More About Ayurvedic Pacifying Treatments (Shamana Chikitsa)
Shaman in Ayurveda
Shaman Chikitsa or Pacifying therapy, is milder than shodan methods including panchakarma. Shaman is required when the person is not fit for shodan or slightly harsh body purification methods. Other reasons to resort of Shaman (saman) can be lack of time or apprehensions of the person about Ayurvedic deep cleansing methods (panchakarma).
Unlike in Shodhan chikitsa, shaman doesnt try to eliminate vitiated dosha from the system. Shaman tries to put the doshic state in balance by medication. Here the aggravated dosha is balanced by either addition of subtraction of dosha elements. Shaman is not also as effective as shodan as the system and go back to state of imbalance or ill health. It takes efforts on part of the person to retain the positive results of shaman.
There are seven different types of shaman. They are:
1. Deepan : Deepan literally means illumination. Here it means empowering agni (digestive fire) to create appetite. Deepan includes administering medicated ghee and spicy and fat rich food to subside aggravated dosha or increase subsided dosha to achieve a balanced state.
2. Pachan: Pachan includes the methods of digesting toxic wastes called ama. There are different herbal combinations that help in digesting undigested toxins.
3. Kshudha Nigrah: Kshuda nigraha literally means killing of appetite. It is a fasting technique. Total of selective fasting is directed to the person until the balancing of doshas in the body system. To avoid a specific aggrevated dosha (say vata), avoid food or lifestyle activities that promote that dosha (here, vata). Ayurvedic principle behind ksudha nigraha is leveraging agni in restoring tridosha balance. This is particularly beneficial for diseases associated with digestive tract.
4. Thrisha Nigraha: Trishna nigraha means killing thirst. It is a method to cure water retention problems of the body. The ama accumulated in kidney and urinary system are digested this way.
5. Vyayam Vyayam: or vyayama means physical exercise. Specific vyayama regimes are prescribed for conditions like obesity, digestive problems, diabetes, etc. It is sometimes combined with medication for optimum results, but mostly without any medicines.
6. Atap Sevan (heat service): it includes sunbathing for skin diseases, rheumatism or arthritis related conditions. This treatment pacifies vata.
7. Marut Sevan (Wind service): it is the therapy that includes the administration of fresh air, mostly to treat asthma, tuberculosis related conditions. According to Ayurveda, breathing air is prana or life. It is a method of pumping life into the body system.
Shaman therapy is for everyone who lack the capabilities and/or time to go through shodan (panchakarma) therapy. Persons with conditions like tuberculosis can never take shodan chikitsa as their body will not be capable of handling the therapeutic measures.