Types of external treatments
This perhaps the most sought after treatment and can be taken once a year especially in old age.
Method: Warm medicated oils are applied in a specific manner to make the body perspire.
Cures: Disorders of the nervous system, chronic cases of vata–borne diseases like hemiplegia, paralysis, apthantraka (tremors), rheumatoid arthritis, etc. as well as post traumatic pains, inflammations and stiffness of joints.
Cures: Loss of sense of touch, facial paralysis, speech difficulties, insomnia and nervous disorders. It can also cure mental diseases, diseases of head, eyes, ear and nose.
Sirasseka or Dhara (Sirodhara)
Method: Warm medicated oil is poured from a pot kept at a distance from the affected part of body. The distance of the pot from the body is important and varies depending on which is the ailing part of body.
Cures: Diseases of head, insomnia, impaired memory, spondylosis, paraplegia, fatigue and lack of vitality.
Method: The treatment is localized. A wall is made around the area (depending on condition ) of spinal region and warm oil is stored.
Cures: Spondylosis, pain in cervical or lower back.
Method: Instead of oils, medicated butter milk is poured continuously from a pot. The duration of treatment differs depending on chronicity and how receptive the patient’s skin is.
Cures: Insomnia, emaciation, pains of palm and sole, stiffness of limb joints and diseases of eyes and ENT. The treatment also claims to improve functioning of all sensory organs.
Pindasveda or Navarakizhi
It is probably the most important of the itinery of traditional massage treatments and can be taken by healthy persons who wish to keep perfect health during old age and prevent premature aging. “Allopathically the carbohydrates (from rice) in combination with medicines which is supplied directly to the skin reduces the aging process”, explains Dr. Warrier.
Method: Fine cloth or kora cloth bags of medicated rice boluses are applied externally till the body perspires.
Cures: Wasting associated with polio and emaciation, removes stiffness of joints, improves blood circulation and sluggishness, enhances complexion and digestion.
Method: Herbal leaves are slightly fried in oils is applied till the patient perspires. The medication is either applied all over the body or on localized area of complaint.
Cures: Rheumatic and musculo–skeletal disorders, spondylosis and sprains.
Method: Warm medicated oils are used to massage the body.
Cures: Recouping strength, increasing functional efficiency, has soothing effect on the nervous system, reduces vitiated vata, is good specially for eyes, improves skin tone and sleep.
When doshas are in excess or aggravated beyond limit, one can take combination of Virechna, Vamana, Vasti, Nasyam and Rakta Moksha (cleansing of blood). The treatment can also be taken if one is healthy.
Cures: Removal of waste material produced during metabolic activities and other impurities.
Snehapana and Swedana are preparatory therapies for Panchakarma.
Snehapana: Depending on the patient’s appetite, medicated ghee has to be taken internally in increasing quantities of 50ml starting from 25ml, till the patient feels the sensation of nausea. The intake lubricates the whole internal system and makes the patient’s skin soft and supple.
Cures: Kapha–originated diseases.
Swedana: The patient is given a steam bath with water medicated with herbal leaves.
Method: Six to eight drops of medicated oil is poured through each nostril once a day for upto 14 days.
Cures: Purifies the head and neck regions and is effective in paralysis, mental disorders, headache and sinusitis. It is also said to improve complexion, avoids hair loss and improves vision.
Method: Strong purgative in powder form taken early in the morning.
Cures: Pitta–related diseases, jaundice, loose motions, piles, worm infestation, constipation, etc.
Method: Freshly prepared oils or enema (medicated liquid) given through the anal channel is prescribed for seven to 14 days.
Cures: Vata–related diseases, numbness, gastric complaints and constipation.
Method: Medicated powders are prescribed till kapha is expelled from mouth.
Cures: Asthma and bronchial problem.
Method: Warm medicated paste is applied on head.
Cures: Headaches, ear, nose and throat related diseases.
Method: Both ears are filled with seven–ten drops of warm medicated oils for 11–14 minutes for seven days.
Cures: Ear–related ailments.
Method: A valve of urad dal around the eyes holds warm medicated oils or medicated ghee as required.
Cures: Strengthens optic nerves and prevents cataract.
If a person is healthy and does not complain of any ailments, he or she can opt for good health and beauty treatments that not only enhance beauty but are also have additional health–related advantages. Sarvakaya abhyanga is a complete body massage with medicated oils. It is good for skin as it relieves stress and tension, increases blood circulation, improves reflex action and prevents musculo–skeletal problems.
Ayurveda and modern medicine
“Every system has its own merits at the same time its own demerits. Chronic degenerative diseases, nervous system related diseases can be cured with Ayurveda”, he states.
With predominant popularity of allopathy, ayurveda may have taken the second place but it does not undermine its status as an alternative treatment to our medical ailments. In its own way the Ayurveda way of life has definitely been catching the attention of many foreigners abroad. In modern times continuous discords in daily living are the cause for stress in body and mind. Stress is a common cause of hypertension and all other physical ailments just follow if one does not wake up and pay attention to oneself. But you don’t have to be ill to seek solace in this science.
General bibliography in Ayurveda!
Prakriti: Primordial nature
Ahankara: Ego–self identification
Man’s personality is a union of body i.e. sharira, sense organs or indriya, the psyche or mana and the soul or atma. The tridoshas maintain the integrity of living organisms in their normal state and are responsible for proper nourishment of Seven Dhatus i.e. connective tissues e.g. Rasa or the plasma, Rakta or the blood, Mamsa or the flesh, Meda or the fat, Asthi or the bone, Majja or the bone marrow and Shukra or the body reproductive tissues. Proper removal of Malas or the excretory products produced as result of physiological processes in the body also is important.