Finding Mind-Body Balance in Paradise with Dr. Sampath

For travellers exploring the world to rediscover themselves, new journeys at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort in Sri Lanka reveal the wisdom of one of the oldest wellness cultures. Guiding pathways towards personal health and wellness, Sampath Perawattha is the beachfront hideaway’s Resident Doctor of Ayurveda - and your guru to mind-body balance in paradise.

“Ayurveda is the science of life, it’s the way we understand, nurture and maintain a healthy balance,” explains Dr. Sampath, “Ayurveda enjoys a thriving place in modern healthcare, and no more so than in Sri Lanka – a country with a unique traditional medical system that includes specialist treatments and medicine that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.”

The written accounts of its ancient origins date back to more than 3,000 years ago. It is said that Dhanvantari (God of Ayurveda) introduced this natural healing system for the people’s wellbeing, and with new research the practices have developed and evolved to the high level that is available today.

Providing an authentic, inspirational setting to experience Sri Lankan Ayurveda, Anantara Tangalle is a serene escape from the pressures and fast pace of everyday life. Swaying coconut palms embrace the luxury resort. A tropical shoreline of golden sands and Indian Ocean waves is peacefully secluded and reveals captivating views. “In the pursuit of balance, the natural benefits of sea water, sea air and the sun assist in the healing and transformation,” enthuses Dr. Sampath.

“Ayurveda is one of Sri Lanka’s greatest treasures, and the ayurvedic journeys at Anantara Tangalle let travellers experience this unique healing system for themselves – to deeply feel the changes that occur. To find true happiness is to understand both the mind and the body. My role is to provide insight about their life, to explain new ideas they can practice and so discover a new way of being, and leave completely transformed. In this way, Ayurveda is a very important part of the Anantara experience in Sri Lanka.”

Dr. Sampath’s own journey was inspired by his grandfather, who is also a traditional ayurvedic practitioner. Gaining a Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine & Surgery at Colombo University, Dr. Sampath first practiced at Ayurvedic hospitals in Sri Lanka, before working within hotel environments to share his learning with international travellers.

Ayurveda is based on the principle that each person is made up of three doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha - and that keeping these in balance maintains health, while imbalances can cause disease. All guests at Anantara Tangalle are offered a complimentary dosha consultation with Dr. Sampath. In these private sessions, various techniques such as pulse, iridology and tongue tests are used, as well as lifestyle and health questions, to identify each person’s unique dosha constitution (prakauti) and to determine any imbalances (vikruti). From this holistic profile, Dr. Sampath tailors a peronsalised treatment programme, including the most suitable therapies, medicines and holistic experiences to boost vitality and harmony.

“The first step is to strengthen a person’s inherent healthy elements to enhance recovery. This is known as ‘Svabhavoparamavada’ - the ayurvedic principle of helping the body call upon its own energy to heal. Ayurvedic treatments are unique to each person, and not the prescription of just a single treatment, but an entire holistic system. The ayurvedic concept is to address the nature and severity of dosha imbalances, to understand their reasons and causes. For instance if a person is stressed, I might prescribe a treatment such as a shiro abyhanga which uses a special kind of medicated oil to alleviate tension. A general treatment is followed by more specific treatments. And as stress often originates in the head, therapies that apply a herbal oil or paste to the forehead are most effective, such as Shirovasthi, Shirodhara and Shirolepa.”

Beyond these specialist treatments, seeking mindbody balance requires a well-rounded lifestyle, and elements such as exercise, meditation, tai chi, yoga and spa treatments are also included in treatment programmes, according to each guest’s needs and time. Dietary advice enables guests to make informed choices about appropriate dishes to select from the Balance Wellness cuisine menu, which includes locally inspired ayurvedic recipes. While Dr. Sampath is renowned for his take-home information and motivating follow-up encouragement, empowering guests to implement a healthier lifestyle, for a lifetime of holistic benefits.