Our muscles and bony structure
Musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, cervical spondylosis, frozen shoulder, joint stiffness, sprains and cramps etc are the nasty guests of our lives. They are the cause of pain and agony that leads to distressful routines. Elakizhi or better called as patra pinda potli sweda is an external therapeutic procedure suggested in ayurveda for effective management of pain. It strengthens the nerves, muscles and tissues, reduces stiffness and inflammation, improves blood circulation on the affected area and also reduces the degenerative process.
Before beginning the procedure we need to make bolus of specific leafs i.e eranda (castor), arka (sodom), dhatura (jimsonweed), nirgundi (five-leaved chaste tree), sigru (drumstick), varuna (crataeva nurvala), vasa (malabar nut) and methika (fenugreek). Leaves are chopped and fried in the medicated oil along with other ingredients like pieces of lemon, gratings of coconut etc. Due care should be taken to prevent charring of the leaves and after approximately 10-15 mins of frying bolus with cotton cloth is prepared.
Then as a first step patient is given massage with medicated oil on the site of pain. On the other side medicated oil is kept on the mild flame. After massaging for 5-10 mins, the bolus prepared are dipped into the medicated oil kept on flame, squeezed against the pan and rapidly hit against the sight of pain with light pressure. Every time the therapist should ensure the temperature of the bolus by placing it over their dorsum of hand to ensure the intensity of heat is bearable. It is done for around half an hour and afterwards the site is cleaned with towel soaked in warm water.