Swedana is a word in Sanskrit which means quite literally “sweat”, this word is applied to Ayurvedic treatments (the science of life according to the Hindu tradition) that involve sweating. The word Swedana comes from the Sanskrit word SWID, which means “to sweat.” According to the principles of Ayurveda, sweating releases toxins from the body, excess doshas etc …
Swedana can be divided into several types:
- Wet or dry
- Mild or strong
- Produced with or without the help of fire
Exercise, for example, is a form of Swedana that does not involve the use of fire, while sitting in a sauna is a form of dry Swedana produced with the help of fire.
Dry Swedana, with fire
The treatment can vary in its duration which is usually approximately 10-15 minutes and always under the recommendations and supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor.
Swedana moisturizes the body, softens and dilates the pores, making it easier for impurities to come out. Swedana is often recommended, among other things, for constipation, back and joint pains, when there are respiratory problems or earache. On the other hand, it also eliminates the excess of Doshas in the organism, creating balance. Depending on the Doshas or those that are out of balance, one plant or another will be used in the process.
Some plants that are often used are, chamomile, lavender, laurel, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon grass.
The most well-known Swedana treatment that you can find in many Ayurvedic centers is where the body is enclosed in a specialised cabin or box, usually made of wood, leaving the head outside, so the whole body experiences a herbal steam bath.
In order for a Swedana treatment to be effective, it must be the Ayurvedic doctor who evaluates the dosha type of the patient and their imbalances to determine the best mixture of herbs to add.
Swedana is used in turn to prepare the body for the Panchakarma cure, a purifying cure for the organism highly recommended by Ayurveda.
As your head is “free”, the feeling is much more pleasant. There is nothing more overwhelming for people like me than breathing in the extremely hot air typically found in a sauna or steam bath. These special cabins allow for a much nicer sensation and it also allows you to extend or withstand the duration of the treatment.
Some of the benefits of a Swedana treatment:
- Improves metabolism and respiration because it is expectorant.
- Eliminates toxins and relaxes the musculature
- Increase joint mobility
- Softens the skin
- Increase appetite
- Reduces stress and fatigue
- Depura of the sanguineous torrent
- Activates circulation (improves varicose veins)
- Helps eliminate cholesterol and uric acid
- Normalizes kidney function
- Tones the nervous system
- Normalizes the functioning of the digestive system.
- Facilitates the burning of fats
- Helps to control arthritic and diabetic conditions, amongst others
But Swedana is not for everyone
Swedana, like most treatments, does not suit everyone. If you are pregnant or if you suffer from a blood disorder, heart disease and attacks of dizziness or vertigo, you should avoid this treatment, also Ayurveda believes that this is not the best treatment for people with feelings of anger or jealousy. Although as I said before, it should be the Ayurvedic doctor who decides what is the most convenient in each case since every individual is unique.
Swedana in the Mediterranean
Here at SIS we consider Ayurveda to be a great way to maintain balance in health, both for the physical and subtle bodies. This is also why we have been collaborating for years with Port Salvi Ayurveda Resort, located in the Costa Brava, it is for us and for our clients a paradise of Ayurveda in the Mediterranean.
As Port Salvi Ayurveda Resort, in San Feliu de Guixols, is always eager to renew and improve its programs, they have recently renovated their facilities and installed new steam baths or Swedana. Keen not to miss out, our “Sister in Wellness Neel” went to try them out and report back!
She told us that the Swedana treatment was soooo much nicer than it may appear in the photos … her Ayurvedic food was as delicious as always, that she really enjoyed the yoga classes in the new pavilion with its stunning sea views and that the resident Ayurvedic doctor was able to give her some really great tips for taking care of her health.
I hope that all this information will help you to open up to a whole range of possibilities when looking for balance in your physical body, in your subtle body and in your life in general.
If you want to know more about the programs that Port Salvi Ayurveda Resort offers, click here and if you have any questions or want to book your Ayurveda getaway, do not hesitate to contact us we will be delighted to help.
Written by your SISters in Wellness Marta