Ayurveda treatment in Sri Lanka has been on my bucket list for more than two years. So when I got an unexpected holiday of five weeks, I didn’t have to think long about my next destination. I booked my ticket to Sri Lanka to stay ten days at the Barberyn Reef resort in Beruwala!
Ayurveda is one of the worlds’ oldest natural healing systems. This proven healing system is more than 5000 years old and comes originally from India. Based on the principles of nature, Ayurveda brings back and/or maintains the perfect balance between the body, mind and soul. That is why Ayurveda is also known as the “Knowledge of life”.
Personally I had a very stressful period and that is the main reason that I went to Sri Lanka. I needed to bring my body, mind and soul back in balance. If you are interested in an Ayurveda treatment as well, please keep in mind that it is recommended to go at least seven days to get the most out of it.
Barberyn Reef resort
The Barberyn Reef resort was founded in 1968 and is the first tourist hotel in the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka. In 1984 it introduced Ayurveda to overseas guests and pioneered the resort concept of Ayurveda.
Nowadays the Barberyn Reef resort welcomes guests from all over the world, but still 60% is coming from Germany. During my stay I made friends with people from Japan, Poland, Thailand, Spain and The Netherlands!
Arriving in Beruwala
When I arrived in Sri Lanka, the driver of the Barberyn Reef resort was waiting for me at the airport. He gave me a bag with tissues, water and a pillow so that I could take a nap while we were driving. It takes approx. two hours from the airport to the hotel and since I haven’t slept in the plane, I couldn’t think about a greater gift than this little pillow!
After the long drive to Beruwala, the staff was waiting for me at the reception with the famous fresh papaya juice. After a quick check-in I barely had three hours left before I had to meet the doctor.
My goal for the next ten days
During my first appointment the doctor measured my blood pressure, listened to my heartbeat and asked me questions about my health.
Within a few minutes he completely described my constitution and told me where we should focus on the coming ten days. The greatest lesson for me was to “forget and forgive”. This could be an interesting challenge!
My Ayurveda treatment
My days start with an acupuncture session of 20-30 minutes. For me this was so difficult in the beginning; I simply couldn’t clear my mind and relax while having needles everywhere.
After the acupuncture session I picked up my sarong from the Health Center and went to my room to change clothes. During the treatments you are only allowed to wear this sarong and underwear. Looks good, doesn’t it?
At the Health Center the therapists are waiting and ready to give your daily massages; a head massage, back massage, eye drops (to make the eyes more clear), facial massage and finally the full body massage. For me this was the first time that both sides of my body, stomach and breast were massaged as well. If you are not used to these kind of massages, it could feel uncomfortable. Be prepared!
During the massages special oil is used. This oil is prescribed by the doctor; he makes sure that this fits in your treatment plan and that it meets your constitution. The smell is interesting and you will have oily hair for the rest of the day, but it did such a great job to my scalp and hair!
After the massages I went to “The Garden” where another therapist puts papers with an herbal paste to my shoulders and lower back. This will help to relax and get rid of the stress. I also got an aloe vera facial and cucumbers for my eyes. This feels good!
My therapist woke me up after 30 minutes to take a shower with a freshly made Ayurveda bath soap (to me it looked like a mix of carrots and ginger, but apparently it was a special kind of powder) and to prepare myself for the next stop; a herbal bath.
I have to admit that this is the most uncomfortable part for me; she washed me by pouring water over me with a small basket. However, after my bathing session I feel great and fully recharged!
A very special steam bath
For the fourth day, the doctor scheduled a steam bath session for me. This session was great but also a very interesting experience at the same time.. The steam baths here look exactly like a coffin!
The doctor scheduled my cleansing day on the sixth day. I started this day with an oily drink which was absolutely disguisting! After I managed to drink it I went for a walk. After walking around for an hour and drinking lots of warm water, I was supposed to go to the toilet “to clean my body”. Some guests went fifteen times to the toilet, but I, I started vomiting like crazy after ten minutes. My body didn’t accept this cleansing drink at all! I decided to end this cleansing day, although the doctor wasn’t so happy with my decision.. Oops!
The doctor prepared a menu based on the information he gained during our first consult. Every breakfast, lunch and dinner is prescribed, including the drinks.
In the restaurant every guest has its own table with his / her menu and medicinal drink that needs to be taken after lunch and dinner. The waiters know exactly what kind of food and drinks they have to serve you and if you have any questions, the physicians are available to help you.
The quality of the food is very good; every day the food is freshly prepared and the used herbs are coming from their own garden.
Every treatment plan includes medicines. These pills and drinks are daily made by medicine-makers and prescribed by the doctor. Every day at 3.30PM the medicines are ready for pick up.
I had to take my pills at 6AM, 9PM and 6PM. The drinks were prescribed for 6PM and 6AM and they were the biggest challenge for me. The taste was just horrible, especially at 6AM!
Daily activities at the Barberyn Reef resort
During a stay at the Barberyn Reef resort you do have a lot of time for yourself. Therefore the resort made a weekly program with all kind of activities. Besides going to the beach, you can follow a yoga, meditation or Tai Chi class, go on excursions (arranged by the resort), watch movies or join Ayurveda lectures.
I visited a Masks museum, a local market, a silk factory, the beautiful place Galle and I developed an unexpected love for Tai Chi.
In this resort it is all about you. I didn’t have to think about anything since everything was arranged for me. I just sit back, relax and followed my treatment plan.
And this is exactly why the first two days were difficult for me; I had to let go everything. But this is really difficult if you are kind of a control freak. Only after the third day I could relax more and enjoy the (sometimes uncomfortable) treatments.
The Barberyn Reef resort offers only WiFi in the restaurant, lobby and swimming pool. I thought that I would be having more difficulties with the lack of internet. But in the end I felt it was quite relaxed; only during breakfast, lunch and dinner I checked my phone. The rest of the day I was fully focused on the treatments, yoga, excursions and myself.
Once in a lifetime experience
The staff and doctors were so friendly, helpful and professional. The food met my constitution and was freshly made every day. The excursions were well organized and fun to do. The location is great and my room and its view were beyond perfect. I am so happy that I decided to go to Sri Lanka and to stay ten amazing days at the Barberyn Reef Resort.
I came back fully relaxed, lost three kilograms but felt oh so healthy. An Ayurveda treatment is really something everyone should try once in his or her life! Send your mind and body on holiday!
If you have questions after reading this blog, please feel free to contact us anytime!