Aakriti Nature Cure Centre in Bhopal is central India’s premium holistic healing institution that aims to promote the very best of natural healing methodologies that have been a part of India’s age-old traditions, with world class modern facilities By Sudipta Dev
A short distance from Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport, on Sehore Road, is central India’s first holistic healing institution (naturopathy, Ayurveda and yoga) that came up about two years ago with a vision to become one of the most premium Vedic healing institution’s of its kind in the country. Spread over an expansive area of 10 acres in pristine, green surroundings, Aakriti Nature Cure Centre (ANCC) is the labour of love for Hemant Kumar, CMD, Aakriti Group, a leading real estate developer who also owns a few hospitality ventures.
ANCC aims to to create a balance between people visiting for ailments and those seeking preventative treatments. Pointing out that he has always had a deep interest in various aspects of nature from childhood, Kumar states, “I have learned that when we are friendly with nature we always gain something. To remain friendly it is important to follow its laws. Aakriti Nature Cure Centre has been set up as a result of this inspiration.” Kumar’s plans include setting up another such centre, and he is looking at Panchmarhi for the same.
ANCC looks at a balance between wellness and illness – treating people who are sick, but also helping others prevent getting sick. The institution has a team of four doctors, including visiting consultants. Treatments include naturopathy, panchkarma, physiotherapy, specialised yoga therapy. “We mainly focus on treating common chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, asthma, heart conditions, but there are a few areas where we would excel and develop key expertise – orthopaedic conditions (shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, back pain, arthritis) and digestive system disorders. We also have expertise in cervical dystonia (neck starts moving involuntarily) treatment,” says Sanjay Singh, site director, Aakriti Nature Cure Centre. Detox, stress management, weight management are the other popular treatments. Packages are specially designed for the guests individually. The institute also gives them a followup programme, which they can easily practise.
Personalised services are offered under the supervision of experts. There are about 20 treatment rooms across four treatment blocks – physiotherapy block with separate timing for men and women, panchkarma and colon hydrotherapy section. Naturotherapy involves using five elements in different forms – earth, water, air, sun and ether (space). In hydrotherapy, most treatments are for symptomatic relief in pain conditions. “One key principle of naturotherapy is that the body has its own healing power. For instance, any part of the body that you want to heal you have to improve blood supply to that area. If there is a problem, blood supply goes down, through hydrotherapy the temperature of that area is changed which helps blood rush into the area and helps in the healing process,” informs Singh. One of the key components in naturopathy being hydrotherapy, water is used in various forms – as ice, cold water, warm water, steam – both direct and indirect applications.
There are extensive facilities for hydrotherapy, including a jacuzzi with 200 jets which gives pressure on every part of body. It is a mineral water bath with underwater massage. The spinal bath tub is effective for hypertension and nervous system related problems. Water from the circular jet bath can be hot or cold or contrast – the benefits are similar to massage – improving circulation in the whole body. There is a deluxe steam chamber which can accommodate four people together.
There are facilities for hot and cold compressed therapy. Far Infra Detox therapy is done with infrared rays and can reduce 500 calories in 20-30 minutes. Ozone therapy is beneficial for skin treatments. There is also a beauty care section.
The massage room has few equipments like the vibro massage which is effective for fat loss. Heated lava stones are used in another type of massage. The range of massages include Swedish massage, Abhyanga Ayurvedic massage, Shiatsu, and of course ANCC’s own signature massage.
The mud used for mudtherapy comes from the adjoining village areas. Mud is extracted from below two feet as till two feet area the earth has fertilizers, pesticides and other contaminants.
Yoga classes are organised for the whole group and also individually as required. “We teach asanas, pranayam and meditation. We also use another element of yoga called Kriyas. We have a kriya section. There is a cleansing process in Ayurveda called Neti, an excellent treatment for sinus and chronic cold. We also use special triphala for eye wash. Morning regime is normally for sensory organs – Neti, Nashya, eye wash,” mentions Singh. Sometimes music therapy is used as a relaxation technique.
The whole campus of ANCC covers 10 acres. There are 28 deluxe rooms and 10 suites, currently 16 rooms and four suites are operational. All are double occupancy with attached bathrooms and complete range of facilities. There is also an OPD, particularly for those in-house patients who visit for followups. The library has a good collection of naturopathy, Ayurveda and yoga related books. The collection also includes motivational books.
Facilities include a cardio gym, a walking track, and a jungle gym which has a different exercise regime. There is a herbal garden, the produce of which is often used for treatments. Apart from ornamental trees there are also fruiting trees, for instance papaya is one of the key fruits used in naturopathy – it helps in digestion, is not calorie rich, and is easy to grow as well. Pomegranate, figs, lemon are among the many fruit plants.
Naturopathy education is a part of the overall vision – to get trainers and therapists not only for ANCC, but other institutions across the country. “Research is an important part of our agenda. We have plans for a research institute,” says Kumar. He acknowledges that it is a challenge to get good doctors and therapists. Retaining them also is a tough task, as there is a huge demand for trained people these days.
ANCC is looking at contacting corporates and helping them design programmes to keep their employees healthy. “We are also trying to tie up with corporates for stress management. That is one common complaint for most employees. It is very difficult to change the environment in which we work but what we can do is change the way in which we interact with that environment and respond to it. We try and teach in stress management how you can take control of the situation and what you can do to manage the stress,” mentions Singh.
ANCC is also stepping up its promotional strategy. A tie-up with Madhya Pradesh Tourism is in place for promotion at global travel trade events.