The Sanskrit word avagaha means to dip. Induction of perspiration by keeping the body parts or the body up to about 12 cm above the umbilicus immersed in a decoction is called as avagaha sveda. The bath tub filled with an herbal decoction or medicated oil is used for immersing the body up to 12cm above the umbilicus. Heat is applied to the body by way of warm decoction inducing perspiration, to get all the benefits of the svedana treatment. In addition to this, the herbs used in the preparation of decoction gets absorbed into the body, through the dermis and show beneficial pharmacological actions. Therefore depending upon the therapeutic effects desired, different herbs may be used in the preparation of the decoctions.
By subjecting to avagaha sveda one can get all the beneficial effects of the svedana treatment. In addition of this, due to unique nature of immersing the body in an herbal decoction this procedure have additional therapeutic effects. These effects are exclusively due to the special procedure involved in the avagaha sveda. The same is detailed in the following lines:
- Every part of the body below the neck may be subjected to sudation procedure, as a warm liquid can reach the areas like natal cleft between the buttocks, anal region etc. These are the areas that can not be approached by the other different sudation procedures like pinda sveda.
- Persistent and uniform heating of the body parts is possible by this procedure, unlike shashtika shali pinda sveda. In the case of the shashtika shali pinda sveda, there will be much variation in the heat in the rice packs used during the procedure of sedation.
- No effort of the therapist is needed to apply heat to the body. In shashtika shali pinda sveda, four therapists simultaneously performing the svedana procedure is considered to be ideal.
- This procedure is more economical as herbal decoctions are used for applying heat unlike in pariseka sveda medicated oils are used and comparatively cost more.
- Herbs used in the preparation of the decoction will exhibit the specific pharmacological action and may be selected according to the illness or imbalance of dosha.
- The Minimall technical expertise of the therapist is needed to induce sweating, unlike shashtika shali pinda sveda.
- All the benefits of svedana procedure can be achieved by this treatment.
- Avagaha sveda relieves colic due to urolithiasis.
- By the practise of avagaha sveda, low back ache gets cured.
- This is an effective treatment in sciatica syndrome.
- Avagaha sveda is beneficial in relieving the discomforts of kyphoscoliosis.
- Avagaha sveda is very effective in relieving the pain in clients suffering from arthritis.
Application of heat by making the client sit in a bath tub filled with warm decoction for certain period is the complete procedure of avagaha sveda. Following lines reveal the full account of this procedure.
PREPARATION OF THE CLIENT
Morning hour after the evacuation of the bowel and bladder as well as brushing the teeth is the ideal time for the pariseka sveda. Subsequently, the client is allowed to do some warming up exercise. The therapist should initially chant the svastivachana hymn or prayer and then begin to treat the client.
Svedana may be carried out with prior application of the oil all over the body or even without this. If Snigdha sveda is indicated in any client then abhyanga is carried out, to begin with and is followed by subjecting the client to avagaha sveda. The client in minimum dress is made to lie down on the abhyanga table to carry out he sharirabhyanga. Contrary to this if ruksha sveda has to be carried then the client is treated with avagaha sveda without prior abhyanga therapy.
IMMERSING THE BODY IN WARM DECOCTION
Out let of the bath tub is closed with its lid initially. The warm decoction is then filled in the tube and the client is allowed to sit in the tub, with his back properly resting. The level of the decoction in the tub should be adequate to immerse the client’s body up to the level of the umbilicus. Simultaneously the therapist should observe the client for signs of proper svedana continuously. As soon as the client shows the desired effect he is then asked to come out of the tub. An alternative method is to immerse the client’s body up to few inches above the umbilicus. And simultaneously warm decoction is continuously poured on the shoulders. This procedure is continued till the client develops symptoms of proper svedana. Then the client is allowed to come out of the tub.