Monday, April 8, 2013

In search of ancient alternative healing therapies on the island

With a written history dating back 2,500 years, Sri Lanka has a rich history and vast wealth of knowledge accumulated over this time.

The area of ancient alternative healing and Ayurveda on the island has interested me over a number of years. Initially I wasn't sure what was available, other than the mainstream version of Ayurveda  Namely, herbal baths, head oil and body massages and various tonics. Not that there is anything wrong with mainstream Ayurveda  It can be quite soothing and relaxing, but I haven't necessarily heard or evidenced any amazing recoveries from illness from these treatments.

My first foray of this sort of thing came about a few years ago when I visited India. I was travelling through northern India and found my way to Dharamsala. I visited a herbal doctor who had previously treated the Dalai Lama. I had to piss in a cup and then take it with me to see the doctor. He analysed my urine, as well as examining my tongue, eyes and palm. He identified some ailments (which I was vaguely aware of, which weren't too serious given my age etc.) and prescribed some medicine in the form of herbal pills. These pills were to be taken three times a day and looked like tiny brown pebbles. I did actually take them for about two months and it seemed to do the trick.

Being a resident in Sri Lanka for a few years now, it's been fascinating to continue the journey to seek out what is not mainstream.

There are a number of hot springs around the island. I've visited one near Trincomalee and one near Jaffna.

Kanniya hot springs is on the road to Trincomalee and has seven springs in total that are enclosed by a rectangular wall. People who visit these hot springs believe there are healing benefits from bathing at the hot springs. When I visited a few years ago, it was fairly crowded and people were full-on bathing from one of the seven hot springs. I didn't bathe, but splashed some water on my feet and arms...

** Please note, the full blog post has been removed as parts of the blog content will be edited for inclusion in an upcoming publication by the author. More information will be made available on the Adventures in a Tuk-Tuk Blog in due course **

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