Dr. Leena Sripada, ND

Dr. Leena Sripada, ND
Naturopathic & Ayurvedic Doctor

Sunday 5 April 2015

Experiencing Ayurveda at Vaidyagrama

A True Ayurvedic Healing Village in India

Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

There's so much talk about 'Detox' these days, it's hard to know how & when to start detoxing or if it's really needed.

With spring slowly peeking around the corner, people want to burn off the winter fat & sluggishness, and regain their energy. I've recommended and customized many detox programs for patients and have tried a few myself - all with different degrees of benefits. Some range from changing or removing certain foods in the diet for a period of time, and other involve herbal teas or capsules.

However, after visiting a beautiful Ayurvedic Center in South India, I realize there is nothing quite like the Ayurvedic approach to detoxification !

Abhyanga massage & treatments done - time for lunch 
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that dates back to over 5,000 years.  It is an ancient, time-tested system which has studied the human system in much depth. Though our modern technology & medicine have brought many benefits, the mechanics of the human body & mind have not changed much over thousands of years.  Ayurveda, which has parallels with Traditional Chinese Medicine & is a sister science to Yoga, identifies imbalances in a person and attempts to re-establish balance through the 5 elements, herbs, lifestyle, nutrition, massage, exercise, meditation, and other treatments.

During my visit at Vaidyagrama between Coimbatore & Palakkad, India, I had the opportunity to experience Ayurveda first-hand under the care of excellent Ayurvedic Doctors. Though I did not specifically intend to do a detox, four days of simple diet & treatments at the center did wonders & left me wanting to come back for more !

 Balcony - overlooking garden
My accommodation was a simple but beautiful room, with a large balcony opening onto a tropical garden.  Built with natural materials and following the principals of vastu shastra, Vaidyagrama strives towards being as environmentally friendly as possible, utilizing concepts of renewable energy, solar energy, wind energy, bio-mass, waste water recycling and management.  The center is an blend of authentic Ayurvedic tradition in a modern context.

 Vasta shastra & environmentally friendly techniques used 
The Doctors and the staff were really the ones that brought the whole place to life with their dynamism and passion.  Running around gracefully from patient to patient, giving undivided attention to each person, they definitely had huge responsibilities - however, not a moment went by where you saw that they were stressed or didn't want to be there.  You could tell their heart was fully into their work, and many of them live there with their families.  I enjoyed my interaction with the Doctors and especially found it refreshing to 'switch roles' - from being the Naturopathic Doctor to the patient.

My treatments consisted of:
  • Initial consultation by 1-2 Ayurvedic Doctors
  • 2-3 follow ups daily in my room
  • 3 wholesome Ayurvedic meals (vegetarian, mostly cooked with mild spice & salt)
  • Herbal teas & fruits for snacks
  • Herbal medicine: kashayams (herbal decoctions), fermented herbal drinks & porridges
  • Abhyangas: daily full-body oil massages with warm, constitution specific oils
  • Time with nature and following the natural rhythms of the day and seasons
  • Meditation & yoga at certain times of the day as well as self-reflection.

Treatment room (photo courtesy of Vaidyagrama)
Though I was not going for any specific issue or treatment, my general assessment and treatment recommendations by the Ayurvedic Doctor allowed me to experience the possibilities of Ayurveda.

I began to notice significant improvement in my digestion and energy, in addition to increase joint mobility and general flexibility.  Speaking to the other patients that had come for treatment, I realized many of them were there for more serious concerns - neurological, auto-immune or for panchakarma which is an intense 21-day cleansing program.

  Ayurvedic meal served at lunch (rice, roti, carrot curry, lentil, squash & buttermilk)
More than the herbal drinks and medicine given, it was the natural setting, care of the Doctors and therapists and the opportunity to let the body tune into the healing power of nature.  It was one of my first experiences staying in an Ayurvedic Centre, and it was far beyond what I had initially expected.  It was touching to see the dedication and passion of the Doctors working there - not as a job, but as something they are truly dedicated to. This undoubtedly allows patients to recover quickly, and regain hope on their healing journey.  It was also reassuring that they have attempted to keep the spirit & tradition of such a rich healing tradition alive within the context of modern times.

Checking out the Ayurvedic pharmacy with one of my colleagues
I look forward to my learning & healing journey in Ayurveda, and hope to share it with many more people. 

For more information on Vaidyagrama - A True Healing Village, visit: www.vaidyagrama.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting such type of post related to ayurvedic medicine.This post is more help for our life.