The island of Ceylon has many natural well-being rituals drawn from holistic practices of age-old wisdom; deeply rooted within the culture of the island. These rituals of royal relaxation, rejuvenation and Ayurvedic healing were practiced in the grand palaces of Ceylon. The practices originated in the neighboring subcontinent of India, and Sri Lanka too developed its own original rituals and practices. The rituals were then passed on through word-of-mouth and through traditional village healers, who kept the practices alive through the millennia.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu system of medicine (incorporated in Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas of Hinduism); which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing. The name originated from their Sanskrit components where āyus mean ‘life’ and veda means‘(sacred) knowledge’.
A Background on Ayurveda
The knowledge of Ayurveda is believed to have been given from the Gods to the sages in order to make human life better. According to the script of the ancient Indian physician Sasruta; the Hindu God of Ayurvedic medicine Dhanavantari, who was also an avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born as the King of Varanasi and taught the physicians there the secrets of Ayurveda. The Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia.They are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances. The ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects
Some scholars assert that Ayurveda originated in prehistoric times,and that some of the concepts of Ayurveda have existed from the time of the civilization from Indu Valley or even earlier. In any case, Ayurveda developed significantly during the Vedic period, and later some of the non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism also developed their own medical concepts and practices that appear in the classical Ayurveda texts
The Components of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is said to have eight main components according to the ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata which is from the 4th century BC. They are:
- Kāyacikitsā: general medicine, medicine of the body
- Kaumāra-bhṛtya: the treatment of children, paediatrics
- Śalyatantra: surgical techniques and the extraction of foreign objects
- Śālākyatantra: treatment of ailments affecting ears, eyes, nose, mouth, etc. ("ENT")
- Bhūtavidyā: pacification of possessing spirits, and the people whose minds are affected by such possession
- Agadatantra: toxicology
- Rasāyanatantra: rejuvenation and tonics for increasing lifespan, intellect and strength
- Vājīkaraṇatantra: aphrodisiacs and treatments for increasing the volume and viability of semen and sexual pleasure.
Ayurveda in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan tradition of Ayurveda is similar to the Indian tradition, and is quite ancient having begun over 3000 years ago. However they differ in that, the Sri Lankan Ayurvedic tradition is a mixture of the Sinhala traditional medicine; Ayurveda and Siddha systems of India; Unani medicine of Greece brought in through the Arabs; and most importantly, the Desheeya Chikitsa, which is the indigenous medicine of Sri Lanka. While many common manuscripts used in India are also used in Sri Lanka, there are a few unique scripts as well; such as the Sarartha Sangrahaya by the King Buddhadasa, who was one of the most influential physicians of his time in the 4th century AD.
Ancient inscriptions on rock surfaces reveal that organized medical services have existed within the country for centuries. In fact, Sri Lanka claims to be the first country in the world to have established dedicated hospitals. According to the Mahavamsa, the ancient Buddhist chronicle from the sixth century AD; King Pandukabhaya of Sri Lanka (437 BC -367 BC) had lying-in-homes and Ayurvedic hospitals (Sivikasotthi-Sala) built in various parts of the country. The hill of Mihintale still has the ruins of what is believed to be the first hospital in the world. These old hospital sites now attract tourists, who marvel at the beautiful ruins. These places have come to symbolize a traditional sense of healing and care, which was so prevalent at that time
In 1980, the Sri Lankan government established a Ministry of Indigenous Medicine to revive and regulate Ayurveda.The Institute of Indigenous Medicine (affiliated to the University of Colombo) offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and MD degrees in Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery, and similar degrees in unani medicine.In the public system, there are currently 62 Ayurvedic hospitals and 208 central dispensaries, which served about 3 million people (about 11% of Sri Lanka’s population) in 2010. In total, there are about 20,000 registered practitioners of Ayurveda in the country.
Spa Ceylon and its Offerings
Spa Ceylon was created by incorporating ancient Ayurveda practices into the modern era. Backed by a five-decade old family business with vast expertise in the manufacture of Ayurvedic health & beauty care, Spa Ceylon was founded by the brothers Shiwantha & Shalin in 2009. As at 2015, the brand had grown rapidly to establish itself as ‘the world’s leading luxury Ayurveda brand’, with more than 30 signature boutiques & spas located across South Asia, the Far East & Europe. The company searched out and combined the secretive and treasured formulae and rituals that hydrate, treat, purify and soothe the body, mind and soul.
Spa Ceylon offers a mystic combination of Ayurveda wisdom, fine natural ingredients & contemporary design to bring the ultimate in Ayurvedic luxury for health, well-being & relaxation, right to the hands of its customers. The Spa Ceylon range of Ayurveda luxuries are the result of the founding family’s decades of expertise in the field; which was then pioneered and spearheaded by the brand in an effort to bring the goodness of Sri Lanka’s Ayurveda to the international community.
Today their range includes a number of treatment oils, massage balms, massage and bath oils, essential oils, cleansing bars, exfoliating bars, shower gels, body scrubs, body pacs, milk baths, body lotions, moisturizing balms, body mist, soothing balms, foot care and herbal compress. They are made with completely natural ingredients; including organic essential oils from the tropical island of Sri Lanka; organically grown sun kissed fresh Aloe Vera; pure extra virgin coconut oil proven to be therapeutic; the mineral rich Indian Ocean salts; and most importantly the fabled spices of Sri Lanka.
The company promotes environmentally-friendly products, supports human rights, and is against the use of child labour and animal testing. All products are alcohol free & contain no ingredients of animal origin.