Listen to your Amma


It rained, nay bucketed down, the previous night, but it was not possible for me to sleep well, because my head was full of oil after Shirodhara. I wasn't allowed to remove the head scarf. The use of air conditioning and fans was not permitted. I slept better towards early morning. After another healthy breakfast of Kurakkan roti, it was time for me to go for my second day’s session of Shirodhara at Ayurvie at 8.30 am. Once again, I was asked to rest after the Shirodhara and come at 2.30 for the neck and shoulder massage, back massage, leg and thermo massage. It was Saturday. Dr. Herath had recommended a head massage, a face massage, reflexology and Sambahana.

I walked in the hall area and was amazed by the collection of the Miris Gal (grinders hewn out of granite) they had collected and the ancient Ola leaves, both in Sinhala and Tamil, all related to ancient Ayurveda we Sri Lankans could be proud of. I rested, enjoying the music of the waves, and had a healthy Sri Lankan meal. There wasn't any time to do anything else. The lady at the restaurant, who hailed from Dambulla, was very kind and helpful. We were served only hot water. Even the rooms had only hot water. Meals were severed on time and they made sure we had only healthy food. I saw how careful the German guests were. They all had their special medicine boxes and they had to eat as the doctor ordered.

Let me take you through the other Sri Lankan Ayurvedic treatment I had to undergo at Ayurvie. Navarakshi is a form of sweat inducing massage procedure, which is done using milk and rice. It is applied as a rejuvenating and a re-energizing treatment. It promotes the peripheral vascular circulation, stimulates the nerve endings in the periphery, prevents muscle wasting, improves skin texture and circulation, and more than anything else induces good sleep and reduces stress. Sarvanga Dhara is stream pouring of showering medicated oil over the body. It comes as a fermentation type of procedure. They say it relieves mental stress. Benefits of it is that it provides strength to the tissues of the body, prevents muscle wasting and joint and soft tissue degeneration, pacifies the morbidity of Vata, Pita, Raktha in skin, joint muscles, soft tissues, etc.

Pinda Sweda reminded me of how our mother took care of us. I remember how she used ash and even rice for this. For this leaves, seeds, roots and barks are used. It is crushed, powdered and tied in a piece of cloth to make a bolus. This is a kind of sweating treatment done by stamping herbal bolus on the body. It helps to relieve the pains of Osteo-arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and it also removes water retention tissues. In addition I found the foot reflexology very effective. It is about applying pressure on feet in order to make a physical change in body. By applying pressure each specific organ is simulated. It relaxes you, improves your sleep, enhances blood circulation, reduces blood pressure and gives relief from headaches and migraine. The therapist Sumith later showed me a wooden pencil like stick made out of Kaluwara wood, which was used for foot reflexology. I must say a word about the therapist Sumith, who hails from Buttala in the Monaragala district. One of the best therapists I have come across.

I couldn't mention last week that they also used Vata Viduranga Oil - Amukkara, Rathnitul, Murunga Mal, Sapsanda, Lunumidella, Sarana Mul, Edaru Mul, Atthana, Nika and Kalukammaeriya. These reminded me of the times we did Sinhala Beheth. We started going to Western doctors much later.

Ayurveda isn't just herbal medicine. It is about a healthy life. It is sad that one cannot get proper Ayurveda treatment in the city today. People go through too much stress and live in anxiety. My parents always believed in it. Wish I had listened to my Amma more. She told me to apply oil on my head daily and I didn't listen. My hair went salt and pepper while my elder brothers’ was still black.

I had real Ayurvedic treatment for four days and three nights at Ayurvie in Weligama. My life was enriched with the best of Helapa, Iramusu, Beli Mal, Cinnamon, Ginger Coriander String hoppers, Pittu, Polos, Dhal, Gotukola, Rasam and much more. I must go back to Weligama for proper treatment. Not just for four days but one whole week.



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