In this day and age, most people are familiar with the term ‘Ayurveda’ – the world’s oldest medicinal and healing system. The knowledge of Ayurveda, legend has it, was imparted by the god, Dhanvantari in his earthly incarnation as Divodasa, to a group of wise physicians. Interestingly, the word Ayurveda means the ‘the science of life or longevity’ – the latter, a quest of every civilization on Earth.
Ayurveda, as an oral tradition can be traced back to the days of the Indus Valley civilization, and its first written records are over five thousand years old. Over time, Ayurvedic knowledge has evolved – with subtle variations and additions from different scholars. It is from this collective compendium of knowledge, that we at Anaha Spa draw our inspiration for our healing and wellness therapies.
Ayurvedic remedies involve simple or complex herbal ingredients that one ingests or applied during a well-planned regime of intrinsic and extrinsic techniques. With our organic garden close at hand, most of Anaha Spa’s herbal compounds are made in-house, ensuring you have the most natural healing procedures. These natural compounds, similar to those present within the human body, can address the imbalance of elements; wind, water, fire, air and space. Achieving a balance between the elemental energies revitalizes the immune system and sets the healing processes into motion.
Beyond the physiological imbalances, Ayurveda is also considers the physical and mental environments. Increasingly, Western forms of medicine are also acknowledging the critical role of the physical space and one’s mindset in tapping into the body’s healing mechanisms. That’s why Anaha Spa, with its expert consultants and practitioners, as also its colourful gardens, airy spaces and quiet pavilions can offer you a holistic, healing experience. Break away from your everyday rhythm and routine, chart your regime of remedies, relaxation and recreation - for the perfect rejuvenation and revitalization of the body, mind and soul!
Abhyangam is one of traditional Ayurveda's best-known oil massages, wherein medicated oil (Sanskrit: sneha dravya) is applied in gentle motions on the body to hydrate and moisturise the skin. The medicated oil used for the procedure differs for each person, and our in-house team will recommend a suitable oil for you, based on your body constitution and the climate. Abhyangam focuses on the direction and pressure applied to the muscles, ligaments and vital parts, especially the heart and the abdomen. Abhyangam helps in the circulation of the blood and lymph, maintains the tone of muscles and tendons, promotes functional ability of the nerves, improves the elimination of metabolic wastes, and can result in better complexion and softer skin. Abhyangam also helps reduce pain and stiffness of joints, relieves fatigue of body and mind due to exertion and stress, and thereby helps in inducing sound sleep. Abhyangam is especially beneficial for neuromuscular disorders like paraplegia, sciatica, geriatric problems, headaches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and trigeminal neuralgia.
The word 'shirodhara' is derived from the Sanskrit words 'shira' meaning head, and 'dhara' meaning flow - describing the process of pouring warm medicated oil, in a steady flow upon one's forehead. Shirodhara lasts about half an hour to forty-five minutes, and is a deep, restorative process. Shirodhara helps soothe the Aajna chakra, located at the centre of the forehead (in the mythical position of the third eye). The specially-formulated oil runs over the forehead, the temple and onto the scalp, as one drifts into one's subconscious mind, or sometimes, into the realm of dreams. Shirodhara can regulate and revitalize the central nervous system. It helps improve sleep and memory, and reduce anxiety, headaches and high blood pressure. It stimulates the pituitary gland and can result in hormonal balance. It also has a positive impact on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls all the vital functions of the body.
Shirobhyanga is a simple, relaxing massage performed on the head, neck and shoulders with herbal, medicated oils. The oils are chosen based on the desired results which can include releasing the stress from the upper body, improving blood circulation to the brain, enhancing vision, relieving headaches, occipital neuralgia and treating scalp-related diseases.
Padabhyanga, as the name suggests involves a massage (or 'abyanga' in Sanskrit) of the lower limbs (or 'pada' in Sanskrit).. Padabhyanga improves fluid circulation of the lower limbs, reduces discomfort in the legs, like tightness, numbness, restlessness, and pain . It also helps to stimulate the nerve endings in the feet and to de-stress one's body.
Udwarthanam, unlike other Ayurvedic massages is a deep-tissue, dry massage - where instead of oil, special medicinal powders are used. The medicated powders are rubbed in upward movements onto the body to stimulate hair follicles and break down the subcutaneous fat, to help tone your skin from wrinkling and sagging, improve circulation, cleanse toxins, revitalize the skin and help combat obesity.
The Sarvangadhara is a special therapy comprising of a combination of two Ayurvedic remedies, namely Swedana and Parisheka Sweda. Swedana involves dry or wet sudation techniques that induce perspiration - and is considered to be ideal for pain relief and bodily swelling or stiffness. The Parisheka Sweda involves oleation techniques resulting in the internal and external saturation of the body with medicated oil to make it soft and pliable. The sudation and oleation processes are tailored to your body type, and together balance one's 'doshas' or physical, mental and emotional characteristics.
Sarvangadhara is a specialized treatment targeted at strengthening tissues and muscles, thereby improving the body's immunity. It effectively addresses muscular ailments, neurological disorders and degenerative changes in the body. It is highly recommended for patients with any type of arthritis, spondylitis, or spinal disorders, and the treatment can be further fine-tuned to address specific problems.
The Choorna Pinda Sweda, also known as the Podikizhi is a fomentation procedure involving the use of herbal powders and poultices. Depending on the requirements of one's body, the treatment involves fomentation of the whole body or a specific portion, and can be done with or without oil. Recommended for joint-related problems, the treatment is especially beneficial during the acute phases of rheumatic fever, as it helps alleviate pain and inflammation of the joints. The Choorna Pinda Sweda also helps open up the body's micro-channels to improve fluid circulation, helps eliminate toxins, and can help reduce weight.
The Patra Pinda Sweda involves the application of herbal poultices and is known to alleviate chronic back pain, relieve sciatica, osteoarthritis, arthritis and spondylosis. Finely chopped herbs are warmed in medicated oil and bundled into poultices, to be applied with mild pressure onto one's oiled body to provide relief from pain, improve circulation, strengthen muscles and counter the effects of aging on the skin.
Jambira Pinda Swedam is a treatment specifically designed for cervical spondylitis. Cloth boluses containing lemon, garlic and other herbal powders are warmed and gently applied to different parts of the body, with kneading motions. Regular Jambira Pinda Swedam massages can retard the progression of arthritic changes in the cervical vertebrae, and reduce pain and swelling in the neck region.
Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda is a sudation or sweat-inducing technique that uses poultices of rice cooked with herbal decoction and milk to relieve tiredness, depression, drowsiness and insomnia. A special type of rice, 'navara', harvested after sixty days especially for Ayurvedic treatments is used for this treatment. . This mixture is tied in poultices, warmed and applied with mild pressure to the body for strengthening the muscles and addressing neurological problems. The treatment is also effective in strengthening the nerves, joints and soft tissues and enhancing blood flow to ailing areas of the body.
The Dhanyamla Swedam is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic massage done with fermented cereal grains dipped in herbal decoctions. A treatment that opens up the body's micro-channels, the Dhanyamla Swedam helps improve circulation and metabolism, and can effectively treat obesity.
Avagaham meaning 'to immerse' or 'dip', is a sudation therapy that involves immersing one's self into a tub of lukewarm water with 'dravya' or medicinal herbs. From the neck down, the body is dipped into the prescribed herbal decoction, for 30 minutes, and the treatment is especially effective for bladder, urinary tract and reproductive organ ailments, like painful micturition, haemorrhoids, anal fissures and abscesses.
With today's sedentary lifestyles, the lower back is often under strain. The Kati Vasti is a localized form of sudation therapy that addresses lower back discomfort or pain. A bund made of black gram dough is placed upon the sacral or lumbar regions, and warm, medicated oil or herbal decoctions are poured in slowly and steadily. The bund ensures that there is no spillage, and the warmth of the oil is transferred to the troublesome areas, bringing about relief. Kati Vasti strengthens the back muscles responsible for maintaining the natural curvature of the spine and is usually advised for prolapsed disc, lumbar spondylosis, osteoporosis, sciatica or restless leg syndrome.
Janu Vasti is a sudation therapy focused on the knee joint, often affected by daily movements. A black gram dough bund is placed above the knees, and a steady flow of warm, medicated oil is poured into the receptacle. The temperature is controlled by regularly replenishing the oil enclosed within the bund. Janu Vasti is a potent, targeted therapy aimed at strengthening the knee joints, to reduce stiffness and pain, and can address issues like osteoarthritis, runner's knees or any other patellar injuries.
Uro Vasti is a therapy that induces sudation on the chest regions. A black gram dough bund is placed upon the heart and warm medicated oil is poured, and periodically replenished into the receptacle. Uro Vasti is directed at strengthening the chest muscles and the adjacent tissue to reduce tightness of the chest, improve blood circulation to the heart, clear arterial blockages and prevent strokes. It is recommended for those suffering from palpitations and breathlessness, chronic bronchitis and other chest infections.
Shiro Vasti is an oleation therapy focused on the head. Large quantities of medicated, lukewarm oils are poured into a specially fitted cap on the head. Shiro Vasti can stimulate the entire nervous system rendering deep therapeutic benefits for those suffering from facial palsy, migraines and neurological disorders of the eye and ear.
The word 'netra' means eye, and 'tarpana' means to nourish - and the Netra Tarpana therapy involves a gentle oleation of the eyes to soothe them. In our present-day lifestyles with our constant visual stimulation, Netra Tarpana counters the effects of pollution and the strain caused by bright screens. A bund is placed upon the eyes, and warm, medicated ghee or a herbal decoction is allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes, with regular replenishment to maintain the temperature. The treatment is beneficial for specific eye diseases.
'Thalam' is an Ayurvedic therapy focused on the crown of the head. A paste of select herbs, often mixed in medicated ghee is applied to the crown and can provide relief from migraines, counter insomnia and other neurological maladies. The herbs differ based on the ailment, and Thalam is known to be effective in treating psychiatric disorders, hemiplegia, facial paralysis, diabetic neuropathy and cranial nerve palsy, as also for rhinorrhea, watery bloody or purulent nasal discharges.
Lepam involves the topical application of herbal pastes on affected areas in the body, and is generally recommended for arthritis, degenerative lesions, to reduce swelling, inflammation, stiffness and to treat certain types skin diseases.
Shirolepam involves a medicated paste or 'lepa' cooked in buttermilk being applied onto the head and scalp. The head is then covered with a steamed plantain leaf to optimize the effect of the herbs. The herbs selected for the 'lepa' are specific to every individual, and can address a wide range of psychosomatic and psychological disorders. Shirolepam provides relief from headaches, migraines, hypertension and eyestrain, can be used in the treatment of skin lesions like psoriasis, urticaria and dandruff, addresses hair loss, greying and balding. It is also beneficial for those ailing from diabetic retinopathy.
Pichu is a curative treatment involving the application of cotton swabs soaked in warm, medicated oil to different parts of the body. The cotton swabs are alternated and swapped to maintain the temperature, and proves beneficial for joint pain and stiffness, and as a muscle relaxant. Pichu is an effective therapy to counter painful and degenerative spinal conditions.
Shatahwadi Kizhi is a specially designed treatment that uses warm poultices of herbal oils, powders and medicinal plants, to counter problems of the neck and shoulders. Shatahwadi Kizhi hydrates the cells and tissues of affected areas, thereby helping to alleviate chronic pain, numbness, wasting of muscles and helps to stop degenerative changes in the cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Shatahwadi Kizhi is especially beneficial for severe cervical spondylitis, frozen shoulder and other shoulder injuries.
Similar to the Dhanyamla Swedam, the Dhanyamla Dhara involves pouring a decoction of cereal grains and herbal oils all over the body. Its analgesic, anti-inflammatory benefits help open up the body's micro-channels, improve circulation and metabolism, and can effectively treat obesity, water retention, arthritis and gout.
Kashaya Dhara involves pouring hot herbal decoction all over the body from a receptacle tied at a specific height. The treatment induces sweating, and the herbal mixtures are combined to suit the individual characteristics and ailments. Kashaya Dhara speeds up the metabolism, thereby addressing weight issues and purging the skin of disease.
Karna Poorna involves administering slow, measured doses of medicated oil or ghee to the ear for a specific period of time (as required by the individual). Karna Poorna reduces inner ear pain, helps prevent ear diseases, and can play an important role in the treatment of vertigo.
This unique technique combines the oleation and sudation techniques of Ayurveda. Greeva Vasti involves a placing a bund upon the neck region into which warm oil is poured, to counter degenerative, cervical (related to the neck) changes. Greeva Vasti is beneficial for neck pain and inflammation, cervical spondylitis and spondylosis, and can lubricate and strengthen the neck joint.