Apart from the many enthusiastic reports appearing from mainstream media outlets covering stories about the now highly popularized Ayurveda practice of oil pulling, (Kavala) with the astonishing claim that swishing with raw coconut oil can cure nearly 30 systemic diseases, the ancient Ayurvedic texts have also described other medical uses for herbal and organic oils as used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine which can open and invigorate the senses, provide mental clarity, stabilize mood, improve memory, balance the mind, and effectively treat a vast host of various infectious and chronic conditions.
Over the 15 plus years I’ve been a practicing Ayurveda therapist, I’ve often expressed and affirmed that good health is decidedly dependent upon our ability to wholly assimilate and metabolize all of life’s aspects.
We are constantly taking in sensory impressions through the use of our five sense organs – the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. In Ayurveda, the impressions we receive and assimilate from our sensory organs are considered key to health. Our sensory impressions determine the quality of our thoughts and emotions. Our senses are the doors through which we take in and interact with the world around us.
By using these ancient yet exceptionally effective techniques to maintain and improve them, the better we’ll be able to use our cognitive abilities, balance and heal ourselves and reap greater physical and emotional well-being.
Oil Pulling Treatment
Kavala is a simple yet rejuvenating treatment, with continuous treatment the senses are invigorated and enhanced to maintain clarity. It is through the senses that we take in the world around us; the regular practice of kavala cultivates purity of the senses and freshness of mind, allowing us sharper cognitive abilities.
Therapeutic Purposes: This practice is to loosen any toxic residual deposits along the throat passage and in the mouth.
Condition Examples: Bad breath, dulled senses, exhaustion, dry skin, anorexia, loss of taste, vision impairment, sore throat, and other related imbalances.
Treatment: While sitting upright, clear the mind of any stressful thoughts. A comfortable amount of warmed unprocessed sesame or coconut oil is in the mouth and gargled to stimulate and soothe the sense organs, refresh breath, and invigorate the mind.
- Vastly improved breath
- Invigorated senses
- Maintenance of mental clarity
Ayurveda Ear Treatment
Karana purana is the practice of gently and slowly pouring warm, herbal oil into the ears to lubricate and strengthen the fine filament fibers within the ear canal which can sharpen hearing while removing any alien contaminants.
Karana purana creates a deep inner stillness.
Therapeutic Purposes: This treatment is customarily performed annually during autumn.
Conditions: Earaches, hearing loss, nervousness, headaches, gum disease, giddiness, excessive earwax, insomnia, jaw pain, neck, head and general bodily aches and pains.
Treatment: Treatments commence with an ear and head massage. The ear is then soothingly filled with 3-10 drops of warm herbal oil.
- Improved hearing
- Stimulates all sense organs
- Creates calms in the mind
Nasya Ayurveda nasal treatments
Nasya refers to a variety of techniques whereby the senses are cleansed and rejuvenated, and offers relief from common environmental allergies, sinus and nasal problems as well as defends from colds and flu. by opening the channels of the head and treating the brain by stimulating the cranial system with positive and healthy impressions.
Nasya is most effective in when practiced in conjunction with netra tarpana (eye treatment) and karna purana (ear treatment).
Therapeutic Purposes: The primary purpose is to promote brain function and to effect improve in mind-body function. All conditions can be treated from the collarbone up with nasya treatment therapy.
Conditions: Dry, itchy, and watery eyes, sinus congestion, cold, chronic and acute sinusitis, environmental allergies, gum disease, migraine headaches, dizziness, loss of sense of smell and more.
Treatment: Nasya treatments are administered according to the unique needs of the client.
To open the cranial systemic channels to dislodge accumulated congestion and loosen the tissues, gently massage the neck, face and head. The internal channels are further opened by administering an herbal steam inhalation. This loosens any congestion with the nasal passages so raw organic sesame or coconut oil may be gently administered into the nose cavity.
- Improved breathing
- Positively stimulates brain
- Improved sleep
- Irrigate and cleanse the sinuses
- Improved resilience to allergens and illnesses
A rejuvenating treatment for stillness of mind
Shirodhara, the icon of Ayurveda in America often conjures images of its soothing and luxurious application of various herbal and organic oils to the body to acutely relax the nervous system, melt away stress, and achieve a profoundly meditative state.
Shirodhara, with continued treatment can achieve even greater states of stillness wherein even deeper psychological healing occurs.
Therapeutic Purposes: This treatment seeks to balance any disparity or imbalance of the sense organs and head. It is generally a treatment for toning the nervous system and stilling the mind.
Conditions: Anxiety, nervousness, manic depression, fatigue, mental exhaustion, panic attacks, burning sensation in head and body, excess sweating, dim vision, blood disorders, indigestion, weak digestion, loss of appetite, repulsion to food, anorexia, and so on.
Treatment: A warm stream of herbal oil is gently and slowly poured on the client’s forehead. The soothing oil rhythmically streamed directly onto the point between the eyebrows (third eye) onto the pituitary gland, and the entire forehead and vital points invigorates the senses and awakens higher transformation.
Benefits: The benefits of Shirodhara are increased with continued treatments.
- Profoundly relaxes nervous system
- Improved ability in handling stress
- Balanced mind
- Stability of mood
- Relaxes body
- Improved memory
- Nourishes scalp and hair
- Encourages restorative sleep
In Ayurveda any therapeutic treatment is held to be very individualistic, varying with each person’s individual constitution (prakriti), as well on changes resulting from solar, lunar and zodiacal influences (kala-parinama).
Ayurveda serves as a pathway back to optimal health achieved through the balancing of the five sense treatments with the individual and nature determining the best possible health care.
Five Sense Therapies