(WUSA)-- The treatments may seem strange, foreign, even mystical. But the ancient Hindu system of medicine called Ayurveda has many high-profile proponents these days.
Renowned physician and author
has taught the tenets of Ayurveda to everyone from Oprah to Lady Gaga, and has witnessed its healing properties.
Chopra says the whole idea is to create balance in the body. He says, "By balance, I mean a return to what in medical terms or biological terms is called homeostasis, self regulation. So any disease, doesn't matter what it is, is a disruption in homeostasis. And in the integrated approach of Ayurveda and many other traditional healing systems, all you're doing is using different modalities to restore the original state of balance."
"Ayurveda is useful in any chronic illness. Coronary artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammations. Bronchial asthma, obesity, type II diabetes. Because these are all linked to lifestyle."
TheParma Center for Health, Medicine & Wellness
in Vienna, Virginia is the only Ayurveda-based spa in the D-C Metro area. Practitioner Thara Gowda, who studied and worked with Deepak Chopra, does a full assessment of each patient who comes in.
"We look at the person the whole body and the whole person to identify mental physical and emotional imbalances," she says.
In Fuad Ahamed's case, chronic hip pain was literally crippling his lifestyle. But after getting ayurvedic massage with herb and spice-infused oils, he's gotten relief, and returned to running.
"I tried different medications at different spots and then somebody referred me to these guys and since then it's been a life-changing experience," says Ahamed.
Life-changing because mental and emotional health is part of the treatment too. For example, a therapy called Shirodara addresses mental health and well-being and neurological issues with herbally medicated lukewarm oil, that streams over the forehead.
Kim Ridings says it is an incredibly relaxing and rejuvinating sensation, and literally clears the mind.
She's undergone Shirodara while also following a prescribed dietary detox program with Ayurvedic herbs and supplements.
"I started almost three weeks ago, I've lost 13 pounds," says Ridings. "It's mind body and soul. I truly believe that."