Interview with an Indian Therapist in Greece
Abhilash (Abi) Nair was born in Kerala, South India which is also considered as the birthplace of ayurveda. He has been working as spa trainer and ayurveda expert for Asian Spa (www.asianspa.gr), a company that runs 13 spas in all of Greece. I had the pleasure of meeting Abi during my recent stay at the stunning Poseidonion Grand Hotel, one of the best accommodations in Greece. I very much enjoyed two treatments of Abi at the hotel`s spa where he gave me a few insights and above all tips to improve my wellbeing. After the treatments I felt years younger – this guy has magic hands for sure!
Photo: Abi and myself during our little chat at the spa of the Poseidonion Grand Hotel
We took the opportunity for a little chat about ayurveda – following are some very interesting facts.
KHL: Can you shortly explain what ayurveda is all about ?
ABI: Ayurveda - "Ayu" means life and "Veda" knowledge, so it is known as „knowledge of life“. It is a traditional system of medicine that originated in India around 2500 BC.
As a system of medicine, ayurveda focuses on treatments of various aliments affecting humans. It is also about prevention and promotion of health of all individuals. Ayurveda applies natural methods such as using herbs and medicines for the treatment of diseases.
Preventive treatments include
- Daily healthcare regimes ( Various herbal oil body massages )
- Seasonal healthcare programs(Summer and winter care treatments)
- Panchakarma therapies (Complete detoxification programs)
- Rasayana therapies ( Rejuvenation treatments)
- Pain & palliative therapies
So, ayurveda is all about total healthcare of individuals in a natural and safe method.
KHL: How can ayurveda help stressed out people and which health problems can it cure ?
Abi: This answer will be a bit long in order to explain it well. The ayurvedic approach to managing stress is a beautiful example of this.
According to the ancient texts of ayurveda, one group of ten gunas (qualities) is deemed to be building, nourishing, and anabolic in nature, while the other is reducing, lightening, and catabolic in nature. Ayurvedic medical therapies include
For physical stress:
1. Abhayangam(Full body medicated oil massages) to relax and rejuvenate tired muscles by removing channel blocks in the human body.
For mental stress:
1. Sirodhara (Medicated oils applied on the scalp in a special manner of flow)
2.Takradhara (Use of medicated buttermilk therapies to the scalp)
3.Thalapothichil (Application of ayurvedic herbs to scalp as a pack)
There are some effective stress buster herbal medicines in ayurveda which can be used to treat the stress conditions.
Photo: Treatment room at the Poseidonion Grand Hotel
KHL: Many people are interested in staying young and healthy as long as possible. Is ayurveda also a good means for better aging?
Abi: Ayurveda has a branch of therapies called Rasayana & Vajeekarana which mainly focus on the anti-aging therapies and geriatric treatment which will help to restore the natural state of cellular function by nourishing treatments.
KHL: The Poseidonion Grand Hotel is a great place for personal wellbeing where guests can certainly get a glimpse of ayurveda. Are there any other places in Greece and can you recommend any ayurveda resort in your home country India?
Abi:The Asian Spa at the Poseidonion Grand Hotel belongs to the Asian Spa Group where you can enjoy ayurvedic treatments focusing on the mental and physical stress release. Apart from that, ayurvedic treatments are available at the Asian Spas in Corfu (Gouvia), Santorini (at Vedema and Mystique), Athens (Intercontinental) and Thessaloniki (Hyatt). You can find out more about them by visiting www.asianspa.gr.
In India, we do have various centers offering authentic ayurveda therapies like hospitals, resorts and wellness clinics, ayurveda in the state of Kerala. The resorts of Somatheeram and Travencore Heritage certainly belong to the best.
KHL: You spend a lot of your time on the picturesque island of Spetses in the Saronic Gulf. Can you recommend any special places there?
Abi: I love Spetses and it is very difficult to choose some places but I like to go to the lighthouse in the old port (great for panoramic photos!) I also love Agioi Anargiri Beach on the back side of the Island – a so-called unorganized beach. Agioi Pantes, a monastery in the mountains, is also a place I like very much.
Photo: The lighthouse on Spetses Island
Thanks so much, Abi. Although my overall health condition is rather good (which may be due to a pretty good nutrition and regular workouts), I am, of course, suffering from little ailments here and there since I am spending too much time in front of a laptop – and yes, I cannot always control my consumption of espresso and sweets the way I would like to. I now have the firm intention to test a one-week ayurveda treatment under the guidance of Abi, hoping to improve my overall condition. And I will definitely let you know about this experience!
Photo: The Asian Spa just next to the pool of the Poseidonion Grand Hotel