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Ayurveda in Kerala

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science, based on the concept of balance representing health. The word itself is derived from two Sanskrit words: Ayu (meaning life) and Veda (meaning knowledge) ‘the knowledge of life’. Ayurveda is the ancient health science for body and mind developed in India by sages of yore through centuries of research studies and observation. It is not just another way of treatment for ailments, but a perfect and complete plan not only for healing but also to achieve perfect health.

The origin of Ayurveda, the science of life, can be traced back to Vedic period. The Vedas, the first literature of human civilization is reckoned the warp and weft of Ayurveda, which is believed to have been in practice during the period of Devas. To Ayurveda, human body is composed of  ‘Doshas’, ‘Dhatu’ and ‘Mahas. It dictates the social norms that help an individual maintain spiritual health. ‘Rasayana, a branch of Ayurvedic treatment, enables the diseased‘ to regain the lost vitality.  Ayurvedic treatments are aimed at keeping an individual in fine fettle. It gives special emphasis on prevention of disease. Different Ayurvedic treatments are ‘Panchakarmas’ Therapeutic vomiting, Purgation, Cleansing enemas, Nasal application of herbs and Rejuvenation (Ramayana).

Ayurveda, instead of treating an affected part of the body or a particular disease, goes deep into the root cause of the problem and try to rectify the imbalances of the body, of which a disease or complaint is only an indication. Ayurveda aims at eliminating toxic imbalances from the body and in order to regain body resistance and good health. It also teaches us how to lead our life both physically and mentally to attain the bliss of real life.

Kerala has contributed much in keeping this ancient tradition alive. The 'Vaidyasalas' (hospitals) have been a source of hope for people from other parts of India and abroad. Today, Ayurveda health packages offered by various institutions have become an integral part of tourist activity in the state. Kerala's balanced climate, natural richness in resources are best suited for Ayurveda curative and restorative packages. These Ayurvedic therapies are carried out under strict supervision of trained physicians after detailed check-up and consultation. . Duration of these therapies can last up to 3 weeks depending on various factors. 

Therapies
 

Traditional texts reveal that the monsoon is the best season for rejuvenation programmes. The atmosphere remains dust-free and cool, opening the pores of the body to the maximum, making it most receptive to herbal oils and therapy.

Rejuvenation Therapy (Rasayana Chikitsa)

This treatment includes body massage, including hands and feet, with medicated oil, head-massage with oil and cream. It also includes internal rejuvenated medicines and medicated steam baths. This therapy lasts 90 to 120 minutes per day for 7 to 14 days.
 

Body purification therapy (Shodan Chikitsa)

It is a process of purifying the whole body to attain proper balance of vata, pitta, and kapha, based on Panchakarma and Swetakarma treatments. This 15 days package process includes body massage, Snehapanam, Nasyam, Verechanam, Seneca vasti, Pizhichil, Tharpanam, Sirovasti Steam bath, Herbal drinks and Herbal bath with medicated water.

 
 

Dhara Herbal oils, medicated milk and decoctions are poured on the whole body in a special manner.  

Pizhichil Trained masseurs apply Lukewarm herbal oil with fresh linen all over the body in a rhythmic manner for a period of 1 hour daily for 7 to 21 days.   
 

Udvarthanam Therapeutic massage with herbal powders
 

Nasyam: Inhalation of medicated herbal preparations, decoction oils, ghee etc to eliminate the morbid factors from the head and neck area.  

Karnapooranam:Medicated oils are applied to the ear for 5 to 10 minutes daily to clean as well as treat specific ailments 
 

Snehapanam: Medicated ghee is given internally in a gradually increased quantity for specific periods.   
 

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.This is a treatment for wasting of muscles, rheumatism, sports injuries, pain in the joints, emaciation of the body or the parts of the body and certain kinds of skin diseases  

Sirovasti: Lukewarm herbal oils are poured into a leather cap fitted on the head for specific durations as per physicians recommendation. Specially prepared herbal oils are poured into a cap fitted on the head for 15-60 minutes per day, according to the condition of the patient for a period of 7 days.
  

Tharpanam: It is a cleaning process of the eyes, which gives cooling effect, prevents cataract and strengthens the optic nerve.   
 

Kashya Vasthi: Certain Herbal oils, herbal extract etc. are applied through the rectum daily for a period of 5 - 25 days. This treatment is for arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia, numbness, gastric complaints associated with rheumatism and constant constipation.  

Kizhi : Herbal leaves; herbs or herbal powders are applied to the whole body in boluses with hot medicated oils for 45 minutes per day for a period of 7 to 14 days.
  

Body Care:  face pack, herbal oil massage, intake of herbal tea etc. improves complexion and beautiful the body.  
 

Body slimming: Medicated herbal powder and medicated herbal oil massage, and Ayurvedic diet of herbal juices etc. are part of the program.
 

Panchakarma Treatment: A five-fold treatment for mental and physical well being – tunes the body, organs, mind, breath, nerves and purifies the blood.

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