Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word. Ayur means “Life” and veda means knowledge or science which literally means “The Science of Life” and is often called the “Mother of All Healing.” It stems from the ancient Vedic culture and was taught for many thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished Saints and Sages to their disciples.
In Ayurveda the belief is that everything in the universe is inter-connected. When mind, body and spirit are in harmony with the universe, one has good health. However, if something disrupts this balance, one gets sick. Ayurveda addresses all aspects of life – the body, mind and spirit. It recognizes that each of us is unique and each responds differently to the many aspects of life, each possesses different strengths and weaknesses. Through insight, understanding and experience Ayurveda presents a vast wealth of information on the relationships between causes and their effects, both immediate and subtle, for each unique individual.Every person is made of 5 elements: space, air, fire, water and earth.These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. These doshas control how the body works. They are Vata dosha (space & air), Pitta dosha (fire and water) and Kapha dosha (water and earth). Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. However, one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. Imbalance in these constitutions can develop health issues.
Ayurveda maintains that all life must be supported by energy in balance. When there is minimal stress and the flow of energy within a person is balanced, the body’s natural defence systems will be strong and can more easily defend against disease.Ayurveda through its bespoke treatments, exercises, breathing, relaxation and dietary requirements can enhance individual health and help bring the energy flow in balance at a holistic level.
Panchkarmas are bio cleansing or detoxifying procedures (Samshodhan chikitra) advocated in Ayurveda as that is 1. Vaman (Therapeutic emesis) 2. Virechana (Therapeutic Purgation) 3. Vasti (Medicated Enema) 4. Nasyam (infiltration of drugs through nostrils) and 5. Raktamokshana (Bloodletting by different methods)
Regular practice of abhyanga massage promotes overall health and longevity. Performing abhyanga on oneself is a wonderful way to connect with one’s body and express self-love. It is especially good for balancing the various doshas, with particular benefits for those with a vata dosha imbalance.
Shirodhara comes from the two Sanskrit words “Shiro” (Head) & “Dhara” (Flow). Its an ayurvedic healing technique that involves having someone pour liquid – usually medicatied oil, milk, buttermilk or Kashayam onto your forehead. Its often combines with a body, scalp or head massage. Shirodhara widely usesd in most of the psychosomatic conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, muscular stiffness & Pain, hypertension, insomnia, nervous disorders.
When the warmed herbal oils are applied in a treatment, the pores of the skin are opened due to the warmth. This allows the healing properties of the herbs to more deeply penetrate the affected tissues. When herbs are used in this manner, they also help to pull impurities out of the body.
The main ingredient in this Kizhi is Navara rice. Navara is a medicinal variety of rice from Kerala which is harvested in 60 days and is used exclusively for treatments in Ayurveda. The Navara rice is cooked in a mixture of cow’s milk and herbal decoctions and tied in the poultice.
This treatment begins by massaging warm herbalised oils into the affected area to prepare and soften the tissue ready for the Navara Kizhi application.
The Navara Kizhi is massaged over the affected area or the whole body as required. The poultice is dipped into warm milk and herbal decoctions throughout the treatment. This is a gentle massage and the Kizhis are applied in circular and long strokes on the body.
This treatment begins by massaging warm herbarized oils into the body to prepare for the Pizhichil.
Pizhichil means ‘to squeeze’ in Malayalam (the language of Kerala in South India). During Pizhichil, warm herbal oil is squeezed over the body in a constant rhythmic stream. The oil is lightly massaged into the body throughout the treatment. When the oil is applied over the body, it may be over a specific area or the entire body.