Navarakizhi (also called Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda) is a type of Ayurvedic treatment in which a sweat-inducing massage in given to the patient using a preparation containing milk and rice to provide relief from pain and stiffness. This therapy is also used to improve the muscle strength. It also rejuvenates and re-energizes the body.
This therapy helps to derive the rich nutritional content of milk and a special type of rice through external application by processing these substances with some medicinal herbs. This treatment also provides nutrition and strength to the body tissues, including the muscles, bones, and soft tissues.
Table of Ingredients
- Shashtika Shali, which is a special type of rice that is harvested in 60 days
- Balamula (Roots of Sida Cordifolia)
- Taila (Medicated oil)
- Ghee (Medicated ghee)
Taila (Medicated oil)
Some effective oils used for the massage include:
For SHIRO-ABHYANGA (Head Massage):
- Chandanbala Laxadi Oil
- Ksheerabala Taila
- Lakshadi Oil
- Shatavari Thailam
For SHARIRA ABHYANGA (body massage)
- Ksheerabala Taila
- Sahacharadi Taila
- Dhanwantharam Thailam
- Chandanbala Lakshadi Thailam
- Mahanarayana Taila
- Karpasasthyadi Thailam
- Balaswagandhadi Thailam
Balamula or the root of Sida Cordifolia is washed thoroughly with sterile water to remove dirt, dust, and mud. The roots are cut into small pieces and put in a vessel containing water. The mixture is boiled till the quantity is reduced to the 1/4th of the initial quantity. Later, the liquid is strained to remove the solid part to obtain a decoction of Bala Kwath (Sida Cordifolia root decoction).
This decoction is divided into 2 equal parts. To one part of this decoction, milk, and rice are added and the mixture is allowed to cook. Once the rice is cooked thoroughly, the mixture is ground till it becomes soft.
Then, pieces of clothes cut into the recommended dimensions are spread over a table and small portions of cooked rice are spread on each cloth piece. Then, the clothes are tied to make boluses. They should be bound tightly at their upper ends with strong threads in such a way that the ends of the cloth form an elevation that can be used to form hand grips.
The remaining portion of the decoction is mixed with milk and heated on a mild flame. The boluses prepared earlier are later dipped into this hot processed milk.
The treatment begins with procedures called ABHYANGAM (oil massage), then Amalaki Tala-dharana. The coolant effect produced by this procedure helps to protect the brain and sense organs from the effect caused by the application of heat during the actual procedure of Navarakizhi.
Navarakizhi is performed by 4 attendants to carry on the treatment in an uninterrupted and synchronized way on both sides of the patient. The boluses dipped in the processed milk are rubbed and stroked on both sides of the patient’s body in a rhythmic way.
The strokes are given in a clockwise and circular fashion and should cover all the joints in the body. The strokes are made in a downward direction from the nape of the neck to the lower back and from the hip towards the feet. The boluses are replaced with a warm one once they lose the temperature. This method must be conducted for the recommended duration without any interruption.
Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda must be done with caution. Care should be taken to ensure that the boluses are not too hot to burn the skin. It should be performed only under the supervision of an expert therapist for the patients with controlled diabetes and hypertension. The treatment should be stopped if the patient develops excessive sweating to prevent dehydration.
Duration of procedure & course of the treatment
Each session of this treatment takes about 70 to 105 minutes. The duration of treatment varies from 7 to 21 days depending on the severity of the condition.
Navarakizhi (Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda) is useful the treatment of the following health conditions.
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscular pains
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Prolapse of intervertebral disc
Navarakizhi (Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda) relieves pain, swelling and stiffness caused by the joint disorders like arthritis. It energizes and rejuvenates the body. It improves the strength of the tissues of bones and muscles.
- Prevents degeneration of the joint tissues and wasting of muscles
- Induces sweating and brings about a feeling of lightness in the joints, soft tissues, and muscles
- Corrects the morbidity associated with the Vata, and Pitta dosha
- Enhances flexibility and movements of the joints
- Improves blood circulation in the skin, and improves its color and complexion
Osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis, can be managed well with the help of Navarakizhi. It prevents the breakdown of the joint tissues and preserves their mobility and functions. It also provides relief from the pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. It prevents the degeneration of the joints and strengthens them.
Navarakizhi is effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces inflammation and the painful deformity in the joints caused due to this condition. It also improves the mobility and allows the patients to move about with ease.
It is also useful for the patients suffering from a severe and chronic form of rheumatoid arthritis in which though the inflammation has subsided, the joint pain remains and causes significant discomfort.
Navarakizhi offers a natural relief for the patients with myalgia by reducing muscle pain and stiffness.
Prolapse of intervertebral disc
Patients suffering from prolapsed intervertebral disc can get significant relief from the pain, numbness, muscle weakness, aching sensations in the neck, and tingling caused due to the condition by undergoing Navarakizhi.
Navarakizhi provides relief from back stiffness, tightness in the hamstrings, waddling gait and low back pain caused due to this condition.
This treatment is also beneficial for the treatment of lumbar spondylosis, sacroiliac joint syndrome, cervical spondylosis, and sciatica.
Navarakizhi or Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda is LIKELY SAFE when done by trained ayurvedic therapist under the supervision of an ayurvedic doctor.
Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda is a form of Ayurvedic treatment that involves the use of natural ingredients. Hence, it is safe and causes no side effects. Some patients may develop superficial burns if the bolus applied over the skin is too hot.
Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda is not recommended for the patients with uncontrolled diabetes unless the benefits outweigh the risk of possible complications. This treatment should not be given to the patients with varicose veins, fractures, deep vein thrombosis, fever and severe inflammation.