Ayurveda is an ancient rejuvenation system that has enjoyed a modern revival-boosted by tourism in South India. The southern state of Kerala has emerged as the leader in offering healing holidays. The emphasis is equally on a relaxing regime of messages with herbal oils, as on a proper, balanced diet to expedite the healing process. Kerala's climate is also particularly conducive to Ayurvedic treatments.

Relying on the healing powers of herbs and natural foods, Ayurveda treats the body as a conglomeration of three humours- 'vata (air), 'pitta' (bile) and 'kapha' (mucus). An imbalance in the humours produces various ailments. Ayurveda seeks to correct this imbalance.

Of course, this 4000 years old holistic science is practiced throughout India today but the Kerala methods are the most popular. The emphasis is on the therapeutic use of herbal essential oils for inhalation, application and massage. The five- pronged method called 'panchakarma' employs the benefits of medicinal oils, herbs, milk, massage and special diet.

The goal in Ayurveda is not just to heal but to maintain good health. So, physical, mental and spiritual discipline is also advocated. Ayurvedic therapy is predicated on the belief that as we are one with nature, the solution to any ailment that may manifest itself in the body lies in nature itself. Thus its medicines are drawn from nature- herbal, animal, mineral- so as to combine with the natural secretions of the body seamlessly. The famed Kairali Oil Massage is only one medium of transferring their goodness. Others are powders, juice extracts.

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