Spa Profile: Dermascope, January/February 1998
Ayurveda's Premier Health Center
by Sandra Willbanks
According to Ayurveda principles, the body is governed by three fundamental biological principles that control the body's functions. These are called doshas; vate regulates movement and affects circulation, pitta regulates metabolism and gives luster to the skin, and kapha regulates structure and maintains moisture in the body, plus is responsible for cohesion. Everyone has all three doshas. However, each person will have a predominance of one or more soshas. This determines their unique mind/body balance.
The basic idea behind the rejuvenation program at The Raj is to open up all the channels in the body and allow the impurities to flow out. All program are personally designed for each guest by Chris Clark, M.D., along with a visiting Ayurveda expert from India. The programs, which require a three-day minimum stay, include a physician's consultation, more than 2 1/2 hours of rejuvenation treatments per day, health enhancement education courses, yoga classes, deluxe accommodations, gourmet vegetarian meals and at-home techniques from maintaining health. The at-home techniques include personalized recommendations for diet, herbal supplements, exercise and daily and seasonal routines.
Although The Raj's main focus in on rejuvenation and purification treatments, they also have specialty skin and beauty treatments for cellulite, hyperpigmentation, eczema and other skin disorders. "Often we recommend the purification treatments first because so many cosmetic problems are created from the inside out," said marketing director Lindsay Oliver. A guest can schedule for three or more days of purification treatment and then add a day or more of skin treatment. Some skin disorders, such as eczema, require a separate treatment program.
Several types of program are offered:
The Maharishi Rejuvenation Program includes pretreatment procedures which are done at home ten to fourteen days before coming to The Raj. The purpose of these procedures is to loosen impurities in the body so they can be more effectively eliminated during treatment. Various treatments are prescribed by the Ayurveda physician and may include: herbalized oil application, herbalized paste application, stimulating circulation treatment, revitalizing oil application, herbalized steam treatment, relaxation treatment, nourishing milk treatment, elimination therapy, aroma therapy and sound therapy.
The Veda Intensive Program, is an extended rejuvenation program which addresses a range of chronic disorders including asthma, back pain, depression and arthritis. This program has two phases, an herbal at-home program and an intensive In-residence program of two, three or four weeks.
Full body skin treatment called the Royal Skin Rejuvenation Program. These treatments which originated from the royal palaces of India simultaneously remove impurities and support the skin with nutritious molecules of flower, water, milk and herbs.
Specialty Skin Treatments include specific help for psoriasis, cellulite, hair, scalp lesions and all aspects of beauty. The skin program does not only work on the outer layer of the skin. It also deals with clearing channels within the body and with helping the body absorb nutrients.
Despite the varying treatment programs, all In-residence guests basically follow the same daily regimen of treatment, knowledge courses, yoga and delicious, easy to digest meals.
Royal Skin Rejuvenation Treatments
The philosophy at The Raj is that good ski reflects a properly functioning liver, good digestion and assimilation, and proper elimination. Since the skin is a mirror of the health of the entire body, in addition to topical treatments to remove impurities and nourish the skin, The Raj programs also include diet and exercise recommendations, herbal supplements and tips on how to improve digestion.
During treatments, a major consideration is to protect the skin during the cleansing process. In ayurveda, harsh cleansing treatments for the skin are avoided and the skin is nourished as impurities are extracted. Gentle pampering is always recommended. An oil massage with warm herbalized oil (different oils are used in different treatments) protects the skin from too much dilation and is important before any steam treatment.
The Raj used special organic milk from a nearby dairy - as much as ten gallons per person per day. Bathing the face and body with special milk foam and floral waters allows tiny molecules of milk to lubricate the skin and be absorbed without clogging pores. The treatment balances the doshas and pacifies the aspect of pitta associated with emotions, creating a feeling of calm, confidence and stability.
A specific mud from large rock formations located in a remote part of India is purified naturally by the sun and then sent to The Raj for treatments. The mud has no pesticides and contains naturally occurring minerals. The herbs used in the pH-balanced mud have a biological effect toward nourishing the skin and hair.
Products are developed by experts at Maharishi Ayurveda Products International (MAPI) out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and are sold worldwide. Technicians are specially trained by experts sent from the Maharishi Ayurveda Council of Vaidyas. All of The Raj's training goes through this international organization.
The Raj employs 50 staff members to administer the treatments and care for the guests. "Our treatments are staff-intensive," says Oliver. "All treatments require at least two technicians, and some use three to four, depending on the treatment."
Clientele varies: ages range from 18 or 87, more than 1/3 are men, and they arrive from all parts of the world. Most clients are in good health or have minor health problems, want preventative measures to do at home, and need lots of rest.
The Raj's main building is 36,00 square feet and is on 100 acres of land owned by owners, Rogers and Candace Badgett. Construction is ongoing to provide more hotel space. Currently there are 12 deluxe single rooms and three double rooms in the main building. Behind the main facility are three private villas and an additional 18 room hotel.
The Raj can accommodate 18 clients a day for treatments and is usually booked-up six weeks in advance. There is a waiting list for most holidays. At the end of their stay guests are reminded that they receive a 10 percent discount if they return within six months.
The Raj places itself as the most luxurious Ayurveda health spa in the world where treatments are relaxing yet extremely powerful in their effectiveness.