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Elakizhi Treatment - All You Need To Know

What is Potli Massage (Elakizhi treatment) in Ayurveda? A Short Guide


Elakizhi massage (Potli massage) for relief from ailments

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that focuses on providing a holistic treatment with the objective of improving health. Ayurveda is not only about medicines and herbal products but includes many therapies to improve health. Anyone who is facing a health problem or proactively wants to improve their health can take the help of Ayurvedic therapies to get relief from ailments and experience good health. 

Elakizhi Ayurveda treatment is one of the best Ayurvedic therapies that help people with back pain, joint pain, stiffness in the muscles, and muscle spasms. Getting this Ayurvedic Potli massage is very beneficial and can provide great relief for chronic sufferers. This massage is one of the recommended Ayurvedic treatments for lower back pain, sciatica, and other conditions. 


What is Potli massage / Kizhi treatment? 

The word Elakizhi means the use of leaf bolus. Ela is the Malayalam word that means leaves. Kizhi refers to a bolus or Potli. The Potli or Kizhi is a cloth pouch filled with fresh or dried herbs that is massaged over the body. Potli massage therapy involves using the Potli or bolus to massage the back and other parts of the body. When the warm Potli is used for the massage, it ensures greater pressure on the affected areas. The Potli is reheated by dipping in warm oil or decoctions throughout the therapy. The herbal oil/decoctions penetrate the tissues helping in reducing inflammation and stiffness. This helps to ensure relief from aches and pains. Sometimes, a dry potli massage, without the use of any oils/decoctions is also done after considering the condition of the patient.


What is the process of Elakizhi treatment?

The Potli massage for back pain is done to get relief from pain and help remove toxins from the skin through sweating. This is why the Potli used in back pain massage uses warm oil so that the warmth and pressure cause sweating. This allows the circulation channels to be cleansed. Sweating helps in removing toxins. 

The procedure used for Elakizhi treatment is as follows: 

  1. Firstly, the leaves for the massage are selected (based on the health condition and Dosha). The leaves are then cut into pieces. 

  2. The leaves are mixed with lemon and grated coconut and fried in medicated oil. The oil used depends on the health condition. This mixture when used for the massage percolates to the tissues so that its medicinal properties act on the tissues.

  3. The patient is then made to lie down and medicated oil is applied on the body or on the area that is affected.

  4. The leaf and oil mixture is then placed in a muslin cloth and tied to form the Potli, which is shaped like a pouch.

  5. The Potli needs to be warm. Where required, it is dipped in warm oil. The warmth of the Potli induces sweating. This is why this treatment is also called Patra Pinda Sweda (Patra – leaf, Pinda – Bolus, Sweda – sweating).

  6. The Potli is then rubbed over the entire body or the affected parts. The uniform motion, the warmth of the bolus, and the pressure created by the bolus help provide instant relief from aches and pain.

  7. The treatment is continued until the entire body is covered or all the affected parts are adequately massaged. The Potli may be reheated if needed.

  8. Once the treatment is complete, the oil is cleaned from the body using a cloth dipped in warm saline water. 


What are the ingredients used for Elakizhi massage?

Elakizhi makes use of Ayurvedic massage oil for back pain and other problems. The oils used help in providing relief and when infused with herbs ensure that it goes down into the tissues. The Ayurvedic massage oil for sciatica and other problems are selected based on the patient’s health condition. The oils used include: 

  • Murivenna oil

  • Kottamchukkadi Thailam

  • Mahanarayana Thailam

  • Sahacharadi Thailam

  • Ksheerabala Thailam

  • Mahamasha Thailam 

Apart from the oils, plant leaves are used in the massage for lower back pain and other conditions. The leaves chosen depend on the Dosha imbalance. The leaves and ingredients used include: 

  • Eranda (castor plant) leaves

  • Arka leaves (Calotropis procera)

  • Nirgundi (Chaste tree) leaves

  • Tamarind leaves

  • Turmeric powder

  • Fenugreek

  • Rock salt

  • Castor oil

  • Lemon

  • Coconut scraping 


How long does a usual treatment take?

The entire massage process usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. It covers the entire body and more attention is given to parts that are affected. The duration depends on the health condition of the patient. If done on specific parts like the lower back or shoulder, it may take around 20 minutes. The therapy can be repeated to help provide relief from chronic pain. 


What are the benefits of Elakizhi?

The Elakizhi benefits make it an effective Ayurvedic massage for back pain. The benefits are not limited to treating pains and aches but can be beneficial for the overall health. The Elakizhi benefits include: 

  • It helps to provide relief from back pain, including chronic lower back pain.

  • It helps to provide relief from stiffness and inflammation in the back and joints.

  • The massage also helps to improve blood circulation.

  • It is a treatment used for managing sciatica, slipped disc and sports injuries.

  • It can be very helpful for patients who are recovering from paralysis.

  • The Potli massage is beneficial for the skin, moisturized skin, and helps to slow down aging.

  • It acts as a detoxification activity helping in removing toxins from the skin.

  • It is extremely relaxing and helps in treating soreness in muscles.

  • The massage helps in strengthening muscles, thus reducing pain and other symptoms. 


Book your Elakizhi massage at Ayurvedagram

Elakizhi massage is a very effective Ayurvedic massage for arthritis, pains, aches, and joint problems. It offers many health benefits making it a very useful massage to try out. Anyone suffering from back pain and related problems should get an Elakizhi massage done. The best results will come when the massage is done at a reputed centre by an expert under medical supervision. 

Ayurvedagram offers Elakizhi massage at its centre. The massage is done by trained experts and experienced Ayurvedic doctors are on hand to monitor the process. You can experience the best benefits of this massage by getting it done at Ayurvedagram. You can contact them today for an appointment, to help decide how this treatment can be done to help you solve your health issues.