Retreat for Radiance
By Maxwell Pereira
mfjpkamath@gmail.com

I am just back from attending a conference at Bangalore, feeling good and quite rejuvenated. How did I manage that? The euphoric answer’s there with a growing breed of the likes of me, who take time out to couple business with pleasure – for treatment of a different kind to detox and de-stress, and rid oneself of the mill-stone of ill-effects from the rigours of daily city life. As someone put it, to enter the treatment centre feeling lousy like a walking rubbish bin, and exit feeling like a million bucks. I did this at Bangalore’s popular ayurvedic treatment spa, Radiant Retreat, located opposite the Country Club short of the Bannerghatta National Park - the road to it is named after.

Rated among Bangalore’s top spas, Radiant Retreat is the authorised agency for the Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Shala of Kerala and sources all its oils and herbs fresh and pure from the land now popular as “god’s own country”! The Retreat which claims to be Bangalore’s only Health Resort that promises relaxation, revival and rejuvenation, is less a spa and more an ayurvedic hospital with full-fledged physicians in attendance round the clock.

Malini D’Cunha who runs the rejuvenative and therapeutic part of the business while partner Zachariah concentrates on providing the infrastructural requisites, waxes eloquent on the host of treatments to chose from “as decided by the doctors on the premises” after proper consultations with the patient, for therapists to administer. The business for her should involve dedicated service too, if it has to be a success.

Peace of mind today, is a precious commodity, and many stressed-out city dwellers need to escape their daily schedules to address life issues like ageing, dietary habits, and fitness schedules. No better place, she says, than her Retreat, which is currently witnessing hectic activity while being converted into a bustling Resort for individuals and corporates alike for their executive getaways and conferences midst tranquil surroundings of a lush green country environment, even while not neglecting productivity.

While newer and newer treatments come on the scene all the time at a host of day spas and wellness centres, many tend to burn out being too shallow to be sustainable. Compared to these the ancient Indian ayurvedic treatments are time-honoured, with a lot of wisdom and human ingenuity of centuries behind them. Our systems of medicine are more a way of life than science, and help calm the mind, balance the body and nurture the soul to fortify and strengthen oneself, to make it possible to regain vigour of life. After all, ayurveda means “knowledge of life”.

The chirping of birds greet you as you drive into this six acre complex, midst the squawks and honks of an inquisitive train of geese, turkeys, guinea fowl and Peking ducks that strut around majestically below the rustle of coconut palms and the moos of the live-stock on the premises. The flutter of their large wings, their splash and paddle as they frolic in the pool and lotus water bodies around the place, instantly soothe your nerves and work wonders to relieve stress. The traditionally-styled Kerala cottages around the shimmering blue of the swimming pool, belie the luxury beneath their Mangalore-tiled roofs - lending to the welcome and warm ambience.

Treatment to a male and female is by therapists strictly of their own gender. To the uninitiated first-timer the getting-into-the-raw with nothing more than a flimsy langot worn in the current day popular thong fashion may perhaps be a bit queasy, but once the therapist masseurs get into their act with the heated oils and their synchronised and penetrating strokes, one is oblivious to the outside world, totally transported into an euphoric and relaxed stupor - wanting the feeling to last forever. And this euphoric eternity is within grasp at Radiant Retreat, at reasonable charges that range from Rs.150 to Rs.1200 for individual therapies, with extras for the type of board and lodging opted for. There are packages of half-day, one day, two nights and three days, and a week for specific treatment.

Yoga, meditation and diet coupled with steam and herbal baths form part of the treatment imparted by trained physicians, therapists and yoga instructors who work to vitalise the body and heal specific ailments caused by transgressions of nature. Besides therapies to treat chronic ailments through a balanced diet and lifestyle, the experts help one to identify what’s best for the individual body to reduce stress and build inner strength. Ailments like fatigue, lack of vitality, loss of memory, insomnia, spondylitis, chronic headaches and migraine, get treated as effectively as do rheumatoid arthritis, lumbago, paraplegia and so on.

There are specific processes. Like “shirovasti” to improve vision, memory and mental faculties, and “shirodara” – wherein medicinal oils are administered to open up the third eye on the forehead to help reduce hypertention and radiate vigour into the nervous system; and “pizhichil” where the warm medicated oils are allowed to flow along specific tracks on the patient’s body. There is “navarakizhi” to relieve sciatica and paralysis, wherein cooked rice is used. For obesity there is “udhvarthanam” with herbal powders, which is said to have a wonderful effect; while the steam and herbal baths are designed to remove toxins from the system. The “dinachrya kriya” includes “abhiyanga” – a oil massage dealt on a medicated neem wood platform called “pathi” or “dhroni” This helps relieve fatigue, delay ageing, and improve the texture of the skin. There are highly interactive and interesting lecture sessions too by physicians on different aspects of ayurveda.

Indeed, the rejuvenation therapies at Radiant Retreat do offer a new perspective on life with an instant burst of energy and an ability to explore deeper within oneself to achieve a harmonious lifestyle.

May 22, 2006: 950 words: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http:// www.maxwellperira.com and maxpk@vsnl.com

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