Four different types of Vasti
The procedure of Shiro Vasti involves the holding (vasti) of a certain amount of oil for a certain period of time on the head (Shira). It is a special procedure where medicated oil is kept over the head with the help of a leather bag.
The recipient has to first shave his head and then sit on a knee-height stool. The process of Shiro vasti begins with a gentle head massage. The leather cap is tied over the forehead and the ear with the help of an elastic belt. The plastering of the leather cap to the head is done with a paste of gram flour. This helps in prevention of oil leakage. Lukewarm is poured over the scalp from a certain height. The treatment is continued till patient gets secretion from the mouth and nose. Then the oil is removed and the scalp is cleaned and it is followed by a second message of the head.
The treatment is done for thirty minutes to forty-five minutes in an increasing then the decreasing manner. It is done for seven or fourteen days, with 5 minutes increased or decreased every day. The time for which the procedure is done depends on the body constituency.
Shiro Vasti is very helpful in alopecia, insomnia, Bell’s palsy, paralysis, dryness of mouth and nose.
2. Kati Vasti
Next types of Vasti is Kati Vasti. Kati in Sanskrit delineates the lower back. Vasti means an accumulation of medicated oil. Kati Vasti is a procedure where warm medicated oil is held over the lower back. First local oil massage and fomentation of the back is done, then the main procedural processes are initiated.
The receiver should lie on this belly on a table. A dough of black lentils is made into a ring and kept over the painful and stiff area of the back. It should be pasted so as the oil when kept into it doesn’t spill out. Medicated oil is heated and poured gently inside the ring. At a regular interval, the cold oil is taken out, reheated and poured back in. The duration of the therapeutic procedure depends on the type of disease and the persons’ constituency (Prakriti).
After leaving the heated oil for half an hour or so, the oil and the ring of dough are removed and are followed by a massage of the localized area. It is then followed by a hot water bath of medicated decoctions.
This procedure is helpful in diseases like sciatica, lumbar spondylosis, mechanical back pain, and rheumatic back pain.
3. Greeva Vasti
Third types of vasti is Greeva Vasti. Greeva synonymizes with the word neck. Vasti, as mentioned before, is a collection of oil pool. Greeva vasti is a procedure similar to Kati vasti. The oil rather being held in the back is held on the neck with the help of boundary made of dough.
This procedure is helpful for stiff neck and jaw, torticollis, cervical spondylitis and radiculopathy of upper limbs.
4. Janu Vasti
Janu means knee joint. Thus here the medicated warm oil is collected over the knees for a specific period of time. The oil used, the time period for which the procedure is given depends on disease condition and body constituency of the receiver.
This procedure is helpful for stiff joints, osteoarthritis, the knee sprain, and ligament injuries. It also helps in reducing pain.
Similar procedures of Vasti can be performed at different chakra sites. These along with the soothing effects provided singing bowls are helpful in activating the positive energy and activating respective chakras. Special aromatic oils are used for this purpose. This is known as Chakra Vasti.
As with all the Ayurvedic procedures, these procedures need to be performed with the help of a specialized ayurvedic physician.