Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ayurveda in its new Avatar - Ayurvedic Medical Spa. Expanding opportunities in India and abroad!

Are you living life club class? Or a tired executive of the new century? Chances are that you would have encountered a Medical Spa already for rejuvenation or relaxation - be it a simple, body massage or for treatments. There are umpteen new variants of this and one of the most popular one is Ayurvedic Medical Spa. 

Here is a briefing of the origins of Ayurveda and what you need to know on the origins, evolution, popular usage and expanding opportunities. 

Ayurveda - interesting history

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, derived from two roots: Ayur, which means life, andVeda, means knowledge.It has its root in ancient Vedic literature and encompasses our entire life, the body, mind and spirit.

The 'Vedas' - Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda, are regarded as the oldest and most sacred written record of knowledge.The Rigveda, the oldest of the four, contains many concepts of Ayurveda.By 1000-700 BC, Ayurveda developed into two prominent schools, the Atreya school of physicians and the Sushruta school of Surgeons.
Ayurveda deals with the maintenance, improvement and prolongation of life and is a complete naturalistic system that uses extracts from herbs and plants, without side effect. Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but also the individual as a whole. Making it the natural way to refresh you, eliminate all toxic imbalances from the body and thus regain resistance and good health. 

Ayurveda in Kerala, India
The development of Ayurveda in Kerala, a south Indian state, is particularly noted for its practises, research and a conducive climate for effective treatment in Ayurveda- which gives a unique strength to the health care tradition of Kerala.

Selected few brahmin households, named generally as "Ashtavaidyas", were bestowed with the responsibility of maintaining the Ayurvedic tradition by practising it as a health care service as well as by teaching its principles in the unique gurukula tradition. The traditional practitioners of Ayurveda considered "Ashtangahridaya" as a primary text. Several commentaries were written by experts here. More importantly, new texts were written in Kerala both in Malayalam and Sanskrit.

Another very important contribution by Kerala physicians is the continued practice and enrichment of the panchakarma therapy. Even when they became defunct in the rest of the country due to socio-political reasons, Kerala retained this therapeutic wealth in all its pristine essence. Texts were written on its practical aspects.

There are several unique herbal formulations described in Kerala texts. Many of them have now received national level acclaim and they are included in the Ayurvedic Formulary of India. One important aspect of Kerala formulations is that the stress is more on herbal components rather than on metals or minerals. There is also the history of Ayurvedic physicians developing some areas of specialisations like paediatrics, ophthalmology, martial therapy, etc. 

New age Ayurveda

Commoners used to Ayurveda practise will tell you that people normally flock to reputed Ayurveda practitioners who made a name in their lifetime, irrespective of any official education.But, if you are new and exploring, it is always safe and recommended to stick to recognised and government approved centres. eg.KeralaTourism.org

It is an open secret now that most booming ayurvedic centres maynot make all the medicines in the traditional way but source it by industrial production.For instance, 'Dasamoolarishtam' - a unique combination of ten herbs, where ‘dasa’ meaning ten and ‘moola’ meaning root - once made at home as per the guidance of the scriptures and guidance of trusted doctors, came out much different in taste and quality, than the mass produced ones available at outlets! However,it is be noted that major ayurvedic chains have either contract organic farming or their own herbal gardens and plantations to source their medicines, say Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala, Kerala Ayurveda Ltd etc.

Be aware that an important exploit for ayurveda is done in the name of sex tourism.Illegal centres sprout everywhere and patients/customers end up with more complications.

Note that most of the luxury hotels and spas has association with reputed centres for treatment. So, you could findout more from the help desk or from respective websites.Also, refer books like "The Complete Illustrated Guide to Ayurveda: The Ancient Indian Healing", "Heaven's Banquet: Vegetarian Cooking for Lifelong Health the Ayurveda Way", "The Handbook of Ayurveda : India's Medical Wisdom Explained", for detailed information, if you are interested.

Ayurveda in its new Avatar - Medical Spa
For more than a decade now, the lengthy treatment procedures like 'panchakarma' was successfully packaged for tourism and stressed working class, as medical spa, for instance to one hour body relaxation massages.It is hugely popular and have a major market even internationally and in new urban and tourist areas.

Ayurvedic Medical Spa Franchisee - an excellent business opportunity in India and abroad

A sustainable Business Opportunity for suitably inclined and qualified: Medical Spa Franchisee. Many reputed ayurvedic spa chains offers franchisee models or you could learn to be a specialist.

Here is a list of some reputed Ayurveda treatment centres and medical spa chains:

  • Kerala Ayurveda Ltd.
  • Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala
  • Thaikkattu Mooss Ayurveda
  • Birla Kerala Vaidyashala
  • Ayush from Hindustan Lever 

Beware that ambience and environment, hygiene, skilled staff like masseurs and the doctor make a big difference for you and your healing in Ayurveda. You should always approach government recognised centres only - either for your business or your treatment!

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