The application of oil on the feet followed by massage is popularly known as pada abhyanga. Usually, this pada abhyanga is performed as a part of sharirabhyanga. Though it is advised in healthy people for regular practice to promote health, it is also true that pada abhyanga is an important route of drug administration in clients suffering from diseases of the feet. More details of this procedure are given in the following paragraphs.
It is obvious that all the effects of snehana in relation to the feet can also be obtained pada abhyanga. In addition, this procedure has more beneficial effects and is listed here :
Kharatva:- Clears roughness fo the soles.
Stabdhatam:- Cures stiffness or any limitation of movement Of feet.
Raukshyam:- It corrects the excessive dryness of feet.
Sputanam:- Prevents or cures crack foot.
Shrama:- Effectively relieves the strain or exhaustion of Feet.
Supti:- Cures numbness of the feet.
Balam:- Promotes the strength of feet.
Drishti:- Improves eyesight.
Saukumarya:- Feet become soft and smooth.
Gridhrasivatah:- Protects from risk of sciatica.
Marutash:- Alleviates the morbid Vata dosha.
Sirasnayu- :- Prevents the cramps of the muscles of feet,
Sankoch cures deformities.
PREPARATION OF THE CLIENT:
Morning time in an empty stomach before the bath is the ideal time of pada abhyanga for routine practice in healthy persons. This is also true if pada abhyanga is performed as a part of sharirabhyanga. Contrary to this if clients suffering from the dermatological manifestation of feet, pada abhyanga is preferred after the bath, after cleaning the lesion. Also in such clients suffering from skin diseases related to feet or if tenderness is the present application of oil is not followed by any form of massage.
Application of the oil, followed by massage by different maneuvers is the procedure of pada abhyanga and is carried out in the following steps. At the beginning of the procedure the therapist chants the svastivachana mantra or prayer.
POSITION OF THE CLIENT
The client is asked to lie down on the abhyanga table. Abhyanga is carried out in the supine, lateral and prone position of the client.
Details of the manipulation are done in the form of massage are given below.
- LINEAR MANEUVER ON THE FOOT
- LINEAR MANEUVER ON THE SIDES OF THE FOOT
- LINEAR MANEUVER ON THE DORSUM OF FOOT
- THUMB POKING ON THE SOLES
- LINEAR MANEUVER ON THE SOLES
- CIRCULAR MANEUVER ON THE PADS
- TO & FRO MANEUVER ON THE SOLES
- LINEAR & CIRCULAR MASSAGE ON TOES
- LINEAR MASSAGE ON WEB SPACES
When the pada abhyanga is performed as a part of sharirabhyanga, or else as a routine practice in a healthy person, he is asked to take rest for about 15 to 30 minutes after the pada abhyanga procedure. After rest, he may be allowed to take a hot water bath. In clients suffering from skin diseases, oil is applied after the bath and is kept in the feet for several hours, or till the next application is made. For cleaning the oil one should use Bengal gram powder.