The Asbtangabridaya, a classical text on medicine, is the foundation of Ayurveda in Kerala. Its author Vagbhata, was a disciple of a buddhist physician and received little recognition in the rest of India. It is beleived that a few brahmin families were the original Ayurveda physicians, and their descendants still carry the honorific title Asbtavaidyan.
Today, the holistic science of healing is practised throughout India, and is associated with Kerala on account of the many colleges and hospitals, such as Kattakal, and the Ayurvedic resorts that have recently become established in the state.
There are many Ayurvedic resorts and hotels in Kovalam and the surrounding areas, providing treatment programmes for patients suffering from arthritic problems, backaches and chronic ailments, plus meditation, yoga and stress-relief programmes.
For the most visitors, the most enjoyable and relaxing Ayurvedic treatment is a massage, which is also the first cleansing theraphy offered to most patients as a form of predetoxification. The massage oils have properties that help to heal and protect the skin; The therapist uses gentle, circular movements - with a degree of pressure depending on the patients condition - covering the head and the body, and the massage is followed by a steam bath.
The treatments on offer at Ayurvedic Resorts include the following:-
Dhara; a thin flow of herbal oil, from a pot with a hole suspended over the patient's head is directed to a spot on the forehead near the eyebrows, and then stroked down the hair by the therapist and allowed to permeate the skin. The oil may be massaged into the scalp if prescribed by the physican. Other forms of dhara include the pouring of buttermilk, fermented yoghurt - based fluids or medicated milk over the forehead or body.
Karnapoornam; Ear treatment.
Marma Kizhi; Massage with herbal powder - filled cloth bags.
Nasyam or Nasya Karma; Nasal theraphy, which involves inhaling vapours.
Pizhichil; A herbal compress.
Sirolepam; Application of herbal pastes chosen for the patients.
Snehapanam; Administered ghee internally for patients of Osteoarthritis, Leukaemia and other ailments.
Sveda; Induces perspiration by application of herbal bundles, along with steam baths or herbal tub baths.
Tharpanam and Ajanams; Eye treatments.
Udvarthanam; Herbal powder massage.
Urovasti; Administration of oil to the chest.
Some resorts also offer synchronised massage by two or more therapists, as well as Chavatti Vzhicil which is done by foot instead of by hand, for rejuvenation, muscle toning, weightloss, and improved circulation.
The Aazhimala Ayurveda beach resort at Chowara 10 km’s south of Kovalam, is worth a mention. 16 terraced cottages clinging to the picturesque hillside, with a secluded little bay free of hawkers. All the rooms, reasonably priced from £40 a night, have great views of the Arabian Sea. The Aazhimala has a fully equiped Ayurveda, Panchakarma treatment centre, open air yoga and meditation facilities.
Here is a video showing the hotel and the different Ayurveda treatments.
Well, why all the talk about Ayurveda? The Aazhimala Ayurveda beach resort is up for sale. Go to www.kovalamland.info for all the details and take this opportunity to "Own the Land where Gods once stayed."