In ancient India, every branch of science was developed abiding nature's law. Ayurveda is one such health science developed through centuries long research works of sages, who were eminent scholars. The term Ayurveda itself denotes 'the knowledge of life'. It is not just a system to cure diseases but a system that teaches us to achieve perfect health from diseased or abnormal conditions and help us maintain a good physical and mental health.

Observation and study of nature including all kinds of life, for hundreds of years could have formulated such a life science which has concrete basis in Indian philosophy and wide reaching applicability. Its holistic approach in addressing a person’s physical, mental and spiritual health in connection with his/her living environment makes it a relevant and reliable medical science till date.
Kerala has the credit of reviving Ayurveda and developing into a popular tourist attraction. Many dedicated Ayurvedic centers and resorts and hotels with ayurveda facility are spread across Kerala. Basics of Ayurveda remain same across all Ayurvedic service providers. Quality of accommodation, treatment facility and food service may vary from center to center. Kerala Tourism, the Government body has a certification system to help visitors pick quality service centers.
Kairali is one such group of Ayurvedic centers and resorts spread across India and even abroad. Its signature health retreat and spa is The Ayurvedic Healing Village at Palakkad, in Central Kerala.

Guests are welcomed at the resort with a health drink and escorted to their respective eco-friendly cottages. A thermos full of medicated warm water is provided for drinking through the day.  The first activity is the appointment with an in-house doctor at the healing center, who assesses the guest’s condition and recommends the type of treatment (massage) and diet for the duration of the entire stay. 

Next morning onwards, it’s an early morning wakeup with a flask full of warm water and barley water each. One has to join the yoga session at the dedicated hall from 6.30 to 7.30. It is followed by breakfast at the restaurant. After a fresh-up at the cottage, it’s treatment time at the Healing Center. First day massage is usually an Abhangam, a full body message simultaneously given by two therapists. Synchronized use of pressure and speed with application of special medicated herbal oils for 40 minutes is followed by a steam bath. The oil penetrates into the skin and deep inside to further cleanses the body to remove toxins. The treatment is completed off with a hot water shower.  

Each guest’s lunch is provided at the restaurant according to the diet suggested by the in-house doctor. A calming meditation under an expert soothes the mind and body in the evening. A light dinner and a little walk in the vast expanse of the resort’s garden brings curtains down for the day.

The routine continues for the next day, may be with a different massage like shirodhara or Kadikizhi and so on. Minimum of four days is recommended for a simple rejuvenation. A week or two is good for a treatment. Nearest Airport to arrive at Kairali in Palakkad is Coimbatore. It is 64 kms from there to Kairali and takes an1 hour 45 mins by car.
Similarly, Kalari Kovilakom, an upmarket health resort is a magnificent palace in Palakkad and follows strict guidelines for the guest to adhere to and requires a minimum stay of two weeks. Worldly luxuries like mobile phones and television are banned here. Guests are given white cotton clothes to wear and the diet and consumption timings are strictly adhered to.  Somatheeram other up-market Ayurvedic resort, is located at a beach near Trivandrum. The resort is spread over a vast space up a small mountain rising from the sea.  One can relax outside the cottage on a hammock, surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and listen to nearby sounds of the waves hitting the banks.  

Keraleeyam Heritage House and Ayurvedic Resort at Alleppey is another popular center on Kerala’s backwaters. Traditional Kerala style cottages face panoramic backwater frontage that has a lot of activity, unique to people residing on nearby small islands. People from the small island on the opposite banks row their own small boats or a private boat service to the banks next to the resort  and return with all kinds of commodities like vegetables, fruits and even LP Gas cylinders used for cooking.  Occasionally, luxury houseboats with tourists or enthusiasts with kayaks practicing for boat races sail through the waters in front of the resort. Massages here are also performed by two masseurs simultaneously.

Ayurvedic massages are practiced since thousands of years as a safe and effective method to attain total rejuvenation and relief from chronic aches and pains. Some resorts or healing centers have a single person giving the massage. Guests can check the facility according to their taste, before booking. Many of the Ayurvedic centers prepare their own potions and medicines. That can also be verified if one is particular about it. Modern Ayurvedic factories use hygienic procedure to wash and extract medicines from various plant and other natural sources using big machines. These are then processed into oils, concoctions, powders and tablets and packed neatly into bottles. Many of these have ardent users in many western countries as well.

Whichever the way or the place, one can return home with a fresh and energised feeling and with guidelines for healthy lifestyle to further follow. 

By Editorial Team



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