and Fomentation Therapies
essential part of Panchakarma therapy and also independently various types
of massage therapies and various types of fomentations have come a long
way in the treatment of various diseases especially in the management
of joint disorders, orthopedic, neurological, neuromuscular and psychological
disorders. These procedures are used either locally to a particular part
of the body or are done on the whole body. In the fomentation techniques
heat is either applied in the form of vapors or dry fomentation is done
with specially designed equipments. The procedures that are performed
at the Special Panchakarma Center at Podar Hospital are as under: -
trained masseurs apply medicated oils all over the body in a specific
manner. Swedan (Fomentation) usually follows all types of massages. This
abhayang is indicated in various diseases of the muscles and the nerves
and as a process of making the body physically strong and healthy.
a special type of Abhyanga procedure where the massage is performed with
medicated oil by pouring the oils continuously on the whole body with
the help of cloth pieces dipped in the oil. This method is used in the
treatment of many generalized neuromuscular diseases, hemiplegia and paraplegia.
is type of massage where the lukewarm medicated oil is poured over the
body freely with the help of a bowl or specially designed pots and the
masseurs keep massaging the individual. The indications remain almost
the same as Pizichil, the only difference being the quantity of oil that
is used. Dhara is effective in mental disturbances, hysteria, hallucinations,
Rheumatism, cervical spondylosis, Arthralgias, hemiplegia and paraplegia
and chronic headache.
The patient is made
to sit in a specially designed bathtub which stores decoctions of related
herbs. The contents of the tub are kept hot for continuous fomentation
at desired temperatures with the help of whirlpool system. The patient
has to first undergo Abhayang before entering the Tub. Generalized diseases
like arthritis and generalized weakness, fatigue, muscular problems, myopathies
are the indications for Avgah Sweda.
is a highly specialized procedure, which is known as Navarakizhi in Kerala.
In this process swedan is done with the help of specially made bundled
warm medicinal puddings made up of shali type of rice (Navara). Before
the swedan medicated oil is applied to the whole body. At the end a bath
with warm water or medicated water is given. Pinda sweda is highly beneficial
in restoring the strength of the lost muscles due to diseases like lower
motor neuron disease, paralysis, GB syndrome, muscular dystrophy and a
number of other neuro-muscular diseases.
this procedure the whole body or a selected region is made to sweat by
application of heat by heated bundle of specific fresh leaves of a few
herbs like castor plant, Adhatoda plant, Arka patra warmed with medicated
oil accompanied by massage. Similarly when the powders of herbs like Ashwagandha,
Bala moola, Shatavari etc. are used to make pottali, it is termed as Churna
This type of fomentation is usually done for localized conditions
like Osteoarthritis, sprain, or to relieve some localized pain as in Cervical
spondylitis. Here fomentation is done with the vapors generated out of medicated
decoction that is then applied to the affected area with the help of a rubber
tube. Proper oleation of the affected part is done prior to Nadi Sweda.
8) Sarvanga Vashpa sweda(Peti sweda)
proper application of oil and a good whole body massage of any of the
above types, the individual is asked to enter in a specially devised chamber
(Peti). In case of Peti sweda fomentation is done with the help of vapours
generated out of decoctions. These procedures are applied for the generalized
fomentation of the body.
is a dry type of Fomentation where steam is not at all applied. Dry heat
is applied in this type. Here a specific temperature is attained electrically
with the help of high voltage heaters in a chamber and the patient is
made to sit in the chamber till adequate perspiration is achieved.
10) Valuka sweda/Pottali sweda
In this method
heat is applied to the affected part by with the help of a pudding filled
with heated sand or medicine. Valuka sweda is used to relieve localized
pain especially in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
this procedure medicated oils or decoction are poured slowly from a distance
over the forehead with specially designed Shiro-Dhara Yantra. The oil
is kept in a special vessel called shirodhara vessel (Shiro dhara patra).
The procedure is highly useful in several psychosomatic disorders, in
mental disturbances, hysteria, hallucinations and chronic headache. Shiro
dhara is also effective in the management of Epilepsy, to improve concentration,
in stress-induced conditions and to improve the intellect. This is also
highly useful for mental retardation and in case of poor performers at
This procedure is widely used these days for the purpose of
de-addiction of alcohol as also to treat various psychological disorders.
The indications also include Vata disorders, facial paralysis, Insomnias,
Cataract, Chronic headaches and Spondylitis. . Highly indicative in trigiminal
neuralgia, hemicrania, optic atrophy, otalgia, deafness and all disorders
affecting cranial nerves.
Here bearably hot
oil is retained on the clean shaved head up to around one inch above the
hair root. A leather belt tied around the head and is sealed from within
with black gram paste to retain oil. This is normally carried out for
around 30 minutes. This is followed by gentle massage over back, shoulder,
neck, head and mandible. Shiro Basti is normally given for 7days and can
be repeated if required
Udvartan means massage
with the help of powders. External application of medicinal fine powders
are accompanied by massage, on the whole body. Various medicinal powders
are used according to the body constitution of the individual. The procedure
is generally carried out for reducing the excess fat and for improving
the complexion of the skin.
Along with the above-mentioned procedures there are other specialized
methods of treatment meant for specific organs. Netra tarpan, Kati Basti,
Hridaya Basti are the procedures where medicated oils are kept on the
respective organs by constructing a special platform around the surface
location of that organ. They are applied to offer strength to the organs
and to treat related disorders.