Padaghata Treatment: Deep Tissue Massage With Feet

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
When I was a kid, my paternal uncle used to ask me to climb up over his back and just walk up and down the back, as he slept on his tummy. I used to have fun doing it without thinking much about it. He used to get it done on a regular basis. As I walked up and down his back, he used to count numbers from 1 to 100. 

The condition was that I have to do it until he counted 100. Sometimes he even asked me to count the numbers after completing each circle. At the end of 100 cycles I used to be gifted with a chocolate. Getting a chocolate every now and then is a fun during childhood days isn’t it?

No matter how and from where they come. This procedure was called as ‘Bennu Tuliyuvudu’ meaning stamping over the back in the local language Kannada (official language of Karnataka state in Southern India).

During the course of my Ayurvedic studies, I could analyze why my uncle was eagerly waiting for ‘a walk of 100 rounds’ on his back from my tiny feet. It might have been out of love towards me, or his method of rewarding a chocolate but the fact was that he loved his back.

He was a mechanical engineer working in a factory. By the end of the day his back would have got tired due to continuous manual work. When I walked over his back, he felt relieved from the aches. Now I understand that I was the cheapest masseur at that time and was dealt for a small chocolate!!

Ashiatsu Padaghata Massage with feet1

Have you ever taken a walk on your back?
If not, try getting it from someone who could do as cautiously and as lovingly as I used to do it for my uncle. If you don’t find anyone, well you could visit an Ayurvedic hospital where there are trained masseurs doing the walk on the back for you, in a technical and therapeutically apt way.

And why do Ayurvedic people do this? Because this is one of the procedures included in Ayurveda treatments which will provide you with a good relief from deep seated muscle and bone pains, soothes nerves and controls Vayu. It will provide you with all the benefits of Abhyanga (therapeutic oil massage) with added effect.

This ‘walk on the back’ is called Padaghata or Paadaaghaata in Ayurvedic (Sanskrit) language. The treatment is not only done on your back but also on your limbs.

Padaghata, synonyms

What is Padaghata?
The word Padaghata is made up of 2 terms – Pada meaning foot or feet, Aghata meaning pressing or imparting pressure (causing a delicate and pleasurable pain by pressing the body parts especially the painful back and limbs with foot).

Synonyms:
Ashiatsu massage
Gliding feet massage.

Thus Padaghata is a treatment procedure where in the patient afflicted with back pain or limb pain due to neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disorders is made to lie on the tummy (face downwards) after being subjected to Abhyanga (herbal oil massage) and the afflicted parts pressed gradually with the foot (of the masseur) in a gentle way for a fixed duration of time.

Padaghata is almost done on the similar lines of Abhyanga. The difference is that Abhyanga is done with the help of hands but Padaghata is done with foot / feet. This is preferred when deep tissue massage is needed and the pressure imparted by Abhyanga might not suffice to relieve the painful conditions. It is often clubbed with Abhyanga or Samvahana (caressing after application of medicated herbal oils or light massage without application of much pressure).

वातघ्न तैलैः अभ्यङ्ग मूर्ध्नि तैल विमर्दनम्।
नियुद्धम् कुशलैः सार्ध पादाघातं च युक्तितः॥(अ.हृ.सू.३/१०)
Vataghna tailaihi abhyanga moordhni taila vimardanam
Niyuddham kushalaihi saardha paadaaghaatam cha yuktitaha (Ref – Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra 3/10)

Vagbhata Acharya (ancient Ayurveda teacher) emphasises doing Padaghata in the context of Ritucharya (Rutucharya) – season-wise-regimens. Padaghata is specifically included in Hemanta Rutucharya (regimens to be followed in spring season).

Padaghata should be done after having conducted Abhyanga (massage) with Vata alleviating oils, Shiro Abhyanga (head massage with herbal oils) and Vimardana (tapping of body with fists or pressure / deep tissue massage).

This probably suggests the chronology. Firstly Abhyanga of the body and head is done. Followed by Abhyanga, Vimardana is done where in more pressure is imparted while conducting the procedure, After Vimardana, Padaghata is conducted. In Padaghata the pressure applied by the foot of the masseur over the body of the patient will be more and deeper in comparison to Vimardana. The idea is to slowly enhance the pressure in a synchronized way.

व्यायाम स्विन्न गात्रस्य पद्भ्यां उद्वर्तितस्य।
व्याधयओ न उपसर्पति सिंह क्षुद्र मृगा इव॥(सु.चि.२४/४०)
पद्भ्यां उद्वर्तितस्य इति पादाभ्यां बहु कृत मर्दनस्य इति अर्थं॥(डल्हण)
Vyaayaama swinna gaatrasya padbhyaam udvartitasya
Vyaadhao na upasarpati simha kshudra mrugaa iva (Ref – Sushruta Chikitsa 24/40)
Padbhyaam udvartitasya iti paadaabhyaam bahu kruta mardanasya iti artham (Dalhana on Sushruta Chikitsa 24/40)
In the context of Dinacharya (daily regimen) Acharya Sushruta (ancient Ayurveda teacher) tells that one should on a daily basis take Abhyanga (massage with herbal oils). After having undergone Abhyanga, he or she should exercise to half their capacity.

When he or she starts sweating after exercise, they should undergo massage given by the foot of the masseur i.e. Padaghata. This means to tell that the masseur should massage the body of the person with his foot. By doing so the diseases will never come within our proximity i.e. we would have shielded or developed unparalleled immunity to various diseases.

Giving a simily, Sushruta tells that just like a deer doesn’t trespass in the vicinity of a powerful lion, diseases will not trespass in the vicinity of a person who undergoes Padaghata on a daily basis.

This explanation clarifies that Padaghata shall also be done on a daily basis just as Abhyanga is done. According to Sushruta’s explanation, we are doing these methods in a chronology –
Snehana or application of medicated oils over the body – Abhyanga or massage with herbal oils especially Vata alleviating oils is the common form of Snehana which is used in daily regimen.

Swedana – sweating therapy, there are many types of sweating therapies where in the heat is provided to the body after applying the oil or conducting massage. When the fire is included in sweating therapies they are called Sagni Sweda. When fire is not involved they are called Niragni Sweda. Vyayama or exercise is a type of Niragni Sweda where we don’t use fire to provide the heat so as to produce sweating. But the exercise itself produces sweating naturally.

Snehana (Abhyanga in this context) and Swedana (Vyayama in this context) not only relieve one from pains and catches, they are highly effective and treatment of choice in controlling or expelling the morbid or vitiated Vata.

Padaghata – Exercise, by producing sweat and burning calories will once again disturb the Vata. To take control of this Vayu, Padaghata is probably indicated at the end of exercises. As said, it is a procedure which is almost similar to Abhyanga, but the massage is done not with hands but with the feet (of the masseurs).

Indications

In which conditions is Padaghata used?
Padaghata is usually preferred in all painful conditions of the back wherein deep tissue massage is needed. It is mainly administered in stubborn and long standing musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders to provide relief from pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness (catch). It is more effective when combined skilfully with other treatments like Abhyanga (massage with herbal oils), Kati Vasti (oil pooling for low back pains), Prishta Vasti (oil pooling for spinal disorders) etc.

Abhyanga is usually done as a pre-treatment procedure. Padaghata done after giving Abhyanga, is highly effective in relieving long-standing pains and catches in the muscles, bones, soft tissues and bones of the back. It also effectively soothes the nerves and helps in enhancing blood circulation. Padaghata also makes the back and limbs strong and fit.

Padaghata is used in the treatment of –
Osteoarthritis (Sandhigata Vata) of the back / Spondylosis – Osteo means bones and Arthritis means painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Osteoarthritis is the common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over a period of time i.e. it results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. OA can affect and damage any joint in the body.

The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness in the joints of the back along with decreased range of movements. It includes upper and lower back.

Chronic stages of RA (Jeerna or pravruddha Amavata) – Padaghata can be done in chronic conditions of RA and or muscular rheumatism where the inflammation has subsided but pain has been left over. According to Ayurveda, in early or acute conditions of Amavata or Rheumatoid arthritis, pain is predominantly caused due to Ama (metabolic toxins left over in the cells due to weak digestion, cause cellular blocks due to sticky nature and prevents supply of nutrition).

Initially Ama is expelled by treatments like Dhanyamla Dhara (sour liquid stream pouring) or Valuka Sweda (sand bolus fomentation) or Churna Pinda Sweda (herbal powder bolus fomentation). In the later stages, Padaghata is administered to remove chronic, deep-seated pains. Padaghata is usually preferred in chronic RA affecting upper and lower backs.

Fibromyalgia – It is a rheumatic condition characterized by muscular or musculoskeletal pain with stiffness and localized tenderness at specific points on the body

Sciatica (Gridhrasi) – Pain affecting the back, hip and outer side of the leg caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back is called Sciatica. It happens due to the effect of degeneration of intervertebral disc or discs causing compression on the Sciatic nerve.

Care should be taken in this condition and IVDP (Intervertebral disc protrusion or prolapsed) and Spondylolisthesis (forward displacement of a vertebra) should be ruled out. It should be carried out by expert masseurs and preferred only if there are no better alternatives.

Low back pain or Lumbago (Lumbar spondylosis)
Musculo-skeletal pains as in myalgia and or fibromyalgia (Mamsagata Vata) can be effectively handled by Padaghata.
Sacroiliac Joint Syndrome or Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Ankylosing Spondylitis – It is a form of arthritis which primarily affects the spine. It causes severe inflammation of the vertebrae that might eventually lead to chronic pain and disability. The disease will cause pain and stiffness in other parts of your body. Other large joints such as the shoulders, hips and knees can be involved as well.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica – It is an inflammatory disorder that causes pain and stiffness in various parts of the body. It commonly affects neck, shoulders, arms, thighs and hips.

Spinal stenosis – It is a condition in which the spinal column (backbone or spine) narrows and starts compressing the spinal cord. It is a gradual process. If the narrowing is minimal, no symptoms will occur. Too much narrowing can compress the nerves and cause problems. The symptoms include leg or arm weakness, lower back pain while standing or walking, numbness in legs or buttocks and balance problems.

Guillain Barre Syndrome – It is a rare condition in which your immune system attacks your nerves leading to muscle weakness and even paralysis. There is a rapid onset of muscle weakness as a result of damage of the peripheral nervous system

Paralysis – It is the loss of muscle function in part of your body (one or more muscles). It can be accompanied by a loss of feeling (sensory loss) in the affected area if there is sensory damage as well as motor. It happens when something wrong happens with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles.

It can be complete or partial, can occur on one or both sides of your body. (Hemiplegia – paralysis of one side, Diplegia – Paralysis affecting symmetrical parts of the body, Facial paralysis etc)

Hemiparesis – It is the weakness of the entire left or right side of the body.

Poliomyelitis – It is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Children younger than 5 years are the victims. (The disease has been largely eradicated)

Paraplegia – It describes complete or incomplete paralysis affecting the legs and possible also the trunk, but not the arms. It is usually caused by spinal cord injury or a congenital condition such as spina-bifida that affects the neural elements of the spinal canal.

Spina bifida (occulta) – It is a birth defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. It presents with leg weakness and paralysis, club foot, hip dislocation, bladder and bowel control problems etc

Coccydynia – Tail bone pain
Pains and catches in the joints and spine (especially low back) due to bad postures
Neuromuscular diseases and various musculoskeletal disorders

Note – In all the above said conditions, Padaghata should be carried out after doing Abhyanga (massage with medicated oils). Abhyanga and Padaghata forms a superb combo in relieving deep seated and chronic pain, stiffness and swelling caused due to many conditions. Padaghata is highly effective both in musculoskeletal and neuro-muscular diseases.

Procedure

How is Padaghata done?
Padaghata is done in the below said method –

Purvakarma

Purvakarma (Pre-treatment procedures): This includes –
Preparation of the patient:
The patient is thoroughly examined. The Prakriti (basic constitution) and Vikriti (details of morbidity) are documented in detail. The disease is also examined. After careful assessment, it is decided if Padaghata is suitable to the disease and diseased or not.

The treatment line-up, materials and medicines which need to be used are enlisted. If the diseases for which Padaghata is being done are associated with ama, as evident with signs and symptoms of ama treatments like Dhanyamla dhara, Churna Pinda Sweda (Podikhizhi) and Valuka Sweda are done.

Preparation for the treatment:
Materials needed for the treatment are collected beforehand. They are:
For Abhyanga (massage) – Abhyanga is mandatory before Padaghata though some people consider doing Padaghata without using oil over the body. Abhyanga and Padaghata when combined will give an added effect in providing pain relief and relaxation.

The combination also takes control over morbid Vayu or Vata which is often responsible for causation of painful conditions in the body. Taila (medicated oil), Ghee (medicated ghee) or both suitable to the disease and diseased are collected and stored beforehand. Some effective oils used for Abhyanga are
Vishagarbha Taila
Kottamchukkadi Taila
Murivenna
Mahanarayana Taila
Ksheerabala Tailam
Mahamasha tailam
Balashwagandhadi Tailam
Ashwagandhabalalakshadi Tailam
Sahacharadi tailam
Pinda tailam
Tiktaka ghritam
Guggulutiktaka ghritam
Tila taila (sesame oil) etc

Materials needed to conduct pre-treatment procedures (when needed) like –
Dhanyamla (fermented medical liquid) – for Dhanyamla Dhara or Kanji Dhara (stream pouring of fermented liquids all over the body)
Churna’s (herbal powders) – for Churna Pinda Sweda (Powder bolus fomentation) and or Udwarthanam (reverse herbal powder massage, massage being done from below upwards)
Valuka (sterile and uncontaminated sand) – for Valuka Sweda (Sand bolus fomentation)
Sterile clothes for preparing bolus
Threads (thick and strong) to tie the boluses
Pans – for frying the powders and or sand
Stove – for heating things

Materials needed for Padhaghata –
Padaghata Droni – A table of the dimension of accommodating a human body, made up of woods of herbal plants is needed. This table will have elevated ends in all corners. The table would not have legs; rather it is placed directly on the floor. It would have tapered openings at both head and foot end.

This is for flushing off the water used to clean the table after the treatment procedure has been completed. Alternatively a hard mattress covered with washable sheet shall be used. A pillow shall be given for head rest in either case.

2 – 4 thick ropes – These ropes are tied to the ceiling bars of the roof or metal or wooden rods constructed from end-to-end from one wall to the other such that they are parallel to the Padaghata table. At the lower ends, the ropes have hand grips for the masseurs to hold. If 2 masseurs are conducting the treatment, 2 ropes are used. If 4 masseurs are conducting the treatment 4 ropes and if only one masseur is doing Padaghata treatment, only 1 rope is used.

Medicines for Nitya Virechana – During the treatment a daily dose of purgative is needed to throw away the toxins released inside the body during the treatment procedure. This will not only detoxify the body but also helps in relieving the pain and stiffness, modify the disease and expel morbid Vata and Pitta.

These medicated oils / ghee / decoctions used during treatment would have been processed with disease modifying medicines and hence are useful in alleviating inflammatory, musculoskeletal, neurological, neuromuscular and degenerative diseases of the back and limbs.

The below said medicines are generally used for Nitya Virechana –
Gandharvahastadi Kashayam
Gandharvahastadi Eranda Tailam
Nimbamritadi Eranda Tailam
Trivrit Leham etc

Medicines for Virechana and Vasti – During or before Padaghata Krama Virechana i.e. purgation medicines given after administration of Snehana (oral metered doses of medicated ghee or oil in increasing order until saturation is attained) and Abhyanga-Swedana (herbal oil massage and sweating treatment) is also preferred.

The same medicines mentioned above in Krama Virechana can be used. Vasti or enemas with medicated oils / ghee (anuvasana vasti or matra vasti) and or decoctions (Kashaya or asthapana Vasti) is given to control and expel morbid Vayu.

Best Vasti’s to be considered –
Mustadi Yapana Vasti
Erandamuladi Vasti
Dashamula Vasti
Raja Yapana Vasti

Anuvasana and or Matra Vasti with –
Dhanwantara Tailam,
Mahanarayana Tailam,
Guggulutiktakam Ghritam,
Dhanwantaram Mezhupakam,
Sahacharadi Taila,
Ksheerabala Tailam,
Mahamasha Tailam etc

Medicines needed to conduct Virechana (therapeutic purgation) or Vasti (therapeutic enemas), enema cans and syringes, sterile cotton etc should be collected beforehand.

Vimardana is another procedure mentioned to be done before Padaghata. Vimardana is tapping or pressing with pressure.

Pradhana Karma

Pradhana Karma (Treatment proper):
Padaghata – The person who has been given Sarva Abhyanga (full body massage with herbal oils along with Shiro Abhyanga (head massage with herbal oils), Pada Abhyanga (foot massage with herbal oils) and Vimardana (pressing with pressure) is brought into the treatment room after having conducted Prayers, worship and holistic rituals and recitation of hymns as indicated in Ayurveda texts.

He or she is made to slowly lie on the Padaghata table. The patient shall be instructed to be undressed to comfortable level during Abhyanga and Padaghata.

The masseurs now would gently massage the back, low back or afflicted part (including limbs) of the patient with his (or her) foot. For better effect, the masseur or masseurs should dip their feet in the bowl of warm oil (in spite of oil massage having been given to the entire body) and rub the body of the patient with his feet.

While doing so, the masseur would hold the ropes hanging from the ceiling or cross bars. This helps the masseur or masseurs to balance their body while conducting the Padaghata treatment. This also helps them from slipping down due to the oil anointed over their legs, the body of the patient and Padaghata table.

Balancing and monitoring uniform pressure, key point to be focussed in Padaghata – Holding the ropes also helps in applying and monitoring the pressure of their foot imparted on the body of the patient. The pressure also can be altered from superficial to moderate to deep depending on the location of Padaghata being performed. Deep pressure can be applied on the parts of the body (back) where deep tissue massage is needed or where the pain is severe, deep located (like bony pain) or stubborn.

The pressure can be reduced when Padaghata is being done on legs and delicate parts like calf muscles etc. If the ropes are not used, the pressure might not get monitored and may also produce pain and sprain due to the sudden jerking of oily foot over the body parts.

If 4 masseurs are carrying over the treatment, each masseur will hold one suspended rope and conduct Padaghata. The first masseur will conduct the procedure on the left side of the upper and lower back. The second masseur will conduct on the right side of the upper and lower back. The third masseur will conduct the procedure over the left lower limb and the fourth masseur will do it over the right lower limb.

If 2 masseurs are carrying the procedure, one will take care of the entire left side of the upper and lower back along with left limbs and the other masseur will conduct the treatment on the right side of the body. In this case only 2 ropes will be enough.

There are conditions when only one masseur can manage the whole show. In such case he will conduct the procedure over the left side of the body first and then shift to the right side. In this case only one rope is enough. Alternately 2 ropes suspended one on each side of the table from 2 parallel beams shall be used.

When the masseur is on the left, he shall hold the left rope and when he shifts towards the right, he shall use the right suspended rope for grip.
Usually 1 or 2 masseurs will conduct the treatment unless there is a provision or need of 4 masseurs.
Another helper may be needed to supply the heated oil.

The ropes can just be hung on the beam or parallel beams and glided over the beams as and when the masseur holding the rope moves up and down the body giving a massage. Alternatively, the rope can be hung through a pulley which glides over the parallel beams. The masseur holding the rope can slowly glide the rope over the pulley as he moves up and down so as to cover the massage over different parts of the back and limbs.

Important points to be considered –
The treatment should be carried out by well trained masseurs, who have mastered this form of treatment since many years. This is one of the most difficult treatments to conduct as it needs perfect synchronizing and the art of varying pressures at different points.

The foot of the masseurs should be free from skin diseases, articular or neurological diseases, infectious diseases, cracks and fissures. The feet should be washed thoroughly and dried before beginning the treatment.
The masseur should be healthy and fit but should not be obese, overweight or emaciated.

Paschat karma

Paschat Karma (Post-treatment procedures):
The body parts of the patient subjected to Padaghata is wiped with sterile cloth dipped and squeezed in warm salt water or wiped with tissue papers. The Padaghata table is also cleaned.
The patient is asked to relax for a while

Snana – Patient is advised to take a refreshing hot water bath after going home or after a few hours if the patient is being handled as in-patient

Nitya Virechana – Daily metered dose of purgation with purgative decoctions or oils like Gandharvahastadi Kashayam, Gandharvahastadi Eranda tailam, Nimbamritadi Eranda Tailam etc can be administered if a small amount of detoxification is essential on a daily basis or if morbid Dosha’s need to be tackled (optional and strictly based on the decision of the doctor)

Vasti – Medicated enema’s are often an essential part of treating musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders and forms a useful combo with Padaghata. Enema’s can be given parallel alongside Padaghata on the same day or can be planned as a separate schedule after having completed the course of Padaghata.

For example, Padaghata can be administered for 7 days and Vasti can be planned to be administered from 8th day onwards.

A combination of Sneha Vasti (enemas with medicated oils and ghee) with Brihat Saindhavadi Taila or Guggulutiktakam Ghritam, Mahanarayana Tailam or Dhanwantaram tailam / mezhupakam / Sahacharadi tailam etc and Kashaya Vasti (Decoction enemas) with Erandamuladi Vasti or Dashamula Vasti or Mustadi Yapana Vasti is highly effective in Vata disorders affecting the upper and lower back, the degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders.

Lekhana Vasti’s (fat and kapha depleting enemas) can be done while managing obesity and diseases caused due to errors of fat metabolism which are causing stress on the bones, joints, soft tissues and muscles of the back and lower limbs. Weight reduction is one of the essential strategies in dealing with painful conditions. These therapies can also be planned after finishing the course of Padaghata. They can also be carried out in line with Padaghata.

External and internal therapies / treatments can be planned individually or in combination depending on the severity of the disease and strength and tolerance of the patient.

Matra Vasti – daily metered doses of oil enema is given alongside Padaghata. Matra Vasti controls morbid Vata and Pitta, strengthens the bones, joints, muscles, soft tissues and soothes nerves.
Basically Virechana and Vasti (all types) are potential disease modifying treatments

Discharge – The patient is discharged on daily basis (out-patient) or after the course has been completed (in-patient) after giving proper lifestyle and diet advices along with suitable medicines (oral). The patient is also advised to undergo the treatment twice or thrice in a year as a part of follow up and maintenance of relief.

Duration, benefits

Duration of the course –
The number of days of treatment varies from 7-14 days depending on the nature and intensity of the disease. It is usually done for a period of 45 minutes to 1 hour. Padaghata can be done in any season (though Hemanta Rutu has been specified). If undertaken as a pard of daily regimen (dinacharya), Padaghata shall be taken for a lesser duration, say 10-15 minutes or even less.

Benefits of Padaghata –
Relieves pain, stiffness and swelling associated with painful conditions related to degenerative diseases, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular diseases. Padaghata is very useful remedy for deep located pains and stubborn pains and catches of chronic origin.
Pacifies the morbidity of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the afflicted joints, muscles and soft tissues
Brings about lightness and a feeling of health in the afflicted joints, muscles and soft tissues of upper and lower back and limbs
Forms an effective combination with treatments like Abhyanga, Virechana and Vasti, and fortifies the results w.r.t providing relief from pain and related conditions
When combined with Nitya Virechana and or Vasti, Padaghata eliminates the body toxins, establishes health and tones up the joints and soft tissues
Improves the movements of the back and joints
Soothes the nerves and improves blood circulation

Padaghata imparts all the benefits of Abhyanga (Massage with herbal oils) –
अभ्यङ्गं आचरेत् नित्यं स जरा श्रम वातहा।
दृष्टिः प्रसाद पुष्टि आयुः स्वप्न सु त्वक् दार्ढ्य कृत्॥ (अ.हृ.सू.२/७)
Abhyangam acharet nityam sa jara shrama vataha
Drishti prasaadaha pushti ayu swapna su twak daardhya krit (Ref – Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra 2/7)

तथा शरीरम् अभ्यङ्गात् दृढं सु त्वक् च जायते।
प्रशांत मारुत आबाधं क्लेश व्यायाम संसहम्॥ (च.सू.५/८५)
Tathaa shareeram abhyangaat dridam su twak cha jaayate
Prashaantam maaruta aabaadham klesha vyaayaama samsaham (Charaka Sutra 5/85)

सुस्पर्शो उपचित अंगः च बलवान् प्रिय दर्शिनः।
भवति अभ्यङ्ग नित्यत्वात् नरो अल्प जरा एव च॥(च.सू.५/८९)
Susparsho upachita angaha cha balavaan priya darshinaha
Bhavati abhyanga nityatvaat naro alpa jaraa eva cha (Ref – Charaka Sutra 5/89)

अभ्यंगो मार्दव करः कफ वात निरोधिनः।
धातूनां दृष्टि जननो मृजा वर्ण बल प्रदः॥(सु.चि.२४/३०)
Abhyango maardava karaha kapha vaata nirodhinaha
Dhaatoonaam drishti janano mrujaa varna bala pradaha (Ref – Sushruta Chikitsa 24/30)
Jarahara / Alpa Jaraa – Halts ageing process
Shramahara – Relieves fatigue and tiredness
Vataha / Prashanta Maruta Abadham – Controls and expels morbid Vata, cures Vata disorders
Drishti prasaada – Improves vision
Pushti / Upachita Anga – Promotes strength and bulk of muscles
Ayu – Enhances life span
Swapna – Induces good sleep and relieves insomnia
Su Twak / Susparsha – Promotes skin health
Dardhya krit – Provides strength and stability and compactness to the body
Klesha samsaham – Improves tolerance to hardships
Vyayama samsaham – Enhances the capacity of exercise tolerance
Priya darshinaha / Varna Pradaha – Enhances beauty
Balavaan / Bala pradaha – Improves strength, integrity and immunity
Mardava Kara – Brings about smoothness of the body parts
Kapha Nirodhinaha – Expels morbid Kapha
Dhatoonaam Janano – Enhances quantity and quality of the tissues, thus enhancing the immunity of the body

Contraindications

Contra-indications of Padaghata –
Diabetes mellitus (can be done for a short period with caution, giving proper medicines to treat diabetes or in controlled and uncomplicated diabetes)
High blood pressure (Hypertension)
Severe varicosity of veins
Deep vein thrombosis
Fractures and dislocations
Fever
Severe inflammation
Any systemic, endocrine and metabolic problem of chronic origin

Padaghata can be done with caution and under supervision in Diabetes and Hypertension if doing it is mandatory and no other better options are available. Care should be taken to see that there is no excessive sweating and resulting dehydration.

Limitations

Limitations of Padaghata –
Padaghata is one of the best Ayurvedic treatments which is used in providing relief from pain and associated conditions related with Degenerative, deep seated chronic stubborn pains and catches, Neuromuscular disorders, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Upper and Low back pain, Sciatica etc conditions mentioned above . But on the other hand it is not a sole remedy in these conditions. Parallel to it we might have to add some disease modifying drugs and or compounds and effective treatments for better relief.

Parallel Ayurvedic medications

Parallel Medications to expel morbid Doshas, strengthen and rejuvenate the joints and soft tissues (Diseases modifying medications) –
Kashaya’s (Herbal decoctions):
Rasnasaptakam Kashayam
Rasnapanchakam Kashayam
Maharasnadi Kashayam
Gandharvahastadi Kashayam
Dhanwantaram Kashayam
Guggulutiktakam Kashayam
Sahacharadi Kashayam
Sahacharabaladi Kashayam
Amrutottaram Kashayam
Rasnadi Kashayam or Rasnaerandadi Kashayam
Amavatari Kashayam
Varanadi Kashayam
Varadi Kashayam
Punarnavadi Kashayam
Kokilaksham Kashayam
Guluchyadi Kashayam

Asava / Arishtam (herbal fermented liquids):
Ashwagandharishtam
Balarishtam
Dashamuraishtam
Punarnavasavam
Devadarvarishtam etc

Lehas and Rasayana’s (rejuvenators, herbal confections, anti-ageing medicines, immune-modulators) –
Ashwagandha Rasayanam
Ajashwagandhadi Rasayanam / Leham
Kushmandam Rasayanam
Chyavanaprasham
Brahma Rasayanam etc

Ghritam and Tailam (medicated ghee and oils):
Guggulutiktakam Ghritam
Dhanwantaram Ghritam
Varanadi Ghritam
Rasnadi Ghritam
Shunti Ghritam
Ksheerabala tailam 101
Dhanwantaram tailam 101
Maharajaprasarini Tailam

Vati and Gulika (Tablets):
Simhanada Guggulu
Kanchanara Guggulu
Kaishora Guggulu
Yogaraja Guggulu
Navaka Guggulu
Trayodashanga Guggulu
Mahavata vidhwamsini Ras
Vatagajankusha Ras
Amavatari Ras
Vadavagni Ras
Trimurti Ras
Medohara Vidangadi Lauha
Shallaki

Churna (powders) –
Shaddharana Churna
Ajamodadi Churna
Vaishwanara Churna
Vardhamana Pippali
Triphala Churna

Just before finish,
Padaghata is the best treatment which Ayurveda provides to tackle pain, swelling and catches related to Neuromuscular and Musculoskeletal disorders. It is a unique experience to undergo this holistic and most effective pain relieving treatment.

All you need to do is to meet an experienced Ayurvedic doctor and put forth your problems. The doctor will help you to get fit and healthy. A proper diagnosis should be made before the treatment is planned. The best way of taking the treatment is to have it done under the supervision of the doctor.

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