Ayurveda is a highly systematized body of knowledge based on sound foundational principles, and it has a very logical as well as rational thinking process. Most importantly, it is a time-tested knowledge system, in that it has successfully treated people having varied disease conditions through the centuries.
A holistic health care system, Ayurveda's major premise involves the symbiosis of mind, body and spirit. Any imbalance in this synthesis results in physical ailments. To maintain this harmony, Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but the individual as a whole
Ayurveda has two objectives –
Maintain the health of the healthy and
Manage the disease of the diseased
Some Treatments at Kensville
It is the basic medicated herbal oil application prescribed by Ayurveda. It is a program where the application on the body with the prescribed oil for the said duration on a regular basis will give benefits like good appetite, alert during the day, good sleep at night, reduced stress levels, removes fatigue and simple pains and gives a glowing skin.
udvartana is the application of herbal powders in combination with oil or ghee. It reduces the fat and the aggravated kapha of the system, smoothes and cleanses the skin, and imparts firmness to the limbs.
shirodhara is a process in which medicated oil, milk, buttermilk, etc. are poured in a continuous stream on the patient's head. The patient is smeared with appropriate medicated oils on the body and head and made to lie on the wooden bed (Droni). A wide mouthed earthen vessel with a small hole at the bottom is hung above the head of the patient, so that the fibre wick hanging from the vessel is just above the forehead. The medicinal fluid poured into the vessel is made to flow in a continuous stream through the wick on to the upper part of the forehead. A clean piece of cloth is tied around the forehead to prevent the oil from dripping into the eyes. The oil is collected and poured back into the vessel and the process is continued for about 45 to 90 minutes based on need. After the treatment is over, the patient is given bath in warm water.
pizhichil is the continuous pouring of medicinal oil all over the body. The patient is made to lie on the wooden bed and the prescribed warm medicated oil is applied to his head and body. Clean cotton cloth is dipped in medicated oil and squeezed all over the body. Two to four attendants, two on either side of the patient, pour the oil continuously for 45 to 90 minutes based on need. After the treatment is over, the patient is given bath in warm water.
svedana or inducing of sweat by different methods like the steam chamber increases the digestive capacity, improves the texture and complexion of the skin, increases hunger, cleanses the pores, makes one alert, and improves the movements of the joints.
Shashtika pinda sveda (navarakizhi)
This is one of the svedana (described above) treatments which is however more intensive and powerful, and is used in conditions like hemiplegia, muscular wasting and other vAta conditions. Here a rice variety is appropriately cooked with specific herbs and milk and tied up in cloth to create small bundles. And then these bundles (which are kept hot in boiling milk-herbal decoction mixture) are used to massage the body of the patient. The time duration, the period of treatment and the restrictions are all similar to dhAra.
Patra pinda sveda (elakizhi)
Hhere fomentation is done by using bundles of medicinal leaves which are prepared together in neem oil/castor oil. And then these bundles (which are kept hot in warm medicated oil) are used to massage the body of the patient. The treatment is particularly effective in aches and pains, swelling, sports injuries.
Choorna pinda sveda (podikizhi)
Here the whole body or specific parts are made to sweat by using bundles of certain medicinal powders. And then these bundles (which are kept hot in warm medicated oil) are used to massage the body of the patient. Podikizhi is indicated in diseases where there is vitiation of kapha, heaviness of body/extremities and obesity, etc.
This is a very important external oil application for the head. Extremely intensive, it is very effective in conditions of excessive sleep, loss of sleep, severe headaches, facial paralysis, blindness, dryness of nose and mouth and other serious vAta disorders. Here a specially designed cap is fitted to the head (shaven or having closely cut hair) of the patient and then filled with the prescribed medicated oil. The patient is made to sit thus for around 30-45 minutes after which the oil is removed. The period of treatment and the restrictions are all similar to dhAra.
Another treatment for the aggravated vAta in the head, here, a specially prepared herbal paste is carefully applied all over the head and removed after 30-45 minutes. The period of treatment and the restrictions are all similar to dhAra.
This is especially useful to reduce pain in specific areas like the lower back, the thighs, the head etc. Here a cloth piece is soaked in warm medicated oil and applied to the particular part which is in pain. It is repeatedly soaked from time to time during the duration of the treatment which lasts from 30-45 minutes.
This is a series of five highly intensive purification procedures which primarily aim at removal of the toxins from the body. The five treatments in this procedure are emesis, purgation, oil enema, decoction enema, and nasal therapy. Each of these treatments has clearly prescribed preparatory and post-treatment procedures which have to be properly applied to ensure the maximum benefit and also to avoid side effects.