Therapy

Ayurvedic Spiritual Therapies: Resources for Health and Healing

Manasa Ayurveda therapies include daivavyapāsraya which is often described as 'spiritual therapies'. Ayurveda is not bound to any religion and is not itself part of religion so its recommendations for health through spiritual practice can benefit those of any or no faith. For example, for Muslims, such an approach may centre around the Quran, whilst Christians can find sources of inspiration for healing within the Bible : 

قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاء

And declare (O Muhammad) that [the Quran] is a guidance and healing for the believers
— al-Fussilat, 41:44
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
— Proverbs 4:20-22

The Āyurvedic classical text, the Aṣṭāñga Hṛdayam was written by Vāgbhata, an Āyurvedic doctor who happened to be a convert to Buddhism. This foundational classic Ayurvedic text advises the use of specific mantras and dhāraṇīs (recitations) mentioning ‘Avalokita’ and ‘Natha’, referring to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, and Acala-Natha (Achalanatha; Lord Immovable) (AH.Utt.V.49-51).

Acalanatha is especially efficient in removing all kinds of obstacles which lie in the way of one’s undertaking, religious or otherwise. His other title is “the great destroyer of hindrances”. The Pali suttas make reference to the Buddha’s ‘unshakable’ liberation and being ‘steadfast’ (e.g. AN.6.45; AN.3.84; AN.3.103; MN.I.357). To further inspire and illustrate this quality of immovability, imagery was used in an early sutta of ‘the pillar in the king's frontier fortress’, with a ‘deep base… securely planted, immobile and unshakable’ (AN.7.67). Use of imagery to represent the quality of immovability seen within the early Nikayas may have provided the basis for the adoption of iconography now associated with Acalanatha, and which is described in the Maha-Vairocana-Abhisambodhi Tantra:

…He holds a sword and a noose, his plaited hair hangs from the left of his head, he is well adorned and one of his eyes squints. He abides amidst his own light, wrathfully seated upon a rock. His face is creased with anger, and he has a robust youthful form
— MVA.II.40

To embody the qualities of Achalanatha, the Maha-Vairocana-Abhisambodhi Tantra advises mental recitation of the mantra of Acalanatha and use of His mudra (as well as other ritual practices) (MVA.XI.85). The Ayurvedic Aṣṭāñga Hṛdayam also mentions the therapeutic use of dhāraṇīs invoking 'Natha' and the popularity of Achalanatha has spread internationally. The video below, made in England, includes contemporary English versions of dhāraṇīs calling upon Achalanatha. 

Manasa Ayurveda - Service User Feedback

The following is written feedback from Manasa Ayurveda clients and service users in London:

'For me a very positive well-being session. I hope to maintain a wellbeing attitude daily. I like the Ayurvedic approach’

‘I was happy and it was interesting what you use’

‘Very helpful and beneficial’

‘Having the peaceful sensation of a face massage is certainly worth having long-term’

‘Today was different in terms of more detail focus on feeding the senses and possible outcome; very useful and mindful and interesting’

‘very sufficient with the therapist’

‘I was interested in everything, it was something new’

‘Being able to verbally express my feelings around family life and circumstances has been mentally and emotionally de-stressing’

‘Extremely relaxing and I had positive reflections on wellbeing’

‘Mindfulness… I find very interesting in terms of its apparent simplicity though NOT simple and needs my attention and practice’

‘Very interesting’

'Today’s session was extremely beneficial and relaxing, beneficial discussing my sleep and wellbeing patterns; extremely useful for service users’.

'Very practical and beneficial’

‘The Nasya oil was introduced to me in today’s session; very soothing. I hope this will in time alleviate my congestion. I look forward to Ayurveda sessions’.

‘Excellent treatment’

‘The massage was very helpful and teas’

‘The mindful, sensual, wellbeing impact of Ayurveda creates thoughts of the possibility of a healthier future’

‘Very beneficial experience’

‘Today’s session was most helpful for me. Discussion on sleep, wellbeing and talking around my feelings helped greatly’