Post-Covid: Kerala,India to highlight Ayurveda and Wellness Tourism

Nowadays, when the coronavirus is terrorizing the world, people are becoming more and more aware of their health.
Meanwhile, the Government of India has announced that it will establish a new research institute for Ayurveda, a medical science that has been around for a long time in India, to promote more systematic and specialized research.
In fact, the export volume of Ayurvedic products in India in 2020 is much higher than the previous year.
In addition, the author also has the experience of remarkably recovering both physically and mentally when receiving Ayurvedic treatment in India.
This time, we will post an interview with a doctor in Kerala, the sanctuary of Ayurveda, as well as a special edition that touches on "medical tourism" that the site is strengthening in the future.

Photo,text: Makiko Yamamoto
Cooperation: Embassy of India,Tokyo(Japan)

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The global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, which began in 2020, shows no signs of ending.
Meanwhile, in October 2020, the Prime Minister of India announced that it would establish two national Ayurvedic institutions at the fifth Ayurvedic Day held by the Ministry of AYUSH.
While emphasizing the rich heritage of traditional medicine called “Ayurveda” in India, its effects are recognized all over the world, and its beneficial health and wellness are the best in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said it was further recognized for bringing about the characteristics of.
In fact, during the Corona period, demand for Ayurvedic products increased rapidly around the world, with exports increasing by about 45% compared to last year.
The establishment of these two “Ayurvedic Supreme Research Institutes” shows that Ayurveda is no longer an option for treatment, but a center of health and wellness in the world.
These research institutes are also expected by the World Health Organization (WHO) as world-class medical institutions.

The Center of Ayurveda, Kerala

Kerala, South India, one of the centers of Ayurveda in India.
It is also the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga and is a gathering place for yogis and health conscious people from all over the world.
The state of Kerala, nicknamed “God’s Own Country,” is popular with travelers because of its blessed environment and security.

When I stayed for one month to obtain a certificate of yoga RYT200 in 2019, I visited the Ayurvedic clinic “Ojus Spine Care” and received a two-week treatment by Dr. Pillai, and my physical and mental condition had remarkably improved by his treatment. I was impressed by the recovery and its effect. At the end of the same year, I revisited Kerala just to receive Ayurvedic treatments, and I had been concentrating on the treatments at the same clinic.

Due to the spread of the Covid-19, “immunity improvement” has become more important in Japan as well. However, the coronavirus not only infects humans, but also erodes our hearts. Repeated lockdowns have led to economic collapse, many have lost business opportunities and many have lost their jobs.
In fact, the number of suicides in Japan in 2020 began to increase for the first time after the Global Financial Crisis(2008), reaching 21,081 cases. This is more than double the number of domestic corona deaths from February 2nd 2020 to April 3rd 2021, which is 9,854.

Therefore, I thought that Ayurveda, which awakens the natural power of human beings and makes them physically and mentally healthy, is the treatment we need now.

For the above reasons, in March of this year, I revisited Kerala, visited the site, and conducted an interview with Dr. Pillai.

Interview with Dr.Pillai

ADVENTURE KING Editor in chief Yamamoto
Please tell me about Ayurveda.

Dr. Sangeeth S Pillai B.M.A.S
Ayurveda is an ancient knowledge of India, a lifestyle and lifestyle rather than a cure, and a life science.
Of course, Ayurveda has treatments and medicines, but besides that, it is involved in diet, seasonal lifestyle rules, and all of these lifestyles. From a big point of view, India is not the only one.
Living a healthy life according to the philosophy, which is called “Ayurvedic lifestyle”, includes all people living a healthy life all over the world.

Isee,Ayurveda is a lifestyle.

That’s right. It’s not a treatment method, it’s a culture and a lifestyle. In ancient India, people lived a lifestyle that was tailored to their region. It made me healthier than we are now and closer to Moksha (Sanskrit for eternity, liberation).
In my opinion, Moksha is one of the definitions of “happiness”.
In other words, I think that Mokusha means being happy and calm when the journey of life is over and he dies.
Ayurveda is a lifestyle with such a purpose and idea, and “daily Ayurveda” is a lifestyle that incorporates it into the rules of daily living habits.

One method is not always correct because the lifestyle varies from land to land.
As I said earlier, Ayurvedic lifestyle rules change depending on the temperature and humidity. And it changes depending on the constitution and the season.
Eating heavy foods in the summer can be difficult to digest and strain your body, but in the winter you need to eat nutritious foods to raise your body temperature.

When you eat nutritious foods, your body uses a lot of energy for digestion. At the same time, the body temperature also rises. Such a correlation is the simplest Ayurvedic law.
In Ayurvedic thinking, things are divided into three concepts.
Dosha (constitution) is also divided into three parts: vata, pitta, and kappa.
Vata controls movement function, pitta controls energy function, and kappa controls stability.
For example, walking is vata, digestion is pitta, and physical stability is kappa.
The three factors can be found not only in our bodies, but in all things.

The three factors are linked to each other.

That’s right. Like the DNA structure, they are inextricably linked. It’s a law. The balance of Dosha depends on the land and constitution in which the person lives and the genetic factors inherited from his parents.
For example, in South India, the skin is brown and the body is a little plump. This is because South India is an area with a stronger water element (kappa). Here 95% of the locals are a little plump and brown. It can be said that it looks like this land.

A little plump is a good thing here, isn’t it?

We have a kappa diet. So we eat a lot of carbohydrates such as rice.
That’s normal for us living here.
If a European comes and eats as much carbs as we do, the person will get sick.
Because the European constitution is closer to Pitta. Pitta symbolizes a temperament that is harsh and has a strong desire for control. Can’t you say that from their history? Pitta has a warrior-like character.
And the arid zone has the nature of Vata. There, people try to get stronger.

For example, it’s an area like California, a sanctuary for bodybuilding. I understand.

People who live in Vata become more active and demand a variety of activities.
It is also characterized by its good physique and long limbs. Occasionally, a Vata person asks, “What kind of lifestyle is right for me?”, But I advise, “Enjoy your favorite activities.” Vata should be active.
Many sprinters are from Africa because of their Vata character.
If you ask a Vata person with an active temperament to do typing work, they will not be able to do it.
On the contrary, the reason why Kerala people are more likely to engage in IT work is because they have a kappa temperament. People in Pitta are good at sitting in chairs for a long time.

How can I figure out my Dosha from other ways?

To know it accurately, we need to judge from various factors, and we have to study and experience a lot like we doctors.
But to put it simply, you can tell from your body shape, pulse, and so on.
Measuring from pulse requires long training. Not to mention studying, you cannot accurately diagnose your pulse without meditation.
I think that feeling problems and stagnation from simple pulse movements is as deep as doing astronomy.

Photo Taken In Shibuya, Japan (getty images)

Now, many people in Japan are suffering from stress. Due to the economic stagnation and self-restraint caused by the spread of the coronavirus, the physical and mental balance is lost. People lose their jobs and some commit suicide.

It’s sad. But judging from the land Dosha, I’m convinced.
Because the Japanese are more like Pitta and Vata due to their climate and geographical factors. Pitta and Vata have weak stress tolerance.
But here Kerala is a stress-resistant kappa. What if I ask you about the current situation? I temporarily closed the clinic last year in Corona and have been out of work for a year. Occasionally, some people come to the clinic, but it’s far less than it used to be, and it’s not enough to maintain this big clinic.
But I don’t think about committing suicide. Because kappa has a “stable” nature. So I’m good at managing stress.
Vata people think too much. Therefore, it is easy to feel stress.

Is there an Ayurvedic solution to stress?

As you know because you are a yogi, meditation is the most effective. Do a lot of meditation anyway.
Also, practice pranayama (breathing).
If you still feel stressed, start a full-fledged Ayurvedic treatment. There are many treatments, such as Shirodara, which drips oil on the forehead, and Shirobasti, which applies oil to the head.
You can also prescribe Ayurvedic medicine.
Of course, those treatments require an accurate medical examination by a doctor.
Young people sometimes ask me why Ayurveda should be treated immediately.
As I mentioned earlier, Ayurveda refers to a “healthy lifestyle.”
Therefore, it is necessary to correct the lifestyle first before treatment.

If you tell the person who came to see you the rules of your lifestyle, you will be asked to cure them immediately with treatment. They do not understand the essence of Ayurveda.
Modern people live in many “polluted” environments such as food and the environment. Therefore, many toxins are accumulated in the body.
First of all, it is necessary to eliminate toxins in the body. Proper “metabolism” eliminates toxins. Ayurveda is the only solution to excrete toxins.

And we are exposed to various stresses. It is Ayurveda that can relieve that stress.
Now we have a lot of lifestyle choices.
But none of them are guaranteed to be permanently healthy.
They also prescribe chemical drugs to cure the disease and try to get immediate results.
If you want to be free from such drugs, you should choose Ayurveda.
And if you want to live longer and regenerate your body, I assert that you should switch to Ayurvedic life.

The most interesting and beautiful thing about Ayurveda, I think, is that it is not a one-size-fits-all cure.
For example, let’s say two patients come with the same illness. But the treatments I propose are different for both of us.
It depends on their dosha and physical condition.
The cause of the same “back pain” varies from person to person. We will find it accurately by pulse diagnosis, diagnose which dosha is causing pain, and propose a solution.
That’s what makes it different from Western medicine, and that’s why I love Ayurveda.

Also, the same treatment may be given to different diseases.
Because there are only 5 basic treatments.
In the treatment called Panchakarma, Pancha means 5.
There are five methods: vomiting method (Vamana), laxative method (Villechana), enema method (Vasty), nasal drop method (Nasya) and bloodletting method (Lactamokusha).

Everything is done under the proper judgment of a doctor, so it is safe, and Panchakarma can eliminate toxins and restore the human body to its original health.
Ayurvedic treatments vary depending on the person’s condition at the time, so they are different from general-purpose treatments such as “this for this disease”.
So take this medicine for a year. I do not take long-term medication such as.
This is because the condition of the human body also changes during the year.
Diet, behavior, short-term dosing, and balancing the body, mind, and soul are also important.

What is the difference between mind and soul?

The mind is the place where thoughts come to mind, and the soul is the place where energy is produced.

I know it’s important to balance the three, but how can we balance them?

Yoga, pranayama (breathing technique), and meditation are recommended for yogis, but those who don’t will find the hurdles high.
Therefore, I advise you to be aware of deep breathing.
Deep breathing balances the mind and body and rejuvenates the soul.

Does Ayurveda boost our immunity?

Of course.
The cause of weakened immunity is the accumulation of toxins in the body. Immunity is also weakened by forcing various parts of the body to excrete toxins.
When the body oxidizes, toxins tend to accumulate.
Ayurveda has a variety of naturally occurring drugs that produce antioxidants.
Immunity naturally increases by taking antioxidants into the body and excreting toxins. Of course, there are various herbal medicines that boost immunity.

As I mentioned earlier, Panchakarma is also an effective treatment for boosting immunity.
Did you know that detoxification is customary not only in the world of Ayurveda but also in various religions? For example, Ramadan (fasting) in Islam, Easter in Christianity, these times they fast temporarily.
This is to rest the digestive system and eliminate toxins from the body.
It can be said that caring for the digestive system is directly linked to improving immunity.
The digestive system also regulates the temperature inside the body. It is very important to keep it at an appropriate temperature.
There is a custom of “aperitif” all over the world.
The purpose is to drink alcohol to warm the body and promote digestion before eating.
I recommend strong drinks before meals to people in cold areas.
For example, Russians can generate heat in their digestive system by taking a small amount of vodka before meals.
On the contrary, I don’t recommend alcohol to people in Kerala here. Drinking alcohol, especially in the summer, has a very negative effect on the body.
Summers here in South India are very hot and our bodies are in a state of heat.
It can be said that adding more alcohol and adding heat to it can lead to death.

There is a local eating habit in the land, isn’t it?

Alcohol also plays a role by drinking it with a purpose.
However, it is important not to keep drinking because it deviates from the original purpose.

I also have to be careful.

Do you drink alcohol?

I only drink wines, I like the taste so.

Then you have to eat more. If you drink only alcohol, your body will oxidize. Liver problem and hemorrhoids are expected.

How Ayurveda effects our mind?

When I had the treatment here before, I felt a change in my physical condition as well as a change in my mind. At the end of the long-term treatment, I remember feeling overwhelmed and emotional.

Dr. Pillai
It’s not a problem. This is often the case during Ayurvedic treatments. When the body tries to return to its original state, it naturally affects not only the body but also the mind.
The important thing in the process is not to suppress that emotion.
Many of these impulses are present in the body. It is very important to release it and get it out of the body.
The urge can also be excreted by belching, flatulence, or urine.
Therefore, it is very important for the body not to put up with them.
If you put up with the release of your emotions, you will start to have headaches and become ill.

Don’t stop crying, getting angry, or laughing.
Some people may be frustrated to cry or get angry.
In my case, I cry and get angry when I’m wearing a helmet and riding a motorcycle. Since it is hidden by a helmet, you can release your emotions without being asked by anyone.
If I calm down, I can be a good father and a good husband for my children and wife.

When I had a pulse diagnosis before by you, you mentioned a mental problem, but how did you find out?

Pulse diagnosis is an important factor in Ayurveda.
There are kappa, vedas, pitta, and five nerves in the pulse, and we look at the balance.
There is also a pulse of organs.
By looking at the pulse of the wrist, you can visualize from the head to the toes, including the internal organs.
And I have a problem in my mind, but I’m not a fortune teller.
I felt imbalance of your Dosha in the heart from the pulse.

If there is any trauma as a child, it will disturb the Dosha at the mental level, so it is possible to get information from the pulse diagnosis not only about the body but also about the emotions.
But I don’t always have a pulse diagnosis either. Sometimes my physical condition is not suitable for pulse diagnosis, and in that case I will ask a question instead of pulse diagnosis.
You need to do a lot of meditation to get an accurate pulse diagnosis. Meditation allows for deep levels of pulse diagnosis.
If your vibrations match the vibrations of your opponent, you can see this deep level, but that is not always possible.

How about my condition today?

Let’s take a look. It’s 3:00 pm now. This time is the time to move from Pitta to Vata. Therefore, it is normal for the pulse to show signs of being closer to Vada. So is your pulse.

Dosha changes depending on the time of day.

I will try to pulse up to the internal organs level.
You’re feeling stressed under your back.

Actually, I trained this morning and I feel a little pain around there.

It’s in the pulse.
To see the organ level, this is the body, this is the neck, and this is the pulse that looks at the legs.
And here is the waist. I felt your energy stagnation in my lower back. Let’s take a closer look.
You didn’t eat anything today?

I ate fruits a bit.

You haven’t eaten much. There seems to be a little gas in your stomach.

I see.

There is a pulse showing gas in the intestine.
As you can see, there is a theory in pulse diagnosis. And we doctors need to meditate. Because you need to concentrate. By meditating and improving your concentration, you can make an accurate pulse diagnosis. As in the the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga rule of Diana (meditation) and Dalarna (concentration), they are very necessary for us.

※The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga
1. YAMA – Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows
2. NIYAMA – Positive duties or observances
3. ASANA – Posture
4. PRANAYAMA – Breathing Techniques
5. PRATYAHARA – Sense withdrawal
6. DHARANA – Focused Concentration
7. DHYANA – Meditative Absorption
8. SAMADHI – Bliss or Enlightenment

©getty images

It also makes it possible for the concentration gained through meditation to seem impossible.
You may have seen pictures and literature of yogis flying in the air, floating on the water, and walking on hot ground.
Nothing is they special. You can do it too. It is made possible by the accumulation of meditation exercises.
Little by little, though.

I also try to practice meditation every day as much as possible. But I often just close my eyes … “Meditative time” and what do you think of meditation?

Meditative moments vary from person to person.
Just focus. There is no choice but to practice while being aware of that.
Meditation is born in it. No one can “teach meditation”. You have to learn it yourself. If you think you can’t meditate, just focus on something.
One thing, find something you can focus on and focus on it.

So the last question, do you think Ayurvedic medicine and Western medicine can coexist?

In fact, Ayurveda and modern medicine cannot coexist. This means that we do not recommend that the same patient receive Ayurveda and modern medicine at the same time.
This is because the “axis” for both treatments is different.

I see. Then for example, if a cancer patient on chemotherapy asks for Ayurvedic treatment, what would you say?

First of all, I would like to mention that about half of the wisdom of Ayurveda in India, which has been nurtured by a long history, has been lost along with the history of invasion from overseas. Only about 50% can be known now.
Ayurveda is no longer the mainstream treatment and now only offers special treatment in some areas.
Many medicines and cures have been lost.
So now I can’t say that it cures all illnesses.
Of course, Ayurveda also has cancer treatment. But not everything is left. Of course, treatments such as purification are effective, but they do not have as much knowledge as in the past.

Therefore, for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, after-treatment after chemotherapy is recommended.
It restores the body damaged by chemotherapy.
Even now, many hospitals actually treat Ayurvedic patients with cancer, but I think that doctors and patients should understand what they said earlier before starting treatment.
Every year there are patients with cancer here as well, and I give the same explanation.
There is no problem as long as we are aware of the risks that are appropriate for each other.
This is not limited to Ayurveda, but it is the same with modern chemical treatments, but both should start treatment with a good understanding of side effects.

Does Ayurveda have any side effects?

It has.
Basically, I use herbs, but there are other medicines derived from minerals such as metal.
Usually, the use of these minerals is carefully prescribed in small increments. In rare cases, too much prescription can cause side effects. It’s all about keeping the balance.

We should be careful.

Do you know the four rules of receiving Ayurvedic treatment?
1. Find a doctor who is knowledgeable and able to think flexibly
2. Have an assistant who is passionate about treatment
3. It should be an effective and unmixed appropriate amount of medicine.
4. Being an obedient patient
If even one of these is missing, proper treatment cannot be achieved.

Many people visit your clinic for treatments. I hear that many people here in Kerala stay for a long time for medical tourism purposes.

They visit here to get Ayurvedic treatment from all over the world, mainly in Russia and Europe. There are many people who come every year. There are also many Japanese people.
Stay here for about a month, do Panchakarma (21 days of detoxification therapy), concentrate on treatments according to your purpose, enjoy the rich nature of Kerala on days without treatment, and prepare your mind and body You will be returning to Japan.
Kerala has a nice climate and a laid-back environment, so many people are treated while on a resort vacation.
Usually, you come with a tourist visa, but there are also medical visas, and you can use those visas to stay for a long time.
(* Both visas are suspended as of April 2021)

After the end of pandemic, medical tourism is likely to become more popular.

I think so.
I am considering to expand my clinic for that.
I pray for the health of everyone in Japan. And after this pandemic, come and experience the Ayurvedic treatment.

Medical Tourism in Kerala

Kerala is ideally suited for medical tourism because of its moderate weather throughout the year,advanced hospitals with worldclass facilities,renowned doctors specialized in major disciplines,trained para medical staff and technicians,and international connectivity.

Besides,Kerala also enjoys definite advantages such as the high standard of hygiene that is maintained,the already well developed tourism industry with its high quality resorts and hotels,competitive costs for packages of medical treatment, and ideal locations for a relaxing holiday.

There are many Ayurvedic pharmacies in Kerala, and you can find products for various purposes, from physical disorders to skin care and hair care. Under the guidance of a pharmacist, you will surely find the perfect item for your current worries.

Kerala Tourism will focus and highlight its traditional healing and wellness system, Ayurveda, in a big way to draw tourists in the post-Covid market.
Also they expect an increased demand for healing and wellness travel in the post-Covid world and the state will highlight the traditional edge, which Kerala enjoys in Ayurveda healing.

In Kerala, where high-quality spices and herbs are produced, there are various products using natural and organic materials, and there are also many health-conscious yoga centers and Ayurvedic clinics. When choosing a clinic, it’s a good idea to visit a few and choose a doctor that you are comfortable with.

“Ayurveda and rejuvenation therapy are in great demand between Germans and French and are in a position to benefit from Ayurveda in the post-pandemic era,” said Lani George, director of tourism at Kerala. Earlier, tourism minister Kada Campary Slendran, who started the webinar, said, “Kerala, with its beaches, beautiful hills, backwaters and Ayurveda, has become the most popular destination for post-pandemic health care. It will be. “

The greatest  destination  for tourists, Kerala

In Europe, Kerala is famous as a popular tourist destination, having been selected as one of the “50 World Famous Places to Visit Once”.
“Kerala” is the local language for palm trees.
As the word says, palm trees grow thick, just like Taoyuan Township.
It features a beautiful sea, a warm climate, South Indian cuisine that suits the tastes of Japanese people, and the locals are calm and safe.

At Kerala, we recommend that you forget the time and spend a relaxing time.
You can enjoy such a luxurious lifestyle by watching the sunrise, taking a nap in the daytime, taking a rest at the cafe in the evening, and watching the stars and the moon on the beach after dinner.
It’s a place with plenty of water and soil, so you can enjoy tropical fruits and South Indian food, fresh coconut water and more!

Beautiful sunset and local people.

I would like you to experience the famous backwater, where you can relax on the river by boat.
Beach activities such as surfing, jet skiing, and paragliding are also substantial, and the activists are also satisfied.

Let the lazy backwaters set pace to your day

Of course, there are some things to be careful about.
There are many parties held in restaurants and outdoor clubs in the beach area, but if you’re not used to travel much, you shouldn’t attend.
Also, be careful of people who call out to you on the roadside.
It’s wise not to talk if you don’t need it.
Even if it is safe, this is overseas. I want you to pay due attention and make your memories of your trip enjoyable.

This time, I stayed in Kerala for about 40 days during pandemic.
I’ve learned that the people of Kerala naturally have a lifestyle that follows Ayurveda.
For example, if you get injured or sick, go to the Ayurvedic pharmacy instead of taking chemical medicine and cure with natural medicine.
Also, eat fresh food, drink water often, and when you are not feeling well, do not eat to improve your natural healing power.
In that way, I am always conscious of the “balance that human beings originally have.”
In addition, I was able to once again feel the power of herbs and food that the land of Kerala nurtures, and the charm of beautiful nature.
The state of Kerala, a region protected by God.
Whether it’s medical tourism, tourism, vacation, emigration …
There is something here that captivates visitors.
What kind of adventure is waiting for me next time?
I’m looking forward to visiting there again, hopefully very soon.

Information about Kerala
Kerala tourism authority