January 7 - visit Santhigiri Healthcare and Research Organization- Ayuveda Hospital

Highlights:

- Quiet, clean, wonderful smelling facility

- Man giving us tour ( C.S. Vijayamohanan Thampi) had a mentoring quality to him.  It made me trust everything he told us even the drinks they gave us that could have potentially have had water in them.  The lemonade and lime juice were worth the risk.

- Mint/cucumber/ lemon/ coriander drink.  It was the best thing I've ever drank and it is also excellent for digestion. The stomach is the center of well-being and health.

- All medical remedies used are all natural and vegetarian and grown in the facility's own gardens.

- Treating mainly pain aliments with natural creams, oils, massages, and steam rooms.

- Visited place of worship for the Guru called the Ashma. This place smelled incredible once again including jasmine, incense, and flowers that changed with every couple steps.  The grounds were quiet except for birds and the humming/ chanting of those present to worship/ pray to the guru.  In the lotus structure, there was a picture of Guru that is the only one of him in the entire world.  Photographs are not allowed so this the only place it can be viewed.

 

 

 I really love the idea of alternative medicine as opposed to some of the powerful medication (pain pills, etc.) given in "western" medicine.  The natural substances can also have powerful healing effects without some of the serious side effects of pharmaceuticals.  The downside to this type of practice however is that it is costly and time consuming.  A stay at the hospital (or resort really) costs 3500 rupees per night (about $53) not including cost of treatments.  These services do not qualify for universal care and are not covered by most insurance plans.  So for a majority of people, a stay at this facility is not finically possible.  Time is also a negative factor of this medicine. Most of the people we talked with had come from other countries (Canada, England, etc.) and were planning on staying for two weeks or more.  To be able to do this a person either needs tons of vacation time or a job that is very flexible with hours.  Many people do not have this convenience.

Despite the big negatives of money and time, the concept of natural remedies is something I think would be very beneficial to integrate into medicine practices at home.  I would like to learn more about Ayurveda medicine in the future.