Some Ayurvedic regimens are particular and related to the needs of the individual at hand, but others are general practices that are good for an entire population. For example, detoxification plays a major role in this system of medicine.
We live in an area where we are affected by all kinds of pollution and toxins. We accumulate so many things in the body. We take in chemicals as a result of the food we eat and the air we breathe. We accumulate everything including emotional toxins -- the stress from everyday living. You have to get rid of all of that...and for that we suggest detoxification and purification of the body.
There are two types of treatments used in Ayurveda to detoxify and purify the body. Because they include laxative therapies, herbal inhalation, they must be undertaken with the advice of an experienced and qualified practitioner. The first is known as Shodana, which consists of treatments that eliminate blockages in the digestive system and aids in balancing the doshas. Panchakarma, a five-step therapy, fits in this category. The other is called Shamana; it occurs after the detoxification process and involves the use of herbal remedies.
Panchkarma (five therapies) preceded by purvakarma (preparatory therapies) and followed by sansarjan karma (post therapy dietary and life style related regimen) are the main therapies practiced. In addition to it several other complementary therapies are practiced.
1. Abhyanga - Abhyanga means local application of oil, fat or ghee and its massage till it gets absorbed into the skin. This massage is achieved in a particular manner in a particular direction depending upon the clinical feature of the patient or the well being. It does have both preventive and curative aspect. It enhances blood supply in the subcutaneous area, it rejuvenates the skin texture, it softens the internal doshas(impurities).
It should be avoided during indigestion and acute fever and performed with the consultation of an Ayurvedic physician.
2.Paadabhyang - This is a stipulated abhyanga of the feet only. It prevents roughness, crack, numbness, and tiredness of the feet. It makes the feet strong and stable. It protects the person from sciatica problem. It prevents stretching of nerve and calf muscle and articular sound of ankle and toe joints.
3.Lepan - Local application of a medicine over the body for a particular period without any massage or pressure or movement is called lepa. When it is cold , liquid and absorbing or non absorbing in nature then it is called pralep. When it is warm or cold, semi solid or liquid and non-absorbing in nature then it is called pradeha.
4.Udvartan - Massage of the body with some extra pressure in a reverse way i.e. from toes towards head is called Udvartan. It melts the Kapha. It liquefies the subcutaneous fat, makes body tough, rejvinates the skin and brings glow to it. It subsides the roughness of the skin. It opens the micro channels, helps in easy absorption of medicine (Lepa), brings lightness to body, prevents drowsiness, prevents itching. Above all it expels the body odour.
It is of different type called Utsaadan, Udgharshan etc.
5.Mardan & Unmardan - Application of extra heavy pressure to the body after local application of oil, abhyang, lepa, udvartan etc is called Mardan. Its opposite i.e. lifting of the body part in the opposite direction is called Unmardan. This is helpful for people with a tough body and heavy musculature. It helps in muscular tiredness, neural pain and bringing lightness to body.
6.Padaghat (Foot Massage) - Massage of the body with the help of the feet is called padaghat. This massage exerts maximum pressure on the body. It is a reverse massage by feet only. This is achieved after application of oil on head and body and rigorous exercise.
It makes body tough and enhances the immunity power. Now a day it is mostly practiced as a preventive therapy.
7.Parishek - Continuous flow of decoction, milk, oil, ghee, butter, milk, soup over the body of the patient is called Parishek. It relieves tiredness.
It is very much helpful in management of Gout. It helps in bone calcification.
When the fluid used is oil or ghee and the temperature is hot then it can be categorized into the sweating therapy group. It can be noted that this is a therapy that includes both snehan and swedan i.e., oleation therapy and sudation therapy. This phenomenon makes it more effective for the patient and acceptable for the doctor.
8.Sambahan - Very light massage of the body with the help of hands only is called Sambahan. It creates a good feeling, brings sound sleep, and relieves tiredness. It is aphrodisiac in nature. It rejuvenates skin, blood and flesh.
9.Gandush - Taking sufficient amount of medicated fluid inside mouth such that the mouth cannot be moved is called Gandush. When a lesser amount of fluid is taken in mouth such that the mouth can be moved easily, it is called Kaval.
It strengthens the jawbones. It makes the tone sweet and sharp. It nourishes the face. It enhances interest in food and enriches the sense of taste. It prevents dryness of throat and cracking of lips. It strengthens the teeth.