Our Assistant Programme Manager in Sri Lanka, Nili, accompanies the students who sign up for the Ayurvedic Medicine Experience. Here she tells us a bit about why Ayurveda is an important form of treatment in her home country.
"Representing the 30th generation, we work with Dr. Shantha, an orthopedic specialist. His medical knowledge has been passed down to him by his ancestors who practiced it over 3000 years, and now he is willing to teach Work the World students this traditional medicine.
Dr. Shantha’s little hospital is set on a rural village called Horiwila, 20 minutes away from Habarana town. His hospital is comprised of the wards, “the clinic”, “the surgical theater” and “the pharmacy”. Patients from as far away as 200 KM travel to Horiwila to get treated by the doctor as he is well know all over the country as a gifted healer. He does not charge his patients, but they make small donations for the treatments they get. Some patients come to Horiwila when they think the “western medicine” is not helping them with a fast recovery. Others do not even consider “western medicine” as an option for their medical conditions because they have much more faith in traditional medicine. This is partly because only the organic substances are used in all the oils, pastes and decoctions.
Patients who need closer supervision can either choose to stay in the doctor’s ward or return home with the necessary information about how to look after themselves. Their relatives are shown the procedures of how to apply oil, how to put the paste on and how to do the wrapping/ bandaging, etc. Patients who choose to stay in the ward get all the treatment free of charge and their relatives are also welcome to stay with them.
It is common for people to question how traditional medicine works for conditions like depression, stress, etc. However the patients who come to Dr. Shantha and the doctor himself think that no condition is incurable if you stick with the nature of Ayurveda.
So anyone who are keen on learning more about the traditional and local way of medicine, pack your rucksacks and jump on to a bus to Habarana with me!"