By Alice Alech
When I was offered the chance to get my life back on track, I grasped it with both hands.
The words “you need a holiday on your own” hurt like hell. At first, I thought I hadn’t heard right.
My loving husband of twenty years had noticed the change in me – no energy, no confidence, no fun to be with. I was aging fast.
What to do? I could choose to ignore my inner self or search for a positive path to reverse the situation.
Seeking to find that mental and physical harmony once again and, more importantly, to save our marriage, I decided a six-day stay at the Jasmine Ayurvedic Spa on the remote tropical island Sri Lanka could be the solution.
My Ayurvedic spa experience began in a calm, incense-scented room immediately upon arrival – a consultation involving direct, in-depth and searching questions about my lifestyle and medical history, all designed to help the ayurvedic specialist detect what was troubling me.
A physical examination followed.
Dr. Janith Chathurika examined my tongue, checked my pulse, and weighed me, all part of the assessment process to help her determine my dominant doshas.
Doshas in Ayurveda refer to the body’s internal energies, vital in Ayurvedic medicine. With this knowledge, the practitioner can prescribe the right treatments and set up an individual eating plan.
Dr. Chathurika explained that according to this ancient Indian holistic medicine practice doshas guide the physical and mental processes in the body and mind.
Derived from the five elements – space, air, fire, water, and earth – the three doshas in Ayurveda are Vata, Kapha, and Pitta, and all of us humans come with our own individual doshas.
We need to keep those doshas healthy because when our dosha energies are out of balance, we become ill.
According to my Ayurvedic practitioner, I was feeling sluggish because of the imbalance of my dosha energies. In other words, my Kapha and Pitta energies were out of alignment.
I so wanted those energies back in balance; I wanted them restored in a natural, holistic way. I was ready to commit to the planned diet and all the therapies she suggested. It felt like the right choice.
Herbal Teas and Vegetarian Food
Drinking herbal teas for breakfast instead of strong coffee was a bit challenging at first, but it came with delicious Indian pancakes and local fruit.
I became a convert to these caffeine-free Ayurvedic spa teas and enjoyed them during meals, between meals and throughout the day. Meals were simple and purely vegetarian with unusual but satisfying combinations.
Massages are relaxing at the best of times, but the heated oil and herb combination was simply magnificent.
I melted, tingling from top to toe in pure ecstasy. What I found surprising was the remarkable strength of this tiny therapist as she squeezed and stroked my sore muscles and joints with her strong, skillful hands.
The Shirodhara Oil Massage
Even more exotic is the Shirodhara oil massage. Let me explain.
I lay on my back with a stream of warm herbal oil dripping gently onto my forehead then trickling down my ears and the sides of my face.
Shirodhara is a healing treatment, the most relaxing, soothing experience I have ever experienced. I didn’t have to do anything, just lie there and be transported to a heavenly state while the hot oil poured over me.
My therapist Priya explained that this head flow treatment stimulates secretions from the endocrine system – the pituitary and pineal glands.
Developed in India, Ayurveda spas and doctors use Shirodhara for a variety of conditions such as eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, graying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, and certain types of skin diseases like psoriasis.
Jasmine Flower Bath
Sitting in a warm bathtub filled with jasmine flowers on my last day, I allowed my thoughts to drift. I loved the pampering and nurturing, I loved the vegetarian lifestyle that made me feel so much lighter, I loved the gentle pace of this spa resort.
What I loved more than anything though was my new knowledge: understanding the importance of healthy living, eating the right food for my body and more importantly how vital it is to have that mind/body balance.
My improved sleep pattern showed that I was beginning to absorb the lessons.
I was pleased I chose Sri Lanka for this healing program. India is understandably the first choice when deciding where to go for Ayurvedic medicine; it makes sense, this is where the mind-body experience first started.
But there’s something quite exotic about being on a remote island. My only regret was that I had only six days at the spa. I returned to my life and love re-enervated, re-energized, and with a new and positive mindset.
Possibly younger? Well, in my mind, yes. And I remain enchanted and motivated by the whole experience.