What’s this? Was there some kind of magic in the air? Or, is it the mellifluous notes of the sitar playing in the background that had brought the change in me? I was at Aahana – the Corbett Wilderness, a resort located next to the Bijrani zone of the Corbett National Park, India’s famous tiger reserve. I was there to try the resort’s Aarogyam Holistic Health Spa. Normally, I talk in a loud voice. But here I was talking in a quiet tone.
A spa virgin, who didn’t know the gentle touch of a masseuse from a pat on the back, I was so daunted by the world of fragrant oils, flowers and soothing instrumental music, that I had changed my appointment thrice. On the fourth try, I finally presented myself for the mandatory consultation session with Aahana’s wellness expert, Dr Bati Pandey.
As I spoke to Dr Pandey, I realized Aarogyam specialised in dealing with stress-related diseases. We all know that today many people suffer from various stress-related ailments – heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression and anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s, and accelerated ageing. Therefore, to help you de-stress and detox, Aarogyam’s spa menu includes Ayurveda, western spa therapies, nature cure, yoga and many alternative therapies; there are various spa packages, ranging from 3 days to 3 weeks.
After I put on my robe, the therapist led me to a dimly lit room. My feet were washed with fragrant water. I had chosen the Swedish massage. It was an hour-long massage with oils infused with organic home-grown medicinal herbs. Initially, seeing the therapist pour the oils, I was afraid that I would slither right off the massage table; but surely the therapist knew her job and I was safe. As the soothing massage worked its magic on my over-wrought muscles, I drifted in-and-out of a sleepy state. The hour seemed to be over too soon. Then, I was led to the steam room for a 10-minute steam bath. At the end of the session, I was given a tiny glass of herbal tonic, called Dashamoolarishtam, to drink. The tonic helps improve health and vitality, and is effective for all kinds of ‘vata’ diseases (arthritis, cold, bladder/urinary disorders etc.); it also cured anaemia, jaundice and sexual weakness! I was surprised to learn that my drink contained 67 ingredients!
Hooked to the goodness, I made another appointment the following day, for the spa’s signature, customised home-made herbal/organic facial, Aahana signature body scrub and a session of manicure. I must add that the spa takes great care of your skin needs; the oils and the packs are all tailor-made depending on an individual’s skin needs. The luxurious body scrub with a complimentary scalp massage was very refreshing.
And, when I finally stepped out of Aahana, the Corbett Wilderness, I was loath to bid goodbye to the Aarogyam spa; so much so that I didn’t even mind drinking the loaded tonic again! Well, hoping that the doctor didn’t see me wince the first time.
Treatments: The signature therapies include aromatic herbal mud wrap, sand bath, hot mud compress, customised home-made herbal/organic facial, Ayurvedic face mask and pack, organic fruit massage, Aahana signature special massage, Aahana signature body scrub and signature ubtan massage.
Where: Aarogyam Holistic Health Spa in Aahana Resort – the Corbett Wilderness, Sawaldeh village, Nainital district, Uttarakhand. (www.aahanaresort.com)
Treatment rates: Rs 500 - Rs 4000 (approx)
Treatment packages: (3-10 days) Rs 20,000 - Rs 1,94,000 (including room tariffs); the tariffs will be revised after October 10
Room tariff: Rooms from Rs 9400 and villas from Rs 35,000 (without spa) valid after October 10
Contact: 05947281189; for reservation – firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended: Hot mud compress, application of heated mud packs to the entire body or to specific areas, an alternative mode of treatment for rheumatic diseases.