Fomentation, or sweating, necessarily follows
oleation. Induced by heat from different sources it brings sweat
on the skin through hair follicles by opening the pores of the
skin. Due to fomentation the
agni is increased and the fatty tissue gets
mobilised. While throwing out waste as ama (toxins)
through the skin it also helps liquify aggravated doshas,
dilating all body channels for the cleansing.
It is divided into two main types, Agni
Sweda wherein heat is applied directly as steam and Anagni
Sweda where no external heat source is necessary e.g
exercises, fighting, walking, lifting heavy loads, exposure to
sunlight, stay in centrally heated rooms, putting heavy blankets
over the body etc.
Charaka has described about thirteen
types of fomentation of which some are in practice now.
Upanaha Sweda - fomentation by poultice
Ushma Sweda - steam fomentation
Nadi Sweda - local steam fomentation (steam/vapour of
medicated decoction of leaves)
Avagah Sweda - tub bath in warm decoction of medicated
Pizichili - pouring of oil on the body.
After this therapy patients are advised to go
for rest, avoid cold, take warm baths and get adequate fresh
air. Nasal therapy, enema or bloodletting can be undertaken
immediately after fomentation. Purgation should be done only
after two days of fomentation. However, care should be taken to
ensure that no part of the treatment is missed out on as that
would not only reduce efficacy but may even prove detrimental.
Once the body has been correctly and suitably
prepared, under supervision of a qualified doctor only should
the administering of Panchakarma happen. It is best to depend on
a reputed Ayurvedic nursing home and experienced Ayurvedic
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