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A Complete Guide to Ayurvedic Therapies

Sep 14, 2020

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The ancient healing science of Ayurveda has been using various therapies, treatments, and rituals to tackle numerous issues of the human body. Aimed at restoring the balance of the Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha  three doshas, boosting immunity and vitality, ayurvedic therapies use potent herb-infused massage herbal oil , herbal steam, ancient massage techniques, leaves and roots of medicated plants, etc. to treat conditions like constipation, indigestion, headaches, joint pains, nasal congestion, etc. A unique aspect of Ayurveda is that it is not merely concerned with the treatment of illness but also with the promotion of the overall well-being of an individual. This is why one, who is not suffering from any ailment, can also opt for an ayurvedic therapy that promotes immunity and vitality.

Lately, there has been a boom in the demand for ayurvedic therapies due to the luxurious and healing experience that it provides. These therapies are completely natural and are devoid of any side-effects. Hence, more and more people are opting for this traditional and effective method of healing to keep up their well-being. Some benefits of ayurvedic massage therapies are:

There are many treatments that Ayurveda offers and it can often get confusing to choose one from the many. Thus, we have lined for you here the most popular ayurvedic treatments and their methods.

Abhyanga or Uzhichil 

Abhyanga or uzhichil is a relaxing massage of the whole body using warm ayurvedic massage oil. A deep massage is given that soothes sore muscles and relaxes them. It nourishes the skin, rejuvenates the body, and calms the mind. The oil used may vary if the person undergoing the massage has a specific concern to be addressed. One can also do abhyanga at home daily using good quality ayurvedic oil. 

 

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Benefits of abhyanga:

Pichu 

Extremely beneficial for those suffering from pains and stiffness in joints, the Pichu therapy also promotes the overall condition of the body. In this therapy, a long piece of cloth is dipped in potent herb-infused warm ayurvedic oil and is placed on the affected area. The area then slowly absorbs the oil deep into the skin which helps in relieving pain and stiffness. This process can be done for different parts of the body and the temperature of the oil used is decided accordingly.

 

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Benefits of Pichu:

  • Relieves joint pain and stiffness.

  • Treats muscle cramps.

  • Relaxes and rejuvenates the deep tissues.

  • Lubricates joints.

  • Adds vitality to the skin.

Thalapothichil 

A cooling ayurvedic therapy, the process for the thalapothichil treatment begins with a relaxing head massage using ayurvedic head massage oils. Then, a herbal paste is applied on the head. The herbs used for preparing the paste are chosen carefully according to the condition that is to be targeted. A hollow is then made in the paste which is then filled with potent herbal oil. The head is then carefully covered with a banana leaf to prevent the paste from drying for about 45 minutes. While the paste and the oil do its magic, the person undergoing this therapy may also be given a relaxing body massage to complement the process. After 45 minutes, the paste is removed very slowly by giving a massage. 

 

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Benefits of Thalapothichil

  • Balances pitta dosha.

  • Relaxes and recharges the nervous system.

  • Reduces stress and relieves fatigue.

  • Promotes the quality of hair and the scalp.

 

Sirovasthy

This ayurvedic therapy targets the brain and the scalp using herbal medicated oils. In this treatment, the individual undergoing the process is made to wear a tall leather cap with an open end. The cap is then filled with specially chosen warm medicated oil. This is kept on for some time while the person gets a relaxing neck and shoulder massage. The warm oil seeps in through the scalp and the neck and shoulder massage helps in activating the receiving nerve ends. 

 

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Benefits of sirovasthy:

  • Relaxes the brain and calms the mind.

  • Relieves stress and fatigue.

  • Helps treat headaches (yoga for headaches)

  • Helps treat spine issues.

Podikizhy 

This one is an extremely effective massage and is also known as Choorna Pinda Swedam. In this massage therapy, cotton cloth bundles are filled with potent herb-infused powders which are dabbed in firm strokes all over the body. This massage technique requires at least 3 therapists and is done for about 45 minutes. The powders are prepared with chosen herbs that cater to the special requirements of the person undergoing this therapy. These powder-filled cloth bundles are warmed in medicated oils to gain the maximum benefits.

 

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Benefits of podikizhy:

  • Improves blood circulation.

  • Promotes the lymphatic system.

  • Relieves pain.

  • Relaxes and rejuvenates the body. 

  • Improves skin texture.

  • Detoxifies the skin and tissues.

 

Lepanam

Lepanam is a potent ayurvedic therapy that translates to herbal packs or pastes. Powerful herbs are chosen according to the conditions of the person undergoing this therapy and a paste is prepared using water, ghee, or medicated oils. The paste is then applied to the concerned area and then covered with a muslin cloth. The paste is then allowed to dry completely before removing it either with water or by gently massaging it with oil. Lepanam is also used to treat beauty concerns like signs of aging, acne, dull skin, etc.

 

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Benefits of lepanam:

  • Relieves pain.

  • Reduces inflammation.

  • Improves skin radiance.

  • Detoxifies the skin.

  • Calms and relaxes the muscles.

Dhanyamladhara

In this ayurvedic therapy, liquid derived by fermenting cereals and other potent herbs is poured over the body of the person undergoing this technique in streams. The liquid derived is slightly acidic which helps relieve muscle pain and inflammation. The process begins by giving a relaxing massage which is followed by the pouring of the specially prepared warmed liquid from the head and neck. The therapist helps in the even application of the liquid throughout the body with the help of gentle massage strokes. The entire process takes about 45 minutes. In the end, the liquid is removed with a warm towel or by taking a warm bath. 

 

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Benefits of dhanyamladhara:

  • Relieves pain due to arthritis.

  • Reduces inflammation.

  • Boosts metabolism.

  • Detoxifies the body.

  • Strengthens tissues and muscles.

Kateevasthy

Highly effective for those suffering from back pain, kateevasthy helps relieve stiffness and inflammation in the back. In this technique, a closed boundary is made on the affected area using dough prepared from the flour of black gram seeds. Special medicated warm oil is them poured into the area which then slowly seeps into the tissues of the back region. 

 

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Benefits of kateevasthy:

  • Relieves back pain (Yoga For Back pain)

  • Reduces inflammation in the back.

  • Nourishes the tissues and muscles of the back.

  • Lubricates the lower spine. 

Avagaham

A part of the preparatory steps for the Panchakarma ritual, avagaham is an herbal bath therapy. The person undergoing this therapy is made to sit in a hot tub filled with water that is mixed with specially chosen medicated herbal oil. This oil is picked according to the specific conditions of the person. The water is also mixed with potent herbs, roots, and leaves. The heat from the water opens up the pores of the skin, while the oil helps in deeply detoxifying the tissues. This process lasts for about 30 minutes.

 

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Benefits of avagaham:

  • Relieves pain and inflammation.

  • Rejuvenates the skin.

  • Effectively removes toxins.

  • Promotes the health of the pelvic organs. 

It is very important to look after your bodies from time to time. Ayurvedic therapies and massages not only promote good health but also great to pamper yourself. The rich aromatic oils and steams give a whole new experience to wellness and relaxation. So next time you want to indulge in some self-love, pick an Ayurvedic treatment and recharge your mind and body from within. 

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