The word Pinda translates into bolus and Sweda translates into sudation. So, the act of sweating out the veiled bodily toxins by using medicinally prepared boluses is known as Pinda Sweda. Pinda Sweda is a type of “Sagni Sweda” where sudation is done by the infusing of heat from the outside. The names of the Pinda Sweda depend on the type of materials used in bolus. For example, the use of Patra (leaves) in the Pinda sudation is known as Patra Pinda Sweda. Similarly, the use of Baluka (sand) in the Pinda sudation is known as Baluka Sweda. The selection is based on body types but is also on the ailments that one suffers from.
The Pinda Sweda is good for certain disease states of the body. It is highly beneficial for muscular dystrophy, motor neuron disease, diseases of Vata, convulsions, muscular atrophy, ankylosing spondylitis, paralysis, neurological disorders and also for the rejuvenation of the body. The bolus of leaves (Patra Pinda Sweda) is used especially in conditions like sciatica and osteoarthritis. The rice boluses can be used in conditions like Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The bolus of sands is helpful in alleviating conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis and stiffness of joints.
The leaves of medicinal plants having analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties are the important ingredient of the procedure. Patra Pinda Sweda relieves pain, stiffness, and swelling associated with arthritis and other painful conditions, pacifies the morbidity of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in the affected joints, muscles and soft tissues causes sweating and brings about lightness and a feeling of health in the affected joints, muscles, and soft tissues. Patra Pinda Sweda is also highly effective in the management of pain.
The procedures applied in Pinda Sweda is contraindicated in acute fever, inflammatory and painful conditions, myalgia, gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, respiratory disorders like a cough, breathing difficulty and lung infections.
Before the definitive procedure of Pinda Sweda is performed, the receiver goes through a comprehensive body massage. Type of oil used is based on the receivers’ body characteristics (Prakriti). The pre-procedural massaging is done for about half an hour. Then to maintain the coolness of body during the procedure, a wet cloth is applied over the head. This prevents from overt dehydration from overt sweating. After the initial preparatory procedures are done and dusted, the receiver receives full blown Pinda sudation.
The procedure of Pinda Sweda is done in a rhythmical manner, where the two attendants perform the procedure with fullness in functionality it demands. The two attendants each on the two sides of the receiver perform the Pinda Sweda one on the upper and the other on the lower part of the body. It is in seven postures the attendants perform the therapeutic sudation – ten to fifteen minute in each posture. The rhythmicity of the attendants adds extra benefits to the overall health and vitality. The seven postures are – sitting up with legs perpendicular to the body (Dandasana), lying on the back, lying on the right side of the body, lying on abdomen, lying on left side of the body, lying on back and then back to Dandasana. This guarantees a full body sudation as well as adds to the overall health.
The total time consumed for giving massage and fomentation requires a couple of hours. This time duration may be increased or decreased depending upon the state of disease or hale.
The procedure relieves tiredness, depression, drowsiness, and insomnia. Also ignites the digestive fire, clear the bodily toxins in the form of sweat. It cleanses the micro-channels, improves the luster of skin, relieves stiffness, and improves bodily strength.
The therapy is given on a daily basis or on an alternate day. Depending on the state of health or alteration of the state, it may be continued for 7, 9, 11, 14, 21, or 28 days. All procedures of Ayurveda carriers a certain procedural risks (despite it being minimal), and they should always be performed under the guidance of a licensed Ayurvedic therapist.