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What a relief!

Of the many secrets of the Vedas, the one that has travelled far and wide, and found takers around the world is the 5000-year-old science of Ayurveda.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 19, 2009 20:40 IST
Damini Purkayastha

Of the many secrets of the Vedas, the one that has travelled far and wide, and found takers around the world is the 5000-year-old science of Ayurveda.

A science of natural healing, Ayurveda is founded on the principle of the Pancha Mahabutas — the five basic elements that the human body is made of — space (akash), air (vayu), fire (agni), jal (water) and earth (prithvi). Practitioners believe that these elements combine different proportions and make the Tridoshas, that maintain the life balance.

One of Delhi’s leading Ayurvedic centres, Kerala Ayurveda has been in the city for a while, but has constantly re-invented itself. On a recent visit to the Noida centre, I discovered that Ayurveda is not just about natural healing of chronic ailments but has also proved its effectiveness for treating lifestyle disorders like obesity, hypertension and migraines.

Arriving there with a throbbing headache and a crick in my neck that never seemed to get better, I opted to try a Kerala body massage. For close to an hour, warm oil was worked into every pore of my body with a healing massage. As the crick was worked away by masterful hands, the stiffness in my right elbow, a permanent fixture now, was also massaged away. Hot compress used with a soothing eucalyptus cream worked wonders.

But for those of you worn down by the sultry weather, the centre’s Summer Rejuvenation packages are a delight. It begins with an abhyangam or a full body massage followed by a sarvaang dhara, where the body is treated to the steam of a herbal decoction. This, says Dr Om, the specialist at Kerala Ayurveda, pacifies the heat producing pita in the body. The third part of this session is the ksheerdhara, like the traditional shirodhara but is done with cold milk. As slow, regulated drops of milk fall on the forehead, the brain is cooled down and relaxed. This, explains Dr Om, can also cure insomnia, anxiety and depression, among other skin disorders.

Besides the summer package, one could also opt for beauty treatments with udwarthanam (body scrubs) and facial massages. They even offer a thakradhara — a sirodhara with butter milk.

Everything at the centre starts with a doctor’s consultation and everything from tension to fat to insomnia, spondylosis and every fathomable ache and pain can find a cure.

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