Among the many ancient practices of Ayurveda, one effective form of treatment is the Podikizhi, also known as Choorna Swedam. This sweat-inducing Ayurveda technique involves fomentation, sudation, and steaming treatments. It is used for different neurological ailments, arthritic conditions, obesity, sciatica, lumbago, and other painful diseases.
Podikizhi uses medicated powders for the poultice and is the only form of Kizhi Ayurvedic treatment which can be applied with or without the use of oil.
Different Types of Podikizhi Treatments
The most essential element of the Podikizhi treatment is the medicated powder of the Kizhi or poultice. Various combinations of the Choornas are used, depending on what type of treatment is needed:
- Kottam Chukkadi Choornam – used for treating inflammation and pain
- Gruhadhumadi Choornam – used for treating aches and inflammation
- Ellumnishadi Choornam – used for treating gout and swollen knees
- Guloochipathradi Choornam – used for treating gout and inflammation, and aches and burning sensations
- Jatamayadi Choornam – used for treating gout and inflammation, and burning sensations
- Rasnadi Choornam – used for treating painful and swollen joints and spine
- Kolakulattadi Choornam – used for treating stiffness, aches, and swelling
- Nagaradi Choornam – used for treating pain and swelling
- Dashanga Choornam – used for treating Oedematous inflammation
For treatment of these ailments, these Choornas are often applied with different kinds of oils or tailams. Different forms of Ayurveda treatments are also combined to form effective combinations with Podikizhi.
Roots and barks of medicinal plants in powdered form are tied in a sterile piece of cloth into a bolus. The herbs are selected on the basis of the ailment being treated. The herbal powders are first placed in a sterile bowl and fried in different herbal oils depending on the kind of treatment, and then tied into the bolus. Several of these boluses are formed.
In the next step, a pan with oil is heated on the stove on low heat. The bolus is heated or dipped in hot oil, and then rubbed on the affected part of the body to begin the treatment process. It is also applied without oil if dry heat is necessary.
When the temperature of the bolus starts to drop, a new bolus is used to continue with the treatment. The key is to ensure that the bolus is hot enough throughout the process. Fomentation takes effect when the patient begins to feel sweaty and light.
The treatment helps in reducing tenderness, heaviness, stiffness, pain, or inflammation of the joints or other body parts. This is accomplished by improving blood circulation, releasing trapped nerves, enhancing joint movements, and reducing swelling.
Benefits of Podikizhi
Podikizhi treatment is effective in treating the joints, spine, lower back, and muscles. These are the parts of the body that get affected by the vitiation of Kapha. They include:
- The feet, ankles, wrist, fingers – Podikizhi can help rid these smaller bones of the body of acutely painful episodes, inflammation, deformity, and immobility.
- The joints in the arms, neck, lower back, hips, spine, and knees – swelling, immobility, stiffness, pain, and numbness can be cured.
- Body muscles – Podikizhi can relieve soreness, swelling, sprains, and muscle strain.
- The skin – by helping to regenerate and revive skin cells, Podikizhi brings a glow to it and makes it appear youthful.
Whether these are caused by long-term ailments such as osteoporosis or sudden injuries, Podikizhi can provide great relief. It is a highly effective treatment, usually given to the patient in multiple sessions. The recovery time is quite short as well.
Diseases and Conditions Treated by Podikizhi
Various diseases and conditions which affect the body parts discussed above, can be treated with the help of Podikizhi:
- Osteoarthritis – swollen and painful joints
- Gout – uric acid deposits and rheumatoid arthritis, myalgia, and fibromyalgia
- Sciatica – the compression of nerves in the outer legs and back, resulting in spondylolisthesis, Invertebral Disc Protrusion, Spinal Stenosis, and Spina Bifida
- Coccydynia – pain in the tailbone
- Cervical Spondylosis – neck pain from whiplash, ankylosing spondylosis, polymyalgia rheumatica, frozen shoulder, and elbow pains
- Lumbar Spondylosis – lower back pain, Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, internal derangement, and bursitis
- Sprained ligaments and cartilage tears
In addition to treating arthritis and neuromuscular conditions, Podikizhi is also effective in treating paralysis, insomnia, obesity, and aging.
Who is it Recommended For?
Podikizhi is perfect for middle-aged people prone to joint pains and physical injuries or strains.
It is also a great treatment for people who work on their feet all day and for athletes who get injured frequently.
As with all Ayurvedic treatments, Podikizhi is a technique that has been tried, tested, and perfected for centuries. This treatment is perfectly safe; however, it is important to note that the body can face a sudden rise in temperature during the process of toxin elimination. Some individuals also feel cold after the treatment, which is temporary. Pregnant women, elderly people above the age of 75 years, and young children should avoid this form of treatment.