The Treatment: Rejuvenation Package
Time & Cost: 2 hours & 15 minutes, $410
I was surprised when, perusing the spa menu at this private island resort, I spied a selection of Ayurvedic treatments – something I didn’t expect in the British Virgin Islands. Turns out they were developed six years ago by Sabareesan Santhanam, a naturopath from Chennai, India, who, as luck would have it, was also my therapist for the Rejuvenation Package treatment that was recommended for me. They should’ve called it a Rejuvenation Journey, as the over two-hour-long experience was indeed that.
The treatment began with a cup of Ayurvedic tea, made with cumin and ginger. The point, he said, was to help release heat from the body, with the added bonus of helping digestion.
After ingesting the spicy goodness, I hopped on the table for the herbal wrap. Sabareesan explained that it was a combination of ingredients from India, including sandalwood, coriander, milk tassel, and ashwagandha, a root also known as “Indian ginseng.” I was swaddled and left to steep in this lightly fragrant mixture, which, Sabareesan noted, was meant to “calm and relax the skin, the largest organ of the body.”
After showering that off, it was back on the table for a hot poultice massage. I’m a huge fan of this gentle method in which therapists can tailor the herbs used to clients’ specific needs. My poultice was packed by my therapist himself, with herbs including lavender, rosemary, basil, and peppermint. It was used in combination with a long-stroke massage using an Ayurvedic oil for Vata types. Both were fairly standard, except at one point he lifted each leg, via the big toe, and vigorously rubbed my feet. And I mean vigorously. This was something I’d never experienced and when I asked about it after the treatment, he explained that it was meant to stimulate the internal organs. Stimulating indeed!
My poultice was packed by my therapist himself, with herbs including lavender, rosemary, basil, and peppermint.
The finale was Shirodhara, targeting the endocrine gland. For those unfamiliar, Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic method whereby oil is continuously poured over your third eye for a certain length of time (in this case, about 15 minutes). Sabareesan explained that this acts as a de-stressor by stimulating the pineal gland, which is “very important as it brings happiness, as well as strength reduction.” I was all for that!
After the treatment ended, Sabareesan had some observations about my general constitution, and recommended that I take moringa powder, a superfood, once daily. I had mentioned some workout related injuries, and he felt moringa would help, as it “is one of the best anti-inflammatories for the joints.” He also suggested two tablespoons of noni juice daily, on an empty stomach, to rejuvenate the body.
This Treatment is Best for: I think everyone would benefit from this treatment, especially administered by a naturopath who helped develop it.
Drawbacks: Those who have problems sitting (or laying) still might not be able to handle the last 15 minutes of Shirodhara. I admit that even I got a little antsy, and a tad uncomfortable with the length of time the oil was poured over my forehead. I took that as a sign I need to re-visit my lapsed meditation practice.