If given the choice, would you opt for a Margherita pizza in Naples or Nashville? Would you head to the Scottish Highlands for a sip of whisky or to Sao Paolo? If you had a chance to receive a traditional Thai massage, would it be in Bangkok or Brussels?
I think you get the point I’m trying to make here, which is that I’m a glutton who accepts only the best life has to offer! Actually, that’s not really my point. My point is that certain places do stuff better than others because it’s their nature. It’s what they do. Pizza is Italian, Scotch is Scottish, and Thai Massage is Thai (I bet you could have figured that out yourself, though).
In healthcare, certain places stand out from others due to their expertise, too. If a particular procedure or philosophy is part of a country’s history or it was invented and carefully honed there over time (like Pizza or Scotch or Thai Massage), it becomes part of its essence. A good example of this is in traditional healing practices like acupuncture or Ayurvedic medicine, the famous approach to health invented centuries ago in India.
In Ayurveda, sickness and disease are attributed to disturbances in one’s mental equilibrium and practitioners believe that if one or more of the mind’s three states – called trigunas – is out of whack, illness can occur. The treatment of the resultant malady is by natural means only: application of herbal supplements, juices, and oils as opposed to pharmaceuticals, and ancient massage and other therapeutic procedures instead of hasty surgeries or lengthy hospital stays.
Some treatments are aimed at specific disorders. “Dhanyamla Dhara” is a procedure in which a warm herb-infused liquid is ladled over the body rhythmically for an hour per day to treat post-paralysis atrophy and arthritic pain; “Nasyam” is where herbal juices and powders are administered through the nostrils for 7-14 days to treat sinusitis, certain headaches, facial paralysis, and brachial neuralgia; and “Sirodhara” involves the flow of medicated oils over the forehead for 45-60 minutes in order to treat insomnia, anxiety disorders, stress, and facial paralysis, among other ailments. There are many more types of treatments in Ayurveda, and there are also total body care programs which incorporate a mix of different treatments and are intended as maintenance, and for preventative or continuing care.
Ayurveda is a holistic wellness system that is commonly known as “complete knowledge for long life,” so given contemporary society’s interest in, and opportunity for, living long lives, it’s really catching on as a popular course of treatment for medical travelers, especially those who subscribe to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) over traditional Western medicine. India health care and medical tourism is thriving, especially in this area, and Kerala has become the go-to destination due to its expertise in the practice and other factors that make it so welcoming for the growing masses of people partaking in healthcare holidays.
So, if you’re considering Ayurveda, but aren’t yet sure about how you can reap the benefits of this age old practice, there are many holistic and alternative centers that you can investigate to help you contemplate where to go should you require a rejuvenation holiday.