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My Personal Ayurvedic Experience


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#1 fromusawithluv

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 08:44 PM

Just wanted to share this with The India Tree members as well...

I've seen many different threads on Ayurveda back on IM. This is rather a personal experience and continuation of others. It would be nice to have a separate sub-forum under Health and Well Being dedicated to different types of treatments in India (e.g. Ayurveda, Siddha Vaidya, Naturopathy, Pranic Healing, etc...). What do you think, India Tree?

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I came to India in 2004, primarily for ayurvedic treatment not knowing how long I would be taking it. I honestly didn’t know what to expect until I got to Arya Vaidya Sala (AVS), Kottakkal in the Mallapuram District of Kerala. It was difficult to choose between AVS and Balaji Tambe’s Ayurvedic Clinic in Pune, but after reading other readers’ experience and suggestions from forum members as well as friends & family alike – AVS was it for me. I wanted a hospital…didn’t want a spa, didn’t care so much for modern amenities, except it had to have a western toilet and a bed. I wanted to be in a place, where health was more important than the aesthetics. All I had to do was fill out a health questionnaire on their website and wait for one of the doctor’s response. After my date of admission was decided, I was off on the next plane (almost literally) to India. I was armed with my Learn Malayalam in 30 days book, and an eagerness and faith to be cured of my back and neck pain among other things.

Located about (45) minutes away from Kozhikode (Calicut) Int’l airport, AVS is surrounded by lush forestry of coconut trees, supari trees; age-old ambalams (temples), friendly local smiles, honest auto rickshaw drivers, and other things you’ll have to discover yourself J. A little over a century old NON-PROFIT Ayurvedic establishment, founded by Vaidyaratnam P.S. Warrior, welcomed me on my first day late October.

There were different types of rooms & cottages depending on your budget and their availability of course. I had a Non-AC room with (2) beds, my very own bathroom with a western toilet (yipee :D ), a closet (to cook if I chose to), a counter (to watch a rented TV), a telephone, and a balcony overlooking a gorgeous man-made park set among the hills. I believe “Malla puram” means “hills everywhere” in Malayalam. Perhaps a fluent Malayalam speaking person can correct me here if I'm mistaken.

Typically, a patient is allotted a (28) day treatment, but what’s not typical is the ailment each person has. Time of stay and the type of treatment really depends on each person. There were patients from all over the world: from Australia, USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany (many Germans seem to be interested in Ayurveda – another topic I’ll tell you about later), KSA, India (of course), and many more to name. The ailments ranged from the popular rheumatoid arthritis, back & neck related injuries, skin problems, IBS, nerve disorders, among others. I personally saw stroke patients improve!

I had an interview with both a junior and a senior doctor regarding my ailments after I was initially admitted. I was expecting them to feel my wrist for a pulse – you know like in ayurvedic books; instead I was given a prescription of medication and diet advice. They did indulge me however, after I insisted how curious I was about how off-balance my doshas were. I’m no expert in Ayurveda, but from what I understand – Ayurveda is an ancient medical science, which helps balance your doshas. Each person is made up of a combination of Pitta, Kapha, and Vata, and when one dosha is off balance, you have a related ailment. In my case, I had Vata related back and neck pain. It’s best to read references on Ayurveda for more information.

A herd (literally) of the junior doctors along with one senior doctor would come to your room twice a day (once in the morning and once before 5pm) to check on your treatments. About once a week, the Chief Physician Dr. P.K. Warrior, currently the presiding Managing Trustee of AVS would come to check on all of the patients. Some people came there for a Panchakarma treatment, but like I said each ailment is different. To be honest, my first experience in Kerala after the first (28) days was with mixed emotions. I ended up being severely allergic to some of the tailams (medicated oils) and medication causing an episode of my chronic bronchitis. I ended up in a local allopathic hospital for days with a severe case of broncho-pneumonia. Not sure what to do, I went back to Bangalore to recuperate from the pneumonia.

I wanted to give AVS another chance, so I returned with my mom in February. I again became allergic to those tailams and medications. See, I never found out which tailams and medications I was allergic to before I jolted out of Kerala last time. Well this time, with my mom’s help (she's given a lot of strength and courage to me) and insistence, we met with the Chief Physician personally to sort it all out. He’s the type of person who would find a way when there doesn’t seem to be any. He didn’t allow me to leave the hospital till all of my ailments were close to nil, and I didn’t feel like I had any choice either. (Let me also emphasize here that my situation seemed to be an exception not a rule).

I came to India on one of those pricey airline classes, where you could lie down instead of sitting…because I was unable to sit, stand, walk without pain! I came in a wheelchair, and today after months of ayurvedic treatment (including Yoga) at AVS, I’m able to walk about (6-8) Kilometers at a stretch. It is my little miracle place, and I recommend it to anyone who has an ailment. Faith in Ayurveda is half the cure.

AVS continues to do research in pain management, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and many others. Ayurveda is a very slow type of treatment, but I rather deal with that than the never-ending pill popping, steroid injections, many experimental allopathic doctors I have faced in my past. Today, I still take those Ayurvedic medications along with Siddha Vaidya (another similar science to Ayurveda – topic for next time too) meds. The nice thing about Ayurveda is that it’s complementary to other medical sciences, like Naturopathy.

Well at the end along with a big grin and sigh of relief, I learned enough Malayalam to go around different places and even catch a movie starring Mammooty.

Just wanted to let you know…that my intention here was not to advertise for AVS…if they get one more patient, I’m all the more happy for it. They are a non-profit establishment, and have a charity based Ayurvedic hospital nearby as well as a college and a Kathakali dance school. The latter (2) aren't charitable (I believe), but part of the wonderful hospital started by great Dr. P.S. Warrior.

This was just my own personal experience. I wanted to talk about different treatments, but this post kept getting longer and longer. Perhaps to be continued on another post? If you have any questions, I would be happy to respond. Otherwise, PM me if it’s of personal matter.

Best Wishes and Good Health! :D
Om Shanti

#2 Sudheer Poppa

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 12:01 AM

Excellant write up and really the kind of experience many would be looking for while searching for information before starting up a treatment.

I believe “Malla puram” means “hills everywhere” in Malayalam. Perhaps a fluent Malayalam speaking person can correct me here if I'm mistaken.
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Just wanted to let you know…that my intention here was not to advertise for AVS…if they get one more patient, I’m all the more happy for it.



Mala = Hill, Puram = on top of or house. Malappuram is ideally interpretted as on top of the hill though can also be read as house of hills.

And on advertiseing AVS, well I think they would plead you not to, given the long waiting list and their celebrity patients. For instance they have many heads of states, hollywood actors, fortune 50 business leaders, and a fairly large papparzzi material patients in their treatment history. You really made the right choice.
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#3 yossie23

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:31 PM

Great piece of info! I see myself going there someday if I'm ever to be stricken by something strange. Months of stay at a place like that would be good for the health and mind. City life can be monotonous sometimes.

Cheers
Mani



[quote name='fromusawithluv' date='May 17 2006, 03:14 PM' post='4524']
Just wanted to share this with The India Tree members as well...

I've seen many different threads on Ayurveda back on IM. This is rather a personal experience and continuation of others. It would be nice to have a separate sub-forum under Health and Well Being dedicated to different types of treatments in India (e.g. Ayurveda, Siddha Vaidya, Naturopathy, Pranic Healing, etc...). What do you think, India Tree?

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#4 fromusawithluv

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 12:57 PM

Excellant write up and really the kind of experience many would be looking for while searching for information before starting up a treatment.
Mala = Hill, Puram = on top of or house. Malappuram is ideally interpretted as on top of the hill though can also be read as house of hills.

And on advertiseing AVS, well I think they would plead you not to, given the long waiting list and their celebrity patients. For instance they have many heads of states, hollywood actors, fortune 50 business leaders, and a fairly large papparzzi material patients in their treatment history. You really made the right choice.


Thanks for the Malayalam translation correction, Sudheer! :D

You're right about the waiting list...HOWEVER...in case of emergencies, I've found AVS very accommodating. If you fill out the questionnaire in their website, the doctors can prescribe certain medicines until you are able to go for treatment. The best times for Ayurvedic treatment is during the monsoon season. Although you can't really do much outside (you're not supposed to anyway during certain treatments), this season is best because all of the doshas come "out" and can be balanced with less effort than in other seasons.

Great piece of info! I see myself going there someday if I'm ever to be stricken by something strange. Months of stay at a place like that would be good for the health and mind. City life can be monotonous sometimes.

Cheers
Mani


Very true. Mind and health are very much connected.
There are Yoga classes offered to help with the mind aspect.

As far as treatments are concerned, there are many different types to speak of. They all depend on your medical condition (and in some - mental condition). The medications, too, vary from person to person. Every person is composed differently, even if they appear to have the same rheumatoid arthritis or other such ailments.

There are different types of tastes in medicines (like food): sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. The tastes corresponds to the doshas. Some aggravate the doshas, hence increases the imbalance. Some taste decreases the particular dosha, which is what the doctors hope for. Depending on your condition, you are prescribed with medicines that would balance your doshas. The medicines are in different forms: the popular kashayams, lehyams, gritham (ghee), bhasmam (calxes), churnam (powder), arishtas, and more...

You are meant to "taste" the medicine.

In extreme cases of intolerance (vomiting, etc.) , the doctors vary the form of the medication. For example, my mom was having a tough time with one type of kashayam. She was fine after they prescribed a tablet form of the same medicine.

In my stay at the AVS, I just happened to get mostly salty and sweet medicines. Lucky me, I guess B)

There are individualized diet restrictions, but for all Ayurvedic patients - NO Red chillis and NO tamarind!
You can use green chillis instead of red chillis and kokum, amla, raw mango, etc. to substitute tamarind.

The chief phyisician used to reiterate to me that all ailments stem from the stomach/digestive system. It's best to maintain the digestive system properly and tenderly for a healthy life.

more on treatments later.....

I was hoping to hear from Jyortirmoy. I'm waiting to hear him tell us about the father of Ayurveda.
Om Shanti

#5 jyotirmoy

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 12:45 PM

Maharishi Charak & Sushrut are the fathers of Indian Auyrveda.

#6 woodchat

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:07 PM

Great artical! Thanks for sharing !