What is Ayurveda?
The world’s oldest form of medicine, Ayurveda, is the science of the healthy way of living. This gentle medicine works on the body from both inside and out by balancing the energies within the body. Its first function is prevention of diseases of the body and mind. Ayurveda teaches one the proper times of day to eat, which foods are best for each season, which food is best for each body type and so forth. Since each person is different, Ayurvedic medicine is personalized for that individual. In cases of illnesses, Ayurveda can bring one back to health with various protocols. Those include various treatments with medicated herbs, specific dietary guidelines, and certain intake of herbs which will combat the illness.
First time consultation:
First time Ayurvedic consultation usually takes about an hour. Depending on your practitioner your session may start with a short seated meditation followed by chanting a mantra usually done by the practitioner. The mantra is dedicated to Dhanvantari (God of Ayurveda) and its purpose is to awaken the conscious mind and welcome the healing process. Your practitioner may spend a few minutes going over the fundamentals of Ayurvedic medicine with you. You will then have a chance to talk about your present complaints, ailments, aches, and pains. Your practitioner may ask you some questions about your family history and other personal details. Depending on the level of knowledge of the practitioner they may continue the session by doing a pulse diagnosis to really discover the imbalances that may be going on in your body. Nadi Pariksha or pulse diagnosis is a method Ayurvedic practitioners use to determine the root of the illness/complaint in order to prescribe the correct remedies to alleviate the discomfort. Your practitioner will go over a treatment protocol with you in depth, this could include herbal remedies, dietary guidelines, Ayurvedic treatments, or therapeutic Yoga postures if necessary. You will have a few minutes at the end of the session to ask any questions that may have risen during the session.
Ayurvedic therapeutic treatments:
Abhyanga (full body oil treatment)
This is a whole body warm oil treatment designed to nourish every cell, relax muscles deeply, and rejuvenate the skin. Abhyanga stimulates the release of toxins to harmonize energy flow throughout the body.
Shirodhara (Relaxing oil therapy)
A gentle stream of warm oil is poured over the third eye (Ajna Chakra), aiming to quiet and ground the mind. Shirodhara is a great therapy to help relax the mind, relieve insomnia, reduce stress and anxiety, and calm a restless mind.
Shiroabhyanga (therapeutic head and neck treatment):
This treatment starts in a seated position for a deep head massage with warm herbal oil to relax the mind and quiet the thoughts. Then it moves into a laying down facial and cranial treatment with the focus on marma points. These points are stimulated through a soft and gentle touch.
Padaabhyanga (stimulating foot treatment):
This is great for tired and heavy feet. The treatment will begin with a relaxing footbath with salts and therapeutic oils followed by an invigorating marma point therapy. Using marma points and stimulating warm oil on the feet this treatment will help improve circulation in the feet.
Nasya (therapeutic nasal oil treatment):
This treatment begins with stimulating the marma points on the face followed by hot towels on the face to help relax facial muscles. Next step is herbal steam using Eucalyptus oil followed by nasal administration of herbal oils to clean and purify the sinuses. Nasya is a great treatment to help alleviate allergies, headaches, sinusitis, tinnitus, sleep apnea, and snoring. It also nourishes the cells in the head and brain region.
Basti (therapeutic lower back/knee/neck/eye treatment):
An ancient treatment for specific areas of the body that uses a raised circle of dough placed on specific part of the body and contains medicated herbal oils in the center.
Kati Basti (spinal rejuvenation):
Warm medicated oil is pooled over the lower back region. This is a great treatment for low back pain.
Greeva Basti (neck rejuvenation):
Warm medicated oil is pooled over the neck. This is great for pain and stiffness of the neck.
Janu Basti (knee rejuvenation):
Warm medicated oil is pooled over the knees. This is a great treatment for pain and discomfort in the knees..
Netra Basti (Eye Nourishment):
This treatment begins with stimulating the marma points on the face. Then a dough dam is placed around the eyes and warm ghee is poured in to bathe and nourish the eyes and the optic nerve. This treatment is beneficial to soothe red, dry, sensitive and easily irritated eyes and can help clear vision and reduce dark circles around the eyes.
Shala Pinda sweda (hot bolus bag treatment on various body parts):
This treatment could be performed all over the body on the areas where there is joint or muscle stiffness and pain. Bolus bags filled with brown rice are cooked in an Ayurvedic mixture of nourishing herbs and applied on the body in circular motions. This is excellent for relieving acute pain and stiffness and done every week could help rejuvenate joints and be helpful in chronic illnesses traditionally associated with joints and bones such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.
Udvarthanam (stimulating dry powder therapy for weight loss):
Dry powder of a combination of Ayurvdic herbs is applied onto the body vigorously to increase circulation and move the toxins that are accumulated in different parts of the body flowing and moving out of the body. This treatment is usually done with a lot of pressure and is excellent for weight loss if done on a weekly basis.
Mukhalepam (Ayurvedic facial):
This facial is a great way to cleanse and moisturize your face. It also provides relaxation and peace for the mind to relieve stress. It’s a soothing and exfoliating treatment that nurtures the skin tissue to rejuvenate it. Specific marma points on the face and scalp are stimulated to calm the activity of the mind to create peace and tranquility.
Ayurvedic Marma therapy (deep tissue treatment using marma points):
Marma Points are areas of concentrated life force energy. Proper stimulation of these points with therapeutic oils and the light touch of pranic healing combine to balance the flow of energy through the muscles, joints and organs of the body.
Swedana (Ayurvedic steam therapy):
This treatment is usually done after Abhyanga or other body therapies to help the body eliminate toxins that have become loose after certain treatments.