Definition: A healing therapy inducing sweat by heating the body’s core temperature. SAMA’s form of swedhana therapy uses a specially designed, portable tent canopy sauna that fits directly over the massage table. Swedhana Therapy is a form of thermo-therapy. In this case, we are using steam to induce perspiration and detoxification. Swedhana Therapy removes impurities and melts toxins within the body so that they move more readily into the gastrointestinal tract, supporting elimination. Prior to Swedhana Therapy, the client should receive oil massage or dry brushing. Lavender, lemon, amber, juniper and eucalyptus used in base of sesame oil are a safe choice. Swedhana Therapy ignites digestive fire, metabolic fire and the immune system of all the cells within the body. Swedhana Therapy brings deep relaxation, removes stress and crystallized negative emotions. Swedhana Therapy should be personalized according to the client’s emotional and physical current doshic constitution by a professional.
Five methods that facilitate Swedhana:
1. Ushma Baspa (Steam) Use with: Eucalyptus, ginger, sandalwood, mint, herbal teas, herbal oils, sauna bath, steam box, steam tent.
2. Drava (Liquid) Examples: Hot tub, hot shower, hot mineral bath, pouring of warm oil, baking soda, ginger powder.
3. Tapas (Fire/heat) Examples: Hot Item, sitting near a fire, lying on hot sand, lying on hot rocks, hot stone therapy.
4. Upanaha (Poultice) Use with: Calamus root, hot black pepper, cloves, mustard seed, castor oil, maha herbal massage.
5. Anagni (Fireless) Examples: Warm closed rooms, warm clothes, warm blanket, rubbing/vibrator, fasting/thirsting, sunning, drinking hot teas, using hot herbs, induced fear/anger, running.
The most common use of swedhana is the steam tent. Herbs and detoxifying oils are used according to the person’s dosha. The herbs and oils should also be chosen to heighten the profuseness of swedan and at the same time, help balance the needs of the dosha of your client.
- Vata imbalances need: ginger
- Pitta imbalances need: sandalwood
- Kapha imbalances need: eucalyptus (tri-doshic)
Steam Swedhana lubricates the skin and is excellent for vata and kapha imbalances and is an effectively to lose excess fat and swelling. It is used to pacify pitta in moderation and with precautions.