tharpanam

Tharpanam – Long-lasting care and nourishment for your eyes through the magic of Ayurveda

Tharpanam in the context of Ayurveda treatments means nourishment and netratarpanam specifically refers to nourishing and caring or the eye. This is a popular treatment to cure ailments of the eye and to remove effects of stress on the eyes. Any influence of vata or pitharoga on the eyes can also be cured with tharpanam. This cleansing procedure is also critical in preventing eye irritation, strain, and diseases, delivering an overall cooling effect and strengthening the nerves arising from the eyes. Tharpanam is becoming an increasingly popular treatment at my Ayurveda clinic in Chennai. Given today’s extensive use of mobile phones, tabs, and laptops, our eyes are perennially strained. This procedure comes in as a savior in such instances. So, here are a few details about tharpanam.

Benefits of tharpanam

Tharpanam completely relieves the harmful effects of a fatigued eye, including reduction of puffiness around the eyes, removing headache, alleviating strain to the eyes, removing basic eye problems  such as dry eyes, soothing inflammation, and strengthening the nerves of the eye. Tharpanam is also an effective solution for conditions such as corneal disorders, retinitis, and optic nerve disorders.  This treatment is also found to be effective in degenerative eye disorders such as glaucoma.

Procedure

The procedure involves placing medicated Ayurveda formulations, especially ghee-based preparations, into the eye sockets. This requires preparing strong poultices made from lentils. This batter is placed in the form of a ring around the eye region. The formulation or ghee is warmed and poured into this ring. The ring-shaped well seals any leakage and retains the warmth for maximum effect. The duration of time for which the formulation is placed inside the well differs, but the procedure usually extends to about half an hour. It usually lasts for more than one session, depending on the purpose of the treatment and the presence of any underlying disorder. After the process, the medication is removed by draining. At the end of the procedure the region of the eye is gently cleaned with a neat cloth and the eyes are sometimes subjected to fomentation to ensure that the medicated oil is entirely absorbed by the body. Sometimes, the doctor recommends applying a bandage around the eye in the night, after the treatment and between sessions. You might also be given supplement Ayurveda medications and recommended special diets during your recovery period.

The key to the success of this procedure is the composition of the formulation, the ability of the poultice to seal in the formulation, the warmth of the formulation, and the duration. The poultice has to be leak proof and has to be placed around the eye sockets carefully so that the entire region on top of and around the eye is exposed to the medication. The Ayurveda doctor determines the type of formulation, duration, and number of sessions based on the inherent condition of the eye. The patient has to keep the eyes open as much as possible all through the procedure. Hence this could be quite a challenge. But the procedure results in rested eyes and completely distressed eyes and even better eyesight.

 

Points to note

While undergoing this treatment and during recovery, there are a few rules that patients have to follow. Completely avoid bright light since this adds to the strain. Either avoid going out in the sun or wear eye protection, such as sun glasses, when you go out. Restrict the amount of time you spend in front of the television, mobile phone, and computers. Equally restrict reading and other activities that irritate and strain your eyes. The intention is to completely relax your eyes. Check with your doctor before you start your daily routine practices such as having a hair bath, food, etc.

Contact me for any questions you have about tharpanam, the procedure, and its benefits. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

 

bone-friendly diet

Ayurveda Guidelines for a Healthy Bone-Friendly Diet

As an Ayurveda doctor, I am observing an alarmingly increasing tendency over the recent years for people to develop bone-related disorders. Bones form the framework of our body; hence weakened bones will completely reduce your body’s strength and lead to all types of complications from osteoporosis to a crippling body pain. The best form of cure is definitely prevention, and in addition to a bone-friendly lifestyle, following a bone-friendly diet is critical. But what are the common causes of bone-related issues? Let’s take a look.

Common causes of bone-related issues and why bone-friendly diet

  1. Menopause: Menopause leads to a complete change in a woman’s hormonal profile, especially as a result of lack of estrogen production. As a result, the bones in women become weak and easily prone to injury
  2. Reduced intake of calcium and other bone-friendly elements: Calcium and Vitamin D are the core enablers of a healthy bone structure. If your daily diet does not include enough sources of these two food elements, then you definitely run the risk of facing a bone disorder.
  3. Certain conditions and drug increase the elimination of calcium in urine. If this does not get compensated with the right extent of intake, then the bone structure considerably weakens.
  4. A tendency for bone disorders such as osteoporosis is hereditary. Hence when you know that your chances of developing a bone disorder are high, it is better to develop a preventive plan.
  5. Poor lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle, poor postures, and complete lack of physical exercise are all aggravating factors for bone disorders.
  6. Fall and accidents also lead to bone issues, where the bone formation process needs to be enabled with some additional nourishment.

So, now we know the common reasons why we worry about fortifying our bones. Let’s now look at some of the do’s and don’ts of bone nourishment and what a bone-friendly diet looks like.

Don’t

  1. Never go overboard with salt. Salt causes excessive elimination of calcium through the urine.
  2. Avoid cold and bitter-tasting food items
  3. Avoid alcohol and dried vegetables
  4. Avoid processed and canned foods

 

Do’s

  1. Eat nuts, green leafy vegetables, and dairy prodcuts so you get your regular intake of vitamin D.
  2. Don’t forget your ghee – include it in all your meals
  3. Sources of plant estrogens are great diet inclusions – for example, soyabeans and sesame seeds.
  4. Milk, buttermilk and all the milk products should be included generously in your diet.
  5. Always check the nutrition value on food packets to find the level of vitamin, salt, and calcium in them
  6. Include a lot of proteins in your food, from legumes to beans.
  7. Include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet; for example, bananas, papaya, watermelon, carrot, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, and mushrooms
  8. Try adding a lot of brown rice in your diet
  9. Sesame is one of the best source of calcium, so add it liberally to your diet.
  10. Many herbs are precious in supporting strong bones; for example, triphala, aamla, ashwagandha, and brahmi are great sources of calcium.

 

Never ignore your bone since they form the foundation of your body. Hence in addition to a healthy lifestyle, follow a healthy and bone-friendly diet to keep all bone-related disorders at bay. To find out more about bone-friendly diet, please do connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Sirolepa – An Effective Ayurveda Treatment for Scalp and Head-Related Conditions

Sirolepa directly translates as an application to the head. Also called pothichal, this treatment is an extremely procedure that Ayurveda doctors prescribe for scalp and head-related conditions, from simple headache and dandruff cure to even supplementary care for hemiplegia and mental disorders. A simple application of a paste of herbal formulations across the entire scalp and allowing the medications to permeate through the scalp for a specific period for more than one session can have a significant effect on the body and mind. Sirolepa is one of the most common procedures that I recommend for my patients visiting my clinic in Chennai, especially for its calming effect. Let’s find out a little more about Sirolepa.

Benefits of Sirolepa

Sirolepa shows incredible benefits in curing conditions such as headache, dandruff, and other conditions affecting the hair and scalp such as graying of hair and hair fall. It also shows incredible improvement in case of facial paralysis, disorders of the eye, and even scalp disorders, as well as ear-, nose-, and throat related disorders. The procedure helps in sharpening vision and helping cure insomnia. However, one of its other predominant effects is that the treatment keeps the body and mind calm and peaceful, removing fatigue and anxiety. An interesting application of Sirolepa is in enhancing memory power and managing mental disorders such as vertigo, depression, hyperactivity, and Alzheimer’s disease by using potent medications in the form of pastes during the procedure. Overall this procedure is useful for vata rogas and pitta rogas.

Procedure followed for Sirolepa

There are many simple variants of the Sirolepa; however, the overall procedure is common. As a first step, the therapist first performs a gentle head massage with herbal oil. This process lasts for about 15 minutes. After this preparatory step, the main process begins. The therapist now prepares a herbal formulation in the form of a paste. The main ingredients depend on the type of condition the patient has and the purpose of the treatment. The decision about the specific medicinal herbs and the carrier oil is taken by the Ayurveda doctor after a thorough examination of the patient.

The commonly used herbs include amla, rasanadi, shikakai, triphala, brahmi, and bringaraka. The carriers are usually ghee or buttermilk or any other potent carrier. The therapist prepares a finely ground paste and places the paste all over the scalp evenly, ensuring that every part of the scalp is covered with a thick layer. The entire scalp is then covered with a fresh banana leaf or lotus leaf, which is tied securely. The therapist then waits for 15 minutes for all the medications to seep through and enter the blood stream through the scalp. The banana leaf is then removed and the entire paste is removed and the excess oil wiped off or washed away. Rice bran water is sometimes used for this process. The overall procedure takes about 60 to 90 minutes.

In some variants of this process, a thin muslin cloth is tied over the forehead, so that the paste does not seep through to the eyes. As a last step the therapist gives a warm water bath to the patient.

Sirolepa is not recommended as a one-time procedure. It is repeated across 2 to 3 weeks, with definite period of rest between two sessions. Only then will the patient observe considerable benefits. However, please be sure to consult an expert Ayurveda doctor who can perform a detailed diagnosis and recommend just the right mode of Sirolepa, in terms of the herbal formulation, for you.

 

Contact me for any questions you have about Sirolepa. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Digestive Agni with Ayurveda

Nourish Your Digestive Agni with Ayurveda-Based Approaches Based on Your Body Constitution

Agni means fire, but Agni is also the core source, responsible for creating and nourishing life. Agni or fire is hence critical for Ayurveda, and is one of the five structural elements or building blocks of the human body. One important responsibility of fire is nourishment or digestion. A healthy digestive system ensures a strong digestive agni and hence a well-balanced mind, body, and soul. However the approach to proper nourishment to protect your agni varies between vata-, pitta-, and kapha-dominant personalities. What are the ideal food habits that you need to follow for these three different types of people? How can these habits promote your digestive agni? Let’s find out.

Ideal food habits for Vata-dominant people

Vata indicates warmth; hence people whose vata roga is predominant must focus on consuming warm food that is cooked well. They must stay away from cold and even uncooked food. Ensure that you maintain a healthy gap between meals and eat small amounts across multiple times rather than stuff your digestive system with heavy and unhealthy food. This regular approach of feeding the human body with healthy food will benefit a vata-type personality.

Recommended foods include soups, well-cooked food, rice and other grains, butter, nuts, oils, and juicy fruit. Avoid salads and similar raw and cold food that’s drying, including apples. Reduce your intake of legumes and ensure that you soak them overnight to reduce the flatulence they cause. Limited intake of milk and other dairy products are also recommended.

Ideal food habits for Pitta-dominant people

Pitta is all about fire and their bodies are primarily warm. As a result these individuals have a pretty strong digestive system and fast metabolism. Although they can manage most food items, they should ideally stay away from salty and sour food and items that increase the body heat further. These lucky individuals can afford to add considerable sweet, cool, and raw food like salad in their diet. Most grains including rice and wheat, dairy products, and most vegetables are good for them. Very few items such as garlic, hot spices, excess salt and sour fruits and vegetables should be avoided. Of course, lime can be added. Although their digestive system is strong, they should reduce the intake of legumes and oil, except coconut oil.

Ideal food habits for Kapha-dominant people

People with kapha-dominant personality have high immunity but their rate of metabolism is slow; hence they have a high tendency to put on weight. So their food intake must help them take their mind off food and focus on health. This means they should include more of bitter-tasting food in their diet. These individuals must be extremely careful about what they eat, avoiding fatty and fried food, heavy dairy, and grains. Focus on grains such as millet and barley, vegetables from above the ground, and raw and steamed food. Avoid excessive sweets, nuts, and legumes. Limit salt intake and heavy food. The focus is to eat light.

General Ayurveda-based recommendations to nourish your digestive agni

  1. Avoid snacking between meals – give your body time to assimilate each meal before going to the next
  2. Prepare your digestive system for a meal by taking warm fluids
  3. Eat smaller amounts but for more number of times across a day and eat only when you are hungry
  4. Breakfast and lunch can be heavier than dinner – ensure that dinner is always light
  5. Focus on what you eat – chew your food well and enjoy what you eat
  6. Make it a point to add spices and ingredients such as turmeric, pepper, ginger, and cumin, which have carminative, antiseptic, and weight loss effects
  7. After eating enable your digestive tract to breakdown the food and absorb nutrients; hence avoid sleeping after a meal
  8. Detoxify your digestive system regularly with cleansing through fasting and smart dieting

 

These approaches will not only nourish your digestive agni but also help you avoid hurting your digestive system and your entire body. You will need the support of your trusted Ayurveda doctor to assess what your body type is and then follow a specific and dedicated diet model. Contact me for any further questions you may have about planning your diet. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

 

vata, pitta, and kapha roga

What’s Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Roga all about?

I just realized that we have spoken a lot about different forms of health conditions, treatment modalities, natural ingredients, and living healthy the Ayurveda way. But we never really spoke about what vata, pitta, and kapha roga is all about. These three terms form the fundamental core of Ayurveda. Interestingly, according to Ayurvedic principle every matter across the universe is a combination of five critical elements – earth, air, water, fire, and ether. What are these five elements? How are they related to vata, pitta, and kapha roga? Why do these three rogas need to be in sync for a healthy body? Let’s find out.

The five elements and their relation to vata, pitta, and kapha roga

Each of the five elements represents a specific state of matter, which in Ayurveda is not restricted to solid, liquid, and gas. Ether is another name for the space between matter, which is often considered the basic foundation of matter.  Air represents the gaseous state, where matter is free to move in the ether. Fire represents the heat generated from the collision of matter, while water represents the liquid form of matter and earth the solid form. As per Ayurvedic principles, every human body has each of these five elements embedded within it and these elements contribute towards creating a person’s unique body constitution. However, the body in addition to these structural elements requires functional elements to perform its routine activities. These functional elements are the vata, pitta, and kapha roga. Hence each individual has a varying percentage of contribution from each of the five structural elements and each of the three functional elements, energies, or rogas. This combination is unique for every individual and hence determines the health quotient, type of body, mental makeup, and tendency for illness for each person.

How does the balance of the three rogas influence the human body?

Although a healthy body is said to have a clear balance of the three rogas, or the functional energies of the body, one type of roga is often found to have a slightly dominant effect. The type and extent of dominance of a specific roga will determine a person’s propensity for a specific type of illness, state of mind, energy levels, digestive strength, etc. So let’s look at the characteristic of each type of roga.

Vata roga

Vata roga focuses on air and ether. Hence, their primary areas of control include respiration, circulation, intestines, ears, bones, pelvic bone region, etc. When vata roga is not in balance the individual has a tendency for anxiety-related disorders, dry skin, and digestive issues. These individuals are usually thin, with sharp thinking.

Pitta roga

Pitta is associated with the two opposing elements, fire and water. These are mainly associated with the digestive system and control the stomach and small intestines. Interestingly, they also influence the hormonal action, influencing the skin, sweat glands and even the circulatory system. People with a pitta-based imbalance are prone to digestive disorders such as ulcers and heart burn. They also have a tendency to develop heart disorders. These individuals often have a strong personality.

Kapha roga

Kapha roga is connected to earth and water, which means that this functional element supports growth and nourishment, strengthening the body, especially the spine and chest areas. People with a propensity for kapha are prone to have trouble with chest congestion, sinus complications, and are even prone to diabetes. Their nature is usually calm and composed, and these individuals tend to put on weight easily.

How can you find out what your primary nature is?

Every individual has a propensity of one of the three rogas and to a certain percentage. This value will provide you and your Ayurveda doctor a clear idea about your body, your personality, your tendency to develop illness, and your likes and dislikes. Very often, when you visit an Ayurveda hospital, your Ayurveda doctor will hold your pulse for a very long time and listen in. This is because in Ayurveda there are more than 10 points on your wrist where the pulse can be felt. Each of these pulses will determine the status of your body and mind. Your Ayurveda doctor will also ask you many questions about your routine, habits, health issues, and diet. In addition, the examination will involve the doctor evaluating your skin, eyes, nails, tongue, and other parts of your body. This assessment take quite a long time; however, it always provides your Ayurveda doctor with a clear idea of your roga balance. It will also help your doctor find out the specific roga that is dominant and imbalanced. With this information, your doctor can with confidence determine not just the balance of your functional elements but your structural elements, or your body constitution. This will also bring out your current health conditions and your body and mind’s propensity to develop specific conditions in future.

Vata, pitta, and kapha roga – the key to finding what your body thinks

The next time you visit your Ayurveda doctor and wonder why the initial assessment is taking so long, please remember it is this detailed assessments that brings out hidden conditions. It also tells your doctor about you or rather, which roga is predominant in you and what this means for your health. So when your Ayurveda doctor asks you about your emotions, sleep habits, food habits, physical activity, or other such questions, ensure that you give the right answers. This will help your doctor make the perfect diagnosis, and focus on delivering the ideal treatment plan, diet plan, and lifestyle recommendations. Contact me for any further questions you may have about the three rogas. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Dinesavalyadi

The Magical Healing Effect of Dinesavalyadi – One of the most Potent Ayurveda Solutions for Skin Conditions

Dineshavalli or the red creeper is an unassuming climber found commonly across India, which is woody in nature. It is large, with a thick and leafy spread. The bark of this creeper is what is precious in Ayurveda, creating Dinesavalyadi formulations in kuzhambu and thailam forms. Dinesavalyadi is a blessing for those with skin problems, but it also has many other benefits. However, most of its applications are external. Many of my patients at my Ayurveda hospital are in awe of the power of  dinesavalyadi in curing skin conditions, from a simple wound to infections such as herpes and allergies. Hence, I thought I could introduce the benefits of Dinesavalyadi to all of you.

Benefits of dinesavalyadi

The medicated thailam and kuzhambu forms of dinesavalyadi find mentions in Sahasrayoga. It is said to have two primary effects – curing twak doshas, or skin conditions, and enhancing varna, or improving complexion. Hence, this oil is extremely sought after for dermatological conditions and beauty treatments. From an Ayurvedic point of view these formulations help regain the kapha and pitta roga balance in case of wounds and other skin problems. Its various applications include the following

  1. Easy healing of wounds
  2. Enabling improved skin complexion
  3. The soothing effect in case of skin allergies such as allergic dermatitis
  4. Effective management of skin infections such as herpes and abscesses
  5. Controlling itching in case of insect bites
  6. Reverting the effect of suntan
  7. Management and cure of conditions such as psoriasis and eczema

With zero side effects for the external application, dinesavalyadi kuzhambu and thailam is indeed an ideal solution for most of your skin conditions. Simple and hassle-free application and easy combination with other forms of treatment modalities such as abhyangam or internal Ayurveda or even Allopathic medications make this formulation a popular choice.

Common combinations

Coconut oil is a critical carrier and foundation that delivers all the benefits of dinesavalyadi. Most preparations of dinesavalyadi include three parts a liquid, a paste, and an oil. In most cases, the extract from the bark of dinesavalli is used, with coconut oil as the vehicle. The preparation also includes other active ingredients such as punarnava. Among the two common forms, the kuzhambu is thicker and includes many more ingredients.

Although dinesavalyadi formulations hardly show any side effects and have direct and clear benefits, you would definitely need the help of an Ayurveda doctor to be sure that you indeed require the benefits that dinesavalyadi can provide. Contact me for any further questions you may have about dinesavalyadi. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

It can be used for a long period of time on a daily basis. Discuss with an experienced practitioner

winter care

Easy and Effective Winter Care with Ayurvedic Solutions

I never thought I would ever be providing Chennaiites with winter care solutions! But this winter is turning out to be quite cold and dry. I am receiving many inquiries at my Ayurveda hospital in Chennai, seeking a solution for some of the common winter-related complications, from flu and infection to joint-related disorders. Hence, I thought I could pull out some of the most effective Ayurveda solutions that can help you stay healthy during tropical winters!

What are the common winter health complications?

Most of the health-related issues in winter are because of imbalances in vata, and sometimes kapha roga. Vata is associated with the words cold and dry; hence ensure that you balance vata roga by incorporating warm and moisturizing elements in your routine. Some of the common complications include the following.

Dryness of the skin

Lack of winter care completely strips out all moisture from the skin, leading to scaly and even broken skin. It often leads to intense itchiness, which is also confused with skin allergies. The dryness extends to the joint fluids also – this irritates most body joints, leading to numbness, severe pain, and even limited joint movement. Winter often sees an increase in such complaints. This dryness also attacks the sinuses, exacerbating the condition in those who are prone to sinus complaints.

Flu and other infections

The heavy atmosphere often leads to the irritants and contaminants hanging low in your immediate environment. As a result, flu and other contamination-related contagious conditions are on the rise. The mucus secretion also increases during this season, leading to related infections. Allergic conditions such as asthma are also on the rise during this season owing to the same reason – the allergens are present in the heavy air around the immediate environment.

Digestive complications

Interestingly, our digestive system is quite active during this climate, yet it increases our digestive complications. The reason is our increased hunger, which often prompts us to eat unhealthy or junk food that are tough to digest. This leads to digestive conditions that are entirely avoidable in the first place.

How can you ensure proper winter care with Ayurveda?

Many Ayurvedic solutions can provide you the much-needed relief in winter. The core focus of Ayurveda is to improve nourishment and build immunity – whether it is for your skin, body, or even hair. Rasayanas that rejuvenate your body and mind, building immunity and strengthening your digestive power, are a favorite. The other approaches include a smart combination of physical procedures, internal medications, food, and lifestyle changes.

Abhyangam

Abhyangam is one of the best ways to beat dryness of the skin. Avoid heating the oil excessively and stick to lukewarm coconut, sesame, or other oils that your Ayurveda doctor prescribes. Massages during the mornings are quite effective as they add a protective moisturizing coating on the skin, improve blood circulation, and even reduce stress by calming the nerves. This procedure is also effective in promoting joint movements and in detoxification. So not only do you enjoy a soft, glowing skin in winter, but you can also benefit from clean and fresh internal systems

Using lukewarm water

Although our tendency is to use hot water while taking a bath, avoid extremely hot water and stick to lukewarm water since too much heat removes the moisture and oily nature from your skin.

Preventing dry feet and legs

Dry feet and legs are a common problem in winter. Hence padabhyangam or a foot massage with volatile oils and ayurvedic formulations can not just remove dead cells from your feet but also soften and soothe your feet skin and muscles.

Dryness of the face

Face massage with sesame oil, castor oil, or Ayurveda oils such as nalpamaradi oil can help remove dryness; however, consult with your Ayurveda doctor if you have an oily skin and to determine how long you would need to leave in the oil on your face. Else it might worsen the condition, leading to pimples and pigmentation.

Preventing dryness in the scalp

Often confused for infections, dandruff is more the result of a dry scalp. You can prevent this by a long session of head massage that nourishes your scalp, improves blood circulation, and drives away the dryness. Popular oils include brahmi oil and coconut oil. But oils have a cooling effect on your scalp; hence avoid excessive massages.

A sensible diet

Ensure that your diet calms the vata and enhances your body’s immunity. Prioritize adding warm food and cooked or steamed vegetables to your diet. Use dairy products with care since although they have properties that benefit vata, they can also excessively cool your body, increasing mucus generation. Although you tend to feel hungry in this climate, avoid stuffing your body with too much food or with junk food.

Improve your body’s immunity

Follow a healthy lifestyle of normal sleep-wake cycle, stress-free lifestyle, healthy food, and smart exercise routines that boost your immune system. Supplement your body with Rasayanas as per your Ayurveda doctor’s recommendation.

 

A cool wintery Chennai is indeed a rarity. But before you can go all out and enjoy the pleasantly cool climate, ensure that your body is strongly protected against the troubles that this cold climate can bring in. Contact me for any further questions you may have about managing winter-related health troubles and proper winter care with Ayurveda. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Udhwarthanam

Udhwarthanam – Ayurveda’s Magical Powder-Based Massage for Weight Loss and Healthy Skin

Ayurveda has incredible solutions not just for illnesses and disorders but also for helping you lead a healthy and beautiful life! Udhwarthanam or Udwarthanam is one such procedure that helps your skin stay healthy and glowing, with your body getting rid of most of its excessive fat. This procedure is slowly gaining relevance, given the increasing number of calls my Ayurveda hospital in Chennai is receiving inquiring about Udhwarthanam and its benefits, especially in terms of weight loss. So here is a quick overview about this procedure, its advantages, and the logic behind how it works.

Udhwarthanam is quite a powerful technique that combines the inherent potential of the herbs used in the process and the massage techniques used by skilled therapists. It is also unique because this procedure uses powder rather than oil for the massage.

What are the benefits of Udhwarthanam?

Weight loss is quite a popular benefit that many people seeking to undergo this procedure are aware of. But this procedure also has other important benefits, including achieving a healthy balance between the vata, pitta, and kapha rogas. So let’s first start with the obvious advantage and then move on to its other effects.

  1. Obesity treatment – Ayurveda doctors often recommend Udhwarthanam for treatment of obesity as part of the treatment protocol
  2. This process also helps in curing skin problems and improves the quality of the skin because of the vigorous exfoliation. It is known to help reduce cellulite, remove blemishes, and even reduce skin wrinkles by increasing moisture retention on the skin
  3. The procedure is beneficial in case of joint and muscle complaints too since the massage strokes stimulate blood circulation to the muscles and strengthen them
  4. Improved circulation leads to detoxification, which benefits instances of clogged sweat glands
  5. This procedure is also said to be beneficial for certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, paralysis and high cholesterol levels

How does Udhwarthanam derive its benefits?

The massage technique involves applying powerful strokes in a direction opposite to the direction of growth of skin hair. This means that the therapist will be applying strokes predominantly upward. These strong strokes will generate heat and will ensure that the medication is absorbed through the skin. However, the primary effect occurs because of the pressure the therapist applies during the procedure. This pressure helps in breaking down all the fat that is commonly stored right under the skin. In addition the heat helps in melting the fat away. This fat is called the subcutaneous fat and is one of the main factors contributing to obesity. The additional effect of this massage is the improved blood circulation, which improves the texture and quality of the skin and efficient detoxification.

The process

The procedure begins with the Ayurveda physician examining your body to determine any specific condition requiring attention. The physician can then plan the right combination of procedures in addition to Udhwarthanam, define the number of sittings, determine the exact Ayurveda medication to be used, and choose the right process to be followed. Without this important step, you will most probably be going in blindly for a procedure that might not be entirely beneficial to you.

The next step involves preparing the herbal medications. Dry herbal powders are also called churnams. There are two ways in which you can prepare the medication. The first involves mixing the selected herbal medicated powder with water, milk, or even some oils to form a paste. The second approach involves drying the selected medicated powder completely using heat, commonly using a mud pot. This dried powder is then used as the base for the massage.

The third critical step involves applying the paste or the powder from neck to toe. This is important since the therapist has to ensure complete coverage. Once the therapist applies the prepared medication, the massage begins. This massaging technique is unique, since its strokes are different and quite powerful, involving many critical postures that apply the right pressure at the right body location to breakdown all the fat.

The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes. In case of a paste form of medication, the therapist again applies powder on the body the moment the paste dries of. After the intense massage, you will rest completely for about 30 minutes so your body can entirely benefit from the procedure. The process ends with a steam and finally, a bath.

Although Udhwarthanam sounds like a pretty straightforward procedure that is beneficial to all, you will need to be careful about consulting an expert Ayurveda doctor to be sure that your body is ready to bear the intense pressure and heat that this procedure generates. Some conditions contraindicate the use of this procedure, including pregnancy, conditions such as eczema that can be exacerbated by this process, or if you have undergone other intense Ayurveda procedures like panchakarma recently.

Contact me for any questions you have about udhwarthanam. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

 

Knee Joint Pain

Knee Joint Pain –Ayurveda-Based Causes and Solutions for This Debilitating Condition

Painful knees are one of the toughest battles that most adults face as they age. The knee joints are most often the first set of joints to lose the battle of strength, resulting in innumerable painful symptoms. W Ayurveda categorizes knee joint pain as a Vata disorder, with kapha influences. Interestingly, Ayurveda also connects ama or toxins as a result of digestive complications to knee joint pain. Let’s find out a little more about how you can manage knee pain with food, exercise, and massages. Since this condition is a common bother for many of my patients at my Ayurveda clinic in Chennai, I feel that this little detail will help many of us face knee pain with more confidence.

What causes Knee Joint Pain?

A million reasons can contribute to knee pin – it could range from a simple sprain that just needs some simple rest and Ayurveda-based pain remedy to complications the bone tissue due to lack of nutrition. The latter part of the spectrum of causes raises many concerns. The health of your knee joints depends a lot of the health of your bone tissues. Hence, conditions such as degeneration, in-depth infection, osteoarthritis, and other similar conditions can lead to severe knee pain. Inherent nerve conditions can also lead to knee pain. However, the most interesting connection is between toxins in the digestive system that enter the bone tissues and knee pain. These toxins or ama causes inflammation and severe knee pain. The response of your knee joints to these triggers varies depending on your body’s strength.

Symptoms accompanying knee pain

Many symptoms accompany knee pain, which helps Ayurveda doctors make a confirmed diagnosis. Some of the extremely common symptoms accompanying severe joint pain include stiffness, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, limited ability to move or carry weight, and a distinct coloration.

Managing knee pain

While treating the core cause is essential for getting rid of knee pain, you must be equally watchful about managing knee pain during your recovery period. The approach includes multiple focal points.

  1. Helping the joints in detoxification and rerouting the ama back to the digestive tract and subsequent elimination
  2. Efficient nutrition to the bone tissues
  3. Restoring healthy circulation to the knees
  4. Complete cleansing
  5. Gentle lubrication of the joints to relax surrounding muscles

Knee joint–friendly food

The following food item is found to be incredible for the knees

Ginger is a natural healer, given its anti-inflammatory nature. Adding ginger as a flavoring agent or as ginger tea can work wonders.

The very trustworthy turmeric is known for its antiseptic effect and is equally effective in getting rid of severe inflammation that accompanies knee joint pain

The sap from the bark of the Banyan tree has tremendous pain relief effect – hence using this ingredient often helps in masking the severe pain.

Ashwagandha helps in improving the strength and immunity of the body and in delivering anti-inflammatory effects.

Triphala heals by eliminating toxins such as uric acid from the joints and hence curing inflammation of knee joints.

Massage

Massages that focus on the knee joints relax the region, ease the pain, remove the stiffness and improves blood circulation. This helps with easily moving the affected region. Similarly, alternate heat and cold compress helps in relieving the pain and improving circulation

Yoga and exercise

A carefully planned exercise regimen is critical for recovery from knee joint pain. But avoid self-training and take the support of an Ayurveda doctor who can help you choose the right regimen of exercises

While the actual inherent cause of knee pain definitely requires attention and cure, you can definitely use a healthy combination of the above approaches under the watchful eye of your Ayurveda physician to gain relief from pain.

Contact me for any questions you have about knee joint pain and its inherent causes and cure. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.

Padabhyangam

Padabhyangam – A Special Ayurveda Procedure Focusing on the Feet

Ancient Indian healing methods refer to the feet as the windows to our body and mind. Our feet have the answers to most of the conditions affecting our mental and physical wellbeing. Since many nerve endings are found on the feet, massages that focus on these smart parts of the body or padabhyangam are indeed extremely popular. Padabhyangam not only helps overcome tired feet and other diseases associated with the feet but also strengthens nerves, reduces stress, and delivers many other benefits. This holistic approach to delivering vitality to the body starts and ends right at your feet. So let’s find out a little more about padabhyangam.

Why is padabhyangam so popular?

Padabhyangam translates to foot massage. This relaxing procedure when performed by expert therapists under the recommendation and overview of an Ayurveda doctor can have miraculous benefits not only for you but also for your entire body. This procedure has multiple benefits and is also an essential part of sarva-abhyangam or whole body massage. Let’s start from the obvious benefits it has on the feet.

Benefits to the feet

Padabhyangam helps in curing cracked, dry, stiff, sore, or tired feet; roughness in the feet, and a whole range of foot diseases. It strengthens the feet and makes it tender.

Retrieving energy balance

Five critical marmas are present in the feet; hence padabhyangam can remove all the negative energy from these marmas, allowing positive energy to flow through the body

Better eyesight

Feet contain critical nerve endings, especially those that contribute to clear eyesight. Hence a warm massage helps improve eye sight

Improve circulation

This procedure also improves blood circulation; hence this procedure is beneficial in case of circulatory disorders too.

Other conditions

Padabhyangam helps in overcoming the foot-related symptoms in case of conditions such as diabetes and arthritis; for example diabetic neuropathy, epilepsy, high BP, etc. Interestingly, this procedure improves digestion too and is critical in rebalancing the three rogas (vata, pitta, and kapha)

Minimizing stress and anxiety

Padabhyangam calms your mind as much as your body and helps in reducing stress and helping in case of insomnia and related sleep disorders, as well as depression, headache, and chronic fatigue. The procedure also improves immunity

The actual procedure

The specific procedure has many variances; however, it commonly has three stages.

Purvakarma

During this preparatory stage, the Ayurveda doctor does a thorough examination of your condition and recommends not just padabhyangam but also the specific oil-based formulation that the therapist has to use. The therapist prepares the oil formulation based on the type of roga and the desired outcome. Base oils or tailams, milk, or ghee are used as the carriers of these herbal medications. Sesame oil, coconut oil, and even sunflower oil are used commonly. Some of these carrier oils also have their own benefits. Hence determining the accurate type and dosage of medication and oil are critical for an effective padabhyangam procedure. This formulation is warmed.

Pradhanakarma

This is the main procedure, where the therapist applies the formulation in oil across the patient’s feet, soles, heel, and ankle, all the way up to the knees. Therapists use different massage approaches, with about 20 minutes taken for each foot. One of the approaches involves using the hand to stroke, massage, and even rub the feet to improve circulation and stimulate free energy flow across the feet. In another related procedure, the purvakarma of preparing the oil-based formulation happens in a kasa bowl, which is made of bronze.  The therapists also warm the oils inside this bowl and then use this warm oil for massage.  Foot massage also involves removal of toxins by focusing carefully on specific energy points.

Pashchatkarma

After completing the procedure, the therapist removes the excess oil using hot water or salt water dip.

 

This simple and popular procedure is extremely popular because of the immense benefits that you can derive. However, please do first consult with an Ayurveda doctor before proceeding with the process since each health condition requires a different oil-based formulation and technique.

Contact me for any questions you have about padabhyangam. You can connect with me at http://www.miayurveda.org/ or call me at +91-9444615161.