Shashti Shali Pind Swed

Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda is a form of sweat inducing massage treatment. It is used to improve muscle strength, rejuvenate and re-energize body. Here, milk and rice are mainly used.

Milk is a well known nutrient to us, so is rice. They form a part of our daily diet. But in this write-up we shall see how these 2 food products are used for treatment purposes, not when taken internally but when applied externally.

Yes! You have heard it right. Milk processed with medicinal herbs and a special type of rice are combined together to be used as an effective external therapy. This treatment is used to provide strength and nutrition to the body tissues, especially bones, muscles and other soft tissues.

The treatment is a special gift from Ayurveda to the ailing world and is called Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda in Sanskrit and Njavarakizhi in Kerala Ayurvedic practice. Though it is a sweating form of treatment, often, the term massage is associated with this treatment because sweating is used by massaging.

Shashti Shali Pind Swed According to Ayurveda

Swedana is a treatment procedure in which sweat is induced by application of heat and warmth in the form of steam or by bringing the body / body parts in contact with heated medicaments (powders, leaves, processed rice, sand etc) tied in boluses. Swedana provides relief from Stambha (stiffness and catches), Gaurava (heaviness) and Sheeta (coldness) in the body or body parts.

Swedana is said to be the best form of treatment in expelling morbid Vata and Kapha and also destroying the diseases manifested due to morbid Vata and Kapha.

Swedana is usually done after Abhyanga and or Snehana (administration of medicated oils and ghee for oral consumption in metered doses, as a pre-treatment procedure for cleansing treatments like Vamana – Therapeutic vomiting and Virechana – Therapeutic purgation).

After Swedana, the body starts sweating, we feel lighter and energetic, the cells get activated and flush the toxins away. The cellular metabolism improves and we feel light and at ease.

There are many types of Swedana as explained in Ayurvedic texts. There are about 13 types of Sagni Sweda’s (sweat inducing treatments administered by procedures involving utilisation of fire or heated materials) and 10 types of Niragni Sweda (sweat inducing treatments where in the fire or heated materials are not utilised ex. sleeping covering thick blankets until we sweat etc).