There are different types of treatments performed at Dharmikam Ashram. The treatments you receive will depend on the course you decide to take, as discussed with Guruji.
Abhyanga is a full body oil massage designed to stimulate the circulatory, nervous and lymphatic systems. In this treatment, the practitioner locates and corrects inflammatory blocks on Marma points, thus restoring the natural equilibrium of the body. Abhyanga also has a healing, cleansing and revitalizing effect on the body, improving flexibility and realigning both the joints and the spine.
Anga Dhara, also known as an oil bath, is a rejuvenating experience. In this treatment, litres of warm oil are poured over the body while the practitioner performs a gentle massage. Because of this the body becomes fully relaxed, and all tension and stiffness simply washes away. An additional effect of the warm oil is the opening of the pores of the skin and the relaxation of the muscular tissues. This facilitates the body’s releasing of accumulated toxins that are simultaneously removed by the flow of oil.
Shiro Dhara, or a head bath, is a soft yet powerful treatment. Warm oil is poured from a hanging pot onto the forehead and scalp, which are massaged gently. Many toxins are released from the scalp and are carried away by the flow of the oil. This treatment is so relaxing it can often send people into a deep sleep. They awake feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
A Kizhi is a bundle of medicinal herbs, which the practitioner heats in oil and applies to the patient’s body. Often treatments use Kizhi combined with the Anga Dhara body massage for maximum effect. The hot oil activates the medicine within the Kizhi, and the heat stimulates and relaxes the body. Kizhis remove inflammatory blocks and improve circulation and flexibility in joints and muscles.
Cheriya Avi is a localised steam treatment used in combination with the Abhyanga body massage. The steam’s effect on the skin helps to relieve stiffness, thus reducing pain and swelling. Medicinal herbs are added to the water in order to maximize the benefit to the patient.
Valiya Avi is a full body steam treatment that takes place in a closed room. The practitioner adds a variety of medicinal herbs to a large clay pot of water and then boils the pot over a natural wood fire. Pipes carry the steam the patient is sitting, causing the body to sweat profusely and eliminate large amounts of toxins. At the same time, the patient inhales the medicine in the steam, making this a very powerful detoxifying treatment.
Poochu Chikilsa is also a very effective detoxifying treatment. The body of the patient is covered in a medicinal paste, which is both stimulating and invigorating. The patient is then wrapped in banana leaves and lies in the sun. The combination of the medicinal paste, banana leaves and warmth of the sun causes the pores of the skin to open. This opening allows the body to release toxins through the skin and also to absorb the medicine. All of these effects make Poochu Chikilsa an extremely purifying and healing treatment.
Virechanam benefits the patient the most at a specific stage during the treatment plan in order to remove toxins released by the stimulation of the deep tissue of the body. This medicine is a specific combination of Ayurvedic mixtures designed to purge the digestive system. The effect is to clear all accumulated toxins from the body in the form of Mala (the residue of undigested food). This treatment is a very effective detoxifying and healing process for the body, and it is especially so for those who have water retention problems in the body.