The term ‘Upanaha’ is derived from Upanahana, which means bandage in Sanskrit. It is the process of applying a warm herbal paste to the affected body parts, which is followed by bandaging. The word ‘Sweda’ means sweat; the therapy to induce perspiration is called Swedana. By inducing sweating, the procedure helps to alleviate pain and inflammation from the body.
It is the mode of treatment used for suppurating anti-inflammatory swelling. Upanaha Sweda preparation mainly depends on:
The Upanhana Sweda preparation involves making the medicinal paste with or without heating, according to the disease to be treated. Taila, Choorna, Dravya, and Saindhava are a few things that can be used for the same. In the case of Sagni Upanaha, it must be heated at 39-41 degrees Celsius. However, for Niragni Upanaha, it can be applied as such.
The individual is asked to lie down in a comfortable position, exposing the body part or joint that needs to be tied with Upanaha dravya. The affected part is cleaned, and upon indication, abhyanga is done with lukewarm oil. The prepared Upanaha dravyas, having a uniform thickness of 1-2 cm, are applied to the affected areas and covered with the Vatahara patras after slight warming. After that, it is tied with a cloth bandage.
Appropriate bandaging techniques must be adapted according to the region. The procedure is usually carried out at night so that the paste remains on the body for at least 12 hours. The bandhana is not mandatory and is generally performed in Ekanga Upanaha. In Sarvanga Upanaha, the bandhana is done as Sankara Sweda. It means that the bandage is applied in a position that is comfortable to the patient.
After the procedure, Upanaha dravya is removed from the body part and washed well with lukewarm water. The process is repeated on consecutive days for a specific period.
Each Upanaha Swedam session may last for 35-45 minutes, depending on the severity of the condition that is being treated. The entire therapy may be given for 7, 14, or even 21 days.
Upanaha Swedam offers several benefits to the human body. Some of the important ones are:
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