What you need to know about Ayurveda therapies

Ayurveda, the system of traditional medicine in India, uses the inherent principles of nature to keep the mind and body healthy. Dr Gowthaman discusses in detail the various facets of Ayurveda, its implications and the numerous benefits it spells for us.


Process: Involves a full body massage with Ayurveda oil for 45 minutes. The oil is selected after understanding the patient’s body nature, the season, and disease condition, if any. The number of strokes and pressure vary with the condition of the individual.
Benefits: Its rhythmic motion helps to relieve joints and muscles from stiffness and makes all body movements free. This treatment increases blood circulation, which in turn encourages quick removal of metabolic wastes and toxins.
• Indications: It is used in cases of anxiety, fatigue, circulatory disorders, rheumatism, arthritis, backache and injuries. It also prevents wrinkles and scales, helps in treatment of spondylosis, sleep disorders, paralysis, improves physical consistency, induces sound sleep, increases a general sense of well being and life span. It also helps improve the complexion and texture of the skin, prevents obesity and diabetic gangrene
• Ayurveda recommends Abhyanga as a daily regimen to prevent diseases and disorders.


Process: 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 Abhyanga. 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 disease or disorder.

Benefits: Treats a variety of conditions including eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, graying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo, and certain types of skin diseases like psoriasis.
• 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.
• Strengthens central nervous system (CNS)
• Strengthens sensory organs
• Reduces stress and anxiety
• Decreases hypertension
• Offers sound sleep
• Prescribed in clinical conditions like Epilepsy, Diabetic, Neuropathy and Paralysis


Process: Lukewarm Ayurvedic / herbal oils are poured into a cap fitted on the head for 15 to 60 minutes per day 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.

Benefits: Reduces anxiety and stress
• Bestows liveliness to the organs, a clear voice and firm jaws and strength to the head
• Reduces dryness of the mouth and nose
• It is prescribed in clinical conditions like head ache, ear ache, humming in the ear and ailments connected with head.
• This treatment is effective for migraine, deafness, diseases affecting cranial nerves, facial paralysis, insanity, diseases and wounds etc.


Process: Pizhichil, which literally means squeezing, a cloth dipped in warm medicated oil is squeezed over the patient’s body. The patient should be made to adopt the seven standard positions so that no area of the body is left uncovered.
Benefit: Relieves body pain and muscle spasms
• Helps preserve and promote optimum health
• Helps in the healing of fractured bones
• Increases immunity and prolongs life span
• Promotes development of muscles
• Improves skin complexion
• Anti aging and rejuvenating
• Ensures better blood circulation
• Alleviates the burning sensation in the body
• A soothing and relaxing procedure
• Prescribed in clinical conditions like Paraplegia, Hemiplegia and other degenerative conditions.
• 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.

Navara Kizhi

Process: It involves fomentation of the body with bolus of cooked rice. The rice is first cooked with milk and herbal decoction. Four boluses are made of the cooked rice and are tied up in linen bags. 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.


• Strengthens the body
• Rejuvenates the tissues
• Improves muscle tone
• Improves blood supply by cleansing the channels of circulation
• Effective in curing diseases of the nervous system and others such as chronic rheumatism, osteoarthritis, gout, emaciation of muscles, numbness and diseases caused by vitiation of blood
• Makes the body strong and sturdy
• Nourishes the body and increases immunity
• Promotes sharpness of vision and functions of other sense organs
• Slows down aging, premature graying of hair, baldness, appearance of wrinkles over the body
• Gives softness to the body by improving the health of the skin

Ela Kizhi/ Podi Kizhi

Process: Leaves & powders of medicinal herbs are fried in medicated oil and applied over the body in rhythmic massage
• Good for arthritic conditions, lumbago, cervical spondylosis, frozen shoulder, sciatica, pain and stiffness of joints, post paralytic spasm, other spastic and inflammatory conditions etc
• Duration: 45 minutes each day

• Relieves pain, numbness and edema
• Controls vitiated Vata
• Improves peripheral blood supply
• Cures diseases like arthritis, paralysis and convulsions
• Stimulates the nerve endings
• Treatment for Spondlitis and Sports injuries

Kati Vasti/ Janu vasti/ Uro Vasti

Process: Lukewarm Ayurvedic / herbal oils are poured into a artificial bridge created around the affected area (Knee, Lower back, Neck etc) for 15 to 60 minutes per day

Benefits: The healing properties of herbal oils used for this massage enriches the blood and builds and maintains strong muscle and connective tissues.
• Loosens stiff joints
• Helps to cure cervical spondlitis, neck pain, paralysis and numbness of hands
• Stimulates and nourishes nerves relieving pain and numbness
• Janu vasti – This treatment is very effective in treating different conditions of the knee joints like arthritis, degenerative conditions etc.

Netra Tarpana

Process: In which the eyes are bathed in pure medicated ghee. This procedure takes 15 -30 minutes.

Benefits : Relieves the strain due to constant glaring to the computer & TV screen
• Helps in preventing early formation of Cataract
• Reduces pain and burning sensation in the eyes
• Offers a good relaxation and cooling effect to the eyes
• It is very useful in conditions like Dry Eye Syndrome, Chronic Conjunctivitis, Corneal Ulcer and Glaucoma


Process: Specialized herbal treatment for weight reduction. A herbal paste or powder is applied all over the body and deeply massaged with specific movements for one hour.

Benefits: Toning the skin and muscle after child birth
• Removes Cellulite
• Weight reduction
• Imparts good complexion to the skin
• Revitalizes the sense of touch
• Removes Kapha toxins from the body

Ayurveda Head Pack

Process: A herbal paste is applied to the entire head and Scalp for 45 minutes.

Benefits : To prevent hair fall and promote hair growth
• In Insomnia and Depression
• Hyper active conditions
• Burning sensation in the eyes and headache
• In Dermatitis of the scalp, Dandruff


Process:A thick layer of cotton soaked with warm medicated oil is applied over the affected area. The oil is recycled periodically to make it warm.

Benefits: Very effective for degenerative and painful problems like Back pain, Osteo-arthritis, Spondlitis, injuries, etc.
• Recommended for Neurological disorders like Paralysis, facial palsy etc

Shiro Abhyanga/ Pada Abhyanga

Process: A soothing massage of the head, legs, foot, neck & shoulder for 15 minutes using warm herbal oils.

Benefits: Brings sound sleep, profoundly soothing and relaxing
• Gives cooling to the eyes
• Gives relief in Insomnia, Headache, Pre-mature graying & hair loss
• Relaxes the head
• Helps to spread natural oils produced by the scalp thus protecting and conditioning the length of the hair
• Improves blood circulation
• Nourish the hair from the roots
• Drains any accumulated toxins
• Gives cooling to the eyes
• Promotes thick and shiny hair


Process: This is the application of herbal paste externally over the affected area.

Benefits: This therapy is having a wide range of usage from cosmetic purpose to severe skin conditions. Very effective in Psoriasis, Pimples, Marks on skin,
• Arthritis with swelling & pain, injuries and skin infections.


Drops of medicated oil are administered in each nostril of the patient.

Benefits: Eliminates the toxins from the head and neck region
• Useful for curing headaches, migraine, sinusitis, chronic cold , chest congestion, cervical spondylosis and Facial Palsy.

Ksheera Dhoomam
Process: A fomentation process, medicated milk is heated and the steam is passed over the entire body.

Benefits: It is effective for numbness, headache, allergies, nervous disorder and paralysis.
• Helps eliminating facial paralysis disorders and other nervous disorders of the face and speech disorders, cervical spondylosis, spastic disorders and neurological problems


Process: This is a treatment in which prescribed medicated oils, decoctions, herbal preparations, extracts are applied through the rectum.

Benefits: Good for arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia, numbness and constant constipation, degenerative, neurological problems, chronic back pain, infertility, sciatica, obesity, digestive disorders, ulcer. It purifies the body, maintains health and longevity.

Source: Dr K Gowthaman, Medical Director, rVita (rVita Ayurveda Centers)

If you have a query for Dr. Gowthaman bawarchieditor@sify.com now! And don’t forget to include `Ayurveda FAQ` in the subject line.
Image: Sumitrarose

Enhanced by Zemanta