Category Archives: Ayurveda

Elakizhi – The Ayurvedic Pain Relief Treatment

Ayurveda Treatments - Elakizhi

What is Elakizhi Ayurvedic Treatment

Elaikizhi stands out as one of the best of the many techniques of performed in Ayurveda. ‘Ela’ being leaves and ‘Kizhi’ means bundles. Elakizhi started from the ancient traditions of Ayurveda, where medicinal leaves are used to tackle arthritis, joint pain, muscle cramps and stress. 

Elakizhi is done through where certain herbs are collected, fried or soaked and tied in a cloth bag. The same cloth bag is then dipped is medicinal oil before using it to put a very delicate amount of pressure on the body. There are several ailments that can be resolved using this massage therapy. Apart from the body, this ayurvedic treatment is highly recommended for fine tuning the nervous system and is especially recommended for inflammatory conditions of bones & joints, chronic back pain, spondylitis and sports injuries.

The procedure of Elakizhi Ayurvedic treatment

According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas that govern the body. Vata Dosha, Pitta dosha, Kapha Dosha. There are several herbs and conditions that make sure these doshas are aligned. The doshas govern your prana. In the case of the Elakizhi, the herbs that are used are Vata pacifying herbs. These herbs that collected for the Elakizhi must be fresh and washed thoroughly.

In most cases, it is the leaves of the tamarind that is collected. There are other plants also used, Justicia Adhatoda or also known as Malabar nut, a medicinal plant native to Asia used in Ayurvedic and Homeo therapies. Then there is a drum stick which is also a plant with many qualities and also used as a superfood. The giant flower blooming plant, with herbal qualities, is used for Elakizhi.

The leaves that are collected are chopped up and mixed with grated coconut with a pinch of lemon and honey. Then we mix it with rock salt and the determine the situation. The mixture is then fried with oils. The oil is determined according to the type of therapy the patient needs. In most cases, it is sesame oil that is applied. These leaves are then divided into four parts and packed in a cloth bag in the form of bundles. These bundles are then kept on the pan containing the oil, the ingredients are then fried.

While that is happening, the body temperature is increased with the help of a massage, the body is warmed up and this goes on for approximately fifteen minutes. Now the Ayurvedic massage is continued with bundles. There are multiple pressure points in the body where these bundles are applied as a part of Elakizhi. Attention to be paid throughout the course of the whole procedure. Maintaining the body temperature at an optimal temperature for the 46-degree centigrade is highly recommended.

These bundle’s bags can be heated repeatedly using the pan. Once the procedure comes to an end, the body should be blanketed with a sheet for about 25 minutes. Usually, one is told to try and meditate before taking a shower with hot water.

Elakizhi Ayurvedic massage benefits in

Neurological disorders and Post-traumatic dysfunctions: It is not just the physical body that can aid from Elakizhi. Several neurological disorders like bipolar disorder and Down syndrome can benefit from Elakizhi. People experiencing traumatic thoughts are brought into bliss because of Elakizhi Ayurvedic treatment.

Physical disorders: Elakizhi is done to improve several bone conditions like arthritis, spondylitis, Chronic back pain, both upper back and lower back. Apart from these, Elakizhi is used to serve cramps and sprains and other sports injuries. The pressure in the different parts of the body is released, a pressure is applied and stress is released. The muscles are relaxed and made to be limber with improved strength.

Several benefits of Elakizhi includes:

  • Increases body strength
  • Anti- ageing
  • Refreshment
  • Detoxification therapies
  • Increases muscle strength.
  • Increases blood flow.
  • Reduces pain
  • Reduces stress.

Indications where Elakizhi should be done

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Back pain
  • Spondylitis
  • Sports Injuries
  • Joint pains
  • Muscle Numbness or Pain
  • Neurological disorders
  • Sciatica
  • Sprains and cramps

Elakizhi alleviates sore muscles and joints and is effective in various types of arthritis, frozen shoulder, sports injuries and for all other spastic and inflammatory conditions etc. It enhances peripheral blood circulation, cleanses the channels of circulation and expels toxins through the sweat.

Natural Home Remedies for Neck Pain and Stiff Neck

Home Remedies - Neck Pain

Home Remedies For Stiff Neck and Neck Pain

Here are some effective natural home remedies recommended by Ayurveda for Neck pain and Stiff neck –
  1. Turmeric
    You can use turmeric to treat neck pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
    Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk and heat it over low heat for five minutes. Remove from heat, add little honey and allow it to cool. Drink this twice a day until your pain is gone completely.
  2. Ginger
    Ginger, a perfect home remedy for neck pain, is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that also improves circulation and blood flow to the affected area.
    • Cut a small piece of ginger root into small slices. Boil the ginger slices in two cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and drink the tea. You can drink up to three cups of ginger tea daily for a few days.
    • You can also make a ginger compress. Wrap three tablespoons of freshly grated ginger in a piece of cheesecloth. Put the cheesecloth in hot water for 30 seconds. Allow it to cool and then place it on the neck area for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat a few
    times daily until you get relief.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar
    Soak a paper napkin in some apple cider vinegar and place it on your neck. Leave it for a few hours. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent home remedy for stiff neck muscles and neck pain as it gives great relief in just one application.
  4. Cayenne Pepper
    Cayenne pepper contains some substances that are good for the treatment of neck pain, such as capsaicin.
    Mix two Cayenne pepper powder(1 spoon) and Olive oil (2 spoons). Cover your neck with the mixture to relieve the pain.
  5. Ice Packs
    Crush some ice and wrap it in a poly bag. Now, cover the stiff part of the neck with a small cloth or towel, then place the wrapped ice over it. Ice is really useful for stiff neck pain relief. It also reduces the inflammation caused due to the soreness.
  6. Hot Water Shower
    Keep your neck under a shower of warm to little hot water for about 4-5 minutes. Don’t turn or move your neck while doing this. This is one of the best cures for stiff neck muscles.
  7. Lavender Oil
    Lavender oil can be used to relieve neck pain. It is one of the most effective home remedies around when used along with gentle massage therapy. Massage can help ease tense muscles and may help you sleep better. However, don’t massage the neck area if it causes more pain.
    • Take a hot bath or shower to relax your sore neck muscles. Rub some lavender oil on your neck and shoulders. Apply gentle pressure in small circular motions to massage the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat daily as needed.

The above-given home remedies can be practised regularly for relief from the neck pain and stiff neck condition, however, if the pain persists it is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic doctor immediately.

Kindly visit Punarnava Ayurveda for additional information on Ayurveda.

Shirodhara Ayurvedic Treatment and its Extraordinary Benefits

Shirodhara Ayurvedic Treatment and its Extraordinary Benefits 1

What is the Ayurvedic treatment – Shirodhara

Shirodhara is a tradition from of therapy associated with the natural medical system of Ayurveda. It is said to have a terrific impact on the central nervous system. When someone undergoes the treatment, their mind and nerves get automatically relaxed and rejuvenated. There are no such treatments associated with western medicine that can be drawn parallel to Shirodhara therapy. 

People who benefit from Shirodhara therapy:

On a very general note, anyone and everyone will benefit from this practice but to identify whether you need this or whether you want this is the question. For that you need to understand what Shirodhara does, it is a therapy and treatment for the nervous system under stress. Shirodhara helps to relieve stress, anxiety, tension and fatigue. It is also a great remedy for depression. It will regulate the blood flow to the nerves and triggers feels of euphoria and pleasure. 

Certain conditions that Shirodhara Ayurveda treatment benefits are mentioned below:
Insomnia:

When you are extremely tired, when you feel you have an excess of energy, due to which you are finding it difficult to sleep then Shirodhara is perfect for you. Extensive research says that when combined with herbal support this therapy has a significant effect on your nerve alignment.

Shirodhara with milk has helped people sleep better over the years. This process stimulates your overall nervous system, produces the melatonin by triggering the pineal gland. It will make you more calm and relaxed thus inducing sleep. If your sleep pattern is all wrong and you are finding it hard to sleep at night then all you need is Shirodhara therapy. Shirodhara will help you by eliminating fatigue, restoring energy and establishing harmony in the doshas. 

Hypertension:

Shirodhara has been found to lower the blood pressure thus reducing hypertension. It is also a great way for you to maintain health and enhance well being calm and immunity. It can be compared to those deep meditative practices for one loses themselves in the process to only being found later on when they wake up with enhanced clarity and perception. Shirodhara also improves your immunity and makes your overall constitution strong. 

Jet lag:

Those frequent flyers who have trouble sleeping because they are often travelling and they are out of sync with their normal sleep routine, if they approach a Shirodhara therapy, it can very well cure you of the jet lag and make more relaxed and sleep peacefully. 

PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder):

One of the Doshas of the human body is Vata dosha which is associated with stress and availing Shirodhara treatment with oil containing nervine herbs will soothe your nervous system and release the stress in the nervous system. 

What is Shirodhara Therapy?

Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurveda therapy. A warm liquid preferably oil or milk will be poured in a continuous fashion over the forehead which in Sanskrit is called Ajna marma (a pressure point) where nerves are concentrated. The liquid when poured creates a vibratory effect. The oil will be distributed into the nervous system through the pores in the skin. 

This oil when it is poured created a soothing effect that allows the body to step into a trance or a very deep meditative state. 

Shirodhara is done as part of a cleansing process known as Panchakarma specially prepared by Shirodhara oil. It is also purposeful as a stand-alone therapy. 

People who should stay away from Shirodhara Therapy.

Shirodhara works for any sort of Dosha but there are certain conditions. Women who are pregnant and are in their third trimester should not avail this therapy. It is also not applicable to people who get rashes on their scalp or forehead. 

Neck injury, brain haemorrhage, Alzheimers, vomiting, fever or an aversion to oil then please refrain from availing this therapy.

Shirodhara treatment procedure:

shirodhara treatment benefits

There are three kinds of Doshas according to Ayurveda in every human body. If one of these doshas are not aligned properly then you shall experiences consequences in different forms.

Shirodhara is usually availed to overcome Vata or Pitta Dosha. When pitta dosha is not aligned properly, then the person shall exhibit rage, frustration and judgement. In the case of Vata Dosha, then the person would be afraid, would panic of small anxiety and their thoughts will always be racing. 

The features or qualities of the liquid that is poured over the forehead shall balance the doshas which are not centred. In this way, the central nervous system is pacified and provided with a soothing feeling. Once the doshas are aligned and balance is re-established then whatever the type of stress you are facing will be alleviated.

Once the liquid is poured over the forehead the fluid will be transmitted inwards through the pores and then the temperature of the boy changes, forming vibration on the applied areas resulting in the release of hormones like serotonin and catecholamine to induce normal sleep. 

Some points to remember when Shirodhara ayurvedic treatment is performed?

When you are availing the therapy, there are a few things you need to consider

Be mindful:

If it is a hot day outside and you are at the facility to receive a Shirodhara, then it should be only a little warm inside. Whereas if it is cold outside and during the winter there should be a heater placed inside the room to make the room heated enough for it to be a pleasurable experience. Cold air-conditioned rooms during Shirodhara is not that great option. 

Silence:

Make sure the room is silent and no music is being played. Make sure all your devices are turned off and there are no channels of distractions. Any sort of noise will disrupt the experience and will not allow you to obtain mental rest. 

The liquid:

This is the most important thing to be noted before the Shirodhara therapy. The liquid should be chosen according to one’s constitution and the climate. Most commonly used types of oils are Sesame and Sunflower oil. One is good for Vata and the other one is applicable for Pitta Dosha. There are times when both are blended together. 

Be cautious when you apply coconut oil.  It has a cooling action and there is a time when it can make the body cold. On a Vata dominant person, this oil should not be used as it could be harmful to their constitution. 

Food and attire:

Make sure to consume a light diet and before your appointment. A full stomach is not entertained. Your head will be covered in oil and dress appropriately so that you don’t have a problem with oil being stuck on the clothes. Leave the oil on the head for a few hours after the treatment and then once the therapy is over, cover your head with a piece of cloth when you step outside irrespective of the weather. 

Post-Shirodhara Ayurvedic treatment:

  • Maintain a healthy diet exclusive of sugar and caffeine. 
  • Make sure there is regular exercise. 
  • Schedule for eating and sleeping will highly effective
  • Meditate. 

Takradhara – Ayurvedic Treatment for Hypertension

Hypertension Treatment - TakradharaTakradhara is an effective Ayurvedic sudation therapy performed using medicated buttermilk. The word “Takra” means buttermilk and Dhara mean pouring, so Takradhara is the procedure of pouring medicated Takra either as Shirodhara (pouring the medicated buttermilk over the head) or as Sarvanga Dhara (over the entire body). The treatment is considered to be one of the most effective Ayurveda treatments for Hypertension and stress.

Indications of Takradhara

  • Stress
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Paralysis
  • Depression
  • Ear & nose diseases
  • Spondylitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Pitta aggravated diseases
  • Vata predominant diseases
  • Diabetic neuropathy

What is Takradhara?

Takradhara is a unique Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy where buttermilk mixed with medicinal herbs is used as the liquid that is poured on your forehead. A stream of buttermilk will be poured on your forehead in a specific way. Takradhara is mainly availed in case of psychosomatic disorders. There are different types of Takradhara depends on what condition you wish to tackle.

Various Kinds of Takradhara:

Ekanga Takradhara – The word Ekanga means isolate. So in this particular kind of Takradhara, the therapy is done on a particular area, isolate that is and apply the liquid. In the case of Psoriasis, a limb is affected then the treatment is done only at that certain area.

Sarvanga Takradhara: Sarvanga means complete or whole in Sanskrit. This type of Dhara is also called Kaya Takradhara. Dhara is conducted on the whole body, unlike Ekanga Takradhara. This is done to relieve stress and release tension from the body and mind.  People who take this up are usually experiencing fatigue or lack of sleep.

Shiro Takradhara: Shiro means head in Sanskrit and as the name suggests, It is done on the head of a person. It is good in cases of hypertension and migraine etc. Takradhara is mainly exercised when it comes premature greying of colours, fatigue, when the doshas are not aligned, skin on your heel cracking, even your palm as well.

Materials required for Takradhara: Milk, amala, oil, Rasna chuma.

Once the materials are gathered, take a half litre of milk and mix it with four times the water. Mix approximately 100gms. Once the blend is ready, it is filtered out and thus keep the mixture out to get it soured the next day.

Amalaki Kwatha: It is prepared by drying the sour fruit Amla which is then boiled 16 times with water and reduced to very small quantity. This is kept aside to wash the head after the Dhara. Quite often these gooseberries are dried outside for the period of a year. Caution should be exhibited while picking the Amalaki as it should not be infected or contaminated. The Amalaki should then be made in coarse powder form. Seeds should be discarded. Several other herbs will be added to the milk before churning the milk with Amalaki.

How to Prepare for Takradhara Ayurvedic Treatment?

The patients will be prescribed a diet by the vaidya and that diet will be based on the analysis they do on the patient. Once the patient is under this diet, he or she should not entertain exposure to dust, wind, sunlight and rain. The diet post-treatment is a different one which will be suggested by the Vadiyan once the therapy is over.

When Should One Do Takradhara?

According to ancient traditions, the treatment is conducted during the early hours of the day when you have just waken up. It is usually done for a period of 7- 14 days and each session will be approximately two hours.

Takradhara Procedure:

A specialized Ayurvedic physician carefully evaluates the Prakriti, Vikruti and dosha imbalance of the patient before prescribing the herbs to medicate the buttermilk for Takradhara. On the day of the procedure, the patient is asked to either lie in the supine position (for Shirodhara) or sit (Sarvanga Dhara) on the Droni, it is usually a slab or a wooden cot where one can lie down comfortably and will have the aid of a pillow that shall be placed under the neck. Then steady flowing and lukewarm medicated Takra is poured either on the forehead or on the whole body of the patient. The falling Takra is collected and poured again into the vessel without interruption. The procedure is repeated for about 30 to 45 mins and is followed by a mild massage.

The head will be massaged with slight pressure so that there is a relaxing effect from the physical standpoint. The Dhara pot will be left hanging right above the forehead in such a way the buttermilk will flow uninterrupted. The procedures are almost in line with Shirodhara but in this case, the Takradhara cannot be boiled.

Post-Takradhara Procedure Care:

Once the Dhara is poured on the forehead and the desired effect is achieved, then the head is wiped using the Amalaki Kwatha in addition to warm sponging. After which, your head will be dried and Rasnadi powder will be applied on the head. The Rasnadi is rubbed for the reason it shall fight any virus that might initiate a cold or a cough after all at the end of the day your head is wet for more than an hour or so. After resting for a brief amount of time, the patient can take a bath.

There will be a few lifestyle guidelines to follow after the treatment which will include you to not stuff yourself with food, trying to be conscious of what you eat, vegetables and fruits etc. Only fresh food should be consumed. It is optional that the patient should only drink hot water after the treatment. After the whole therapy, the patient should not engage in smoking, drinking and all that stuff. The patient should also concentrate on exercise, some running or swimming. However, the people who are undergoing this ordeal should be ready to stay hungry and keep away from exhaustion.

How does Takradhara work?

When the takra is poured on the forehead or the respective part where the treatment is being conducted, the liquid will flow in through the pores and reach places called the marmas, these are the pressure points in the body and your prana essentially flows through these points. So when the liquid flows in you are rejuvinated. It improves the circulation of blood, reduces the body temperature. There are claims that these treatments activate the autonomous nervous systems.

It reduces the stress when you are realaxed and you will understand that when the liquid seeps in.

Side effects:

No side effects have been observed after all these years of this therapy. There are a few expections where the patient was suffering from cold and no rasnadi was rubbed on his head.

Panchakarma is the sum of five unique procedures of detoxifying the body and mind. The added benefit of Panchakarma is the fact that it can be administered in both healthy people and those who could be suffering from a condition. When you are suffering and you undergo panchakarma, it will help you detoxify and release some stress-free hormones, whereas if you are a healthy person, you are receiving a preventive effect on the body. One of the procedures of Panchakarma is to pour buttermilk on the head in a continuous manner. Takradhara has several benefits such as Psoriasis, hypertension, Psychosomatic disorder, anxiety and fatigue.