Many special treatments prescribed in the ancient medical classics for some of the most distressing diseases are currently practised only in Kerala, a state in the southern part of India.
These treatments are specially effective in paralysis, rheumatism, arthritis, spondylosis, and other psychosomatic diseases. The classical therapies are also made use of, for devising new treatment modalities to deal with several serious ailments of the modern man such as parkinsonism, motor neuron diseases, cancer etc. The major treatments provided at the hospital are: Snehapanam Dhara (Oordhwanga Dhara & Sarvanga Dhara), Pizhichil, Navarakkizhi, Sirovasti, Pichu and Sirolepa. Besides these specialised methods, the hospital offers Panchakarma treatments like Kashayavasthy, Snehavasthy, Nasyam, Virechanam and Raktamoksham.
The patient is made to lie on a wooden Droni (a specially designed wooden plank). Then pieces of linen dipped in comfortably warm medicated oil are squeezed over the patient’s body from a specific height. When the warm oil flows and spreads over the body, four masseurs sitting on either side give the patient a gentle massage . This is effective in diseases connected with the Vata Dosha and its allied manifestations like spondylosis, hemiplegia, Arhtritis, back pain, muscular dystrophy etc.. This is done only on the body below the neck and the duration can be fixed from one to one and a half hours depending upon the strength of the patient.
The patient is advised to lie on a special wooden droni with his neck and head comfortably placed. Then a non-stop continuous stream of the prescribed liquid medicine is gently poured on his forehead from a prescribed height through a specially devised apparatus called Dhara Chatti for a period of one to one and a half hours. Dhara is occassionally administered on whole body in special cases.
Dhara is considered to be effective for several diseases like stress related disorders, sleeplessness and many degenerated brain disorders. Different liquid mediums are used in Dhara for different diseases. Medicated oils, milk, tender coconut water and decoctions of herb extracts are some of the fluids used.
Medicated oil is first applied liberally over the patient’s body. Then the body is massaged with small linen bags filled with cooked Navara rice. The rice is cooked by boiling it in cow’s milk along with suitable. The linen bags filled with rice are dipped in the same mixture kept boiling over a gentle flame and applied by masseurs at a comfortable temperature over the whole body of the patient.
Navarakkizhi is a special massage , which rejuvenates the body. It is very effective in degenerative muscle diseases like poliomyelitis muscular atrophy etc. It is more effective when done immediately after Pizhichil treatment . The course of treatment can last for 14 or 21 days.
The treatment consists of keeping the prescribed medicated oil at a bearable temperature in a leather cap fitted around the head of the patient.The oil is filled in the cap up to a level of one finger above the crown of the head.The duration of treatment is between one and one and half hours.
Sirovasti is an important procedure which is found to be very effective in trigiminal neuralgia, hemicrania, optic atrophy, otalgia, deafness, facial paralysis and in all diseases affecting cranial nerves . Generally the course of treatment is only seven days at a stretch.