Article on Nethradhara - December 2008


Thursday, Dec 25, 2008

Metro Plus Chennai


Eye of the matter Nethradhara

INDULGE IN: Nethradhara

TECHNICALITIES: A 40-minute treatment for tired and problematic eyes, and nervous exhaustion, Nethradhara involves the use of natural coolants laced with Ayurvedic powders.

With special mixtures, Nethradhara is believed to arrest conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, cataract and glaucoma. A 40-minute session of Nethradhara every day for a week is said togive best results.

A shorter version of Nethradhara, usually lasting 20 minutes, is squeezed into a holistic two-hour rejuvenation package ‘Radiance’, a body wrap and massage that treats the whole body to a bouquet of natural ingredients — milk, honey, lime, saffron, mint, tulsi, coriander, papaya, brahmi leaves and almond and olive oils.

PROCESS: ‘Mudslinging’ is not a bad thing — when a naturopathy practitioner does it. Therefore, for this week’s spa piece, I decide to get smeared with mud at Cholayil Sanjeevanam. I realise I had decided too soon when told this therapy can’t be undertaken at short notice. The deadline beckons and I can’t afford to wait for wet earth.

Instead, I choose an Ayurvedic treatment — an opportunity to find out what makes the House of Cholayil tick. For centuries, the family has been practising Ayurveda in Kerala.

To the wider world, they are the makers of Medimix, “the world’s largest selling Ayurvedic bath soap.”

I get ready for Nethradhara, believed to produce results that go beyond the eyes it treats.

Therapists Prem and Ullas take elaborate instructions from Ajith Kumar, the ayurveda doctor at Sanjeevanam, before setting to work on my eyes. All therapists at Sanjeevanam follow this golden rule, as every therapy is keyed to two goals — rejuvenation and cures for specific ailments.

While the process may be the same, the ingredients vary depending on the goal. For me, they don’t mix Ayurvedic ingredients reserved for those with eye ailments.

A variety of natural cooling liquids mixed with medicinal powders wash over my eyes repeatedly, like waves lapping against rocks. I am asked to open and close my eyes in succession, and can feel the liquids seeping in.

After a while, I sense heat building up around the edges. It is then progressively replaced by a cooling sensation in the eyes and surrounding areas. After 40 minutes of Nethradhara, most people turn drowsy.

The liquids have cleared my eyes of fine dust particles and the micro-injuries they caused. Constantly shifting the eyes to take in fast-moving objects, especially on the road, and peering into the computer screen for long hours strain the muscles and nerves around the eyes and the optic nerve. This condition can interfere with ‘convergence’ (the natural ability of both the eyes to take in the same image), lead to migraines and in extreme cases, confused thinking. Nethradhara is offered as a solution to these problems.

Ajith says that besides soothing the nerves and muscles in the optic system, Nethradhara also works on the hypothalamus and makes for a wellness that is not restricted to the body.

Explore some of the city’s most decadent treatments with the MetroPlus team as we scour the city’s spas and beauty parlours hunting down unusual, quirky, luxurious body bliss.

THE VERDICT: The following night, I have a sound sleep — the soundest in a long time. DETAILS: There are five Cholayil Sanjeevanam spas in the city — Adyar, Mogappair, Nungambakkam, T. Nagar and Saligraman (which has a home-stay facility attached to it). For more information, call 9710438386 and 64508427/ 28.