Kati Basti (Vasti) is a traditional Ayurvedic treatment used for lower backache and disorders of lumbosacral region, including slip disc, lumbar spondylosis, sciatica, spinal problems etc. Kati Vasti is a part of external oleation (Snehana) therapy in Ayurveda. It is very safe, non-invasive and green category procedure.
In this procedure, you will get instant relief from the backache. After completing a course of 7 to 21 days, you may not need any kind of oral medicines. It is a complete therapy for back pain and lumbosacral disorders.
However, the results vary person to person, but in most of cases, people get quick relief after the procedure.
Back Oil dough therapy
Indications of Kati Basti
Kati Vasti is beneficial in all types of back and spinal problems. Some of them are listed underneath:
Backache in women
Intervertebral disc protrusion
Lumbar spondylitis (Inflammation of lumber joints characterized by stiffness, tenderness and pain)
Degenerative disc disease
Principles of Kati Basti
Warm oil is used in Kati Basti, warm oils pacify VATA humor, so it reduces pain and stiffness. It lubricates the region and relaxes the surrounding muscles.
It also works on KAPHA humor. Sometimes patients experience stiffness along with very dull pain and heaviness. It is a sign of KAPHA involvement. The base of all oils used in Kati Basti is Sesame Oil. Sesame Oil has VATA and KAPHA pacifying properties. Therefore, Kati Vasti also works on back pain and tightness, stuffiness and back tiredness.
Sometimes, PITTA humor becomes associated with the backache. In this type of backache, tenderness is also present. When your doctor touches your back, you will find a severe pain in the back. In this type, regular Kati Basti Oils cannot be used, so some oils made from PITTA pacifying herbs are used in this case.
Materials for Kati Vasti
Black gram flour/powder = 100 grams (required every day)
Oils = 200 ml every day
Steel or plastic Ring = 2 inches height and around 20 inch circumference
Note: Black gram flour can be used to make ring. Some doctors and therapist do not use the steel or plastic rings.
Oils for Kati Basti
The following oils are used in Kati Basti.
Indications of various oils in Kati Vasti
Sesame oil is used for a new backache and less severe back and spinal problems where only VATA pacifying properties are required. It reduces pain, relaxes muscles and decreases stiffness.
Mahanarayan oil is used when a patient is suffering from back debility, disc degeneration or experience tiredness in the back.
It works to strengthen spinal vertebrae, muscles and ligaments.
Generally, most of ayurvedic doctors use Bala oil in this procedure because of its excellent VATA pacifying characteristics.
Nirgundi tail is used because of its excellent analgesic (pain relieving) action. It is also beneficial for reducing spinal stiffness.
Generally, this oil is never recommended in Kati Basti use, but when local tenderness is the main cause of patient’s discomfort, it can be used. Therefore, it is used to relieve PITTA type pain.
Sometimes, your therapist can also choose some herbal decoctions for the Kati Basti.
What is the Kati Basti Procedure?
Your doctor or Ayurvedic therapist will ask coming with X-ray or MRI scan of your back or lumbar sacral region. It is essential to identify the location of the problems, so that the Kati vasti ring can be placed there.
Evacuate stools or urinate before coming to the Kati Basti table.
Ayurvedic body massage is required before Kati Basti. The massage should be gentle and without any heavy pressure on the back or related organs.
A steam bath is offered after the massage for 10 to 15 minutes. Local steam or NADI-SWEDANA can be done.
Now, it is time to get ready for Kati Basti.
-Your therapist asks to lie down on the table in prone position.
-Lumbar region or affected area of the back will be cleaned with cotton or cotton cloth.
-Now steel or plastic ring will be placed on the back covering the affected area.
-To prevent leakage of the oil from the ring, kneaded black gram flour will be placed around the ring both inside and outside.
Now, your therapist will pour the lukewarm oil with the help of cotton or cotton cloth in the ring.
To keep the oil warm inside the ring, your therapist will continuously replace the oil from the ring with warm oil. The temperature of the oil should remain constant during the Kati basti treatment.
Duration of kati basti treatment
The duration of Kati Basti treatment varies from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the severity of the disease.
After 15 to 45 minutes, your therapist removes the oil from the ring and removes the ring from your back.
The affected region of the back will be cleaned with warm water or cloth dipped in warm water.
You need to rest for an hour after the procedure in a comfortable posture.
-You should take a rest for 30 to 45 minutes after the procedure.
-A table used for rest should be hard.
-Avoid bending forward or backward after the Kati Basti treatment.
-Do not lift any kind of heavy stuff during the treatment course.
-Correct your sitting and standing postures.
For good results, also join yoga classes.
Benefits of Kati Basti treatment
The modern painkillers have many side effects. To avoid the conventional medicines patients can get benefits from the Kati Basti treatment for pain relief. Other benefits are:
-Kati Basti has a higher success rate and it is non-invasive treatment that can save hundreds thousands of spinal surgeries.
-It is cost effective and affordable treatment option for chronic backache.
-It also provides mental and physical relaxation.
-It relieves tiredness of the back.
The therapy enhances healing and recovery from the spinal problems.
-Warm oil used in kati basti increases blood flow to the affected area, which boosts natural body healing process.
-It reduces inflammation, swelling, tenderness of the affected area.
-Make your spine more healthy and flexible.
-Kati basti improves mobility of the spinal vertebrae.
-The skin absorbs the medicated oil used in the treatment. It benefits nourishing and strengthening the spinal nerves and back muscles.
-It relieves muscle tension and soreness.
-It is very helpful in chronic spinal and back problems.
Duration of Kati basti treatment course
Duration of the treatment course depends on the individual requirement and severity of the disease. Generally, it will take 7 to 21 days to get relief from the symptoms of the disease or back pain.
Side effects of Kati Basti
As Kati Basti is an external procedure that does not involve any kind of invasive method, so it is considered completely safe procedure.
Some patients may experience itching sensation on the back where Kati Basti Bag was placed, but it will be for a short period and completely recovers when oil is removed from the back.
Vedas like Atharvaveda, Rigveda, Yajurveda etc. identified and worshipped Agni as a god and made disinfectant and curative properties of Agni clear by indicating its application in context of obstetric & gynaecological disorders. Acharya Sushruta who is considered as the father of surgery has described Agnikarma under parasurgical procedures. In the present day of practice there are set of disorders, which do not respond to Bhaishaja, Shashtra and Kshara treatment modalities, if at all they respond, palliative relief is found & after sometime chance of recurrence do exist. Agnikarma is one such promising procedure which is given utmost importance over all of above treatment modalities due to its permanent curative effect. Agnikarma means the application of heat directly or indirectly to the affected part with the help of different materials like Pippali, Ajashakrita, Godanta, Shara, Shalaka, Jambavoushtha, Kshaudra, Sneha, Panchalauha shalaka etc.
It cure disease, which do not respond to any other treatment modality like Ksharkarma and other surgical interventions.
It is choice of treatment modality for Kapha and Vatajanya Vyadhi.
Least chance of infection in treated wound.
Least chance of recurrence of pathological
Patient is advised to take Picchila Anna prior performing Agnikarma therapy.
Thereafter, the site of morbidity & local affected area is cleansed with Triphala Kashaya.
After assessing symptoms of the disease, vital spots and the strength of patient Agnikarma is performed by red hot Shalaka (Panchadhatu) at the affected body part.
The number of Samyaka Dagdha Vrana can be 5-30 depending upon the extent of diseased area.
Cooling agent like Kumari patra along with Madhu & Ghrita is applied to relieve the burning pain post operation.
After Samaka Vranashodhana the treated area is covered with Plota(Gauze piece) & proper bandaging is done.
Kushtha (Skin disease)
Pidika (Boils & Carbuncles)
Kadara (Foot Corn)
Nasarsha (Nasal haemorrhoids)
Yakrit-plihavriddhi (Enlargement of liver & spleen)
Ayurvedic Foot Care
More than 70% of all people in the United States will have painful foot problems at some time during their lifetime. Do you take care of your feet as much as you use them? An ayurvedic foot care routine can reduce your chances of belonging to the unfortunate 70%.
Basic Foot Care
The best measure you can take is to wear comfortable shoes that fit properly, with extra room in the toe area. Equally important is to wash your feet daily with soap. Rinse off the soap with lukewarm water and dry your feet thoroughly, including between the toes. Always keep your nails short, but don't cut into the skin on the sides of your nails. Don't apply harsh techniques to remove corns and calluses, such as trimming or shaving, because they can damage your feet. Change your socks every day and when you exercise. Whenever possible, air your feet by walking barefoot outside, or in the house. These simple rules not only increase your comfort level but can prevent infections, calluses and many other ailments of the foot.
Ayurvedic Foot Care
"Caring for your feet in Maharishi Ayurveda goes beyond the cosmetic purposes: it benefits the whole body and nervous system," says Vaidya Nitin Agrawal of Maharishi Ayurveda Products International. An ayurvedic foot bath and foot massage relaxes the whole physiology and provides a feeling of revitalization, increased energy, and improved circulation.
Herbal Foot Bath
For tired feet and hard skin, a foot soak can do wonders. Warm water stimulates your feet and your whole body, and softens your skin. The aromas of herbs and bath salts provide relaxation through the sense of smell.
Boil one quart of water. Make a small pouch of any of the following herbs: lavender, sage, rosemary. Place the pouch in a large wash bowl or bucket and pour the boiling water over it. Let it sit for twenty minutes.
Add cold water, if necessary, to reach a comfortable temperature between 100 and 110 °F.
Soak your feet in the water for about twenty minutes. Gently rub the herbs on your feet but do not scrub.
Dry feet thoroughly with a clean towel. Bathing salts also soften your skin.
By rubbing your feet, you "massage" your whole body. "Massaging your feet helps detoxification, balances emotions, and improves blood and lymph circulation," says Vaidya Agrawal.
First wash your feet thoroughly with soap and warm water. Neem soap is especially beneficial due to its antibacterial properties. Wipe your feet dry and sit in a comfortable position so you can easily reach your feet.
Apply oil to one of your feet for lubrication.
Start by gently rubbing the base of your little (fifth) toe.
Continue at the base of the next (fourth) toe.
Next, apply slight pressure between the fifth and fourth toes.
Then, rub between the third and fourth toes.
Next, massage, stretch and pull the big toe gently and rub each side of the nail.
Then massage the ball of your foot in a circular motion. Apply gentle pressure on both sides of your heel below the ankle joint, followed by circling around your ankle joint with both hands in a clockwise motion. This improves circulation and the energy level of the body.
Finally massage your calf muscle to release tension. Repeat the same steps on your other foot.
Treatment for Corns
Corns, like calluses, develop from an accumulation of dead skin cells, forming thick and hard areas on the tops, sides and tips of the toes. Constant pressure and friction from footwear can press these areas and cause pain. Instead of chemical corn-removing solutions, which can increase irritation, try the following simple remedy from Vaidya Agrawal.
Roast one garlic clove (dry or in a little ghee) until golden but not burnt.
While still warm, apply the garlic clove on the corn and place a Band-Aid over it. Use one clove of garlic for each corn. Leave it on for a day.
Apply daily until corn falls off.
Massage feet with Youthful Skin Massage Oil to soften skin and prevent the recurrence of corns.
Preventing Foot Odor
Smelly feet can result from perspiration, dead skin cells and bacteria. Synthetic shoes and socks increase the problem by not letting your feet breathe. The following recipe naturally deodorizes your feet.
Perform the herbal foot bath according to the instructions above, but add one half to one teaspoon of salt to the water.
Mix one part corn starch, three parts bentonite clay, and three to four drops of peppermint essential oil.
Make a paste by adding cold water to a small amount of the above mix. Apply paste on your feet for 20-30 minutes.
Wash paste off with lukewarm water and dry thoroughly.
Do this procedure every day for a month or until the problem disappears, then twice a week. You can also sprinkle the powder mix in your shoes or socks during the day.
As in every area of Maharishi Ayurveda, the emphasis is on prevention in foot care as well. If you give your feet a break, they will serve you better and help you stay free from discomfort.
Swedana is a steam treatment explained in Ayurvedic medical science. The word Sweda is derived from Sanskrit swid, meaning ‘to sweat or to perspire’. So swedana is the process of inducing sweat with the help of steam, generated from medicated herbal decoctions. It is the pre-operative procedure in various Ayurvedic detox therapies where the objective is to dilate the channels of the body to detach the toxins from the tissues. Ayurvedic fomentation is usually given after an oil massage.
There are many different varities of Swedana. Some of them are as follows:
The fomentation is done by making the person to sit in the chamber where steam emanates from boiling herbal decoction.
Naadi sweda is penetrating heat. It is a more penetrating type of wet heat than Bashpa Sweda. This is given to whole body, using a tube; importance is given to thick and complex structures of joints.
Oil should be applied gently on the body. Herbs are selected depending on the condition and doshic predominance. Eyes are covered by tying a cloth around the eyes; the head is covered using a wet cotton pad as Ayurveda strongly believes the eyes and head should be protected from over heat. Treatment is continued till the forehead and abdomen sweat very well. After the completion of procedure person has to take shower with hot water. Food which is warm, unctuous and light is given after one hour of sudation.
Balances Vata and Kapha humors in the body
Detaches toxins; expels them through the tiny pores of the skin along with sweat
An Ayurvedic massage is not just about blissful relaxation - it is actually part of a therapeutic process called snehana (oleation).
According to Ayurveda, an imbalance in bodily humors causes all diseases. In fact, the process of disease is thought to begin with the accumulation of imbalanced humors or toxins in the body.
There are five processes (panchakarma) to remove toxins and purify the body: therapeutic vomiting, purgation, enema, nasal administration of medicines, and bloodletting.
Toxins are typically located in the part of the body that is affected by the disease, but they need to be brought into the gastrointestinal tract before they can be removed through a panchakarma therapy.
This is where snehana comes in. Snehana therapy includes procedures that lubricate the body internally or externally.
This therapy softens the toxins so that they are detached and channeled to the gastrointestinal tract, where they can be easily eliminated during the main detoxifying process of panchakarma.
Svedana (sweating therapy) is another therapy used in this preparatory process. But unlike svedana, snehana can also be an independent treatment. Here's a deeper look at this interesting therapy.
How Is Snehana Carried Out?
Snehana can either be done externally or internally. Fats are used for lubrication of the body and include ghee, animal fat, bone marrow, or plant sources like vegetable oil.
This fat can be administered internally through the nose or given as an enema. But it is usually drunk or consumed after mixing it with food. The kind and dosage of fat are carefully calibrated by the Ayurvedic practitioner after considering the constitution and condition of the patient.
The night before snehana therapy, the patient prepares by restricting their diet to only warm and liquid foods that do not block the body channels. Then, medicated fat is usually administered for 3-7 days.
If it is taken beyond 7 days, the patient may become too accustomed to it and want to make it a part of their everyday diet.
After having the medicated fat, you are supposed to sip warm water frequently and, even after it is completely digested, your Ayurvedic doctor may advise you to continue consuming only light food for a while.
External oleation therapy may include massage, filling your mouth with the medicated fat for a few minutes (ganḍūṣa), or filling the ear with fat (karṇapūrana).
Ayurveda uses many forms of massage: Abhyanga anoints the entire body with oils or ghee, while padabhyanga focuses specifically on the feet and shirobhyanga on the head. Another form, udvartana, applies firm pressure in upward strokes to treat nervous disorders.
Some forms of external oleation can be practiced at home, too. You can try pichu by soaking a piece of cloth in warm oil and then placing it on the forehead for about 30 minutes.
This can help balance the body humors and calm the mind. It's best done in the morning and early evening. When done with padmaka (sour cherry) oil, it can relieve stiff eye muscles, dry scalp, inflammation of the face or head, and vaginal bleeding.
Kaseesadi oil (a medicated Ayurvedic oil) can be used to help with hemorrhoids. Meditate for about 10 minutes before you begin the treatment and rest for half an hour after the treatment to get the full benefits.
Ayurveda also recommends that you stay peaceful for the rest of the day. Of course, this can be a tough task, but perhaps starting your day with a pichu treatment will set you on the right track!
What Can Snehana Therapy Do For You?
In addition to preparing the body for panchakarma therapies, snehana can:
be used as an independent rejuvenating therapy
revitalize you after strenuous activities and long journeys
treat conjunctivitis (pink eye)
treat vata disorders (which are governed by the elements of air and space), including nervousness, insomnia, loss of memory, and stress
help treat dry skin
Who Should Avoid It?
Though snehana therapy has many benefits, it is not advisable for people who suffer from fever, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, or anorexia. It is also not suitable for people who are either very weak or obese.
Since an individual's constitution is an important part of determining the course of treatment in Ayurvedic medicine, it is always a good idea to check with a credible practitioner before starting any treatment.