Rejuvenative and therapeutic Ayurvedic procedures are aplenty and most sought after in the season. It should be remembered that the treatments is Ayurveda are not cosmetic in nature and is to be initiated under medical advice, just like any other medicine. And all those mentioned except the Abhyanga are not done in isolation but as a part of a holistic treatment. The rejuvenation processes of Ayurveda are essentially detoxification techniques and done at centres where specially trained people handle the process.
Oil massages or Abhyanga
The Abhyanga is the daily, homely, massage routine done at the Ayurvedic centres. In an hour and a half’s time, a most relaxing massage using medicated oils by a trained masseuse smoothes out the tensions in your body and mind. The herbal steam bath flushes out the impurities in your skin. A consultant qualified practitioner is present in most centres giving you a preliminary ‘look-over’ and prescribing the right oil for your constitution. Although the oil massage is prescribed as a daily routine, oil massages can also be taken singly and at intervals for those with time-constraints. It is a definite stress buster and the sheer joy of being massaged and bathed by somebody since one’s diaper days is enough incentive to take an oil massage in any season. Your benefits would be, increased circulation, toned muscles, calmed nerves, lubricated joints, increased stamina, alert mind, purified body, softer skin and better and deeper sleep.
Flab busters or Udwarthana
This is a weight reducing massage using dry herbal powders. You are also given internal medicines which together raise the fat metabolism of the body and leads to loss of weight without causing wrinkling and sagging. The number of days to be spent in Udwarthana is judged by the patient’s condition, and accordingly it can vary from 7, 14 or 21 days. Udwarthana is your answer to obesity and added value in refreshed skin and reduced blood cholesterol, and a strengthened body.
One’s Ayurvedic constitution can be judged from one’s skin. The oily skin, smooth, moist and thick with a large pore tendency is a ‘kapha’ prakriti as per Ayurveda norms. The ‘vata’ prakriti is defined to have delicate, thin, dry skin with fine pores and ages easily. The ‘pitta’ prakriti has an easily- burned skin and is acne prone. It is red-toned delicate and fair. The face and body packs of Ayurveda as adapted to modern routine can give your skin a glow and a new life. The traditional sweating (Swedana) methods form a part of skin treatments in Ayurveda. Here the skin is sweated by any of the prescribed methods in the text and the impurities ejected by a steam bath. (It is interesting to note that exercise is one of the Swedana techniques mentioned in the text). A Swedana process later, the toxins of the body are reduced, body pains subside and the skin improves considerably.
Sukha Chikitsa or Rejuvenation treatment
This is an elaborate Ayurvedic spa session that goes on for several days. It completely detoxifies the body, reactivates the tired cells and restores your stamina like no other treatment. You come out of the session with a purified, de-stressed, younger body. Your voice will be more calm and modulated and all that junk food you consumed over the year will have been combated and neutralized by holistic Ayurvedic methods. The least time span would be 7 days but that is a miniscule form of Sukha chikitsa. Ayurveda has a whole branch of treatment called Rasayana chikitsa which deals with preventive health care. This branch has in focus various aspects including longevity, improved memory, health, youthfulness, glow, complexion, generosity, and strength of body and senses.
(8 August 2012)
Suneetha is a writer by passion, profession and hobby. She writes fiction in English, poetry in her native tongue Malayalam and journalistic features in both. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org