Ayurvedain Sri Lanka

Experience healing of the body, mind and spirit in splendid Sri Lanka

Ayurveda is not just a wellness trend that has been appropriated by those touting expensive spa treatments. Instead, it is a type of alternative medicine that has historic roots in the Indian subcontinent, and dates back at least 5,000 years. The meaning of the word Ayurveda can simply be explained as – the knowledge of life. It is believed that this knowledge was passed on from the gods to sages, and then to human physicians, who used it to help heal and tend to the sick.

In Sri Lanka, the earliest references to Ayurveda are associated with Ravana, a prehistoric king who is believed to have been ruler of Lanka. Ravana is considered to have been a great physician who was well versed in Ayurveda medicine. Evidence unearthed from prehistoric burial sites in the cultural triangle indicate that the old inhabitants of the island may have indeed practiced Ayurveda. Furthermore, the old texts of Mahavamsa and Chulavamsa, on which much of the ancient history of Sri Lanka is based, convey that many ancient kings were committed to developing the practice of Ayurveda in the country. In Sri Lanka, the practice of Ayurveda attempts to balance the three bodily elements of doshas – vata, pitta and kapha. According to Ayurvedic practices, a balance in the doshas results in good health, while an imbalance results in illness.

The popularity and significance of Ayurveda waned with the arrival of European colonizers and western medicine in the 16 th century. However, the practice of Ayurveda is very much alive in Sri Lanka today. It has been rejuvenated, thanks to a global interest in alternatives to western medicine, which has led many Ayurvedic treatment centres to open in Sri Lanka. The practice of Ayurveda is governed by the Department of Ayurveda, under the purview of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine.

These Ayurvedic treatment centres offer a wide range of treatment options to help manage certain medical conditions. However, they should not be confused with spas that offer Ayurveda massages. Ideally, a qualified Ayurvedic doctor will examine you and develop a diagnosis of your health status and identify any conditions you may have. Ayurveda is not a quick fix treatment plan. It takes considerable effort to prepare Ayurveda potions, oils and ointments using herbs and ancient knowledge. The treatments usually take time to administer and results may not be seen immediately. However, it is indeed a great method of alternative treatment and many patients have had success in curing or managing health issues.

Sri Lanka has a number of Ayurveda hospitals and resorts that offer extended treatment plans. This includes helping you change your lifestyle, in addition to administering potions and oil therapies. These treatment plans can last anywhere from three days to three months. Ayurveda Spas on the other hand, offer more short-term treatments such as Ayurvedic massage therapies, steam baths and fomentation, which typically last a few hours.

Sri Lanka is a great place to experience Ayurveda treatments, where you will learn about your body, learn to balance its main elements, learn to pay attention to what you eat and learn how to use meditation to manage stress and tension. The end goal is to equip you to live your best life.