I have just got back from Kerala, South India. I was around that area a couple of years ago but this time we haven’t been travelling around, we have gone to an Ayurveda Clinic/Beach Resort.
Ayurveda medicine is originally from India (60% of the people there use it instead of British medicine, as they call traditional medicine). The clinic we went to, Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, supposed to be the best in India, and therefore must be the best in the world!!!!
As soon as you arrive you see a doctor who plans your diet and treatment, depending of the “problem” you have.
This was only the second time they had Spanish guests.
The treatments were as follows: Every day, over 1 hour massage with litres and litres of warm herbal oils that two women perform in perfect symmetric harmony all over your body, head and face. Then there are special treatments every day. A few days I had Ela Kizhi: You lay down and they gently hit you in the areas of pain with a white linen small bundle/bag filled with cooked herbs and lots of oil, lemon, ginger, turmeric, etc., all very warm. Another day you lay down with the head slightly tilted backwards, a hot small stream falls, from a suspended container, into your forehead covering all your scalp and head, this lasts 45 minutes.
All treatments are in a dark room lit with a candle and with herbal smells – such a pleasure; you lose all notion of time. Once you finish the treatments you have to wait 1 hour before showering so that all herbal oils take the maximum effect.
To be honest, this is total relax, 100% chilling. As the resort is by the sea, we also enjoyed a bit of sun bathing on the beach. There is optional yoga and meditation at different times of the day.
On the first day you get a thin cotton green robe and slippers that you wear after the treatments. We all wonder around the resort with the same wear and with our oily heads covered in white muslin cloth…. We could be part of a strange sect!!
Now on to the food. I do love Indian food, particularly South Indian, it is one of my favorites, but Ayurveda food is a different matter. They plan your diet on the first day, according to what you are there for – in my case it was no meat, fish, white flour, eggs, dairy, raw vegetables, nothing cold, not a lot of fruit and obviously no alcohol. Basically two weeks eating rice, coconut, watermelon, papaya, soft bananas and cooked vegetables with plenty spices. To drink? Infused warm water or herbal teas. You end up losing quite a lot of weight too which always comes handy because at the end you don’t really fancy much. Same food for lunch, dinner and even breakfast, and all very spicy and very yellow from the turmeric.
Such an experience really, but we couldn’t wait to get on the plane and enjoy a nice glass of vino!