Update 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.
The quantity of oil used is tremendous. You are literally bathing in the oil and every 3 days additional oil is added. The specific oils used is based on your problem. There are 4 massage therapists massaging me for one hour, 2 for the upper body and 2 for the legs. A fifth guy is continually warming up the oil and adding it as the oil cools.
The purpose of this treatment is detoxification of the system by improving circulation and sweating. You are also given herbal formulas to mobilize and detoxify the system. Often also given herbal Ghee (clarified butter) for internal oleation or lubrication to dislodge toxins from deeper tissues.
The herbal properties of the oils are also absorbed via the skin…the largest organ. It’s another way to get herbs into the system. The massage also helps strengthen and tone the whole body. In addition, the oil massage has a profound soothing effect on the nervous system…improving strength and immunity while removing fatigue.
This treatment also helps the cardiovascular system while improving metabolic function. It’s really amazing for all sorts of orthopedic and neurological injuries ranging from low back pain, arthritis, knee injury, spinal cord injuries, etc. I met a lot of patients with serious injuries and health issues who have had phenomenal results from Panchakarma.
A relatively strict regimen is recommended to rest and recuperate while receiving this therapy. This allows the body to re-set itself bringing the neuro-endocrine system back to balance. Improving digestion, elimination and absorption of nutrients.
After the massage it’s recommended that I rest for a little while. I usually feel a little tired but definitely relaxed after the massage. My joints and muscles feel thoroughly lubricated from all the oil they used. I feel more limber even though I haven’t been doing any mobility or stretching exercises except a short walk, pranayama and some light Yoga.
I also lost about 7 lbs. in the last 2 weeks, even though I wasn’t trying to lose weight. I’m sure the massage, vegetarian diet and herbs are responsible for the weight loss. Internally I feel lighter without any sluggishness.
The Ayurvedic philosophy is different than the modern medicine view where often more activity or exercises are recommended to build strength and endurance. Here there is no forcing a tired system to work…focus is on bringing the system back to balance which will give the body better chance to recoup its strength and function.
Light walking and gentle Yoga exercises are allowed as long as they don’t fatigue you.
This was ONE of the treatments I got everyday for the last 2 weeks. I will share another one with you soon. Let me know what you think about this treatment or want to know if this could benefit you as well.
Recommended oils for self massage:
1. Ashwagandha Bala Oil improve strength and wellness
2. Mahanarayan oil for pain relief
Detoxification to Improve Circulation and Sweating [Click To Tweet]
Treatment that Helps the Cardiovascular System while Improving Metabolic Function [Click To Tweet]
Pizhichil Ayurvedic Herbal Oil Massage for Strengthen and for Toneing the Body [Click To Tweet]
*This information is for education purposes only. Please consult your Physician, Physical Therapist or Wellness Practitioner before starting any rehabilitation, wellness or fitness program. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.