Kairali Ayurvedic Group is becoming a go-to treatment centre for survivors, be it of cancer or other diseases
IT TAKES me almost a day to tour the lush 15-acre Kairali Ayurvedic Group on foot. I’m not surprised when KR Abhilash, the fourth generation owner of the resort in Palakkad district, shares his plans to introduce bicycles for visitors. But the exercise is exhilarating. The family owned, 15-year-old resort also discourages meat, alcohol and smoking on campus. As I dodge gardens of healing herbs and medicinal plants, I am joined by foreigners taking the tour. “We have Germans visiting us throughout the year,”says Abhilash,by way of explanation, and I learn later that star guests include actors Mohanlal and Neha Dhupia.
Started by KV Ramesh and Gita Ramesh, who hail from a family of traditional Ayurvedic physicians in Kerala, the resort is managed by Abhilash and KR Abhishek from Delhi. The owners have a clear target audience. “We clearly state that we are a treatment centre. People cannot come in expecting three restaurants, with a la carte and buffets, and there will be no cocktails,” confirms Abhilash. That said, they will be including a curio shop and games for recreation. Yoga sessions have been added to the list, and Abhilash informs us, “A lot of people come from different countries to learn about ayurveda. At our 14-day intensive programme, participants can learn the basics of ayurveda and yoga.” Opening new centres around the world, besides Raipur and Nagaland, is also part of the plan.
At the resort, the 30 rooms have been themed around local star signs, and categorised as deluxe, classic, royal and maharaja. My two-day stay begins at the maharaja suite, expansive at 400 sq feet. Though the rooms will soon see a makeover, I am drawn to the valabiri conch, artfully placed to signify positive energy. After a healthy breakfast of just fruits, I head out for my appointment with Dr Sarvam, mandatory before any treatment. Fortunately, he agrees that I need some pampering and I am scheduled for a royal makeover. I indulge in two hours of bliss, beginning with a prayer and a head massage, before the full body massage. Almost like a three course meal, it involves a herbal oil, grated coconut scrub and a nourishing herbal mask. An eye treatment includes some beneficial ‘blinding’ with herbal water. The languorous ritual results in glowing skin and soft hair—I feel like a bride again. A few hours later, I am ready to learn more about the 47 massages and treatments that the doctors prescribe for specific ailments:
A new therapy for cancer survivors is getting popular. “We don’t treat cancer but for those who have been through chemotherapy, we have massages like abhyanga,” Abhilash adds, confirming that the therapists have been trained in oncology esthetics and oncology massage therapy.
The memory years
With Alzheimer’s being a growing concern today, Dr Sarvam is equipped with tips. ‘‘Use just your left hand for one whole day, count backwards from 100, play chess and involve yourself in a creative activity like art,” he begins. Yoga poses, like the cross leg chin mudra is recommended for memory related issues, as is the head stand, the kukkutasana (cock pose) and ustrasana (camel pose). The Sohum chant will supposedly help your mind be in the present and active, while herbs like bhrami and the Shirodhara treatment are recommended.
With a 45-minute yoga session for at least 15 days, Sarvam promises that arthritis can be cured slowly. One must attend the yoga session (at 6 am or 7 am ). As for medicines, the benefits of guggul (herb) and home remedies like methi, dhaniya and jeera are shared. The kolakulathadi choornam (made with seven herbs, dried and powdered) is used in massages.
Their potli massage, with herbs like triphala, long pepper and dry ginger wrapped in a muslin bag, is best suited for those trying to control obesity. “A patient gets two masseurs, and the potli is used, in a mild striking motion on pressure points across the body,” says Sarvam.
Hair and skin therapy
For skin complaints, eladi choornam, a powder made from Indian spices, is recommended for consumption. Vana jambeera (wild lime) can be used for damaged hair. As for therapies, their chakradhara can nourish dry scalp.
With increasing stress issues, tonics made from sarpagandha (a herbal plant) are recommended. Basic massages—like abhyangam and shirodhara are popular,too.
Their preventive and regenerative package for 3N/4D is Rs 21,000. Details: kairali.com
The writer was invited by the Kairali Ayurvedic Group