Sri Lanka’s traditional form of medicine, Ayurveda uses plants, herbs and oils in its treatments. Translated as the “Science of Life”, it works on the premise that the body is ruled by three doshas (humours): vata (air), pita (bile or fire) and kapha (phlegm or earth). In medical terms, these refer to the nervous, digestive and immune systems respectively. Toxins, poor diet, bad digestion, lack of sleep and excess stress cause an imbalance of the doshas and lead to poor health. Ayurvedic treatments aim to balance the doshas and thus, restore health. Ayurvedic physicians prescribe customized treatment plans that include a special diet, while Ayurvedic centers in mid and top range hotels offer practices aimed at relaxation, such as massages and skin treatments.
Ayurveda aims to eliminate the body’s toxins and balance its energy. Herbs, plants and oils are used to achieve this through treatments such as oil massages and steam baths. Ayurvedic therapies are believed to be beneficial for a range of medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and skin ailments. They are also said to improve digestion and eyesight as well as slow the ageing process. Facial or head massages, steam baths and body wraps are ideal for reducing stress and detoxing. One of the best known treatments is shirodhara, which offers relief from stress and insomnia.
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