Kayakalpa Chikitsa or Kayakalpa Therapy is a prime treatment in Ayurveda aimed at arresting degeneration of body cells, slowing down the ageing process, and for improving body immunity as a whole. Kaya Kalpa derives its name from the Sanskrit word kaya which means body and Kalpa which means transformation.
The whole procedure lasts about 28 days, and includes intake of special ayurvedic medicines and diet and comprehensive body care programmes. Kayakalpa Chikitsa is best done for either sex before the age of 50. In fact, the complete procedure includes herbal-oil body massage, special diet, rasayana intake, snehpanam, virechanam, nasyam, shehvasti, kashaya vasti, pizhichil, njavarakizhi, tharpanam, sirovasti, kamapporanam, medicated steam bath, yoga and meditation.
This healing technique is in use since ancient times to rejuvenate and provide longevity and reverses the effects of time on body, mind and spirit. When the body is not in harmony, it causes distress and discomfort. The Kayakalpa Therapy focuses on curing degenerative diseases and in prolonging life by harmonizing mind, body and psyche through nourishment, purification and rejuvenation.
With changing urban lifestyle habits such as lack of exercises, wrong and untimely food intake, stress, bad environmental conditions and pollutions, the youth today develop several health problems including diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, spondylitis, and other psychosomatic issues. These factors lead to the need for Kayakalpa Chikitsa.
The treatment aims to return youthfulness by rejuvenating every ‘dhatu’ or ‘tissue’ in the body and by maintaining the normal level of Ojus in the body. The Kayakalpa Chikitsa is particularly beneficial for office goers, people leading busy lifestyle, business people, physically tired housewives and those under immense stress.
Some of the key benefits of Kayakalpa Chikitsa are: retardation of ageing process, improves body metabolism, revitalizes body, mind and soul, repairs worn-out tissues, improves memory, and relieves stress and strain.
Some of the procedures involved in ‘Kayakalpa Chikitsa’ are:
Abhyagam and Swedam
Involves complete body massage with specific herbal oils to nourish and revitalize the body tissues, and remove body toxins. The massage is followed by medicated steam bath (Sweda), one of the most of rejuvenating treatments in Ayurveda. The benefits include better tissue strength, whole body rejuvenation, improves blood circulation, beautifies the skin, induces good sleep, promotes vitality, pacifies vata imbalance, reduces stress and removes toxins.
It is a process in which continuous stream of warm medicated herbal oil is poured onto the forehead for 20 to 40 minutes in an oscillating manner. The procedure brings in a mental state similar to trance, which creates profound relaxation of the body and mind. It is deeply relaxing and revitalizes the central nervous system. The key benefits of the procedure include treatment of anxiety, depression, diabetic neuropathy, hypertension, strengthening of sensory organs, stress relief, pre-mature greying of hair, etc.
The procedure includes pouring of medicated oil or milk onto the body in continuous streams while also gently massaging for an hour. It is a soothing and relaxing procedure. It acts as a free radical scavenger, strengthening and deeply rejuvenating the whole body. It is applied after Abhyanga. Its benefits increases body immunity and ojas, alleviates the burning sensation in the body, improves blood circulation, heals fractures better.
Patra Pinda Sweda (Elakizhi)
A rejuvenating treatment in which fresh plants and other herbal ingredients are tied into boluses, dipped in warm medicated oil and simultaneously massaged over the body for an hour after Abhyanga. It helps in treating chronic back pain, joint stiffness and swelling, anti-ageing, sciatica, sprains and cramps.
Sashtika Sali Pinda Sweda (Navarakizhi)
An effective rejuvenation technique using a special type of rice cooked and tied into boluses and dipped in herbal decoction and warm milk and skillfully massaged all over the body for an hour after Abhyanga. It offers relief from paralytic strokes, strengthens tissues, relieves bodyache, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and debility monoplegia.
This is a treatment that is particularly helpful in weight reduction. A herbal powder is applied all over the body and deeply massaged with specific movements for an hour. It helps tone the skin and muscles, reduces obesity, imparts good complexion, revitalizes sense of touch and eliminates kapha from the body.
Some other special treatments that form part of rejuvenation therapy are Bahya Basti, Talapodhichil (Sirolepana), Siropichu, Netratarpana etc., each offering its own benefits.