathy. A large number seek treatment for arthritis, neurological disorders, allergic complaints and total body rejuvenation. Many degenerative diseases, psychosomatic disorders and stress-related problems find few answers in allopathy, but Ayurveda offers solutions. People from foreign embassies, like France, Germany and Romania, have been coming to us for treatment. Earlier, we had only two centres, in Kerala and Delhi; now we have several branches in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Coimbatore.
After fighting a losing battle with chronic arthritis, retired botanist Maya Anderson, 71, journeyed from the US to Sittilanchery, a small village near Palghat. She booked in at the Narayana Ayurveda Chikitsalaya to undergo a 16-day treatment for painful swollen knees. "I was a near cripple. Some days, I was completely bed-ridden and would lose all hopes of ever leading a normal life," she says. At the Chikitsalaya, Maya was given herbal oil massages coupled with complete rest and a boiled, minimal salt diet. She also drank kashayam, a herbal concoction , and took guggulu tablets. Maya's doctors have told her to repeat the treatment for the next three years for complete cure. "I now have my life back. I can understand, care for and manage my condition. That is the key," she says.
The flipside, says Verma, is that "most centres do not offer authentic treatment. Most tourists go back from India thinking that a massage with herbal oil is ayurvedic treatment. The fact is that the massage is just a small part of it. An equally important component of the treatment is the diet and lifestyle of the patient and the herbal supplements prescribed. This can be provided only by a trained Ayurvedic physician, and such commercialisation and exploitation only harms our traditional science."

Contact the author Rob Sullivan at coderot@gmail.com. Anticopyright February 2007.