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SHASTIKA PINDA SWEDA (NAVARAKIZHI)

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Navarakkizhi, Kerala’s unique contribution to Ayurveda, involves fomentation of the body with a bolus of cooked rice. Shastika or particular kind of rice known for its nutritional value, is cooked in milk and a herbal decoction made of kurumthotti (Sida rhombifolia) . Four boluses are made of this cooked rice and tied up in linen bags.

The fomentation begins with the patients sitting upright on the droni with legs outstretched . The masseurs on either side perform the fomentation process in an identical manner. The movement of the hands during both fomentation and massage should always be downwards.

The fomentation continues with the patient on his/her back on the droni. There is also another attendant who supplies new kizhis, which are kept ready in a decotion of warm milk. It is very important to keep the kizhis at a constant temperature. The treatment is over once fomentation has been carried out in all the seven standard positions.

In some cases, one of the three supine position may be avoided and the patient is made to lie face down. After the specified duration of treatment, the paste is wiped off with palm leaf scrapers, a suitable type of oil is applied all over the body before the bath.