A Retreat for Holistic Wellness

While I was at ashram of Sri Sri Ravishankar, I decided to get a medical check up done. By the grace of God I don’t have any ailments, so it wasn’t any routine check up procedure which has different kind of tests. I went in for a special kind of Ayurvedic technique of diagnosis, the Nadi Pareeksha. Nadi meaning pulse, Pareeksha meaning diagnosis; as the name implies the doctor diagnoses the ailments just by feeling the pulse. The very meaning of the word amazed me. Imagine a doctor trained to feel the pulse of a person can correctly read and judge your internal organs. I was curious to know my results.

Nadi Pareeksha is an ancient ayurvedic technique which can accurately diagnose both physical and mental diseases as well as imbalances in the body. It is comprehensive and reaches the root cause of health issues and the technique doesn’t look for symptoms. So what you get is forewarning from the doctor, what kind of ailments you are likely to face in the coming years, which body organs are functioning weakly or in case of ailing people to what extent the disease has progressed. Based on this study the doctor advises you how to optimize your health in accordance with the elements which are predominant in your body. The doctor then chalks out a personalized and individual prognosis which is detailed and accurate.

The doctors practicing Nadi Pareeksha can treat diseases ranging from diabetes, heart problems, all types of joint pains, digestive disorders, and all types of allergic problems, skin and hair problems, stress, to BP & insomnia. Treatments usually come in one of two forms: first the ‘Panchakarma’ a 5-staged body purification program, consisting of herbal remedies, light diet and exercise, specific massages and cleansing treatments and the second is ‘Herbal medicine’ to balance the body.

Dr. Ashwin read my pulse. My results didn’t look very disappointing; some probable areas of concerns were pointed out and with proper care the onset of ailments can be delayed. Among other herbal medicines Dr. Ashwin recommended Abhyanga for me. It is a form of Ayurvedic medicine that involves massage of the body with large amounts of warm oil to balance the mind as well as body. The oil is often pre-medicated with herbs for specific conditions.

Prior to my massage session I was taken to Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma. Ayurvedic philosophy believes that everything in universe is made of elements. Only when the five(panch) elements (space, air, water, fire and earth) are balanced, our body will be healthy. The 5 elements manifest in the functioning of the 5 senses of man – Panchendriya (drishya – visual, sparsha– touch, shabda – sound, rasa – taste, gandha – smell).

At Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma I experienced all these 5 senses. These experiences are provided by the therapists to uplift our spirits, and heal our body, mind and soul. To start with I had a wholesome lunch, so called spa menu, packed with individual flavors of Ayurveda’s 6 rasas (taste), listening (shabda) to soothing sound of music and the therapeutic whisper of nature, all the while enjoying the visual (drishya) treat of being amidst the nature.The therapists and kitchen staff take instructions from the doctor for each and every patient.

After a small rest I was taken to their therapy center, which is known as spa in cosmetic field. At these spas various kinds of therapeutic massages are given by trained people. Here I experienced the rejuvenating touch (sparsha) of their massages and therapies while inhaling (gandha) the fragrance of the oils used. The kind lady with her experienced hands and with the right pressure of massage kept digging into me. I surrendered myself completely to her expert hands. The massage left a ‘never before experienced’ calmness in mind and body.

I wish to highlight here that before starting the massage the lady spent couple of minutes praying with the oil in hand. It was more holistic and not just cosmetic. The net result of Abhyanga procedure: It increases circulation, aligns the doshas, and eliminates toxins. A therapeutic and deeply relaxing experience, Abhyanga increases vitality, strength, flexibility, and mental/emotional well-being. It has no negative side effects, only positive!

I don’t have words enough to thank the ashram for this experience! In fact my whole stay at ashram was an eye opener. Just when I was thinking that stagnancy is setting into life, new doors of knowledge, opportunities and experience have opened! This experience makes me look at life in a new perspective!

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