Ayurveda Chikitsa (Ayurvedic treatments) Ayurveda divides treatment into

1) Sodhanam (Purification treatment)
2) Samanam (Pacification treatment)

In working with patients, an Ayurvedic practitioner uses various techniques, including questioning, observation, touch, advising a treatment plan, food and specific therapies. Patients are expected to be active participants in their treatment, because changes in diet, lifestyle and habits are often required.

The goals of Ayurvedic treatment are :
1. Eliminate impurities
2. Regain complete health – Physical and mental.

For doing Sodhana chikitsa (Purification treatment), we have to prepare the body and mind. This Preparative procedure is called Poorvakarma. Poorvakarma is followed by Pradhanakarma – The Panchakarma or the Elimination treatment and the Paschathkarma (The follow up procedures the patient has to do).

The Poorvakarma include
A. Snehanam (External and internal oleation)
B. Swedanam (Sudation therapy)

Snehanam consists of different kinds of massages (external oleation) and the intake of oils or ghee preparations according to the condition of the treatment (internal oleation).

Swedanas are the preparative procedures for Panchakarma after doing sufficient oleation.
Some of the important swedana (sudation) treatments are:

1. Steam Bath: One of the most common sudation therapies. Here the person is entering into a steam chamber with his head outside.

Medicated steam is filled

in the chamber. After sweating sufficiently, the person is allowed to come out and is advised to take rest for a while and then can have a warm water shower.
2. Elakizhi: A process of fomentation by bundles of medicinal leaves processed in suitable oil, make it warm and applied on the whole body except the head. It relieves pains of different etiology.
3. Njavara kizhi: Instead of leaves, a special pudding made out of Njavara rice, milk and suitable decoction is prepared and sudation is done with this. After this treatment warm oil is going to be applied on the whole body and the person is advised to take a warm water shower. This treatment relieves pain associated with vatha, numbness and burning sensation of the body. It strengthens muscles as well as tendons and improves the bulk of muscles.

4. Naranga kizhi
: Here lemon is the main ingredient in the bolus. This kizhi is specially indicated in Apabahukam (Brachial neuralgia ).5. Pizhichil (Kaya sekam): Here warm oil is poured all over the body in a rhythmic way. The oil is selected according to the problems of the treatment guest. For this treatment a minimum of three therapists is needed. Pizhichil is ‘rasayana’ (rejuvenative) in nature. It is useful for treating rheumatic problems, nerve related problems etc.

6. Dhanyamla dhara: Specially prepared decoction is poured over the whole body in a rhythmic way. This treatment is specifically indicated in partial paralysis and some other neurological problems as well as obesity.

There are many other sudation treatments which, according to the condition of the person in treatment, are selected by the physician. When the patient is sufficiently oleated, and effectively fomented, one of the elimination treatments of Pradhanakarma (Panchakarma) is done. And then the processes of Poorvakarma and Pradhanakarma are repeated according to the condition of the treatment guest.

Pradhanakarma/Panchakarma consists of five kinds of elimination treatments (sodhana):

  • Vamanam (Emesis)
  • Virechanam (Purgation)
    • Nasyam (Nasal medication)
    • Sneha basthi (Oil enema)
    • Kashaya basthi (Decoction enema)

    Some consider the two enemas together and add Raktrhamoksha (Blood letting) as the fifth sodhana.

    1. Vamana (Emesis/Vomiting): Elimination of impurities through the mouth by giving suitable herbal medicinal preparations and cause vomiting. This is the prime treatment for Kapha Dosha. It also helps in treating lung related problems like asthma, bronchitis and some skin diseases like psoriasis.

    2. Virechanam (Purgation): This is the elimination of impurities by giving suitable medicines and creating purgation. This is the prime treatment for Pitha Dosha. Virechanam is also said to have a rejuvenative action.

    3. Nasyam (Nasal administration of medicines): Suitable oils, powders or juices are administered through the nose. This is effective in diseases like sinusitis, nasal polyps, migraine and neurological problems like brachial neuralgia, paralysis etc.

    4. Snehavasthi/Anuvasana (Medicated oil enema): Administration of

    suitable oil through the rectum.

    5. Kashayavasthi/Asthapana (Decoction enema): Suitable decoction is administered through the rectum.

    Both Vasthies are effective in constipation, backpain, paralysis, flatulence, rheumatism etc. Vasthies are said to be the prime treatment for Vatha Dosha.



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