Ayurveda in Sri Lanka – A white thread on my wrist

She places a white thread between my open hands and tells me to fold them. The Ayurveda doctor closes her eyes and starts to sing a melodic chant to start the treatment with an official ceremony.

Within one day, I am supposed to feel newly born again. In the Ayurvedic resort and clinic, a doctor will check my condition and will suggest a couple of treatments. The rest of the time should be dedicated to appreciate the calm surroundings and the empty beach Balapitiya at Sri Lanka’s south-west coast.

“The doctor will see you now”

It is kind of a new sensation in a resort that looks like a spa hotel with waterfalls, flowers and marble all around me, when a doctor is calling me into her office. While I waited, I saw the three kinds of tea available any time during your stay. But in order to know, which one of the teas you are supposed to drink, you have to see the doctor first.

The pretty lady in a turquoise sari invites me into her office, which is decorated with diplomas for Ayurvedic treatment. After the initial ceremony, where she wraps a white thread around my right wrist, she places three fingers on my left wrist to feel my pulse. She closes her eyes again and after a while, she removes one finger, then another one, until just one finger stays there. Then she repeats it the other way around. The doctor in the nice dress asks me about my biorhythm, about my nutrition and my daily routine.

Three fingers – and what she tells me about me

Feeling my pulse for a couple of minutes with three fingers, she tells me that I should try to schedule my meals more regularly, that I should eat more warm meals instead of the snacks and that I should try to avoid stress at work and relax more often. Therefore, she prescribes relaxing massages to achieve a state of complete relaxation: a neck and back massage, a face massage with herbal oils and a full body massage which should make me fall asleep.

And she reveals the secret of the various teas … I am a Vata and Pitta type – these types are also called Dosha. In the tri-dosha theory based on the five elements, there Vata for space and air, Pitta for fire and water and there is also Kapha, which stands for earth and water. Therefore, I should only drink the Vata and Pitta teas that are provided. These types help the therapists and doctors to establish the proper diet and therapy for your type. When staying in an Ayurvedic clinic or resort for a longer period of time, you will get your individual menu every day. Your menu will include meals cooked from natural ingredients, no chemical influences, everything is natural, organic and spiced with herbs.

What about the massages?

I am led into a light dimmed area, where I have to take off my shoes and wear a bath robe with special underwear (which is not super sexy to be honest ;-)). I sit on a simple chair while my neck and back are gently massaged with herbal oils. I almost fall asleep, but after only 15 minutes, a change of location is required. I can lay down and now wonderfully scented herbal cremes are applied to my face. At first, it feels a little awkward, but the warm oil and the gentle touches cause immediate relaxation.
After that, two ladies enter the room and start with the full body massage. They rub the warm oil into my skin with almost synchronized movements. Initially, I am not sure where to focus, but after a couple of minutes, I just stop focusing at all and start enjoying this holistic sensation. I am very close to falling asleep when the almost two-hour treatment comes to an end. A look in the mirror confirms this feeling, I am oily and my hair is standing in every direction. Yet, I don’t care at all … I am 100 per cent relaxed and make my way to the pool with a glass of Vata tea …

 

GOOD TO KNOW:

Ayurveda has its origins in the Indian subcontinent and means “knowledge of life” – Ayur means life, Veda means knowledge. The Tri-Dosha theory is based on the concept of the five elements earth, water, fire, air and space. While consulting an Ayurveda therapist or doctor, they can tell your dosha, which expresses your pattern of physical, mental and emotional characteristics. It is important to know that none of the doshas is wrong for us, everybody embodies all of them, but mostly one or two are predominantly found in our bodies and lifestyles. When our doshas are balanced, we are healthy. Ayurveda helps us to balance all of our existing parts: special treatments including massages, individually designed diets in addition to meditation and yoga.

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