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Ayurveda Medical treatments in Sri Lanka: an alternative treatment

Have patient: Genuine courses of Ayurvedic treatments are spread over at least a period of 7 to 21 days & some to a month. Hotels & resorts can offer you only cosmetic treatments & de-stress treatments yet enjoyable. Genuine certified clinics treat thousands of foreigners a year, especially Germans. For genuine treatments you would need 7 to 21 days in patient full time dedication.

Ayurveda, in Sanskrit, the language of the Gods, means the science of life is the ancient system of health care widely practised in India & Sri Lanka. Its roots reach back deep into Indian history: the basic principles are supposed to have been handed down from Brahma, the supreme Hindu deity, to Dhavantari, the god of medicine, & descriptions of a basic kind of ayurvedic medical theory are found as far back as the second millennium BC, in the sacred proto-Hindu texts known as Vedas.

Its secret lies in understanding the delicate balance that controls the human body. Composed of the five elements of nature, viz., earth, fire, wind, water & the sky, the human body is delicately balanced and is an inseparable part of the cosmic universe. When this physical balance is disturbed, it manifests as an ailment.

Fundamental to Ayurveda philosophy is the belief that we all possess somatic humours or Dosa, namely Vata (wind or air), Pita (bile) & Kapha (phlegm). A disease is viewed as the result of an imbalance among them.

Ayurveda aims at Ayurarogyasoukhya, a state of complex physical, mental & social well being. It is holistic in nature stressing on the prevention of body ailments in addition to curing them. This natural system of medicine sees man in relation to his natural habitat. Instead of treating the symptom of a disease, it treats the individual. Caring not just for the affected part, but for the entire body as well.

Natural herbs form the main ingredients of Ayurveda medicines, which make it absolutely free of side effects. Perfected over centuries, Ayurveda claims to have remedies even for those ailments that defy time & modern understanding.

While herbs form the main basis, Ayurvedic treatment seeks ingredients from animals too. The well known example is Musk, a reddish brown substance in the glands of Musk Deer, an endangered & protected species found in the dry temperate mountain forests at an elevation of 10,000 ft. in the snow-bound areas of the Himalayas & Nepal & some areas of Russia, China & Mongolia. Poaching has been rampant. Since the solitary, diminutive, antlerless, deer with a pair of protruding, tusk like teeth is almost on the verge of extinction, the Government of India established in 1980 a "Captive Breeding Centre" in the Chamoli District of Uttaranchal of India.

The fresh musk secretion is unpleasant, pungent & is of urinary odour & gets the scent of musks only after it has dried up. "Gram for gram, musk is one of the most valuable products in the natural kingdom and can be worth three times more than its weight on gold," said Stuart Chapman, with WWF-UK in Godalming, England. According to ongoing surveys by TRAFFIC, an international wildlife trade monitoring network, and WWF, a conservation organization, 17,000 to 20,000 (five times the number of musk deer hunted and traded legally within Russia) musk deer stags could be illegally killed in Russia each year to supply the illegal trade in musk glands (or musk pods) trade. "The musk deer has been persecuted for many centuries for cosmetics and medicine," Green said, though trade in musk for cosmetics has become much less important over the last decade. "Musk was still commonly used in perfumes by top perfumers in Western Europe and Japan during the 1980s", he said. Today perhaps only 5 per cent of all musk traded is used in perfumes. In 1999 the European Union banned the import of musk, forcing cosmetics producers to switch to synthetic alternatives.

Since Ayurveda is a holistic system that accepts the concept of wholeness of the natural united biology, with a system of harmony among all living beings, do no harm tradition, it is possible in the ancient times musk was obtained from the secured adult animals & then those were released to its natural habitat. Only adult male musk deer have musk glands (pods). Since the adult male animal uses their strong-smelling musk secretion to mark out territories, in those days it could possibly had been tracked down by using tamed female animal.

The beautiful Musk deer is a star attraction for wild life lovers, who undertake grueling walks in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttaranchal amidst picturesque mountain ranges of Himalayas. Though Musk deer is not found in Sri Lanka, a couple of decades ago it was used by Sinhalese Ayurvedic doctors as did my maternal grandfather, Ayurvedic medical practitioner Vaidya Shiromani Prangige Silmon Peter Peiris Gunaratne (in his grand days of flamboyant prosperity 1960 - 1975, he was the sole sponsor of annual island-wide Buddhist pilgrimage fortnight for relations & friends) of Lakshapatiya, Moratuwa. Peter Peiris Fortnight.

Musk is used in preparations intended to treat complaints of the nervous system, circulation, heart, and lungs - and as a stimulant or sedative, depending on what it is combined with.

Medication, herbal diets, massages, yoga & meditation area all part of Ayurveda. Most therapies include massages with herbal extracts, herbal powders & oils, medicated steam baths & prescribed vegetation food. Ayurveda offers two kinds of treatments-rejuvenate & therapeutic. As the name suggests, the former aims at the total well being while the latter is ailment-specific. Eliminating the toxic impurities, they rejuvenate the body, mind & soul.

Rejuvenation Programmes

Rejuvenation Therapy (Rasayana Chikitsa)

Tones up the skin & rejuvenates & strengthens all the tissues, so as to achieve ideal health & longevity. Increases Ojas (primary vitality) & improves Sattava (mental clarity) & thereby increases the resistance of the body. Includes head & face massage with medicated oils & creams, body massage with herbal oil or powder, by hand & foot, internal rejuvenate medicines & medicated steam bath. Herbal baths are also used.

Body Immunisation & Longevity Treatment (Kayalapa Chikitsa)

Prime treatment for retarding the aging process, arresting the degeneration of body cells & immunisation of the system. Includes intake of rasayana (special Ayurvedic medicines & diet) & comprehensive body care programmes. Most effective for either sex if undertaken before the age of 50.

Body Sudation (Sweda Karma)

Medicated steam baths eliminate impurities from the body, improve the tone & complexion of the skin, reduce fat & are recommended for certain rheumatic diseases, particularly for pain. Precious herbs & herbal leaves are boiled & the steam is passed over the entire body for 10 to 20 minutes daily. Hand massage with herbal oils or herbal powder improves blood circulation & tones up the muscles.

Body Slimming

Medicated herbal powder & medicated herbal oil massages & an Ayurveda diet of herbal juices are part of the programme.

Beauty Care

Herbal face packs, herbal oil massage, intake of herbal tea etc. Improves the complexion & beautifies the body.

Mental & Physical well being (Meditation & Yoga)

Mental & Physical exercises meant to isolate the ego from the body & mind-designed to hone your concentration, improve health & help attain peace of mind through eight stages of training
1. Disciplined behaviour (Yama)
2. Self purification (Niyama)
3. Body postures such as lotus position (Padmasana)
4. Control of breathing (Pranayama)
5. Control of senses (Pratyahara)
6. Fixing of a mind on a chosen objects (Dharana)
7. Meditation (Dhyana)
8. Samadhi - A state where one experiences absolute tranquillity & well being-tunes the body, organs, mind, breath, nerves & purifies the blood.

Overall fitness (Panchakarma Treatment)

A five fold treatment for mental & physical well being-tunes the body, organs, mind, breath, nerves & purifies the blood.

Therapeutic programmes

  • Treatment for chronic headaches, insomnia, mental tension & cases of hysteria, hallucination & insanity (Dhara);
  • Herbal oils, medicated milk, or buttermilk & decoctions are poured on the forehead/whole body. Variations include Oordhwanga Dhara (good for diseases of the eyes, ears & skin), Takra Dhara (for those suffering from memory loss, severe headache or insanity) & Sarvanga Dahra (both head & body)
  • Treatment to alleviate osteoarthritis, leukaemia etc (Snehapana): Medicated ghee is given internally in gradually increasing quantities for specific periods.
  • Treatment for dryness of nostrils, mouth & throat, severe headaches, facial paralysis & burning sensation in the head (Sirovasti); Lukewarm herbal oils are poured into a leather cap fitted on the head for specific duration
  • Treatment for spondilosis, rheumatic diseases like arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia, nervous weakness & nervous disorders (Pizhichil): 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 1 1/2 hours daily for 7 to 21 days.
  • Treatment for diseases like hemiplegia, paralysis, obesity, & certain rheumatic ailments (Uduvarthana): Therapeutic massage with herbal powders.
  • Treatment for musculoskeletal ailments due to trauma or accidents (Marama Chikitas): Treatment that works on the extremely sensitive vital points of the body (the 107 marmas)
  • Treatment for nasal ailments (Nasyana): Inhalation of medicated herbal preparations, decoction oils & ghee to eliminate the moribund factors from the head neck area.
  • Treatment for ear ailments (Karnapoorana): Medicated oils are applied to the ear for 5 to 10 minutes daily to clean as well as treat specific ailments.
  • Preventing cataract & strengthening vision (Tharpana): A treatment for the eyes, effective in preventing cataract & strengthening the optic nerve.
  • Treatment for wasting of muscles, rheumatism, sports injuries, pain in joints, emaciation of the body or parts of the body & certain kinds of the skin diseases (Njavarakizhi): The whole body is made to perspire by the external application of medicated rice packs in the form of boluses tied in muslin bags.

Sri Lanka Hotel Guide - Hotel Information, Special Offers, News and Trends and much more

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Ayurveda Treatment

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