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the-south-asian.com                         7  August   2000

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Page  2  of  3

Ayurvedic Spas of Kerala
(continued from previous page)

By Saikat Neogi

Dhara: Oil flow therapy

" People of all age groups come to our resort," says Gita Ramesh, managing director, Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resorts who, apart from having a resort in Palakkad, has set up healthcentres in Delhi and Khajuraho.The villas in Gita Ramesh's Palakkad resort are named after Zodiac signs and are Vastu-Shastra compliant. Herbal plants and trees matching the birth sign are planted around the villa. A Valambiri conch is put in every room to 'send positive vibrations to the body.' There are personal priests on call to perform poojas as well as resident astrologers and yoga teachers.

Some resorts also offer varying exotica. One puts you through an 'orientation tour' once you reach Bangalore. A luxury car takes you to Mysore and on to coffee-growing Coorg where you spend a day with a planter's family. From Coorg to a day's sight-seeing in Kochi and then to the Periyar wildlife sanctuary through the cardamom growing hills of Kerala.

" The idea is to totally relax the people who visit our resort," says Gita Ramesh. Once they are in the proper frame of mind they become more receptive to our treatment. We want to make the whole experience more like a memorable holiday."

Meals at these resorts are spartan, calorie-counted and vegetarian. Alcohol and smoking are usually banned. A regular meal would comprise organically cultivated rice, insecticide-free cereals, vegetables and fruits grown within the premises of the resort.

Therapies range from a general massage to Pizhichil, [where oils squeezed from saturated cotton all over the body ] and from Dhara to Sirovasti and Navarakhizi (see Glossary at the end of article). According to most resort owners the massages, herbal medicines, yoga and meditation completely rejuvenate the body. They tone up the muscles and rid the mind of stresses and strains.

But there are more focused programmes as well. Like post-pregnancy health plan which guarantees to bring women back to perfect shape after childbirth by strengthening their muscles. There is a special treatment for sinusitis and migraine as also special packages for arthritis, rheumatism and spondylitis. Another popular 14-day package is aimed at the old who are' young at heart'. According to the healers this helps enhance youthful vigour and restores vitality for those who wish to lead a full life.

There are programmes to improve blood circulation, stop premature ageing, banish wrinkles and give a glow to the skin. What's more, this treatment promises to protect you from ailments and illnesses and strengthen the body's immune systems.

" Basically, through Ayurveda we activate the body's inherent curative powers," says Pratibha Nair, a healer at Palakkad's Nature Cure Centre.


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