Abhyanga Snana is part of the purvakarma or preparatory measure of Panchakarma treatment in Ayurveda. It is an ancient oleation therapy, traditionally given by two therapists, who work in tandem, synchronizing their strokes and massage according to the circulatory and marma points for sixty minutes. Detoxifying sesame oils are chosen according to one's illness. Usually this is done in seven standard positions. It is one of the most rejuvenating treatments of Ayurveda, especially in the Kerala tradition.
This is a form of treatment for various age related and other common disorders. Some of the advantages are pain relief, improved circulation, stress relief, better sleep, flexibility, athletic performance and emotional benefits. Massage therapy can soothe pain, relax stiff muscles, and reduce the swelling that accompanies arthritis. With Ayurvedic massage, deep-seated toxins in the joints and tissues are loosened and released into the system for elimination through natural toxin-release processes.
This is for persons with problems of obesity, diabetes, skin diseases etc. It is also good for stress relief, better blood circulation, nervous stimulation and muscle toning for general good health. It is also ideal for post delivery/natal care.
Dhara is a method of Kerala special treatment. Many such distinctive and excellent forms of treatments, not practiced in the other parts of India are conducted by the Kerala Physicians. A continuous stream of medicated warm oil/herbal decoctions/medicated milk/buttermilk is poured onto the forehead for 45 to 90 minutes. This procedure often induces a mental state similar to a trance, which creates profound relaxation of the mind and body. It deeply relaxes and revitalizes the central nervous system. Shirodhara gives the best results when taken after an Abhyangam. Dhara is good for all ailments. Changing the liquid as per the Dosha condition with necessary alterations in the procedure, is useful to alleviate any Dosha.
Shirodhara has been used to treat a variety of conditions including eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, greying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo, and certain types of skin diseases like psoriasis. It is also used non-medicinally for its relaxing properties. Recent research studies has shown that Shiro Dhara results in Vaso Dilation (dilation of blood vessels) in the brain enabling increased supply of oxygen to the blood cells.
This special treatment is an effective remedy for mental diseases, headache, nervous disorders, insomnia, blood pressure, general weakness, urinary diseases and particularly in the diseases of organs above neck.
This is the most important of all external use of Snehana (oil application). Certain lukewarm Ayurvedic / herbal oils are poured into a cap fitted on the head for 15 to 60 minutes per day according to the patient's conditions for a period of 7 days.This is highly effective for facial paralysis, dryness of nostrils, mouth and throat, severe headaches, burning sensation of head and other vata originated diseases. Certain lukewarm medicated oil is applied to the entire head. A leather cap is then placed on the head to maintain the temperature. Its effects are marvelous in neuralgia, hemicranias, optic atrophy, deafness, facial paralysis and all diseases affecting the cranial nerves.
This treatment is effective for migraine, deafness, diseases affecting cranial nerves, facial paralysis, insanity, diseases and wounds etc. In fact this treatment is good for all diseases.
Pizhichil, which literally means squeezing, is a unique contribution of the Kerala tradition of Ayurveda. Here, cloth dipped in warm medicated oil is squeezed over the patient's body. Trained attendants under the supervision of a physician perform the treatment. The attendants squeeze the oil with their right hand and simultaneously massage with their left hand in down ward strokes. The patient should be made to adopt the seven standard positions so that no area of the body is left uncovered. Though it is actually a process of sudation used as a purvakarma (preparatory treatment), it has also proved to be highly effective on its own for treating diseases caused due to the vitiation of the Vata humour, especially Pakshaghata (hemiplegia), paralysis, muscle spasms and other degenerative diseases affecting muscles.
This treatment is very useful for rheumatic diseases, arthritis, paralysis, sexual weakness, neurological disorders, blood pressure, nervous weakness, diabetes, blood pressure, fits, convulsions, paralysis and helps to arrest the aging process. It is very effective in asthma and even in tuberculosis in early stages. This is mainly a lubricating treatment.
Navarakkizhi, Kerala’s unique contribution to Ayurveda, is a fomentation of the body with bolus of cooked rice. Shastika or navara is a particular kind of rice known for its nutritional value. The rice is first cooked with milk and herbal decoction made of kurumthotti, a herb. Four boluses are made of the cooked rice and are tied up in linen bags.The fomentation begins with the patient sitting straight on the droni with legs stretched. The masseurs on either side perform the fomentation process in an identical manner. The movement of the hands during both fomentation and massage should always be downwards. This therapy is done in seven standard positions. This is a strengthening fomentation employed in all kinds of neurological disorders, rheumatism, arthritis congenital deformity of the limbs, dislocation of bones and joints etc..
General treatment in the Ayurvedic health program, especially for inflammatory conditions of the bones and joints, arthritis, spinal problems, sportinjuries. Treatment: herbs, leaves or powder of herbs are being applied along with warm oil all over the body. Duration: 45 minutes each day for a week up to two weeks. This therapy is effective for various kinds of arthritis, Spondylosis, muscular pains, back pain, sports injuries and for all other soft tissue inflammations especially joint pains.
The waist area of the body is called Kati. Vasti in this case implies a container. Kativasti is an effective therapy of Ayurveda for Katisula, which is the term for lower backache or stiffness or pain felt down the back. The patient is made to lie face down on the Droni. A rectangular reservoir made of black gram dough is built up on the lower back, around the lumbo-sacral area. After ensuring that this is leak-proof, a lukewarm medicinal oil, which alleviates pain and strengthens the bone tissues, is slowly poured into it. The oil and the receptacle are kept on for about half an hour. After removing them, the affected area may be gently massaged with the same oil. The patient is then made to take rest for a short while.
For severe conditions of Gridrasi (Sciatica) and osteo-arthritis of the hip, the latter condition characterized by severe pain radiating down the leg, a combination of Shamana (palliative) and Shodhana (eliminatory) measures is necessary to prevent a relapse.
A gentle application of warm herbal oil is first done over the body. Next the individual is made to sit, keeping the head out, inside a steam chamber that lets out herbal steam from medicinal herbs makes the individual perspire profusely that promote cohesion between cells. The steam will open up the very small pores of the skin thereby removing all wastes and pacifying the three doshas. A great therapy for toning the skin and giving it a special glow.
Takra means buttermilk and Dhara means pouring. This therapy calms the individual down by using medicated buttermilk, which is poured onto the forehead to relieve insomnia, depression and other stress related problems. This prevents graying of the hair, reduces headaches, increases digestive power and alleviates anorexia. In cases of psoriasis, Dhara is performed on the affected area to have a curative effect.
A mixture specially prepared warm herbal oil is poured over the chest and retained inside an herbal paste boundary for 30 to 45 minutes. The healing properties of herbal oils used for this massage enriches the blood and builds and maintains strong muscle and connective tissues.
Specially prepared warm herbal oil is poured over the neck and retained inside the black gram paste boundary for the required duration. The healing properties of herbal oils used for this therapy deeply cleans and enriches the blood, builds and maintains strong muscle and connective tissues and lubricates the joints keeping them flexible and pain free.
Greeva Vasti alleviates neck and upper back conditions like Cervical Spondylosis, Stiff Neck Pain due to over strain etc.
This is a special treatment in which warm medicated oil is retained over the knee joint. This treatment is very effective in treating different conditions of the knee joints like arthritis, degenerative conditions etc.
A special treatment in which the eyes are bathed in pure medicated cow's ghee. This procedure takes 15 minutes.
This is a specialized herbal treatment for weight reduction. A herbal paste or powder is applied all over the body and deeply massaged with specific movements by two therapists for one hour.
A herbal paste is applied to the entire head for 45 minutes.
A thick layer of cotton wool soaked with warm medicated oil is applied over the affected area. The oil is recycled periodically to make it warm. This therapy is very effective for degenerative and painful problems like Back pain, Osteo-arthritis, Spondylitis, injuries, etc. Medicated oil is applied to the head for 45 minutes in a special manner.
A soothing massage of the head, neck & shoulder for 15 minutes using warm herbal oils.
This is the application of herbal paste externally over the affected area. The herbal powder and the medium to make the paste are selected as per the condition. This therapy is having a wide range of usage from cosmetic purpose to severe skin conditions. Very effective in Psoriasis, Pimples, Marks on skin, pigmentation, Arthritis with swelling & pain, injuries and skin infections.