Before indulging in the knowledge regarding this therapy, let us understand the meaning of this term. Kati in Sanskrit implies the waist region in our body and vasti means ‘that which can hold ‘ or ‘that which can retain’.
It is a type of local snigdha(moist) sweda(perspiration) where warm oil is kept at the kati Pradesh, ie, the waist region for a prescribed time.
While the patient lies in a prone position the kati pradesh is encircled with thick black gram paste ( maasha in Sanskrit) for retention of the oil.
It acts astonishingly as it is applied at the site of the lesion. This procedure can also be performed in other areas like greens (cervical region), janu(knee), uras(chest), etc., and named accordingly. It is a Samana procedure, which means kati vasti is a type of palliative procedure.
As we have already read that there is an application of oil that is heated, and the oil and heat have a pacifying action. The heat alleviates pain and reduces swelling and the oil remarkably reduces stiffness through its smoothening action.
Both of these factors aid in the alleviation of disease conditions.
As the name suggests, kati vasti is applied in the kati region, ie, the waist. Therefore naturally ailments of the back and spine are indicated in this treatment. Especially in cases like intervertebral disc prolapse, lumbar spondylosis, spina bifida, sacro – iliac joint disorders, etc. Sciatica, a condition that has an increasing rate of incidence in modern times, is also indicated In kati vasti.
But in cases like fractures and dislocations, this therapy is vehemently avoided.
Before the application of oil, the vasti has to be constructed.
The black gram flour is well mixed with a sufficient quantity of warm water into a thick paste. It is then made into a flat slab-like structure having the length of about 45-60 cm, a thickness of 3 cm, and a height of 5 cm. Steel or plastic rings can also be used.
We ask the patient to lie in a comfortable prone position exposing the kati. We then with utmost precision fix the prepared dough to the area in a circular shape, taking attentive care not to cause any leakage of oil.
We then warm the oil to the prescribed temperature over the hot water bath and pour slowly and steadily inside the ring.
We take paramount precaution in maintaining the temperature at 40°C-45°C, by replacing a small quantity after reheating. After the prescribed time, we then slowly remove the oil by absorbing it with cotton.
After removing the dough, we clean the body part entirely using lukewarm water and allow the patient to take rest.
30 minutes- 1 hour.
Usually, it is done in 7 days.
As this procedure is specifically designed for the waist region, it strengthens this part of the body. The spine, back muscles, and nerves are rejuvenated, reducing all kinds of pain, stiffness, and rigidity in this area and enhancing blood circulation. Just like any Ayurvedic treatment, kati vasti is a solution to innumerable conditions and produces remarkable effects.
* Outcomes may vary from person to person