Ayurveda

Ayurveda, comprises the words āyus, meaning 'life' and veda, meaning 'science',is one of the oldest organized system of medicine, which is believed to be arose about 5,000 years ago. One view of the early history of ayurveda asserts that around 1500 BC, ayurveda's fundamental and applied principles got organised and enunciated. In this historical construction, Ayurveda traces its origins to the Vedas, Adharvaveda in particular, and is connected to Hindu religion. Adharvaveda (one of the four most ancient books of Indian knowledge, wisdom and culture) contains 114 hymns or formulations for the treatment of diseases. Ayurveda originated in and developed from these hymns. In this sense, ayurveda is considered by some to have divine origin.

This early phase of traditional Indian medicine identified fever (takman), cough, consumption, diarrhea, dropsy, abscesses, seizures, tumours, and skin diseases (including leprosy).Treatment of complex ailments, including angina pectoris, diabetes, hypertension, and stones, also ensued during this period. Plastic surgery, cataract surgery, puncturing to release fluids in the abdomen, extraction of foreign elements, treatment of anal fistulas, treating fractures, amputations, cesarean sections, and stitching of wounds were known.The use of herbs and surgical instruments became widespread.The Charaka Samhita text is arguably the principal classic reference. It gives emphasis to the triune nature of each person: body care, mental regulation, and spiritual/consciousness refinement.

Ayurveda believes in 'five great elements' (earth, water, fire, air and space) forming the universe, including the human body.Blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, chyle, and semen are the seven primary constituent elements of the body.Ayurveda stresses a balance of three substances: wind/spirit/air, phlegm, and bile, each representing divine forces. The doctrine of these three Dosas- vata (wind/spirit/air), pitta (bile) and kapha (phlegm)—is important. Traditional beliefs hold that humans possess a unique constellation of Dosas.In Ayurveda, the human body has 20 Guna(quality). It is believed that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion leads to vitality. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation, and massage.

Ayurveda is a science that teaches how to live in a true and natural balance. This is not limited to the proper functioning of our mind, body and soul but extends further in establishing a natural and balanced relationship with the nature as a whole. It stresses the concept of balance in healing.

PanchaKarma

Panchakarma is the most popular five procedures used in Ayurveda. This is done in two ways:

  • Pacifying the aggravated doshas by using appropriate diet, natural herbs and minerals.
  • Eliminating the increased Doshas from the body.

Panchakarma helps to enhance the metabolic process and eliminating the imbalance of tri-Doshas.

The five holistic Techniques used in pachakarma are

  • Nasya (nasal therapy)
  • Vamana (emesis or vomiting)
  • Virechana (purging)
  • Vasti (therapeutic enema)
  • Raktamokshana (bloodletting)

Kalari Chikitsa (Kalari Treatments)

Kalari Payattu is believed to the oldest form of the martial art/healing art in the world, which originated and was kept alive in Kerala as a closed oral tradition for thousands of years. It is the sister to Yoga and Ayurveda, and there are elements of those practices in Kalari.

The absolute physical control of the Kalari experts is attributed to their training in 'MeyPayattu'. These are a series of well-graded gymnastic exercises that tone-up the muscles of the limbs and the body.

One aspect of training is the rigorous oil massage. The masseur rubs the oil with the help of his hands and feet on most parts of the body, except on the face and surrounding areas. This helps the body to retain its elastic suppleness.

Kalarippayattu is taught in five stages. The first, Maithari, is aimed at physical fitness, muscle control and developing the power of concentration. Then stage by stage weapons like dagger, sword,s pear, mace and urumi; the classical weapons. Then there are the inner mysteries. But kalaripayattu is not all violence. Mercifully, it has its gentler aspects also.

Another part of the gurukkal's (Master) training is in organic herbal medicines and concoctions. His skill ranges from bone setting to healing internal ailments. Mental health is an intergral part of this health care system.

In other words "Kalari" has an in-depth knowledge of the human body – including its subtle structures.Kalari Masters are therefore considered to be the physiotherapists and neurologists of Ancient wisdom, Kalari Masters are often involved in its holistic healing approach. Not only do the Kalari Masters take in to consideration the physiological level of muscles, bones and tendons, but even more so the energy channels, "Nadis", that have been known and used in treatment of illness and injury for thousands of years.

The junctions of these Nadis are called "Marma-Points" Both the Marmas and Nadis are harmonized and vitalized by these special massage treatments which are unique to Kalarippayat.

Kalari massage treatments are traditionally given with herbal oils that are medicated with up to one hundred different herbs. This increases the potency of the treatment. The specific oil to be used in treatment is chosen depending on the constitutional type (dosha) of the client.

Mostly the treatments at CVN Kalari are centric to Nuero-Muscular and Orthopaedic ailments - painful joints and muscles,Rheumatoid Arthritis, Knee-pain, Back-ache, Spondylitis,Paralysis, Disc-prolapse etc. The treatments are a mix of body massage, various types of boluses and internal medicine.

The diet is controlled during this period to aid effectiveness and faster healing.

Yoga

Yoga has the literal meaning of "yoke", from a root yuj meaning to join, to unite, or to attach. As a term for a system of abstract meditation or mental abstraction, it was introduced by Patanjali in the 2nd century BC. The primary goal of Yoga is to improve health.

There has been an emergence of studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer patients. Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to decrease depression, insomnia, pain, and fatigue and increase anxiety control.Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs include yoga as a mind-body technique to reduce stress. A study found that after seven weeks the group treated with yoga reported significantly less mood disturbance and reduced stress compared to the control group. Another study found that MBSR had showed positive effects on sleep anxiety, quality of life, and spiritual growth.

The three main focuses of Hatha yoga (exercise, breathing, and meditation) make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease. Overall, studies of the effects of yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood pressure, improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors.