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How Padabhyangam Therapy Heals Your Body and Mind

What is Padabhyangam Therapy? Ayurveda is an indispensable way of living that uses methodically crafted therapies to ensure smooth bodily function and restored wellness. Ayurveda stresses on life-long healing through therapies and procedures. The “mother” of all therapies is known as “Padabhyangam”. Padabhyangam can be loosely translated as “foot massage “or “foot therapy”. This therapy holds a special place of importance in Ayurveda because our feet connect our body with the earth. Foot care is holistic and involves massaging the pressure points with herbal and medicinal oils. Applying the right massage techniques relieves the body of its ailments and restores the root of our body and soul through our feet. Padabhyangam Therapy Procedure and How it Impacts the Body There are several different techniques used in Padabhyangam to administer a beneficial oil massage. Hand Techniques Sesame oil is the preferred oil in Padabhyanga because it is a powerful antioxidant and is easily absorbed in the skin. Cow ghee, Ksheerabala tailam, and Eranda tailam are also used. Mahamasha tailam, Ksheerabala tailam, Mahanarayana tailam, Kottamchukkadi tailam, Murivenna, Pinda tailam, Tiktaka ghritam, and Guggulutiktaka ghritam are all medicated oils frequently used for the therapy as well. Applying generous amounts of the medicated or herb oil on the foot and massaging releases toxins. After liberally applying the oil to the soles, heels, ankle joints, and legs, it is then rubbed energetically into the bones of the joint and tendon. In general, this 30 minute massage can extend up to an hour of stroking and rubbing the feet. The energy points are focused upon with care to ensure they are activated. They stimulate the flow of energy and direct it in the intended way. The practitioner applies moderate pressure in circular motions to generate a calming and rejuvenating experience. Kasa Bowl Ayurvedic treatments often include the extensive use of metals. Bowls made from bronze and tin help eliminate toxins from the body. They also help maintain body temperature and balance. Applying the strokes in circular motions on the plantar surface particularly helps in blood circulation. Copper, tin, and bronze are all popular and widely used. A small bronze bowl called “kasa” is often coated with oil and warmed up to gently massage the foot. The feet are also exposed to the fumes of herbal decoctions, if required. Marma Therapy Ayurveda illustrates that different parts of the feet correspond to different organs in the body. The feet have pressure points called “marma”. These are the energy centers that run throughout the body. When pressed, it triggers the circulatory energies in the liver, kidneys, stomach, neck, heart, head, and other organs. In Ayurveda, five marmas (vital areas) out of 107 marmas are located in each foot and they also contain many nerve endings.  Padabhyanga helps release all the negative energy from these marmas and contributes to good health and well-being. It is safe to say that Padabhyanga directly influences the subconscious nature while simultaneously providing a psychological cleansing effect. Body Parts Treated in Padabhyangam Therapy “Pada” in Sanskrit means “foot” and “abhyangam” means “massage using oils”. Together, this means foot massage. This Ayurvedic therapy considers our feet as the focal point of all energies that connect the body to the earth; just the way the roots of a tree connect its branches, trunk, and leaves to the mother earth. Nourishment of the root yields a good fruit, so nourishment through Padabhyangam yields wellness of the body. This therapy begins with applying lukewarm oil or ghee to the feet, including soles, heels, ankle joints, and legs. Applying the oil liberally allows instant purgation for detoxification. Many organs in the body have nerves that terminate in the feet, so a therapy that focuses on treating these nerves proves quite beneficial for those experiencing general health and mind issues. Padabhyangam helps to strengthen these nerves and restores health to many parts of the body. Diseases & Conditions Treated in Padabhyangam There are multiple health benefits of this therapy: Padabhyanga relieves stiffness, dryness, and numbness of the leg and foot Offers sturdiness and stability to the foot and limbs Promotes healthy eyesight and hearing senses Prevents/cures sciatica through enhanced blood circulation and improved peripheral circulation Prevents foot ailments and relieves contraction of muscles, ligaments, and vessels of the feet Prevents cracks in the foot and leaves the feel looking healthier and attractive Padabhyanga reduces stress, calm the mind, and allows a rejuvenated mind and body Relaxes and revitalizes the central nervous system Removes fatigue from the lower limbs and improves quality of sleep Activates metabolism, cures headaches, and prevents onset of degeneration Helps to calm and maintain the “Vata Dosha” which in excess is considered the main cause of major illnesses Provides overall immunity to the body Conditions that are holistically treated in Padabhyanga include: Hypertension Hemiplegia and paraplegia Insomnia Depression Epilepsy Diabetic neuropathy Anxiety Sprains, cramps, and numbness of the feet and legs Roughness and cracking of the feet Who is Padabhyangam Therapy Recommended For? Padabhyangam, a soothing and calming massage, is highly recommended on a daily basis before going to bed. A gentle massage including stroking and rubbing of the foot generates better cardiovascular circulation in the foot and helps you feel relaxed. If you particularly experience fatigue, insomnia, grogginess or cramps, a simple 15 minute foot massage may help relieve your condition. Foot reflexology has a positive effect on the mind and body. The use of Padabhyangam promotes healthy growth in children, allows adults to maintain their vigor and strength, and helps prevent the onset of degenerative diseases in older people. Padabhyangam should not be done when you have a cold, fever, toxin induced coma, blood infection, thrombosis, indigestion, abnormal skin condition, or any circulatory disorder of the lower limbs. In short, if you wish to rejuvenate and fortify your health, Padabhyangam is the recommended therapy for you. Ensure that you receive the therapy from an experienced practitioner or massage therapist. Reference Links:

What are the Elements in Ayurveda and their Significance?

The term Ayurveda means “the science of life,” where “Ayur” is life and “Veda” is knowledge. Ayurvedic principles state that the cosmos are compiled of the “Pancha Maha Bhutas” also known as the “Five Great Elements.” These elements originate from the “Pancha Tanmatra” known as sound (shabda), touch (sparsha), vision (roopa), taste (rasa), and smell (gandha). Although each element is a combination of all five Tanmatras, each shows a predominance of only one. The first element is known as ether (akash), followed by air (vayu), fire (agni), water (jal/apas), and earth (prithvi). These elements are the core of Ayurvedic principles, as they represent ideas fundamental to nature and matter. Together, they are a collection of qualities that form the building blocks of nature. Elements in Ayurveda In order to understand Ayurveda, it is essential to first understand these five elements. According to Ayurveda, the components and functioning of the cosmos are similar to our body components and its functions. With the body, each element is associated with different tissues and functions. With the mind, the elements relate to personality and characteristic traits. In medicine, the elements govern their actions. Hence, having knowledge of the five elements opens the doorway to understanding creation itself. Ether (Akash) This element comes first because it is the subtlest of all five. Ether originates from shabda, which is the tanmatra of sound. It is the primordial space from which a vibration emerges long before it takes the form of sound in the ear. Sound and ether are inseparable, so the ear is considered to be the sense organ of ether. The mouth is its organ of action. Hearing loss and loss of voice is the result of a disturbance in the functions of the ether element. The ether element is present in the body as the empty space between cells. The hollowness of the empty intestines, bladder, blood vessels, and the lungs are filled with ether. An etheric person demonstrates qualities of imagination, expansion, subtleness, and dreaminess. They can also be elusive and passive at times. Air (Vayu) This is the second element because it evolves from ether. When the potential within empty space becomes active, the result is air. It represents the capacity for motion and all forces and movements which occur as a result. Air originates from Sparsha, the tanmatra of touch. It is the potential of the touch experience in its most subtle form. Touch and air are inseparable, so the skin which receives the touch is considered to be the sense organ of the element air. The hands through which we reach out are its organ of action. We associate air in our body with the air we breathe. Ancient Rishis recognized this air as the immediate source of life; that which is synonymous with prana (life energy). Air is described in five forms according to its direction of movement. These are inward (prana), outward (vyana), upward (udana), downward (apana), and the force that stabilizes these movements toward the center (samana). These five movements are known as the vayus and the pranas. In the body, air is present in the form of motion. Its force allows the blood to circulate, breath to move, nerve impulses to travel, thoughts to flow, and joints to propel movement. Disorders of tactile perception and those of grasping are the result of vitiation of the air element. People with a strong air element in their constitution are agile and tend to move quickly and easily. By nature, they are cheerful and enthusiastic. Fire (Agni) Ether provides fire the space to burn while air provides fire the capacity to burn. Hence, the third element is fire which evolves from ether and air. Just as the sun is the generator of energy for the earth, fire is the generator of energy for the body. Fire originates from Roopa, the tanmatra of vision. Roopa means form or colour, both of which are the result of perception. This is why fire is the primordial form of perception, light, and vision. It provides the light for perception. The eyes are the vehicle through which light is received and perception takes place. Hence, eyes are considered to be the sense organ of fire. Disorders of visual perception are a result of a disturbance of the fire element. It is through the feet that we act upon what we see. By using the feet, a person can change his direction or intensity of progress based on perception. Hence, the organ of action associated with the fire element is the feet. Fire represents light, heat, energy, metabolism, and the power of transformation. People with a strong fire element in their constitution have leadership qualities and are adventurous, brave, confident, motivated, energetic, and progressive. They are eager in pursuing goals and are full of youthful spirit. Water (Jal/Apas) This is the fourth element that comes into existence out of the previous three. Fire causes air to become dense, giving us the element of water. Water is the protector of the body providing its most basic nourishment. It protects against the dissolution of ether, the roughness of air, and the heat of fire. It also soothes pain and inflammation in the body. Water is the first element that we can taste. It originates from Rasa, the tanmatra of taste. In this context, it is the causation of the experience of taste (but not taste itself). Taste depends on water for its manifestation, so disorders of the ability to taste are an imbalance of the water element. Since the tongue is the vehicle through which the rasa tanmatra manifests, it is considered to be the  sense organ of water. The taste buds of the tongue work only in the presence of water or saliva. This means that if there is no water, there is no taste. The organ of action associated with the water element is the urethra. Through the male urethra, potent reproductive fluid is expelled from the body. The male and female urethra also expel

The Benefits of Practicing Ayurveda

Ayurveda essentially means the knowledge of life. It is a precise combination of science and the art of healthy living. Ayurveda is popular for its extensive natural healing ways that work on illnesses and improving the general wellness of the human body and mind. It does not simply mean chanting, yoga, applying packs and massaging with oils, but branches deep into the psychological and physiological aspects of eliminating the root cause of health problems. Ayurveda is based on the principle that to achieve and maintain health over the course of your life, you must re-balancing emotions, improve diet, practice yoga and “pranayama” (breathing exercises), and make lifestyle adjustments. How Ayurveda Works Every human is characterized by the mind-body type. In Ayurveda, these primary qualities that govern the body are called “doshas.” Like traditional Chinese medicine, the five elements of nature – water, earth, fire, space, and air make up for a combination in the three primary doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha. When these doshas are perfectly balanced, the state of being is healthy. When they fall out of balance through dehydration, anxiety, stress, low energy or excessive exertion,the person is propelled into a state of “vikruti” – an imbalanced state of body and mind. Ayurveda brings health and keeping the doshas in balance. Overall, it aims at holistically maintaining and improving general health no matter what age you are. Let’s take a look. Benefits of Ayurveda Ayurveda offers extensive therapies and remedies for the young, old, sick, healthy, and everyone in between. This 5,000 year old medicine system that originated in India has many life-altering benefits. Here are some of the primary benefits that one can achieve with consistent use of Ayurveda. 1. Weight Loss and Maintenance A healthy diet and modification in lifestyle habits through Ayurvedic treatments help shed excess body fat. In Ayurveda, weight is not a major concern but eating habits are. By allowing the body to detox through correct dietary restrictions, it is possible to achieve a toned body. Consult a practitioner to determine the best diet that will suit your nutritional needs and work with your dosha type. 2. Healthy and Glowing Skin and Hair Need a perfect glow and shiny hair? Ayurveda claims that you can ditch the expensive clinical treatments and go for the organic and natural ways to achieve a glow without spending too much money. A balanced meal, toning exercises, and Ayurvedic supplements are enough to promote a healthy skin and scalp. General dietary guidelines in Ayurveda focus on consumption of fresh food taking into account your dosha type, medical history, regional produce, customs, and traditions. The focus is more on high-antioxidant foods, herbs, teas, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. 3. Say Goodbye to Stress With a fast-paced lifestyle that leaves no scope for rejuvenation or relaxation, Ayurveda guarantees reduction in stress and anxiety. Regular practice of yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, massages, and herbal treatments allow the body to calm down, detoxify, and rejuvenate. Yoga improves the autonomic nervous system making your mind alert, so you can focus well and stay energized throughout the day. Breathing exercises keep infections at bay and allow abundant oxygen supply to the cells to create a sense of awareness. Depression and anxiety can be treated with Shirodhara, Abhyangam, Shiroabhyangam, and Padabhyangam. 4. Reduce Inflammation Lack of proper diet, unhealthy eating routines, insufficient sleep, irregular sleep patterns, and bad digestion can lead to inflammation. The root cause of neurological diseases, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, pulmonary diseases, arthritis, and many others starts with inflammation. As you begin to eat according to your dosha type, the digestive system begins to strengthen. Consumption of certain foods at the right times reduces toxins in the blood and digestive tract. A consequent result of this is increased vitality, high energy, and an overall decrease in lethargy and mood swings. Ayurvedic treatments are greatly known for cancer prevention as well. The best example of an herbal Ayurvedic formulation would be a combination of turmeric with black pepper. 5. Cleanse the Body Panchakarma in Ayurveda is the practice of eliminating bodily toxins through enemas, oil massages, blood letting, purgation, and other oral administration. By administering these components in the human body, this allows to the elimination of food and toxins that interfere with efficient bodily functions. A cleansed body in turn aids for improved overall health. Suitable home remedies that are vastly used in Ayurvedic herbal medicines are cumin, cardamom, fennel, and ginger which cure indigestion in the body and prevent bloating. 6. Lower Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Symptoms of Illness and Diseases Researchers suggest that Ayurvedic diets and relaxation techniques help reduce plaque buildup. Plaque is a result of the formation of cholesterol and fats in the inner lining of the arteries. This condition is called atherosclerosis and is the root cause of heart attacks and strokes. Ayurvedic medicine offers a multitude of herbs, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. These are mixed together at an appropriate dosage and administered at an optimal time to prevent and combat immunity related disorders. Ayurvedic herbs and essential oils help increase blood flow, compliment blood circulation, and draws out toxins from the body through the skin. “Abhyanga massage” with herbal oils is highly used for massages. Ayurveda Improves the Quality of Your Daily Life Ayurveda is a choice of lifestyle, which when adopted in its entirety, brings a wave of general well-being to your daily life. Exercising, having an active lifestyle, adequate sun exposure, appropriate treatments and emotional well-being help to cleanse the mind and spirit. This leaves you with a healthy mind and glowing skin. Ayurveda works in perfect harmony with alternative medicine so it is practical for everyday use. Ayurveda helps reclaim health with balanced dietary guidelines, effective sleep patterns, home remedies, daily and seasonal routines, yoga, and exercise patterns. Heightened concentration levels through yoga, meditation, herbal intake, and adequate sleep helps re-calibrate mental and goal-based settings in your daily life. Ayurvedic treatments improve digestion and increase appetite and immunity. The basic principles of Ayurveda constitute

The Ayurvedic Cleanse of Panchakarma

According to Ayurveda, health is not defined as being disease free. It is the state of normalcy of the three doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha, which broadly represent the nervous system, the metabolic system, and the nutritive system. These doshas keep the human body, mind, and emotions in balance. A disease is manifested when the delicate balance between the doshas is disturbed. An Ayurvedic cleanse draws out the toxins from the body, also drawing out excess vata, pitta, and kapha from the tissues into the digestive tract in order to eliminate them. This in turn unblocks the channels and restores balance. This cleanse is known as Panchakarma, which literally means five actions or procedures. It is a method of cleansing the body of all unwanted waste after lubricating the body. This treatment is highly beneficial as it includes preventive and curative actions for various diseases. Benefits of Panchakarma Cleared toxins from the entire system Balanced doshas Healed digestive system Enhanced immunity Decreased stress Anti-aging Improved skin lustre Weight-loss (if overweight) Deep relaxation Meditative outlook on life Enhanced mindfulness Panchakarma Treatment Procedure The complete process of Panchakarma involves the following three steps: 1. Poorva Karma This is a preparatory procedure required before the main treatment, to soften the tissues so that the lipid-soluble toxins deposited into them are liquefied and flow back into the digestive tract. From here, they can be eliminated. This treatment prepares the patient mentally and physically for the main procedure of Panchakarma. It involves three procedures: Pachan Karma – improves digestion with herbs and fasting so that the patient can digest the ghee (clarified butter) which is provided to liquefy the fat-soluble toxins. Snehan Karma – medicated ghee is given to the patient in increasing doses in order to aggravate and liquefy the fat-soluble toxins deposited in the deep tissues. Swedan Karma – a full body steam bath is given to the patient thereby opening up the body channels and allowing the heat to liquefy the toxins further. This facilitates their movement from the tissues to the digestive tract. 2. Pradhan Karma This is the Panchakarma, a five-step procedure which is highly individualized depending on the needs, age, digestive strength, immune system, and other factors. This intense Panchakarma procedure can only be done under the guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner. The five karmas to cleanse the complete body are: Vamanam (therapeutic emesis) – induced vomiting which helps clear the upper GI tract to the duodenum (end of the stomach) and a part of the respiratory tract. Virechanam (purgation) – induced purgation clears the GI tract from the duodenum to the exit. Anuvasana (enema using medicated oil) – the oil enema helps lubricate the rectal area and remove the lipid soluble waste out through the anus. Nasyam – nasal inhalation of medicated substances which help clear the respiratory tract and the para nasal sinuses. Paschaat Karma This is a post-therapy dietary regime to restore the body’s digestive and absorptive capacity to its normal state. It includes rejuvenating treatments, lifestyle management, diet management, and intake of herbal supplements. It includes the following procedures: Sansarjan Karma – food therapy after detoxification, which aims at gradually increasing the patient’s diet from liquids to semi-solids to a normal diet. Rasayan Adi Prayogam – a rejuvenating rasayan therapy which aids in increasing natural immunity and enhancing your general well-being. Shaman Chikitsa – a pacification therapy with herbs and lifestyle management. It is important to note that a panchakarma procedure is designed specifically for an individual after a thorough physical examination and pulse diagnosis. Hence, there is no universal package for everybody. These treatments can take a minimum of 7 days and may last as long as 21 days. Who Needs Panchakarma? Practically everyone can benefit from a panchakarma procedure because the body is constantly creating toxins. That is why it is important to cleanse and detox the body regularly. These are the signs to know if you need a detox: A thick layer of coating on the tongue Feeling tired throughout the day, especially after meals Body aches and pains Uncontrollable cravings Foggy mind Bad breath, body odor, or flatulence Constipation or diarrhea The purpose of Panchakarma is sodhana (purification). If a disease is treated with the sodhana approach, it does not recur. Thus, the panchakarma sodhana is the ultimate way to heal and re-balance the body. Precautions Certain Panchakarma procedures are not suitable for certain health problems and some procedures should not be performed on children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Panchakarma treatments should only be performed by qualified and experienced Ayurvedic practitioners. Side Effects of Panchakarma Common side effects of Panchakarma include fatigue, malaise, headaches, congestion, and general illness. An initial increase in the symptoms may also occur as a side effect. It is also important to note that as Panchakarma seeks to release stored emotional problems, some patients can experience mental disturbances and depression during the course of treatment. Reference Links:

What is Ayurveda and How is it Good For Your Health?

Name : Ayurveda Treatment Therapies : Panchakarma, Shamana, Bhrimana Components : Herbs, oils, spices, massages and therapies using natural ingredients Purpose : Balances body doshas, widely used to treat several physical and psychological conditions Benefits : Maintaining and restoring the body’s capability to balance and fight with ailments, relieve stress, anti-aging, metabolism booster The history of medicine has always been intriguing to the existence of humans. Medicine has evolved into a solid platform where treatment for the most rigid and life-threatening diseases is readily available. The oldest form of medicine is known to us as Ayurveda – a sophisticated combination of six crucial Indian philosophical, medical, physical and behavioral systems. Primarily in Ayurveda, emphasis is given on herbal remedies with diet modification for treatment. Add-on therapies include massage and meditation to balance body “doshas” that in turn eliminate impurities, boost immunity, and create a sense of harmony in the body and way of thinking. “Ayur” meaning life and “veda” meaning knowledge, comprise a conceptual system based on the balance and disorder of human ecology and behavioral patterns. It is a combined assessment of the collective “mind-body-senses-spirit.” Origin of Ayurveda The history of Ayurveda can be traced back to 6000 B.C., but is said to have existed since the inception of the creation of mankind. It is a subsection of the Atharva Veda, and delivers the information to achieve a healthy and balanced life according to the sacred texts. Ayurveda greatly influenced healthcare practices in the past and was administered through oral practice. In the old days, Brahmins were considered learned physicians who knew the principle of healing. Despite this, with time other castes began to take interest as civilization advanced. After 1500 B.C., Ayurveda became so extensive that it was divided into eight branches of medicine. Atreya – the school of physicians and Dhanvantri – the school of surgeons were the additional legs of this medical system. India further welcomed the Tibetans, Chinese, Romans, Greeks, Persians, Afghans and Egyptians who came to India to understand and learn treatment and healing. Ayurveda means “ science of life” and is considered the gift of Gods in the Sanskrit sagas written by Indian saints. Rishi-munis in India have spent years studying the science and exploring its ways of healing. Ayurvedic Body Types “Prakriti” or nature of a person’s body, is characterized into three energies in Ayurveda – pitta, kapha and vata. It is imperative in Ayurveda to have these energies balanced for better health. Prakriti explains why different bodies react differently to the exact same things. Pitta – Constitutes fire and water – higher or lower levels result in inflammation, infections, and ulcers Vata – Constitutes space and air – imbalances result in constipation, arthritis, and anxiety Kapha – Constitutes water and earth –  imbalances create obesity, diabetes, and congestive disorders Ayurvedic Treatments Panchakarma, Shamana, and Bhrimana are three essential treatments in Ayurveda. Panchakarma  – this is the therapy of elimination. The process eliminates impurities through enemas, massages, and medical oils. Nasal administration, medicated enemas, purgation, blood-letting, and vomiting are used to cleanse the body. Shamana – this is the therapy of pacification, used for balancing opposites with the help of dietary and lifestyle changes. Complimentary activities that aid these therapies are yoga, meditation, and herbal administration. Bhrimana – these are nourishing therapies used for treatment of strength or emaciation issues. Ayurveda To Improve Health Ayurveda is a tool to uproot the cause of diseases from your body. Because the system focuses on natural ingredients as remedies, a patient’s health will never face any side effects. Ayurvedic practitioners suggest that with consistent use of these natural remedies, one can happily relieve themselves of prolonged ailments, stress, and enhanced metabolism. There is still some conflict persisting between western medicine and natural treatments. Nevertheless, Ayurvedic products are safely suited alongside conventional medicines, if that is your inclination. It is best to consult a practitioner before adopting any natural remedial course and ensure that it comfortably coordinates with your regular treatment plan. Ayurveda does not claim to cure all diseases but aims at detoxifying the impurities in the body and mind. It operates on the soul and conscious level and therefore is considered more effective as you enable your body to naturally balance itself. Health Conditions That Ayurveda Can Treat Ayurveda works as a science through the observation of body types, symptoms, and lifestyle. The use of Ayurvedic treatments and healing therapies works best to allow the body to regain health. Below is a list of conditions that can be treated: Diabetes Colitis Depression Arthritis Gout Insomnia Menopause Migraine IBS Osteoporosis Sciatica Low Thyroid Weight Loss Prostate Skin problems Fertility Eczema Dry skin, eyes Low libido Postpartum Ayurveda relies on the importance of holistic development and nourishment of the body. The pivotal role of Ayurveda as a medicine is to ensure that the body functions in a healthy manner through conscious healthy lifestyle habits such as proper diet, fitness, and positive mental health. Reference Links


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