MALACCA: Searching for bliss and rejuvenation, I took a two-hour trip to the Samkkya-Ishak Integrated Healthcare Centre, in Ayer Keroh, for a weekend of relaxation.
According to Samkkya’s managing director P. Jeythevan, the centre offers wellness packages designed specifically for various health conditions.
The centre offers a combination of healing methods, the traditional ayurvedic treatments blended with modern medicine and I was really keen to find out what it all would be like.
When I arrived, I was immediately struck by the location of the centre. It was a huge property nestled in the corner of a housing estate.
The centre comprised of eight buildings: reception, yoga hall, four double-storey bungalows for accommodation and treatments, two standalone treatment rooms and a swimming pool.
On the ground floor of one of the bungalows, there was a health café which plays a very important part in the healing /rejuvenation process of its clients.
As soon as I arrived, I was ushered in to see Dr Rajesh Ayathurai.
A doctor of modern medicine, Dr Rajesh asked if I had any existing health condition to which I said yes; sinus and osteoarthritis.
After taking my blood pressure, Dr Rajesh recommended a session of the ozone treatment and two sessions of chelation theraphy.
Ozone therapy is a form of alternative medicine treatment that purports to increase the amount of oxygen in the body through the introduction of ozone.
Among the purported uses of ozone therapy is to purify the blood, address degenerative diseases, unclog arteries and so on.
My ozone session was scheduled for the last day of my stay. During the therapy, I was told to lie down. My blood was drawn from one arm and it was channelled through the ozone machine to be purified with oxygen. Oxygenated blood was then pumped back into my other arm.
The one-hour session was painless and it was interesting to see what seemed to be yellowish waxy-looking cholesterol moving through the tubes. According to Dr Rajesh, the theraphy was useful in eliminating cholesterol and other toxins.
I was told that in order to notice any changes, I would have to undergo at least about seven to 10 sessions of the treatment.
Chelation, on the other hand, is said to improve blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, reduce allergies, reduce joint pains and improve memory, just to name a few.
In this two-hour theraphy, the chelation agent called EDTA (a liquid) was injected through the vein of my hand. I found it painful and uncomfortable but I was told first-timers usually experience pain because the fluid clears any blockages in the blood stream.
Would I go through both ozone and chelation again? Ozone, no. I did not like the feeling of not being able to move my arms. I am willing to give chelation another try, as I am told it gets easier with each session.
Next, it was a consultation with Vishwanath Somashekharappa Guddadar, the ayurvedic doctor.
This was an hour-long consultation to determine my body type, address my health issues and offer solutions to my health problems through diet, massages and breathing exercises.
“How’s your stress level?” asked Viswanath to which I smiled indicating it was high.
“When you are under stress, your adrenalin gland above the kidney pumps too much and secretes the corticosteroid hormones. Even when your stress level comes down, these hormones are still circulating in your blood and that damages the cells in the body.
“This is how autoimmune diseases come into play, eg, psoarisis, rheumatic arthritis and so on. Once your stress level is down, everything is back to normal,” said Viswanath.
He further went on to explain about the three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Doshas are biological energies that govern the human body and mind. Vata controls all the movement in the body, pitta controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production, while kapha controls the physical structure and fluid balance in the body.
According to Viswanath, ayurveda has a solution for every individual ranging from lifestyle changes to treating diseases. It is a complete system of preventive medicine.
When any one of the doshas is in an aggravated or reduced state, then there is imbalance in our bodies, which will eventually lead to diseases.
To determine my dosha, Viswanath asked me a series of questions based on my physique, skin, and lifestyle and so on. Based on these questions, I am a combination of vata-pitta.
Food for breakfast on the second day was sparse. I was only given a glass of juice and a small plate of almonds with tulsi leaves and ground pepper.
And similarly, on the third day, breakfast was light. A drink of cocoa and flaxseed with a small plate of almonds with tulsi leaves and ground pepper.
Lunches and dinners were delicious — basically vegetables, lentils and brown rice or quinoa. For snacks, I was given juices with a combination of fruits and vegetables. Desserts were slices of banana, drizzled with honey and ghee or mango and quinoa, drizzled with honey.
Surprisingly, all meals kept me feeling full and I did not experience any hunger pangs between meals. All meals were vegetarian and not once I craved for junk food or meat. I must say, by the third day, I was feeling much lighter.
During my stay, I had three massages. On the first day, I had Abhyanga, a traditional ayurvedic oil massage followed by kizli — a herbal poultice heated up on a hot plate. The massage oil was mixed specifically to address my health conditions.
The massage was soothing and relieved all my aches and pain. The kizli further loosened my tensed muscles. My therapist recommended that I wait for at least an hour before taking a bath, so as to reap the benefits of the massage oil.
On the second day, I had the Abhyanga-kizli massage with shirodhara. During shirodhara, a steady stream of warm oil is poured at centre of forehead, the location of the supposed third eye. The therapy is said to sooth the nervous system and by the end of it, I felt drowsy and totally relaxed.
On the last day of my three-day stay, I was given a dry massage using a herbal paste. In Udvartana, a herbal paste made up of herbal powder and rose water was rubbed vigourously on my body.
This massage exfoliates, promotes weight loss, improves skin texture, de-stresses and relaxes the body. I felt as though I got rid of all the dead skin after this massage.
Viswanath also taught me several breathing techniques. According to Dr Vishwanath, breathing techniques are a form of meditation.
“Breathing techniques are very powerful. The mind and breathing comes from the same root. If you have control over your breathing, you can control your mind easily,” he said.
I thoroughly enjoyed my ayurveda treatments. The approach was very different from the one that would have been offered by a regular doctor.
It was comforting to note that my health issue could be improved by merely adopting a balanced lifestyle.
I felt quite sad when my stay at Samkkya-Ishak came to an end. However, I am happy that I am now armed with the essential knowledge to take care of myself.
A three-day two-night package can cost from RM900 to RM1,700 depending on the treatments as they are all personalised. Mine was RM1,588.
Samkkya-Ishak Intergrated Healthcare centre is located at 9601, Jalan Setia, Taman Ayer Keroh Heights, Ayer Keroh, Melaka. Tel: 06-2323670.
Samkkya has two other branches in Kuala Lumpur: Bangsar (03-22872111) and Samkkya Foot Reflexology in Brickfield (03-2260 2243).