There are some specific therapeutic measures used ayurveda to treat diseases, which are commonly known as ayurvedic therapies. These therapies are the first line of treatment for several diseases in ayurvedic medicine. Before we dig into the details of ayurvedic therapies, let’s understand the basics of ayurveda in brief.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a science of medicines that originated in India. It is the oldest form of science that deals with healthy ayurvedic diet, lifestyle, prevention and treating diseases using ayurvedic therapies, panchakarma detox and herbal medicines. The word Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words “Ayur” which means “life” and “Veda” which means “science”.
Its approach of healing differs from the modern conventional method. Ayurveda heals the body from within and eradicates the diseases from their root cause. Ayurvedic treatment is likely to be a safer option than modern medicine because its therapies are noninvasive.
Ayurveda deals with actual removal of the root cause of the disease by eliminating the toxins through panchakarma detox and balancing dosha with ayurvedic remedies. Ayurveda has a treasure of three dosha system, which helps to analyze the patient for his/her tolerability and suitability of medicines and therapies, which provides maximum safety while treating the patient.
The modern medical system does not give any full proof solution to any medical problem. Because it works only on suppressing the symptoms in most cases. Whereas ayurveda treat the person as a whole. It removes the accumulated toxins, which helps to provide a complete relief from the disease. For this, ayurvedic therapies are required.
Basic Principle of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is based on five basic elements that are the fundamental blocks of nature such as Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.
The main doshas of the human body on which Ayurveda is mainly concerned are vata, pitta and kapha. Some of the properties of these doshas are as follows:
Vata: It is made up of Air and space elements. It is related to the respiratory system, heart, movement of muscles, sensory perception, etc.
Pitta: It is made up of fire and water. It is mainly concerned with appetite, absorption of nutrients, digestion, intelligence and courage.
Kapha: It is made up of water and earth. It is mainly concerned with growth, fat regulation, stamina, nourishment and memory.
According to Ayurveda, all these doshas are present in every individual but the ratio of them varies from one individual to another. Depending on which dosha is more prevalent in an individual’s body, the body type is determined in Ayurveda.
Imbalance of these doshas leads to various diseases in the body. It is very important to eliminate excess dosha and balance the doshas of the body to completely remove the sources of diseases. The most of ayurvedic therapies play both roles – eliminating toxins and balancing the dosha. Let’s review ayurvedic therapies one by one.
Therapies can be different for different people even for the same disease depending on several factors including an imbalance in dosha, health condition, tolerability, indications and contraindications of each therapy. Therefore, the primary requirement is a complete health assessment for which ayurvedic consultation with an ayurvedic doctor can help.
Major Ayurvedic Therapies:
Some of the important Ayurvedic therapies are as follows:
It is an Ayurvedic treatment method where the liquid is gently poured onto the head for relaxing the body and mind. The word Shirodhara is made up of two Sanskrit words “Shiro” which means head and “Dhara” which means pouring in continuation. It is a healing practice that balances the Vata and Pitta doshas of an individual. It works on the nervous system and soothes the body. it is indicated to treat hair loss, insomnia, migraines, high blood pressure, etc. No side effects of this treatment are known so far.
Read in Detail Here: Shirodhara Treatment
Ayurvedic Massage is also called abhyanga in traditional terminology. It is a special ayurvedic technique to stimulate circulation, marma (sensitive) points and relax the body and calm the mind. It provides relief in fatigue, calms the nerves, relieves joint and muscle pain and makes the skin softer and smoother. It has huge health benefits. It affects the body and mind equally. Therefore, it is commonly indicated for relieving physical symptoms as well as mental stress. There are different medicated oils used in ayurveda, according to different needs of the patient. Your ayurvedic doctor can guide you for the best ayurvedic oil to provide maximum health benefits of massage.
Kat Basti is a noninvasive therapy prescribed in ayurveda for a backache. It helps in the treatment of pain originated from the lumbosacral region. In Ayurveda, Kati means waist, lower back or lumbosacral region. The Basti means holding warm oil in a specific region. Kati Basti refers to holding a specific medicated oil on the lower back within black gram flour paste frame for 45 minutes to relieve pain. It is an effective ayurvedic treatment for a low backache.
Read More: Kati Basti Benefits
Janu Basti is a similar procedure like Kati Basti. But in this case, treatment is given on the knee joint to relieve knee pain. A ring of black gram flour is made and placed around the knee joint and sealed from the edges to prevent leakage of the oil. Then the warm medicated oil is put into the ring and kept for 30 minutes. This treatment relieves knee pain occurring in knee osteoarthritis by improving blood circulation to knee joint. It also reduces knee stiffness and inflammation and improves knee joint flexibility.
Read More: Janu Basti Technique and Benefits
It is an Ayurvedic treatment mainly concerned with neck pain. Especially, it relieves chronic neck pain. The word Greeva Basti is made of two Sanskrit words “Greeva” which means neck and “Vasti” which means “to hold”. It is the most common ayurvedic therapy used to treat cervical spondylosis.
The special ayurvedic oils are used in this treatment, which helps to alleviate neck pain and reduces stiffness. Moreover, it also strengthens the neck muscles, shoulders and arms by improving blood circulation to these organs.
Hridaya Basti has a similar procedure like Kati Basti. The difference is the oil is kept on black gram ring frame fixed on the chest. It is effective in relieving muscular pain in the chest.
According to ayurveda, it can also help in patients with asthma having difficulty in breathing due to narrowing of the airways. However, if the asthmatic patient has excessive production of sputum, it might not be suitable. In this case, there are other ayurvedic therapies, which can help.
Furthermore, it also strengthens the heart and aids in cardiac diseases, as per ayurveda science. According to ayurveda, it reduces aggravation of Vata dosha in the region of heart and lungs.
Netra is a Hindi and Sanskrit name for eyes. Tarpana means nourishment. As the name suggests, it is basically concerned with treating eyes disorders. It nourishes the eyes and relieves the eye strain. It improves eyesight. It removes the dark circles formed beneath the eyes, treats dryness of eyes, nourishes the eyelashes, removes dirt from eyes, etc. It also treats eye disorders like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, cellulitis of eyes and inflammation of the cornea. In these diseases, the unique ayurvedic oils are used, which may vary according to the underlying cause of an eye problem.
The term Udvartana means upward direction. Udvartana is a type of ayurvedic massage done in the opposite direction of hairs. It is of two types:
- Snigadh Udvartana: Special ayurvedic oils are also used along with herbal powders. The dry Ayurvedic herbal powder is used which is mixed with lukewarm oil and applied all over the body as a paste. It is rubbed and massage is done with this.
- Ruksha Udvartana: Only dry herbal powder is used to massage the body.
In Udvartana, full body massage is given to an individual, which helps in burning the fat and breaking cellulite underneath the skin. So, it helps in losing body weight. Generally, it induces inch-loss by reducing belly fat and fats from thighs and buttocks.
It is effective against obesity, paralysis and various skin diseases.
However, this treatment is not recommended in case of eczema and psoriasis.
It is a weight loss management therapy that aims to burn the fat deposited in the body.
It is also known as Tail Dhara. In this method, a medicated lukewarm oil is poured on the body with a soft massage. It is a combination of two treatments Snehana and Swedana. Snehana refers to oil massage and Swedana means inducing sweat. It relaxes the whole body. It provides relief in body aches, anxiety and sexual weaknesses.
In addition, it is also used to treat arthritis and paralysis. It nourishes the skin and improves blood circulation. It also helps to reduce stress-related high blood pressure. Moreover, it reduces mental stress, so it also helps to improve the quality of sleep, especially in patients suffering from insomnia due to mental stress.
The nasal instillation of specific ayurvedic oils and herbal juices is called Nasya in ayurveda. It improves the health of the nose, eyes and head. It also improves brain functions, reduces sinus congestion and relieves jaw pain. In addition to these benefits, it is commonly used to treat sinusitis, rhinitis, chronic coryza, headache and migraine. It also improves sensory perception and reduces nasal dryness.
- Charka Samhita, Siddhi Sansthana
- Ayurvedic Panchakarma Vigyan by Vaidya Haridash