During the course of my 28 day Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation), I received various treatments that are unique Ayurvedic therapies practiced in Kerala, India.  In two earlier posts I shared treatments I received during the first 14 days – Pizhichil (herbal oil massage) and Shiro Dhara (stream of oil, milk or buttermilk poured over the forehead).

For the second half of my Panchakarma I received Kizhi/Potli treatment.  Potli is a therapeutic technique that uses a small poultice filled with various herbs or specially prepared rice which is warmed in milk or medicated oils.  These are used to massage and provide heat to the whole body or specific areas like the low back, neck and joints.  

My first set of Potli treatments were using specific herbs to improve circulation and stimulate the whole system.  The therapists would dip the poultice in hot oil and then tap the poultice on the joints.  This was followed by rubbing the poultice up and down the entire length of the body.  The herbs in the poultice, the hot herbal oils, the tapping and rubbing actions are all meant to improve circulation, relieve pain, improve mobility, reduce stiffness and tone the skin.  I found this type of Potli treatment to be less relaxing than the second Potli treatment called Navara Kizhi or Shashtika Pinda Sweda.


Navara Kizhi uses special rice that is cooked in a decoction of the herb Bala and milk.  This cooked herbal rice is placed in the poutice and massaged all over the body.   The fomentation and soothing effect of this Potli is effective for various neuro-degenerative conditions, weakness, muscle wasting, low back or neck pain, Sciatica, etc.   I preferred this treatment better than the herbal Potli treatment I received initially.   Felt much more relaxed and stronger after the Navara Kizhi treatment.

After the poultice massage I was asked to rest for one hour before taking a shower.  While I was resting a warm herbal paste was applied to the the neck and wrapped in bandages (addressing some old injuries from years of wrestling and other sports)…more on this in another post.

Benefits of Potli:

1.   Pain relief

2.  Improves circulation

3.  Build Muscle Without Weights

4.  Relieves stiffness

5.  Opens the fine channels within the body

I would highly recommend anyone to experience this treatment.  The sense of well-being and a settled feeling in the nervous system is quite amazing.

Share one thing that you want to learn about Potli massage?

Share one thing that you want to learn about Potli massage to help you recover from your injuries, build strength or improve your health.

Cheers, and here’s to an amazing 2015 for you and your health! Happy New Year!


pizhichil-ayurvedic-herbal-oil-massage-for-detox-and-rejuvenation-imageUpdate on Kerala Ayurvedic Hospital Panchakarma (Ayurvedic Detoxification and Rejuvenation) trip…Today I’m at half-way point. The first 2 weeks the treatment involved 3 main therapeutic methods. I’m going to share with you one of these treatments in this post.

Pizhichil (Thailadhara) – This therapeutic massage is a combination of two classical Ayurvedic treatments, Snehana (oleation) and Swedana (sudation). The whole body is bathed in streams of warm herbal oil with simultaneous massage. The warm oil and massage opens the pores and drives the herbal oil deeper into the tissues.

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shiro-dhara-ayurvedic-rejuvenation-therapy-for-the-modern-lifestyle-imageI hope you are doing well and getting ready for Christmas…for those of you who celebrate.

As promised I am going to share with you another Ayurvedic treatment I received during the first 2 weeks of my Panchakarma (Ayurvedic Detoxification and Rejuvenation Therapies) - check out my last email from a week ago for more on my trip to Kerala and Panchakarma.

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Hip Arthritis Treatment Self Traction

hip-arthritis-treatment-self-traction-image-2This a self-mobilization technique to help with hip arthritis pain. For those of your suffering from hip pain due to hip arthritis, this hip distraction technique is great for relieving compression on the hip while relieving irritation and pain associated with the degenerative changes to the hip cartilage. Wear and tear on the hip either due to injury, overuse or obesity can lead to hip arthritis.


How To Improve Upper Back And Shoulder Mobility


A lot of people suffer from upper back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain due to poor postures and sitting for long periods.  It’s very important to work on improving upper back or thoracic spine mobility and shoulder mobility to relieve neck and shoulder problems.  This is an easy upper back stretch using an exercise ball and a stable surface like a couch.  Try it out and let me know how it goes.