If necessary Abhyangam on the body & head can be done before Sirodhara. After the indicated time of Abhyangam with suitable medicated oil, the person is made to lie on his back. His eyes are covered with a strap of cotton cloth wound horizontally around his head to prevent overflow that can cause irritation of eyes during the treatment. The vessel filled with medicated oil is hung over the head in such a way that the oil falls on the forehead in a steady flow of 4 angulas [finger space] height. The vessel is kept refilled with drippings collected. This process is continued for 45 to 50 minutes every day continuously for 7 days. After that, the head is gently wiped with a dry cloth and allowed to take rest for 10 to 15 minutes followed by bath using medicated water.
• Without tying the band of cloth above the eyebrows the therapy should not be undertaken. • The medicinal liquid should not be warmer than 25-degree centigrade better if kept at room temperature. • The treatment should preferably be undertaken either between 7 am to 10 am or from 3.30 pm to 5 pm. • A rhythmic swing is required and should not be too fast or too slow in the oscillating speed. • Silence is to be maintained inside the treatment room.
1. Useful in Headache [due to vatha]
2. Useful in dandruff & hair fall
3. Useful in insomnia
4. Burning sensation of the head
5. Useful in relaxation
6. Increased in vatha & pitha
2. Common cold
3. Acute eye diseases
4. Kapha vikaras
5. Headache due to sinusitis
It is a procedure in which the warm medicated oil is retained over the neck region using a special arrangement. The word ‘greeva’ refers to ‘neck’ and ‘basti’ refers to the ‘retention’.
The person undergoing GreevaBasti is made to lie face down on the massage table (Droni) The dough is prepared out of black gram flour or whole wheat flour. It is then made into a small ring of 2-3 angula height. After it is glued with some water to make it leakproof; lukewarm medicated oil or the decoction of herbs is slowly poured into it. When this cools down it is squeezed out and replaced with more warm one. At the end of the procedure, the dough is removed; a gentle massage is given over the area. The person is made to take rest for a while.
• Cervical spondylosis
• Neck stiffness
• Frozen shoulder
• Relieves the burden of stress and congestion in nerves, bones, and muscles of neck and shoulders and thus relaxing and rejuvenating them
• Improves the flexibility and brings smooth movement
• Improves circulation around the neck and shoulder region
• Muscular neck pain
In janu basthi, warm medicated oil is retained over the knee joint for a particular time duration. Here the word ‘janu’ refers to ‘knee joint’ and ‘basthi’ refers to the ‘retention’.
• The person is made to lie on his back on the massage table (Droni)
• Reservoir made of black gram dough is built upon the Knee Joint. The dough ring should be such that it covers the knee joint
• After ensuring the ring is leakproof, the lukewarm medicated oil or herbal decoction is slowly poured into it. When that cools down, it is squeezed out with cotton gauze and the procedure is repeated
• At the end of the procedure, the ring is removed and the affected area may be gently massaged. The person is then made to take rest for a short while
• Osteoarthritis of knee joints
• Arthrosis of knee joints
• Recurrent patellar dislocation
• Pacifies aggravated Vata dosha in the knee region
• Chronic pain of the knee joint
• Restores the lubricating fluid in the joint and maintain integrity of the structures involved in the joint
• Removes stiffness and pain in knee joint
• Protects knee joints from age-related changes
• Increases blood circulation; thus strengthens and nourishes the knee joints
• Improves the mobility of the knee joints (knee flexion and knee extension)
Shirovasthi is the procedure wherein the medicated oil is retained on the head for a prescribed period by a special arrangement. It is highly indicated in vata and pitta aggravated conditions.
• Headaches of vathika in nature
• Degenerative brain disorders (masthishka Apachayam)
• Motor neuron disease, Cerebral palsy
• Cerebral lesions, Epilepsy insanity (apasmaram & unmadam)
• Mental diseases, Vataja Karna Rogam
• Common cold, Fever
• Masthishka avarana shopham
• Nethra rogam
• Kapha, Pithaja Karnarogam
• Bathing, Full stomach, hyperacidity
• Urdhwa gatha Raktha Pitha
Shiro Basti is very beneficial in all ailments related to the head region and favourable for sense organs as discussed below
• Brain: Improves memory and mental abilities, helpful in cranial nerve disorders, stress and neurological disorders.
• Head : Scalp dryness, hair loss, headache, burning sensation of scalp and other diseases of skull.
• Face : Facial paralysis, leave a remarkable lustre and glow on face.
• Skin : Shiro basti makes skin soft and shiny.
• Others : Insomnia, sleeplessness, skin disorders such as eczema & psoriasis.
Swedana is a procedure which induces perspiration/sweating. In this treatment (Ayurvedic sweat therapy), the patient’s body is made to perspire using various mode of swedana karma depending upon the Dosha involvement and the disease condition.
1. Improves the blood circulation
2. Promotes lightness to both body and mind
3. Balances Vata and Kapha humor in the body
4. Removes the unwanted salts and toxins out of the skin and improves its glow and texture
5. Improves digestion
6. Removes stupor
7. Acts on fat tissues
8. Relieves stress
9. Eases sore muscles
10. Reduces numbness, stiffness, rigidity, heaviness; improves mobility
11. Headache (vata and kapha origin)
15. Motor Neuron Disorders
17. Low back ache
19. Asthma and cough
21. Chronic constipation
Word meaning:- Abhyangam – It states that “Ab” means to follow; “Angam”- Body – To follow the body is Abhyangam
In Ashtanga Hridayam, Suthra sthana, it is noted that Abhyangam (self-massage) should be done on a daily basis as a step of dinacharya daily routine. If it is not done on the whole body, at least, the head, ear, the foot should be massaged every day in order to prevent premature aging, fatigue on exertion, and to pacify vata.
1. Massages involving one person
2. Massages involving many persons
3. Synchronised massages
The word Kati -low back & Basti stands for retaining something inside, in this case mainly medicated oil. The procedure of applying heat to the sacral or lumbar region by retaining warm medicated oil within a specially formed frame in this area is popularly known as ‘kati basti’. This is form of giving fomentation to localized area.eic detoxification.
Kati Basti is beneficial in all types of back and spinal problems. Some of them are listed underneath :
• Backache in women
• Sciatica, Slip disc
• Intervertebral disc protrusion
• Lumbar Spondylosis
• Degenerative disc disease
• Ankylosing Spondylitis
The modern painkillers have many side effects. To avoid the conventional medicines patients can get benefits from the Kati Basti treatment for pain relief. Other benefits are :
• Relieves the burden of stress and congestion in nerves, bones and muscles of the neck and shoulders and thus relaxing and rejuvenating them
• Improves flexibility and brings smooth movement.
• Improves circulation around the neck and shoulder region.
• Relieves pain and stiffness.
The word Udwarthanam is a combined of two words (Urdhwa + Varthanam) the word Urdhwa refers as Upward and the other word Varthanam means to move. It has got its name “Udwartanam” as in this massage stroke performed in an upward movement or in another word elevation.
Udwartana is an herbal scrubbing massage technique in Ayurveda. It helps in removing excess fat and toxins from the body tissues. In this technique, herbal powders or pastes are being used to give a forceful massage in the direction opposite to that of the hair follicles (pratiloma gati).
• relieves kapha associated disorders
• breaks down and mobilizes accumulated fat
• relieves body dour due to excessive sweating
• improves skin tone and also smoothens and cleanses it
• provides stability to body parts
• relieves itching and rejuvenates the skin
• removes heaviness of body
• enhances metabolism in the body
• opens up blocked channels in the body and improves blood circulation
• Obesity and associated complaints
• Metabolic disorders
• Diabetes mellitus
• Neuropathy associated with diabetes
• Lethargy and lack of enthusiasm
• As poorvakarma (preparatory therapy)for Pancakarma treatments
• Neuro muscular disorders
• Kapha and Aama related complaints etc.
A caring art for heart! It is also called as ‘URO Basti’. The medicated oil is retained on the chest wall which gives a positive influence on the heart chakra which in turn has a beneficial effect on the mind and gives strengthening effect to the heart muscle. This therapy nourishes, strengthens, balances heart function and rejuvenates the heart through Hridaya marma
• Coronary heart diseases
• Ischemic heart diseases
• Asthma and other respiratory disorders
Hridaya basti is a special technique aimed at providing relief to people suffering from heart related diseases using warm medicated oil or herbal decoction, poured on the chest and kept over the chest for 45 minutes.
• Uro basti is a warming procedure of the chest area and the heart. This type of warming is used in the treatment of respiratory disease (disease of bronchii and lungs ), weakness of the cardiac muscles (myocardial dystropy).
• Uro basti improves the circulation and breathing functions.
• Kundalini Yoga: It energizes the Anahata Chakra seated in the heart and thus gives positive influence on the heart and mind energizing the whole body.
• Relieves stress and anxiety
Patra pinda swedana is a type of swedana procedure wherein patra (leaves) of vata alleviating herbs are selected and made into pinda (bolus) by undergoing specific mode of preparation.
The leaves which are having Vata pacifying property are collected freshly. Most commonly used leaves are leaves of tamarind, Calatropis gigantia, Ricinus communis, drumstick, Vitex nirgundo, Adatoda vasica etc. They are chopped and mixed with grated coconut, lemon, turmeric rock salt etc. depending on the condition.
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.
Then the massage is given with warm boluses. The boluses are applied over the body in seven different postures. After the procedure, the patient is advised to take a shower with lukewarm water.
Care should be taken that throughout the procedure the temperature is maintained at around 46-degree centigrade by reheating the bolus over a hot vessel.
Kaya Seka or SarvangaDhara or Pizhichil is a special treatment procedure followed by traditional vaidyas (physicians) of Kerala. The word Pizhichil in the Malayalam language literally means “squeezing”. Here the whole body is bathed in streams of lukewarm medicated oil with simultaneous soft massage. This Ayurveda’s Royal Treatment is famously called as the “treatment for aristocrats” because the treatment was specially offered to the kings in ancient times.
In this treatment, the cloths measuring about 1.5 square feet are soaked in warm medicated oil and then squeezed onto the person’s body from a height of 8-12 angulas. So that oil flows in a continuous single stream along the thumb, in a downward direction. The pieces of cloth are periodically soaked in a vessel containing warm oil.
Gentle massage is given following the path of the oil stream. Two to four trained therapists under the supervision of a physician perform the treatment. The patient should be made to adopt the seven standard positions so that no area of the body is left uncovered.
After the completion of the procedure, the person is made to take rest for 10 minutes, before taking a bath in hot water.
• Neurological disorders
• Ankylosing spondylitis
• Nervous weakness
• Sexual weakness
• Paralysis (Hemiplegia and paraplegia)
• Parkinson’s disease
• Relieves body pain and muscle spasms
• Helps in healing bone injuries
• Increases immunity and prolongs life span
• Improves skin complexion
• Has anti-aging treatment
• Improves blood circulation
• Very soothing, relaxing and rejuvenating treatment
It is an upakalpana doing as a part of external oleation.
Putting oil soaked cotton swab over bregma or other parts of the body for certain periods is called Pichu. Pichu, when done on head, is called Siropichu.
1. Painful conditions (vatha vikaras)
2. Auga supthatha (vatha – kapha vikaras)
3. Sadya vranas
1. Over saturated wounds
4. Athi swedam
Nasal inhalation of medicated oil, milk, decoction or juice from fresh leaves of selected plants is called as Nasyam.
1. Firstly acquainted oil has to apply overhead.
2. After that, the face massage is to be done for 15 minutes
3. After the massage, face steam bath is to be done by closing the eyes and has to inhale the fumes through the nose and to be exhaled through the mouth for 10 minutes
4. After the sudation, quickly the sweat has to be wiped out from the head with a turkey towel well and rasnadi choornam is to be applied at bregma
5. Then 4-6-8 drops of the indicated oil can be instilled to nose from the first day by increasing two drops daily up to the 7th day
6. Take minimum 15 minutes to inhale and spit the sputum out through the mouth
7. While doing nasyam, dry face massage with mild pressure can be done
8. After that, conduct the kabala graha and gandoosha [5 minutes] with the warm decoction or water
9. While doing, the patient again has to try to spit the sputum by possible force
10. After that, snaihika Dhoomapanam with the help of Dhoomapana yanthra has to be done. 4-6 puffs minimum to each nostril is required.
2. Facial paralysis, sinusitis
3. Pathology of brain
4. Cervical spondylitis
5. Nasal congestion
6. Common cold
1. Raktha pitham [Urdhwa gatha]
2. Kasa, Swasa
3. Dysphagia etc
1. Shiro virechanam
2. Achieves strength and power to the sensory organs by prathimarsha nasya as a part of dinacharya
3. Preenanam & jeevanam to masthishka & sushumna
4. Medicine to be selected is completely left to the physician, which is according to the dosha, roga, and onset of attack [time].
Spine Basti is an important Ayurvedic treatment for Pain Managementthat focus on the spine or the vertebral column. It includes pouring of specially prepared warm herbal oil over the spine area.
In Spine Basti specially prepared warm herbal oil is poured over the spinal cord and retained inside a well created using black gram paste or whole wheat flour.
This Ayurvedic treatment for Pain Managementis used in the treatment of spine stiffness and inter-vertebral disc prolapses.
Akshitarpana (Netrabasti) Nethrakarma (eye treatment)
Akshitarpana is one among the netrakriyakalpa (treatments for eyes).The phrase Akshitarpana (also called Netrabasti) is from Sanskrit where Akshi refers to eyes (Netra=eyes) and tarpana stands for nourishment (basti= retaining something inside). Akshitarpana is an eye care treatment and rejuvenation program in Ayurveda.
• The person is made to lie down over back on the Droni (massage table)
• The dough ring prepared out of blackgram is applied around the eyeball
• The medicated ghee (depending upon the disease) is made lukewarm (around 27 degree Celsius)
• The ghee is poured into the cavity with the eyes closed, till it covers the eyelashes
• The person is instructed to blink the eyes in between the procedure
• At the end of the procedure, the ghee and the ring are removed; eyes are wiped with cotton swab
• Netradhara/netraseka is done as a cleansing procedure
• The person is made to sniff the medicated smoke with closed eyes
• He is advised to avoid bright light soon after the procedure
• In Vata and pitta aggravated conditions
• Improves the vision
• Night blindness
• Corneal ulcers
• Refractive errors
• Dryness of the eyes
• Computer eye syndrome
• Burning sensation of eyes
• Removes dark circles under the eyes
• Revitalizes and rejuvenates tired, dry, rough and injured eyes
• Strengthens the nerves and muscles of the eyes
Thakra - buttermilk
Dhara - continuous pouring
It is the continuous pouring of medicated buttermilk.
The buttermilk is prepared by processing it with the cooling type of herbs.
1. Same as Sirodhara. Here instead of oil, medicated buttermilk is being used as “Dharadravakam”
2. Rarely during thakra dhara minimum, three times gentle massage for the body is advisable keeping 15 minutes intervals – using indicated oils
3. Three therapists can be provided if possible
Ksheera – Medicated Milk
Dhara - Continuous stream of medicine
Ksheera Dhara can be done for both the body & head
• Thalam - with Rasnadichoorna / Medicated oil
• Poorva abhyangam – 20 minutes in 4 positions with suitable oil on body & 10 minutes on head
• Ksheera dhara:-
• For head:- same as that of sirodhara.
• For body:- warm medicated oil is poured either locally or on the full body by two therapists standing on each side of the patient. One therapist collects the poured milk, reheat and rotate
• Vata-pitta imbalances
• Stress related problems
• Vata-pitta conditions where pitta is very prominent
• Burning sensation
• Inflammatory conditions of the joints
• Kapha disorders
Padabhyanga is Ayurvedic foot massage (Pada=foot and Abhyanga=massage) which is soothing, revitalizing, calming and balancing various disturbances of the autonomic nervous system. The foot is the part of the body where we have got numerous nerve endings and these considered to be the vital areas. So, massaging these vital points promotes stimulation and relaxation to both body and mind
Padabhyanga just before sleep induces sound sleep or in other words, it is considered to be an effective remedy for insomnia.
• Gouty arthritis
• Diabetic neuropathy
• Hemiplegia and paraplegia
• Sprains, cramps, numbness of the feet and legs
• Cracked heels
• Improves vision
• Helps to calm the mind
• Relaxes and revitalizes the central nervous system
• Improves the sensory functions
• Improves peripheral circulation
• Removes fatigue of the lower limbs
• Help prevent sciatica
• Removes contraction of the ligaments, vessels, and muscles of the feet
• Provides sturdiness to the limbs
• Helps to calm and maintain the "Vata Dosha" which, when present in excess, is regarded as the major cause of illness
Choorna - powder [Medicinal].
Pinda swedam – Sudation with hot boluses
The potalies are heated and massaged all over the body by two therapists one on each side of the body of the patient. One therapist helps to heat the boluses by rubbing on a hot plate and recycle the boluses.
• Kapha & Vatha disorders
• Pain without inflammatory swelling at any body part including joints
• Can be utilized in painful conditions of obese people
• In acute inflammation
• Muscular dystrophy
• Pitha vitiation
• Pitha disorders
Njavarakizhi is also known as shashtikashali $pinda swedam. Njavara in Malayalam stands for the rice (Shashtika Shali in Sanskrit) that grows in 60 days. Kizhi (Pinda in Sanskrit) stands for bolus. Njavara rice is considered to be the best variety of rice and has got a nourishing action. Njavarakizhi is a procedure by which the whole body or any specific part is made to perspire, by the application of certain medicinal drugs with Njavara rice puddings externally in the form of boluses tied up in a muslin bag.
The njavara rice is prepared with a combination of cow’s milk and the decoction prepared with vata reducing herbs.
A generous amount of medicated oil is applied to the head and body. Then the body is massaged with warm muslin bag bolus containing njavara rice puddings cooked in the herbal decoction.
The boluses are dipped in the mixture of warm milk and herbal decoctions thus inducing sudation. The procedure is done in seven different postures. At the end of the procedure, the rice paste sticking over the body is removed using coconut leaves.
A gentle massage is given with warm medicated oil once again. The person is made to rest for 10 minutes.
• Vata aggravated conditions
• Muscular dystrophy
• Painful conditions in old age
• Strengthens the joints and muscles
• Promotes sound sleep
• Boosts immune system and slow the aging process
• Enhances body nourishment and rejuvenates
• Improves lustre and texture of the skin
Jambeera - lemon
Pinda swedam – Sudation with hot boluses
• Thalam - with rasnadichoornam or medicated oil
• Poorva abhyangam – 10 min in 4 position with appropriate oil
• Jambeera pinda sweda - procedure is same like Patra pinda sweda
• Peri-arthritis of Shoulder
• Low backache with sciatica
• Neuromuscular diseases
• Pain (without inflammatory swelling) at any body part including joints
• Disorders of vatha
• Can be utilized in painful conditions of obese people
• Muscle stiffness
• Pain & stiffness of joints
• Patients with skin infections
• Pitta & Raktha vikaras
• In acute inflammation
• Skin Lesions
Warm medicated oil is retained in the uropradesha (thoracic/chest region) for a particular period of time by preparing a circular bund (basti).
The person undergoing urobasti is made to lie face down on the massage table (Droni) The dough is prepared out of black gram flour or whole wheat flour. It is then made into a small ring of four to five inches in diameter which is placed over the chest. After it is glued with some water to make it leakproof, lukewarm medicated oil or the herbal decoction is slowly poured into it. When this cools down it is squeezed out and replaced with more warm oil or herbal decoction. At the end of the procedure the dough is removed; a gentle massage is given over the area. The person is made to take rest for a while.
Ksheera – milk
Dhoomam – sudation by fumigating
Here the milk is boiled with some vata reducing herbs and the steam is directed to the body for the perspiration.
1. The Medicine is put in a vessel with a narrow neck. The mouth of the vessel is covered with a cloth & a tube is attached to the covering. The steam coming from the vessel is used for swedana
2. Using the above said mixture one can have it as a steam bath in a steam chamber
3. Time required – 15 to 20 minutes, usually daily once
4. Both the above said procedures have vivid therapeutical significance
1. Facial Paralysis
2. Atrophy of muscles
3. Poorvakarma of Nasya
4. Jihwasthambha [difficulty in speech]
It is a procedure (Ayurvedic treatment) wherein medicated oil is applied to the head in a special manner. It is effective in vata aggravated type of disorders. It promotes both mental and physical relaxation.
3. Facial palsy
6. Improves memory
7. Other neurological disorders
8. Dermatitis of the scalp
11. Skin disorders such as Eczema
Derived from ‘VAM Dhathu means to eliminate through upwards. The process is known as “VAMANAM”. This is the best eliminative therapy of Kapha. It is the elimination of Kapha dosha by means of emesis from urdhwabhaga (upper extremities).
1.Allergic respiratory diseases 2.Sneezing 3.Asthma (excluding cardiac asthma) 4.Chronic bronchitis 5.Psoriasis 6.Skin diseases 7.Autoimmune diseases 8.Diseases of kapha and head etc.
Raktha – blood, moksha – letting Raktha moksha consists of various kinds of blood letting generally, it is concluded as, Blood letting with Sasthra (sharp instruments) Blood letting without sathra (ahu sasthra)
Usually, metallic sharp instruments are used for sasthra krutha and it is again subdivided as, 1.Prachanam (pricking method)
2.Sira vedham (phlebotomy or venesection)
It is being used in Klesasaha and those who are suffering from chronic or acute diseases.
It is using in cases of sukumaras, young children, geriatric cases, pregnancy etc.. it can be subdivided as 4 types, 1.Jaluka acharanam – blood letting by non toxic leeches.
2.Shrunga acharanam – blood letting by suction with hollow animal horns.
3.Alabu acharanam – blood letting by suction through long guard.
4.Ghatiyanthram – Bloodletting by suction with small earthen pot that has a small lilted candle or mild fire or heated inside.
Virechanam can be categorized into two ways-
1. Rooksha (dry) eg: purgation, laxation with medicinal powders + Warm water
2. Snigdha (uncteous) eg: purgation, laxation with medicated caster oil
1. Mriduvirechana (laxation) eg: Laxation with Triphala choornam + warm water
2. Theekshna virechana (purgation) eg: Purgation with abhayadi modakam, Avipathi choornam etc
1. Chronic constipation, Arshas
2. Pakshgatham, Skin diseases
3. Diseases of genito – urinary tract
4. Intoxication, Complications of amam
5. Manasika rogas
6. Pithaja disorders etc, G.I.T Disturbances
7. Liver and pancreatic dysfunctions and anomalies
8. Jaundice [kamala]
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