There are two directions of treatment in Ayurveda, each of which has a specific goal. The necessary course of the therapies and procedures is determined by doctor, based on the patient’s condition, the nature and stage of the disease.
- Shamana Chikitsa, or symptomatic procedures
The name “shamana” comes from the verb “suppress.” Shamana therapies alleviate the symptoms of the disease or relieve them, improve well-being, suppress the effects of ama – toxins and toxins accumulated in the body. They do not eliminate the causes of the disease, but can prevent its further development. The shamana includes palliative medicine methods: lifestyle correction with the help of herbal medicine, diets, procedures that support or alleviate the condition.
- Shodhana Chikitsa, or disease elimination. “Shodhana”, translating from Sanskrit as “to leave”, is a therapy aimed at elimination the cause of the disease. In Ayurveda, any disease indicates that the toxic effect of ama has reached a critical point. Panchakarma cleansing procedures are used to remove it from the body.
The word “panchakarma” (translating from Sanskrit as “Pancha” (five), and “karma” (action) consists of five purification procedures:
- Vamana is a therapeutic vomiting (allows you to remove excess mucus, ama from the respiratory system, nasal and maxillary sinuses).
- Virechana is a laxative therapy (cleansing the liver and small gut, elimination of the excess bile).
- Nasya: cleansing of the nasal and maxillary sinuses with the help of herbal medicines and inhalations.
- Vasti is an enema therapy (enema cycle for cleansing the large gut with medicinal oil, herbal decoctions, honey, salt solutions, etc.).
- Rakta mokshana: bloodletting (purification of blood according to certain indications).
Each of these procedures is aimed at eliminating the imbalance of a particular dosha and its corresponding ama.
During the cleansing procedures, natural and daily cycles are taken into account: each time of the day corresponds to the activity of the integral forces of Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
In addition to cleansing procedures, Panchakarma includes three stages. The first one is Purvakarma. (preparatory); it consists of procedures and therapies that bind toxins accelerating metabolic processes. The second one is directly the Panchakarma cleansing procedure. And the third stage is Paschatkarma: restoration of digestive fire (agni), renewal of tissues (dhatu), reinforcement of the immune system.
Rasayana is a separate medical direction in Ayurveda. Its therapies prevent cell aging, nourish and restore depleted tissues, and extend the functionality of the reproductive system. This is achieved with the help of massages, a special diet, rasayan preparations and baths.
At the CALENDULA Clinic, the period of pascha karma includes Rasayana therapy. A special program “Rasayana-Vajikarana”, which is recommended or prescribed according to certain indications, has also been developed.
Ayurveda uses various types of massages, oil baths, and compresses. Each of such therapy has its own task, and is prescribed only by the doctor, based on the constitution and condition of the patient, the period of treatment, etc.
Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic oil massage. Herbal medicinal oil is rubbed into the skin using special massage techniques. The direction of movements is from head to legs. Warm oil and hand movements increase peripheral circulation. This allows you to improve the absorption of active substances from oil, and to direct them to the necessary organs through the blood and lymphatic system. Regular oiling reinforces the immune system, improves digestion, normalizes stool, rejuvenates the body, helps to smooth wrinkles and prepares the body for cleansing.
Marma massage has the effect on biologically active zones (marmas), which are projections of vital centers of the body. Marmas are interconnected by many nadi (350 thousand channels). During the massage, the therapist redistributes and balances the energy acting on the marmas.
Pad Abhayanga is an oil massage of the feet that helps to enhance the soft tissues and joints of the feet, improve vision and maintain the health of the eyes, control Vata dosha. It eliminates pain in the legs, activates the immune system, improves auditory perception, alleviates the condition for restless legs syndrome (Willis-Ekbom disease), relieves PMS symptoms, as well as numbness, spasms, sensation in the ligaments, tendons and nerve endings.
Patra Potli, Pinda Sveda is a procedure during which bags with special herbs or cereal and heated oils vigorously triturate the whole body. The filling of the bags may be different, depending on the constitution of the patient, the accompanied symptoms and the purpose of the treatment. Compared to Abhayanga, this is a more intensive massage, as the bags, warmed up in oil, lightly hit the body and then triturate the oil. Such actions lead to an increase in thermal activity, an acceleration of metabolism in the skin cells, subcutaneous fat layer, muscle tissue, expand the pores and increase the adsorption of lipophilic substances. The procedure is effective in treating weak muscles and joints. It is indicated in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, diseases of the spine, neuralgia and paralysis of certain parts of the body.
Pichizyl is a massage with the use of 4-5 liters of medicinal oil, which is poured in a special way on the body and then rubbed into the skin with synchronous movements. The procedure has a therapeutic effect in cases of Vata dosha disorders (diseases of the nervous system, joints, paralysis), as well as a rejuvenating effect.
Udvartanam is an intensive whole body massage using herbal powder, which helps to cleanse skin pores and allows herbal remedies to penetrate deeply. It is used for violations of Kapha dosha (swelling, obesity, disorders of carbohydrate and fat metabolism). In contrast to Abhayang, the massage movements are performed upward – from head to legs. The procedure also has a scrubbing effect, as a result of which the skin turgor is restored, and the normal tone of muscles and ligaments is maintained.
Shiro Abhayanga is a massage of head to relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, face and head. Individually selected oil is rubbed into the scalp, oily hair, gradually moving to face and neck massage. The procedure improves blood circulation in the brain, eliminates headaches and insomnia, improves memory, and gives vigor and energy.
Oil baths and treatments
Vasti is a local bath on different parts of the body using warm oils or decoctions of herbs. A nest is made of specially prepared dough. It is laid on an affected part of the body; warm oil is poured into the formed niche. The procedure is called Kati Vasti, if it is used for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the lumbar area, radiculitis, diseases of the pelvic organs, and inflammation of the sciatic nerve; the procedure is called Uro Vasti for bronchopulmonary pathologies, the procedure is called Prishta Vasti for joint diseases. Warm oil improves blood circulation, relieves pain, and nourishes affected parts of joints and organs.
Kati Vasti is a local oil bath on the lumbar spine for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the lumbar, radiculitis, diseases of pelvic diseases, inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
Uro Vasti is a local oil chest-bath. It is assigned for bronchopulmonary pathologies, scoliosis, kyphosis.
Prishta Vasti is an oil bath for joints. Warm oil improves blood circulation, alleviates pain, nourishes affected parts of the joints and organs.
Netra Vasti is an oil eye-bath for nutrition and correction of eye diseases, as well as for relaxing the brain. For this purpose, a wall-nest of dough is made along the line of the eyes, strengthened with bandages so that the structure is airtight. Warm ghee is poured inside. As warming up, you need to open your eyes and perform exercises with your eyes – rotation, look left and right. As a rule, eye diseases occur due to increased Pitta; ghee gently affects the tissues of the eyeball, absorbed, stimulates the brain and optic nerve.
Shiro Vasti is the procedure of oiling the head with a special cap, which is poured into a warm, individually selected mixture of herbs, butter and milk. The warm mixture provides peripheral circulation of the scalp. Due to the stimulation of nerve terminals on the skull, medicines act on the head and the whole body. The main indications for the procedure: impaired mobility of the head, stiff neck muscles, insomnia, stress, eye disease.
Shiro Dhara is translated from Sanskrit as “shiro” (head), “dhara” (flow). Butter or milk with herbal infusions is poured in a special way on the area of the patient’s forehead. Indications: in the treatment of chronic headaches, insomnia, mental stress, stress, fears, diseases of the otolaryngology and improvement of the memory.
Gandusha cares for the oral cavity using oil rinses. In the Charaka Samhita, it is described that regular practice of the gandusha can cure about 30 diseases from headaches to asthma. It is used to prevent caries, bleeding gums, and to strengthen the teeth. It is an integral part of the morning exercise.
Nasya is the introduction of medicinal oils through the nose that help to cleanse the head, treat the nasopharynx and improve concentration. The head is the area of concentration of Kapha (mucus). Medicines cause irritation of the mucous membranes, increase mucus discharge. After the procedure, the oxygen supply to the body and its nutrition of the cells improves. The procedure is indicated for the treatment of the diseases of the head, neck, hair, scalp, brain and spinal cord.
Svedana is the process of the heating in a special steam cabin with a vapor of medicinal herbs. It causes desudation, which allows removing toxins from the body through the skin. “Svedana” is translating from Sanskrit as “sweat”. The body sweating balances Vata and Kapha dosha, opens the channels in the body and increases blood circulation, improves metabolism and increases agni (digestive fire). After Svedana, the color and condition of the skin improves. There are more than 20 types of medicinal Svedanas. However, three of them are practiced more often: Shankara svedana (warming with healing bags), Avagahana svedana (hot baths) and Prastara svedana (Indian steam room).
Prastara svedana is the process, in which the patient sits inside a structure resembling a chest, while the head is outside. Steam of herbs is released inside (decoctions are made on the basis of the constitution or imbalance of a certain dosha). A cold compress is placed on the head to avoid overheating and dizziness. During the procedure, the patient drinks herbal tea in order to avoid dehydration. The temperature inside svedana is 35 degrees. The duration of the procedure is 10-30 minutes (as prescribed by the doctor).
Nady Svedana locally exposes with steam generated during the boiling of herbal decoction (“nadi” – “pipe”). The duration of the procedure is 5-7 minutes.
Parysheka Svedana is the process of watering the body with hot oils and decoctions of herbs.
Avagahana Svedana is an immersion of the body in a hot bath with a decoction of herbs.
Bhu Svedana is a treatment by hot earth.
Lepanam is a herbal paste, that is applied to the damaged part of the body. It is useful for various types of inflammation, skin diseases, arthritis, uratic arthritis, etc.