Kaya Wellness Resort offers luxury alternative care
SOURCE:-FT Sri Lanka
Text and Pix by Madushka Balasuriya
No gluten, no sugar, no dairy. The Kaya Wellness Resort, suffice to say, isn’t your regular spa. Specialising in the application of integrative medicine – a practice which dates back some 3,000 years in Sri Lanka – Kaya offers the holistic utilisation of a host of medical disciplines such as Ayurveda, allopathy, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care, all in one luxurious location.
Located on a 10-acre expanse of land in Uswetakeiyawa, Sri Lanka, this purpose-built wellness centre is situated just off the coast, and specifically designed to cocoon guests from external pressures and stress.
With over 100 staff on the payroll, inclusive of some 40 professionals, Kaya provides a multidisciplinary approach aimed at evaluating and treating individuals as a holistically as possible, while at the same time ensuring each patient is rendered specially curated treatments and assistance based on their conditions.
As expected with such a thorough process, the minimum stay is two weeks, while the average stay is roughly three weeks to a month.
“We would prefer if you can stay longer because it’s a full lifestyle change we do. From your diet to your activity to your treatment, everything is very different. Your body takes 21 days to adjust to anything, so if it’s more than three weeks it’s better, but some people they can’t afford it,” explains Dr. Natalie Cook.
“So we give them a two week package – we don’t do one week, there’s no point – and then they go on further. But the longer they stay the more we can do with them.”
When we at Daily FT were invited to see for ourselves the inner workings of this unique resort, we were unfortunately only able to stay for a night and the better part of two days. But having been afforded the complete tour, we nevertheless manages to experience several of the services on offer.
From floatation therapy in isolation tanks filled with magnesium (it helps you float) to salt caves specially constructed with Himalayan salt, to more expected luxuries such as a gym, sauna, steam room, and even a salt water swimming pool, Kaya strives to always keep their guests best interests at heart while providing a well-rounded an experience as possible.
Tranquillity from the get-go
From the moment you enter the premises it’s as if a large, imperceptible comfort blanket descends over you, as you’re whisked away from reality and transported to a place where all your needs are intuitively met.
The low rumble of the nearby waves, combined with the copious amounts of natural light filtering in through the many glass panel windows and the gentle sounds of the Beatles playing through liberally mounted speakers instantly puts your mind at ease.
Once you’re settled and checked in, then you’re shown access to the other side of the resort. Accessible via sky-bridge that takes you over the main road, this is the area is where guests and patients frequent the most. Replete with a saltwater pool overlooking the lake, dedicated spaces for yoga, meditation and painting, a spa and salon, and wide open spaces perfect for daytime strolls, the tranquillity afforded here by Kaya is the embodiment of their holistic healing aims – heal the body and the mind.
First impressions are crucial, and if you’re in any doubt as to how serious Kaya is about your health, look no further than the first meal of your stay.
During our visit we began with arguably the healthiest breakfast we’ve eaten in our lives. Served alongside black coffee – obviously sans sugar and milk – was an egg white omelette, some sliced cucumber, carrot, and lettuce, homemade salad dressing, and paleo bread. Like we said, this isn’t your regular resort.
Unsurprisingly, according to Dr. Natalie, the food is one of the main areas that guests have the most trouble getting used to.
“We don’t have sugar on the premises. Sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine, and without sugar cancer starves.
“But as a result, we go through a lot of tension because when patients are on withdrawals they take it out on us. For example a prostate cancer patient can’t eat beef, because the beef aggravates prostate cancer.”
However, with guests who stay at Kaya coming primarily for the purposes of medical tourism – they’re referred through doctors – they understand that the attention to detail that precede such ‘issues’ are precisely what they’re paying for. With eight doctors on staff, practicing in a variety of different modalities, Kaya’s diagnosis process is more a collective process than one of one doctor’s opinion trumping the rest.
“We don’t see more four patients a day because our doctors are so tired after a consult, it takes about two hours to get your actual history. After everybody finishes their consultations we all go into the board room to discuss the case and come up with a protocol. So everybody has an input, we have eight doctors but also acupuncturists, and psychologists, and colonics, so everybody has an input from their specialty. It’s my job to take all of that and make one protocol. But you get a better result at the end of the day.”
The end result is a system which provides guests personalised assessments and treatment plans that include intravenous therapies, herbal extracts, oxygen therapies, hyperthermia, halotherapy, sensory deprivation, colonics, acupuncture, mind and body therapies from yoga to tai chi, and more, for the management of cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and preventive clinical detox.
“Our journey with our patients involves medical assessments, evidence-based treatments, dietary assessments, and wellness therapies, along with individualised care and attention. We don’t give antibiotics, we don’t give chemotherapy, we don’t give outside medicine, everything is natural. There are no side effects in any of our treatments, that’s the main thing.”
Attention to detail
In a nutshell Kaya aims to treat the root cause of ailments as opposed to simply the symptoms. But to do this it takes time. As such no more than 23 patients are housed at any one point, while the limit for cancer patients is five.
The carers too are afforded massages periodically, such is the taxing nature of their job. Indeed, during the course of a patient’s stay, their dedicated carers are expected to adhere to the same dietary requirements.
“We also have the wellness massage also, and the carer also needs a massage just to relax. And the carer has to eat the same diet that the patient is eating. You come here and you support the patient.”
“And we have cooking classes, whatever we make, the chef will teach the carer and the patient how to go home and make it.”
All of which comes in an all-inclusive package – yet another aspect to take away unnecessary stress. You can find out more by visiting kayawellnessresort.com or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or +94117891111.
No 300, Old Colombo road, Uswetakeiyawa, Sri lanka
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