Monsoon: The word mesmerizes up the image of a green landscape of wet leaves, rhythmic raindrops, gurgling streams overflowing their banks, children splashing in puddles, and moisture laden winds.
Kerala in India is especially charming during the monsoon, for here the rains never settle down to a repetitive down pours, but are constantly being bothered by periods of brilliant sunshine. The romance of the monsoon however, is often weakened by a host of ailments that are aggravated by the moist and humidity. The queues in front of hospitals and clinics become longer as the rainy season progresses and arthritis, gastric disturbances, asthma, sinusitis, diarrhea, indigestion and skin diseases hold sway.
It is here that Ayurveda, the 5000 year old system of holistic healing, comes to the rescue. According to Ayurveda, mid-June to mid-August is referred to as the Varsha Rithu, and this is the best season for rejuvenation therapies that strengthen the body and soul. Moreover the body is most receptive to herbal oils and therapies during the monsoon, as this is when the skin pores are open to their maximum extent.
The Monsoon is the best time to go for a course of Panchakarma treatment, Kerala, blessed by Nature with both abundant rainfall and ample sunshine, is without doubt an ideal destination for the rejuvenation therapies. These include:
- Abhyanga or whole body massage that helps in improving blood circulation and reduces muscular strain.
- Dhara in which medicated oils are poured on the forehead to reduce stress, relieve headaches, improve memory and sleep.
- Swedanam, in which a patient is made to sweat by using the steam of herbs.
- Pizhichil which involves pouring oil all over the body accompanied with a massage.
- Virechana which is a medical purgation therapy to remove accumulated toxins.
Diet is also an important part of monsoon rejuvenation therapy. A specialty of Kerala is the “Karkidaka Kanji” - an Ayurvedic gruel made with special herbs, rice and lentils. It is considered as a perfect health supplement for promoting the overall well-being of person and boosting the body’s immunity.
DO’S AND DON’T’S
- Avoid strenuous activities such as travel, sex, jerky movements, physical work and prolonged sitting.
- Sleep at regular times and preferably avoid day sleep.
- Avoid overeating and eating before the previous meal has been digested.
- Natural urges should not be delayed or with holded at any cost.
- Your diet should include plenty of boiled and cooled water, ginger, green gram and milk.
- Eat nuts- almonds, walnuts and their oils, seeds like sesame, sunflower and their oils, grape seed oil, soybean oil, whole grains, and legumes.
- Avoid cold food and drinks as well as curds and salads.
Goals of Karkidaka chikitsa
- Detoxification – Over days and months we ingest toxins and pollutants that accumulate in your system. These toxins accumulate in your body and when it reaches a certain level it gives rise to symptoms like allergies, body pains, swellings, depression and even auto immune disorders. The Karkidaka Chikitsa attempts to mobilize the toxins in your body and eliminate them through channels of cleansing.
- Boost to Immune system – The Oushada kanji which is prepared with herbs proven to enhance and strengthen the immune system.
- Rejuvenation – The massage therapies will improve circulation and increase oxygen and nutrient level in the tissues to rejuvenate and refresh the body.
- Alleviation of current health concerns