One of the oldest medical systems, Ayurveda promises a cure to chronic illnesses and more importantly helps in the prevention of diseases. There are several therapeutic treatments available in Ayurveda, and Panchakarma is one of them.
Panchakarma is a set of five unique procedures, namely Vaman, Virechana, Basti, Nasya, and Raktamokshana. The procedure aims at removing various toxins from your body’s cell tissues, thus, detoxifying and rejuvenating your body. It is a holistic treatment, and has a role in,
- preventing diseases
- promoting health
- and, curing of diseases
This article gives a detailed insight into one of the five procedures, Nasya Karma.
Table of contents
Nasya – In Detail
Nasya therapy is one of the Panchakarma procedures used in treating the diseases situated above the clavicle (collar bone). The medicine is administered through the nostrils, and the procedure offers excellent relief for people with chronic sinusitis, headaches, migraine, throat diseases, chest congestion, epilepsy, and various eye diseases.
The Ayurvedic concept “Nasa hi sirso dwaram” literally means nasa/nostrils are the gateways to the head. And, therefore, Nasya treats diseases related to the head best.
The drugs administered through the nose or Nasya reaches the brain and eliminates the morbid doshas responsible for diseases and cures the disease.
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Classifications Of Nasya
Nasya treatment is classified into different types according to,
- the herbs used for medications such as Apamarga, Vidanga, Vasa, Nirgundi, Tulasi juice extract, Vacha, etc.
- variation in the mode of action like Navana Nasya, Avapidana Nasya, Dhmapana Nasya, Dhuma Nasya, Pratimarsha Nasya, etc.
Conditions treated by Nasya
The individuals who are suffering from the below-mentioned diseases can benefit from Nasya –
- Stiffness of head and on the sides of the neck
- Headache affecting half of the head
- Earache, Tinnitus (Perception of ringing or buzzing noise in the ears)
- Eye diseases including diseases of eyelids
- Toothache and Mouth disorders
- Hoarseness of voice, Dysarthria (Slurred speech)
- Pigmented spots on the face
- Neck and Shoulder diseases, Frozen Shoulder
- Cranial Nerve palsies
- Hair Fall and Premature greying of hair
- Premature wrinkling of the skin
- Mental disorders like Anxiety, Stress
Before starting the Nasya procedure, it is crucial to assess if an individual is fit to undergo the therapy, for, the procedure can lead to problems such as breathlessness, cough, rhinitis, headache, pain in eyes, etc. when administered to an unfit individual.
Who should not go for Nasya?
- A person who has just consumed food
- One suffering from indigestion
- An individual intoxicated due to the intake of alcohol
- A person who has taken a head bath
- Injured individual
- A person exhausted due to physical exercise
- A person suffering from fever
- Emaciated person
- Pregnant women
- A person in a state of grief
- Children below the age of 7 years
- Elderly above the age of 80 years
The procedure of Nasya Karma–
Nasya karma is not only a simple administration of medicine in nostrils; it is much more than that and hence is one of the five main procedures of Panchakarma.
Every step of the nasya treatment procedure has its importance in treating the patient; hence, the entire process has to be done by a professional with conscious care.
Note that, from the preparation of the patient to the guidelines taken after the procedure, all have significance.
Your course can vary between 7 days to 10 days, and it is essential to follow the guidelines during the entire course.
Preparing the patient
Before the procedure, the patient is advised to pass the natural urges. He/she is also advised not to consume a heavy meal.
The patient lies down on the Nasya treatment table. After lying down, Abhyanga (massage) is done on the face and the neck. Following the abhyanga (massage), Mridu Swedana (Sudation) is done with the help of a towel.
Administration of the medicine
Usually, the table used for Nasya karma is inclined to about 45 degrees. If the table is flat, the individual lies down with his/her head hanging from the head end of the table for the effective administration of medicine. A proper dose of nasal medicine is instilled in both the nostrils. The person should remain relaxed as it is not a painful or complicated procedure.
After the administration of Nasya, the patient lies down for about one minute. A gentle massage is followed by sudation with a towel on the forehead, shoulders, palms, and soles.
When Nasya medicine reaches the throat, it is advised to spat out and to avoid swallowing it.
After spitting out the medicine, the person undergoes Dhumpana, Kavala, and Gandusha. These are the follow-up procedures of Nasya treatment.
- Dhumpana– Is inhaling the smoke of medicinal herbs. This therapeutic procedure done after Nasya helps in the removal of accumulated doshas.
- Kavala and Gandusha– Procedure of holding warm water mixed with saindhav salt in the mouth followed by gargling for a certain period.
Guidelines to follow post-Nasya therapy
After Nasya Karma, the physician observes you for a period of 7 days or 10 days. You must strictly adhere to the following guidelines during the entire course.
- Avoid exposure to wind and direct sunlight
- Restrict the consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking
- Do not take a head bath
- Avoid exposure to dust and smoke
- Avoid excessive travelling
- Advised to take a light meal and lukewarm water
- Avoid day sleep
Criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the procedure
During the course period, the Ayurveda physician will continually assess you for the following aspects.
- The feeling of lightness in the head
- Sound sleep and easy awakening
- Clarity of voice
- A sense of lightness of eye
- State of happiness
- Comfortable breathing
- Clarity of mind
The criteria mentioned above reassure your physician that the therapy is effective and is providing results as expected.
Nasya karma has great relevance from ancient times to today’s era in curing many ailments and promoting health. With the help of Nasya karma, one can benefit immensely because of its effectiveness.
We believe this article would help you understand Nasya and also help you in preparing your mind to trust this ancient yet effective Ayurveda therapy.
Edited by love4wellness | Images from canva.com