Ayurveda uses massage and other therapies as a part of its regimens for healing. Different forms of massage, based upon a person’s constitution and imbalance are prescribed by the doctors for the Panchakarma Rejuvenation Packages or the therapuetic packages used to treat specific ailments. Some of the processes used in the Panchakarma Rejuvenation and the Therapuetic Packages are described here.
It is the combination of sudation and oleation process in which luke warm medicated oil is dipped and poured all over the body followed by gentle massage until the body is perspired in seven different postures for a duration of it is effective in neurological disorders, rheumatic disease, low back pain etc. and builds up immunity for a healthy life.
It improves circulation by promoting vasodilation, relieves muscle tension, stimulates the nervous system and provides a feeling of general well being. It’s useful for neuromuscular disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, Low back ache, IVDP, osteoarthritis, degeneration, insomnia etc.
Medicated oils, medicated buttermilk, tender coconut water, milk, Dhanyamlam (a specially fermented medicinal preparation), medicinal decoctions, medicated plain water etc can be used for this purpose. It has both rejuvenative and curative properties. It’s useful in calculi pain, urinary problems, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, pain, fatigue, exhaustion, diabetic neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease etc.
Takradhara is an excellent cure for chronic Insomnia, psoriasis and other pitta aggravated diseases. It reduces burning sensation of palms and soles, and helps reduce headache. It reduces Stress and Hypertension, cures premature greying of hair and improves vision.
The therapy creates a balancing effect on the deepest recesses of our brains, stimulating the endocrine system, the pituitary and pineal glands (for hormonal imbalances) and pleasure neurotransmitters (for depression or emotional insecurity). It is also said to enhance blood circulation to the brain, improving clarity and releasing deeply trapped ama, or toxins. Apparently this is very commonly used treatment for psoriasis and others including Alzheimer’s, insomnia, stress related problems, hypertension, anemia etc.
Effective to combat migraines problem. Cures specific types of specific pitta disorder. Cooling and refreshing therapy. Improves sensory function, cleanses the skin, and relives stress and fatigue
Shirodhara is one of the ancient techniques of Ayurveda that involves pouring of liquid, mostly oils, to cure psychosomatic ailments by relaxing the nerves. It is a powerful technique that needs to be carefully provided by a trained medical professional. Hence care should be taken not to violate the stringent procedures that are involved in Shirodhara, as any violation may lead to unnecessary complications such as reactions in nose and mouth.
The liquid that is used for the treatment is defined by the type of ailment that needs treatment. It can be
- Taila Dhara – Oils
- Takra Dhara – Buttermilk
- Kwatha Dhara – Decoctions made out of medicinal herbs
- Ksheera Dhara – Milk
- Jala Dhara – Coconut water or water
Ksheera dhara is a relaxing treatment similar to Shirodhara but instead of herbal oil, herbal milk infused with special herbs such as cleansing turmeric powder and fragrant sandalwood powder, is continuously poured over the forehead or all over the body. The gentle milk bath is followed by a relaxing massage.
Ksheera dhara is a great therapy for people suffering from Vata and Pitta predominance, headaches, insomnia and mental stress. This moisturizing treatment relieves anxiety and tension, and leaves the skin with a healthy glow.
Ksheeradhara Ayurveda treatment is useful in treating headaches, insomnia and mental irritability.
Elakizhi (Patrapotali Swedan)
Ela or ila or patra means leaves; kizhi or pinda means bolus; Swedam means sudation. It is one of the major sudation process using herbal leaves. It is highly effective in ailments affecting bones, joints and nervous system. Most commonly used leaves are leaves of tamarind, Calatropis gigentica, Ricinus communis, drumstick, Vitex nigundo, Adatoda vasica etc. They are chopped and mixed with grated coconut, lemon, turmeric rock salt etc.
The mixture is fried in plain sesame oil or other medicated oil as per the requirement. They are divided into four equal parts and tied in a linen cloth in the form of boluses. These are kept in a vessel containing the oil used to fry the ingredients and the vessel is then heated. An Abhyangam (a gentle oil massage) is given for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Improves blood circulation, Improves skin complexion, Increase muscle strength, Relieves body pain and stiffness, It is anti aging and rejuvenating.
Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda
Navarakizhi is a treatment in which a special type of rice called Shashtika Shali (which is harvested in 60 days and is exclusively used for treatment purposes in Ayurveda) prepared in milk processed with herbal decoction is tied in boluses and used for rubbing on the body parts which are intended to receive nutrition and strength. The treatment is also used in painful and or degenerative conditions like Osteoarthritis, Myalgia, GB Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, various types of Neuro-muscular and Musculoskeletal diseases. It is basically a strengthening and nutritious treatment. It also has an extraordinary relaxing and analgesic effect.
Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda is used mainly to provide strength and rejuvenate the tissues and also to provide relief from pain, inflammation, and stiffness (catch) associated with bone, joint, neuromuscular and or musculoskeletal pains. Shashtika Sweda can be done in a later period of these treatments to strengthen the nerves, joints and soft tissues and enhance blood flow to the affected area.
Warm the oil (pour approximately ¼ cup into a mug and warm using a coffee-cup warmer.) Test the temperature by putting a drop on your inner wrist, oil should be comfortably warm and not hot. Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room. Apply oil first to the crown of your head (adhipati marma) and work slowly out from there in circular strokes—spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp (home to many other important marma points—points of concentrated vital energy)
Face: Massage in circular motion on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaws (always moving in a upward movement). Be sure to massage your ears, especially your ear-lobes—home to essential marma points and nerve endings. Use long strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and circular strokes on the joints (elbows and knees). Always massage toward the direction of your heart. Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side.
Finish the massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet. Feet are a very important part of the body with the nerve endings of essential organs and vital marma points. Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes if possible so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body. Enjoy a warm bath or shower. You can use a mild soap on the “strategic” areas, avoid vigorously soaping and rubbing the body. When you get out of the bath, towel dry gently. Blot the towel on your body instead of rubbing vigorously
Swedana is a Sanskrit word, which means perspire or sweating. The various techniques that induce sweating are known as Swedana karma. Swedana can induce hemodynamic changes in the body. First, it increases blood pressure and heart rate or pulse rate. These changes are just for a short period. After that, it can also reduce systolic blood pressure. It also improves blood circulation and removes toxic substances through sweating.
Svedana therapy involves various forms of sudation treatments, which help to relieve bodily stiffness, heaviness, coldness and elimination of toxins. It also eliminates excess doshas and is best suited for vata and kapha doshas. It also regulates the fluid levels in the body along with fat metabolism as sweat is considered to be one of the waste materials produced in this process.Svedana is excellent for conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, bodily toxins, heaviness in the body, low digestive fire, low appetite etc. There are thirteen classic forms of Svedana therapies described in Ayurvedic texts according to specific disease conditions.
Choorna pinda sweda
Churna Pinda Swedana is a type of therapy in which hot boluses containing various types of powdered drugs are gently applied over the body. It is a swedana (fomentation) therapy commonly used for pain relief & giving strength to the tissues.
In this therapy several types of grains and special ingredients are fried along with herbal oil and are tied into boluses. Then these Boluses are made warm indirectly in a warm container and are massaged onto the body. Before this therapy light Abhyanga is given. Therapy takes 45 minutes.
Churna Pinda Swedana helps to cure diseases like Arthritis, Paralysis, Spondylitis, Gout, Back ache.
Benefits: This therapy strengthens muscles and joints. It also nourishes the nerves, improves tissue strength and blood circulation.