Vasti is one of the major treatment procedures in the Panchkarmas. The term Vasti is actually derived from the fact that the instrument used for the medical procedure is made of animal urinary bladder that is also known as Vasti. Most of the Doshas are balanced by using vasti procedure. It has prominent effects on reducing the weight of the obese people and helps in gaining weight for skinny person. Apart from these it also helps in improving vision, preventive aging, increasing strength, health and skin luster. Prominently this medical procedure is used for treating vatic disorders.
The vast has been classified mainly into two types; the first one is ‘Niruha vasti’ which is basically decoction of different herbal medicines and another one is ‘annuvasana vasti’ that mainly comprises of oily elements. In most of the cases an Ayurvedic practitioner uses a combination of both of these. A person with the proper vasti will feel lightness in the body, increase in strength, appetite, balanced doshas and pleasantness.
After finishing the vasti treatment person should avoid taking heavy meals. The activities that put lots of stress like excessive walking, standing for a long time, anxiety, anger and incompatible diet plans should be avoided to every possible extent.
Urovasti Panchakarma treatment
Urovasti is a part of panchkarma treatment in Ayurveda that involves induction of herbal medicinal oils and herbal decoctions in the intestine. The procedure is mainly recommended for the person who is suffering from pain around the chest area. The term Urovasti itself comprises of two words first ‘Uro’ that stands for chest and next is ‘vasti’ that stands for retention. It is basically a chest oil bath treatment. In this procedure the medicated oil or ghee is placed on the chest of the patient for a specific period of time. This medical procedure is sometimes also known as ‘Hrid Vasti’ where ‘Hrid’ means heart. According to Ayurveda, heart is one of the three vital points in the human body, hence it needs to be protected.
This treatment is primarily recommended for the person who suffers from respiratory issues and diseases like asthma and bronchitis. It is also effective in mild angina, cardiomyopathy, muscular chest pain and heart diseases.
How it is done?
The Ayurveda physician chooses the type of medicine and oil required for the therapy depending upon the body constitution and dosha imbalance in the patient. The patient is then made to lie down on a bench on her back. The procedure starts with a gentle oil massage on the whole body. The dough made from whole wheat or black gram flour is then rolled into a small ring of 4 to 5 inches in diameter. The flour ring is then pasted on the patient’s chest using little water as glue. The treatment is done by pouring the medicated oil or ghee into this ring by using cotton gauze to squeeze the oil through the medicinal herbs. Once the oil in the ring cools down it is then replaced by warmer oil by squeezing it through the medicinal cotton gauge. The whole process takes about 30 to 45 minutes for completion.
What are the benefits?
The procedure offers several benefits to the patients like it helps in correction of vata dosha, helps in reducing sadness, frustration, stimulates blood circulation, nourishes connective tissues, enhances neuromuscular system and strengthens heart and balances its functions.
Shirovasti Panchakarma treatment
Shirovasti is basically a head treatment therapy and one of the most prominent external oil treatment procedures in the Ayurvedic medical system. The term itself is made of two words; ‘Shiro’ means head and ‘Vasti’ is actually a container. In this procedure the medicated oil is warmed and placed into a hollow cap kept on the head. This hallow cup is kept on the head for some time, as this treatment can take about an hour.
This type of treatment is quite helpful in medical conditions like deafness, paralysis, cataract, cranial nerve disorder, earache, scalp dryness, skin conditions and can even be helpful for mental disorders.
How it is done?
The procedure involves massage of oil based mixture called ‘Rasnadi choornam’ and medicated oil. Most of the oils that are used by the Kerala Ayurveda centers are Bata Tailam, chandanadi tailam, karpasashyadi, Tailam, dhanwantara tailam, Narayana tailam and ksheerabala Tailam. Before the procedure actually starts, head of the patient is massaged with medicine based oil. Cotton strands are inserted into both the ear to stop oil from flow into the ears.
Dough of black gram flour is created and is made into small poultice. A cotton ribbon is then dipped into the mixture and is tied around the head just above the eyebrow of the patient. The main purpose of this cotton strap is to hold the oil leakage and provide a comfort to the patient by stopping it. Then another leather cloth is placed acting like a cap to withhold the lower part. Both upper and lower parts are then sealed with the dough of the black gram flour. It basically appears like a hollow vessel to fit in the poured oil. The oil is then warmed slightly above the body temperature and is poured into the cap. The oil is poured at just about 2 to 3 cm above the roots of the hair. The temperature of the oil is checked frequently to make sure it’s time for the change. If oil began to cool, the oil is taken out of the cap and reheated. The oil is reused by warming it again and again.
The Rasnadi Choornam is then applied to the head of the patient and the patient is asked to take rest for about an hour. After the rest, the patient is allowed to take a bath with warm water.