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Doctoral Project

Oil Massages, Purges and Beach Holidays – Ayurvedic Health Tourism in Kerala, South India 
Christoph Cyranski (M.A.)

This project investigates adaptations of Ayurvedic practice to the needs of European guests in an Ayurvedic resort in south India.
In the last two decades, new institutions of Ayurvedic practices have emerged in India and Sri Lanka. Located in popular holiday destinations, these Ayurvedic resorts offer a variegated mélange of therapeutic and wellness treatments for predominantly European guests.
The aim of this project is to analyze the ways by which Ayurvedic practice is reconfigured through the interaction between foreign guests and local practitioners and the local management in one such Ayurvedic resort in the south Indian state of Kerala. Which elements have entered the realm of Ayurvedic treatment? Which aspects have been modified, and which parts have been removed? These questions will be addressed together with the transnational processes that have led to these transformations.
The project will contribute to current discourses on the global variety of Ayurvedic practice and to debates about the concepts of medical, health and wellness tourism. It will further provide theoretical reflections on the formation of transnational and transcultural practice, knowledge, and institutions resulting from international and intercultural encounters.