On our recent visit to our wellness partner, Amatara Welleisure™ Resort, we had the great pleasure of spending time with Resort Health and Wellness Consultant, Dr Harshana Valand.
Dr Harshana is a registered Naturopathic Doctor who strives to help her patients to understand health issues by identifying their root causes. She does this through a unique blend of naturopathic medicine, Yoga (therapeutic yoga, meditation & Pranayama), Alternative medicine (acupuncture, fire cupping, Moxibustion therapy) and Healing medicines (Energy healing, Chakra Balancing and Crystal healing).
She is passionate about changing the disease-centred view that dominates medical care, focusing on healthcare and optimizing wellness rather than disease management. Dr Harshana brings her medical and naturopathic expertise to guide, coach, and inspire.
In our conversation with Dr Harshana she shares how she helps guests return to optimal health and wellness and her daily wellness practices.
1. Can you tell us about what women are looking for when they visit your spa and wellness centre?
Women are generally looking for help to detox and to reduce the effects of stress and burnout. Stress has become so much a part of daily life and for some women they need to take time out of their normal environment to switch off and take time for themselves. A lot of women I see understand the importance of a healthy body and are now also learning the importance of a healthy mind.
2. How do you help the women who come to see you?
I help them to switch off their mind and go within. At Amatara we offer tailored wellness programmes which most guests will book prior to their arrival. I arrange for a pre-arrival consultation via zoom. In this consultation I will suggest the most appropriate programme based on individual needs. I will invite women to start elements of their wellness programme one week prior to arriving so we can make optimal use of the time they have with us at the resort. This is generally a focus on sleep, food, home remedies, exercise and breathing techniques.
To help bring the mind and body back to balance I will suggest a range of treatments and practices including yoga, meditation, colon hydrotherapy, abdominal massage and Jala Neti Shatkriya, which is a yogic practice to cleanse the nasal passages for enhanced purification of the body.
3. Can you share your favourite therapies?
Some of my favourite therapies include Chakra Balancing. In this treatment we use crystals and massage to help switch off the mind. Often guests will experience their thoughts as we work on the lower chakras and then as we move up the body the thoughts start to dissolve and there is a lightness of energy felt.
Fire Cupping therapy is a very effective alternate Chinese therapy to improve blood flow, circulation and promote cell repair.
I also like abdominal massage as our stomach holds a lot of unprocessed emotion. This massage helps to release emotions and rebalance the nervous system.
I enjoy taking guests on a meditation journey. I help guests to relax their muscles, which allows their emotions to surface, so we can acknowledge them and let them go. A gentle guided visualisation creates new thought patterns.
4. What are your daily wellness practices?
I practice meditation daily for 10-15 minutes to relax my body and mind. I flush my body by drinking up to 500ml of water in the morning. I practice yoga in the morning and most mornings this is with guests at the resort.
I am vegetarian by birth and choose to eat healthy foods, I cook for myself every evening when I come home from work.
At the end of the day I stretch and some days I will do a Pilates, Zumba or Circuit class in the late afternoon.
In the evening I journal, taking a note of what went well during the day and also noting what I've learnt and could do better. I observe my breath and do 10-12 rounds of OM chanting before sleep.
If I feel anxious or frustrated during the day I practice reverse counting. This is where I start from 100 and count backwards. By the time I get to 70 or sometimes 50 I have forgotten about what made me upset.
4. What advice to you have for women who are trying to find more balance in their lives?
Prioritise at least one hour each day for self. Whether this be time for exercise, a hobbie, time with friends, travel, whatever it is for you. The day must be organised around time for self. And, consciously switch off from work when the work day is over. Do not forget yourself and know your worth.
Only when you are happy can you contribute to the happiness of others. I believe everything is energy and whatever energy you are embodying you will pass on to others.
5. How would you describe your approach to health and wellness?
I look to what the body and mind need to find balance on the inside. I believe symptoms are the bodies way of throwing out toxins and signalling that there is an imbalance. The principles of naturopathy are that our body has the innate power to heal itself if we give it the right conditions. Nature is comprised of five elements, Earth, Sun, Water, Air and Space. Our body is also made of these five elements and we are connected to Nature. Being in tune with our body and mind helps us to achieve balance.
I have been practicing yoga since childhood as my father is a Yogi so I have had the benefit of being aware of the mind body connection from an early age.
I also believe that beauty is about how you feel on the inside not on the outside.
Find out more about the Treatments and Activities designed to enhance Health and Wellbeing at Amatara Welleisure™ Resort.