While Kerala in Southern India is more well known for known for Ayurveda, there are also several ayurveda practitioners in Rishikesh. In our humble opinion, Ayurveda in Rishikesh is one of the 8 Reasons to Visit Rishikesh. We visited five practitioners before finding the right one. As many tourists are not knowledgeable of ayurveda, some spas advertise themselves as ayurveda clinics but only offer massages. Here is an overview Ayurveda and tips for finding a great Ayurveda experience in Rishikesh.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is traditional Indian medicine. According to the Chopra Center:
Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.
The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.
During a consultation an ayurveda doctor will take your pulse and conduct an interview of your current health status. Using this information and your body disposition he will put together a treatment plan to help fine tune your health and wellness.
How to Choose An Ayurveda Clinic in Rishikesh
Quan had previously received ayurveda treatments in Kerala. When searching for Ayurveda in Rishikesh, she wasn’t satisfied with the first few clinics we visited. Here are some tips when seeking Ayurveda in Rishikesh:
- Massages alone are not Ayurveda: Avoid any “clinics” that offer you a treatment plan without a consultation with an ayurveda doctor which includes taking your pulse. While massages are part of ayurveda, a massage alone is not an ayurveda treatment plan.
- Interview the doctor: During the consultation the doctor will share his insights into what may ail you, use this to assess if the doctor has a good understanding of your body based on his pulse reading. Use this as an interview of the doctor and asses if he is someone that you’d like to work with.
- Go with clear goals: Are you seeking treatment for general wellness? Are you looking for help with stress? Discuss this during your consultation to discuss and understand the treatment plan.
- Set aside a few days for the treatments: This isn’t a miracle cure where one visit solves your health problems. Ayurveda is a holistic approach which uses traditional methods and herbal remedies to help cure what may all you. If you are serious about receiving ayurveda treatments set aside a few days to receive daily treatments.
- Know how strictly you want to adhere to a program: How committed are you? We found one clinic where we really liked the doctor and the consultation, but they required all patients to live on the property. Nutrition is an important part of ayurveda and this clinic wanted all its patients to eat all meals made on the property in order to have a truly holistic treatment program.
- Price shop and be sure to know if the price quoted includes the herbs / medicine that is part of the treatment. As with most things in India, the price for ayurveda treatments are much lower than western treatment programs. We were surprised to find a wide range of prices while we shopped around for the right clinic.
Ayurveda in Rishikesh: Our Experience
Like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears knew we found the one that was “just right” when we met Dr Kotani. By taking our pulse he was able to correctly identify previous ailments in our body. For example, Quan has a history of anemia and he was able to identify this through her pulse reading.
We worked with Dr Kotani for five days going to his office for daily treatment. Our treatment plan include a combination of medicinal herbs to take at home as well as in office treatments. Due to the emphasis on mind-body connection, meditation is always a standard prescription in an Ayurveda treatment plan.
We worked with him on helping to cleanse our stomach as we were sure if we had any lingering parasites in our bodies from getting sick on the Everest Base Camp hike.
The results were amazing! We saw the impact in terms of our medical stats pre and post treatments. With each visit, Dr Kotani became someone we looked forward to seeing each day while in Rishikesh.
Morning Puja on the Ganges
He was kind enough to invite us to his home for tea. In getting to know him we learned that he went to the Ganges every morning for morning blessings. He allowed us to invite ourselves to join him in his morning puja (blessing) on the Ganges.
This was one of the most unique experiences we had while in India. We were able to witness and participant in a sacred morning ritual. At our farewell Dr Kotani asked us to write our full names out on a piece of paper. He wanted to include us in his morning puja prayers.
We left our Rishikesh Ayurveda experience both feeling revived, and perhaps due to the morning puja a little blessed. 😊