Receiving Therapies

Getting Started

First, you will meet with Rasa’s Ayurvedic doctor. Traditional Ayurvedic diagnostic techniques (pulse, tongue, eye, etc.), a general physical exam and a comprehensive question-and-answer session are relied upon to reveal your personal constitution as well as any imbalances which should be addressed. We offer all traditional Ayurvedic and Siddha Vaidya therapies at Rasa Ayurveda. Therapies are peformed per

“…all Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapies mimic the essential rhythms, salves, sound and touch inherent in nature.” — Maya Tiwari

Receiving Therapies

At Rasa Ayurveda, every body is seen both as inseparable from Mother Nature, and as a sacred creation of the Divine. Receiving therapies is an incredible opportunity for every cell to remember and re-connect with both the relative and ultimate truth.

Our human mind/body/spirit is one entity, and each aspect of our being affects the whole. Full-body and site-specific therapies each have important roles to play in healing and rejuvenation.

During your treatment programme, your progress will be closely observed and your treatment plan will be adjusted as is appropriate to ensure the best outcome.

In particular, Snehana therapy (the application of oils) is an essential tool in traditional Indian medicine. In Sanskrit, the word snehana means “oil or fat.” In Malayalam (the language of Kerala,) snehan also means “love, affection.”

Snehana therapy not only addresses physical imbalances directly through the ingredients and qualities of the treatments, it engages the senses to restore Svastha–an anchoring in one’s true nature, a state of happiness and wellbeing.

When copious amounts of warm oil are applied to the body with the correct technique and attitude, the body is offered nurturing thru the feeling, the smell, the sound, sight (and sometimes even the taste!) of the therapy.


Siddha Massage – (Full body treatment)
Finished with Svedhana (steam) and Sandalwood Tea

In Siddha Massage, the circular motion of the therapist’s hand is said to have been inspired by the way a mother cow licks her calf as she encourages him to thrive. Covering the entire body with clockwise circles virtually guarantees that every muscle fiber receives cross-stimulation from every angle, which artificially works each muscle to release cellular toxins. More importantly, the circular motion charges the subtle electrical impulses that move thru every living cell, boosting optimal cellular, hormonal and general physiological functioning.

The joints are warmed, loosened and gently stretched. The face and head are given ample attention as well.

Siddha Massage is ideal for people who want better circulation, less stiffness, more joy and overall wellbeing. Many enjoy increased mobility, elevated mood, a boost in vitality, excellent sleep and a welcome freedom from muscle tension and joint pain after treatment. (People recovering from serious injury, by-pass surgery, certain skin conditions, acute arthritis or other painful conditions, who are pregnant or under age 13 are not good candidates for Siddha Massage. A 3-month waiting period and physician’s clearance after a car accident, injury or major surgery is advised.)

Mukutu oil (red oil) is the usual oil of choice for this therapy.


Abhyanga (Full body oil massage to correct the flow of Vata)
Finished with Svedhana (steam) and Sandalwood Tea

Abhyanga is the traditional Ayurvedic full-body oil application treatment. Soothing, nurturing and relaxing, circular motions on the joints loosen lodged toxins, while long strokes on the limbs move doshic excesses toward the digestive tract.

Oil is customized to balance the doshas of the individual and season.


clean borderPizhichil (Full body oil rejuvenation therapy)
Warm medicated oil specific to each patient is channeled in fine, controlled streams along the main energy lines of the body.

Pizhichil is deeply rejuvenating. This therapy calms and “reconnects” the nervous system, nourishes the heart and supports emotional healing by integrating the pranas of mind and body.


kayakizhiKaya Rejuvenation Treatment (Ela Kizhi)
Specialized application of fresh herb-filled pouches infused with hot medicinal oil.

Traditionally this treatment is applied to those with areas of stiffness, inflammation, autoimmune conditions and those who want to promote longevity. Excellent for most Vata disorders.


10navaraNavarakizhi (Full body rice pouch therapy)
Traditionally this treatment is applied to calm pitta, cool rakta, reduce inflammation, promote the building of high-quality tissues and beautify the skin. Excellent for many Pitta disorders.

Navarakizhi involves a specialized application to the body using hand-made pouches filled with Navara rice cooked with fresh-herbs and steeped in a saffron or herbal milk infusion.


Svedhana (Steam Therapy)
Steam therapy is a usual follow-up addition to Siddha Massage or Abhyanga. Svedhana draws excess Pitta out of the body, encourages the balanced flow of Vata thru the proper channels, and can reduce excess Kapha as well.


therapiesfadeShirovasti (Oil bath for the Head)
Shirovasti is recommended for chronic insomnia, anxiety, depression and other brain-related imbalances, as well as to treat eye stress, some kinds of headaches, facial wrinkles, Bells palsy, some sinus conditions and certain neurological disorders affecting the senses.

Shirovasti is performed with the application of a leather cap applied to the head. Warm herbally-infused medicated oil is poured into this therapeutic crown and the head is supported while the oil is held for a prescribed period of time.


10Shirodhara8Shirodhara (Head massage and oil flow over forehead)
Shirodhara balances such conditions such as insomnia, stress and headaches. Although it’s a relatively short treatment, an experience of timelessness is a common result. The affect of Shirodhara is indescribable, but recipients often report an effortless recognition of their true nature as pure consciousness.

Shirodhara is a form of Ayurvedic snehana therapy in which a steady stream of warm oil flows from a vessel in specific patterns over the forehead. Sesame oil is the most commonly used base, often infused with mind-calming herbs such as brahmi (gotu kola), bhringraj, skullcap and others. Depending on the constitution (prakruti) and current state (vikruti) of the individual, and the season of the year, coconut, sunflower and other oils are sometimes used, as well as herbal infusions in water, milk and buttermilk.

Deeply stress-relieving, Shirodhara pacifies Vata while nourishing and calming the nervous system. Shirodhara cleanses the mind and senses of impressions, thereby improving mental clarity and cognition.

A traditional treatment for insomnia, memory loss, hormonal imbalance, headaches, mental tension (anxiety, worry, stress) and certain skin diseases, Shirodhara has also been reported as effective for people seeking to balance jet lag, exhaustion, emotional imbalance, hypertension, asthma, TMJ, ADHD, and various disorders of the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose and nervous system.

Ayurvedic texts state that Shirodhara activates the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, opens the 6th and 7th chakras, heightens the senses and increases faith, intuition and overall spiritual awareness.


Thallam (herb & coconut milk scalp pack)
Thallam is incredibly effective in relieving symptoms of excess heat from the upper body, face, eyes and mind. It’s a helpful treatment for women with hot flashes, heated or bloodshot eyes, and “hot” emotions such as irritability.

After a brief head massage, a special herbal blend is simmered in coconut water, cooled and systematically applied to cover the scalp. The head is wrapped in cotton cloth and the power of the herbs is given time to penetrate the scalp area, rich in blood flow and nerve endings. A natural, calm meditation is often experience immediately.


Netra Basti (eye rejuvenation)
In a print and screen-saturated culture, we strongly “eye”-dentify with our sense of sight. Computer work, night driving, video watching, reading and even general busy-ness can stress our eyes, diminishing their function.

Netra Basti therapy was designed by the ancients to restore relaxation and focus to the eyes. Many also experience a sense of peace and expansion to the spirit during and after the therapy. First, the eyes are bathed to remove make-up or other impurities, preparing them for treatment. Dough dams are secured around the eyes, then warm, medicated ghee is slowly poured into the dams to flood the eye area, lubricating the eyes and encouraging a deep releasing of the muscles in and around the “windows of the soul.”


Nasya (sinus & nasal rejuvenation)
Sinus problems are common, often due to digestive overwhelm or the inappropriate immune reactions that can result from long-term digestive abuse. Topical treatment can be effective in restoring clear breathing and reducing headaches or other problems caused by sinus challenges.

After a head, neck and face massage, steam is applied to the sinus area to “ripen” the site for receiving treatment. Then warm, herbal oil is applied through each nostril while the head is supported in position to absorb the treatment.


Karana Purana (ear oiling)
The ears are a main site of Vata, a place we are more vulnerable to the affects of excess Vata in our environment. Bathing the ears in warm oil is calming and protective to the nervous system. Especially recommended during Vata season, a time of regular exposure to cold and wind.


Hrydaya Basti (heart & thymus support) best in series of 3, 5, 7
The 4th chakra is the fulcrum of our seven chakra spiritual/emotional structure. It’s the heart chakra that allows integration and balance between our higher, ethereal centers, and our lower, earthy zones. It’s the heart chakra that opens us to making our lives reflect our deepest values.

Hrydaya basti floods the heart and thymus area in warm oil, held in place with a dough dam. Indicated for women recovering from heart attacks or surgery, or anyone ready to emerge and heal from a period of feeling “broken-hearted.”


Kati Basti (low back support) best in series of 3, 5, 7
The lower back is a site of holding of much lower chakra energy. Muscle spasm and general soreness, stiffness, weak cartilage and bones and emotional holding related to the 1st and 2nd chakras are said to be alleviated with this therapy.

Kati basti floods the lower back area with warm oil, held in place with a dough dam. This is an ideal follow up treatment to Siddha Massage to further restore flexibility and energy flow.


Ginger Compress (reproductive support)
Whatever our life stage, our reproductive health is considered a prime indicator of our overall health in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, Shukra Dhatu (reproductive tissue) is the result of the healthy formation and functioning of all the other tissues in the body.

Ginger Compress can be used as a component in a group of therapies to facilitate regular menstrual flow and fertility, treat cramps or other congestion. After application of a protective oil, the fresh, pungent and sattvic qualities of fresh ginger are infused into hot water and applied in compress form to the lower back, repeatedly.


Adrenal Dam (adrenal support)
Love a good adrenaline rush? Your body doesn’t – at least not if it lasts longer than it takes to outrun a lion, or if you make it a habit to “run on fumes.” The adrenal glands play a significant role in supporting our daily vitality, and contribute to adequate estrogen levels, especially during and after menopause. Subject to typical modern living, it’s natural for the adrenals to need soothing and nourishment to restore themselves.

Adrenal Dam uses a dough dam to hold warm, oil over the adrenal area, easing the demand on adrenal resources and inducing deep relaxation.


Thyroid Flow (thyroid support) best in series of 3, 5, 7
At the 5th, throat chakra, the regular functioning of the thyroid gland is essential to the overall balance of our physical and mental health.

Similar to shirodhara, a warm stream of oil flows over the thyroid area, nourishing and stimulating the thyroid. In conjunction with specific yoga practices this therapy is said to encourage healthy, natural gland activity.


red oilA note on the Use of Oils in Ayurveda and Siddha Therapies:

Snehana therapy (the application of oils) is an essential tool in traditional Indian healing. In Sanskrit, the word snehana means “oil or fat.” In Malayalam too, Snehan means “love, affection.”

Our human mind/body/spirit is one entity, and each aspect of our being affects the whole. Snehana therapy not only addresses physical imbalances directly through the ingredients and qualities of the treatments, it engages the senses to restore Svastha–an anchoring in one’s true nature, a state of happiness and wellbeing.

When copious amounts of warm oil are applied to the body thru Ayurvedic therapies, the body is offered nurturing thru the feeling, the smell, the sound, sight (and sometimes even the taste!) of the therapy.

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