Swedana is the fomentation or sudation therapy in Ayurveda involving the procedure to induce sweat or perspiration in the body using steam generated from medicated herbal decoctions. It is one among the preparatory procedures of Panchakarma to open up the channels of the body to aid in the effective elimination of toxins. Fomentation is given after abhyanga or an Ayurvedic full body massage for an enhanced detoxification.

The therapy is highly beneficial for relieving muscular tension and inflammation, promoting blood circulation and to clear the energy passages. Swedana is also recommended for disorders pertaining to the vitiation of Vataand Kapha doshas.

Benefits of Swedana

Helps balance Vata and Kapha doshas
Clears the body channels
Eliminates toxins through the pores of the skin along with sweat
Revitalizes and rejuvenates skin
Increases digestion and metabolism
Eases sore muscles, numbness, stiffness and rigidity
Improves range of joint movement and mobility
Improves activity of sensory organs

Indications

Swedana is recommended for the following conditions.

Body ache
Numbness
Arthritis
Osteoarthritis
Lower back ache
Sciatica
Asthma and cough
Sinusitis
Constipation

Types of Swedana

Ayurveda defines two types of Swedana according to the method employed for inducing perspiration. Bashpa Swedana is a full body steam bath, whereas NadiSwedana is a localized process aimed at inducing perspiration on a specific region of the body.

Bashpa Swedana – The process of inducing sweat is done by making the person sit inside a chamber for a medicated steam bath. It is most effective when performed after a full body oil massage as the skin will be primed with oil and will be more susceptible to absorbing the herbal steam.
Nadi Swedana – The steam is generated from a boiling medicinal decoction and is directed towards a specific part of the body using a tube for therapeutic benefits. Nadi Swedana focused on stiff joints or energy channels help clear pathways and reduce inflammation.