Ayurveda translated from Sanskrit as “the knowledge of life”, is said to be the oldest system of medicine in the world, dating back to the Vedic period of India, at least a few thousand years ago. It is different from our modern concept of medicine, it encompasses not only the body but psychology, philosophy and spirituality. Due to this all-encompassing nature, it is a truly holistic system.
While much of the greatest developments of western medical science are seen from curative techniques such as surgery and strong medications, Ayurveda has always paid greatest attention to preventive care. Health is sustained through close attention to balance in one’s life. This essentially means mindfulness, diet, and lifestyle. Disruptions in health are not seen as only a “body issue”, but also a combination of all the above-mentioned factors. Clinical experience and modern research also point to the effects of lifestyle in most chronic conditions in “lifestyle diseases”. Lifestyle diseases are now responsible for the highest mortality rates and disruption of life. When changes in lifestyle, diet, and behaviour are not enough, Ayurveda has also developed an incredible pharmacopoeia of different herbal preparations of plants, oils, and minerals, which have been used for countless generations with immense success rates of cure to a diversity of diseases. These different medicines are normally delivered in conjunction with different treatments such as massages, purgation, and other physical therapies that allow the body to be cleansed, rejuvenated, and to receive and properly digest the herbs and healthy food.
Another key concept in Ayurveda is the understanding that every individual is a unique phenomenon and at the same time dependent on all other elements in the world, living or not. This is why the regimens of health in Ayurveda should be tailored according to the individual and taking into consideration the environment, circumstances and their life.
Throughout history, Ayurveda has been divided in eight specialisations, all of which are practiced at Plantation Villa (please note only a selection of these are provided at our UK retreat):
Western allopathic medicine currently tends to focus on symptomatology and disease, and primarily uses drugs and surgery to rid the body of pathogens or diseased tissue. Many lives have been saved by this approach. However, drugs, because of their toxicity, often weaken the body and can disrupt the normal functions of the brain and mind. When considering surgery, a growing body of research also shows the possible effects of post-surgery, both for body and mind. Ayurveda and IM do not focus on disease categorization only, but aim at understanding the causes of disruption of optimal individual health. When there is minimal stress and the flow of energy (blood, lymph and other fluids, digestion, nervous system, and the systems of elimination) within a person is balanced, the body’s natural defence systems will be strong and can more easily protect itself against disease.
In many instances Ayurveda and IM can substitute Western allopathic medicine. There are also instances when the disease process and acute conditions can best be treated with drugs or surgery and Ayurveda can be used in conjunction with Western medicine to make a person stronger and less likely to be afflicted with disease and/or to rebuild the body after being treated within the ‘Western path’. One thing to consider is that the human physiology has evolved slowly through a very long period and still much of our bodies are similar to our ancestors. While technology has advanced, the diseases we suffer are overall the same, and the ancestral doctors have carefully developed methods to establish healthier bodies and happier minds, through countless generations and the development of diagnostic abilities that were prior to the need of technology.
Palliative and cleansing measures, when appropriate, can be used to help eliminate an imbalance along with suggestions for eliminating or managing the causes of the imbalance. Recommendations may include the implementation of lifestyle changes such as: Starting and maintaining a suggested diet, the use of herbal preparations, suggestions on exercise and finding suitable ways to relax. In some cases, participating in an intense cleansing program, called ‘Panchakarma’ in Ayurveda, is suggested to help the body rid itself of accumulated stress to gain more benefit from the various suggested measures of treatment.
At Plantation Villa we offer treatments for illnesses (ranging from small discomforts to acute and chronic conditions), detoxification and rejuvenation treatments. Ayurveda cure is further strengthened using indigenous medicines (Sri Lankan Traditional Medicine). Some of our doctors are trained in both Ayurveda and Indigenous Medicine allowing us to use the best of both to help you.
If you want to embark on the Full Ayurveda program (a possible package whilst here), you will be first consulted by our doctor who will assess the balances of your ‘doshas’ (the term in Ayurveda for the diagnostic of the present mind and body condition, as well as the ideal state for you) and develop a treatment schedule for you. Your treatment plan will include Ayurvedic Treatments to detox and cleanse the body from accumulated stress or unhealthy patterns of functioning, herbal medicines to induce strength in the process, and you will be required to relax and reconnect with yourself through the practice of Yoga and meditation.
During your stay, our doctors and teachers will have personal and group discussions about Ayurveda, health, philosophy and lifestyle. We also have a number of books in our library for your use during your stay. You are also encouraged to spend time in our gardens amongst nature, walk in the village and join in our nature preservation and community development activities. We are one of the best and most authentic Ayurvedic resorts in Sri Lanka, with an experienced team and a wide range of patients both foreign and local. Our treatments range include all Ayurvedic treatments: from basic massages to full Panchakarma – An umbrella term for a combination of different treatments that are more intensive in nature to promote a stronger change in the system. A 21 day stay is recommended if you want to undergo full Panchakarma treatments. This is because Panchakarma works on a program of preparation with main treatments and pacification. The intensity is carefully built and then reduced so that the system is fully cleansed and then nourished. If you have any queries about this, please contact us.