Podi Kizhi, known as Choorna Pinda Swedam in Sanskrit, is a form of Ayurvedic herbal massage that involves using herbal powders tied in a bundle or bolus. The term Podi Kizhi originates from two Malayalam words, where podi means ‘powder’, and kizhi means ‘bundle’.
Ayurveda practitioners select the herbal powders used for the treatment based on their therapeutic benefits and the specific needs of the individual. This treatment is recommended for neuromuscular conditions, arthritis, sports injuries, paralysis, and other painful diseases.
Before starting the Podi Kizhi treatment, the herbs are finely ground into a choornam (powder), fried in different herbal oils and tied into a bolus inside a fine muslin cloth. The treatment requires several such boluses for its entire duration.
During the Podi Kizhi treatment, the bolus is gently heated by dipping it into a pan with warm herbal oils or applied without oil if dry heat is recommended, and then gently pressed on the affected parts. The combination of rhythmic strokes, circular movements and tapping techniques allows the herbal powders to release their active compounds and penetrate deep into the tissues, which helps in healing the affected areas.
The warmth from the heated bolus increases sweating, which facilitates the process of detoxification. The herbal powders used for the treatment contain anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties that help to reduce pain, stiffness and inflammation.
- Improves blood circulation
- Enhances flexibility in the joints
- Strengthens body muscles and alleviates pain, inflammation, stiffness and spasms
- Removes toxins to provide a youthful appearance to the skin
- Stimulates and strengthens the nervous system
- Relieves stress and promotes relaxation