According to Ayurveda, our body is composed of five basic elements or Pancha Mahabhuta – Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Sky. Out of the five elements, Earth or mud has a vital role to play as it has several positive effects on health. Mud prevents the human body from several ailments by absorbing toxins. It has some amazing healing properties. Mud Therapy is a type of Panch Bhautik Chikitsa of Ayurveda. Mud Therapy or Prithvi Chikitsa is a very simple and effective way of treatment which includes Mud Bath and Mud Packs.
What is Mud Therapy?
Mud Therapy is a treatment that helps cure several ailments. People have been using this therapy for ages now. It is gradually gaining popularity due to its various benefits. Also, Mud Therapy detoxifies the body and rejuvenates the skin by removing dead cells restoring the pH balance.
The mud used for the therapy taken from 120cm to 150 cm beneath the ground is processed and is made free from pollutants and contamination. Pebbles, impurities and decomposed matter are extracted from it. Then it is put under the sun to activate the minerals present in it. If the sunlight is not enough in any area, they heat it artificially at up to 50-degree celsius.
There are different types of muds for therapy:
Brine Mud or Mud from the Dead sea:
This is the mud that comes from salt-water bodies or the Dead Sea. This mud has skin healing properties that can make it clean and soft. The mud also enhances the blood circulation leaving glowing skin.
This mud comes from the organic residues of flowers, herbs, and grasses. This organic waste is transformed into a fine paste which could be converted to easily absorbed mud by the human body. With its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, it nourishes and beautifies the human body.
It comes from the thermal hot springs. It relaxes the body, alleviates sore muscles, and softens the skin.
This is a greasy soil that is rich in minerals and holds the water for long. It helps retain the moisture.
Types of Mud Therapy
There are two categories in Mud Therapy:
- Mud Pack
- Mud Bath
- Mud Pack: Soak the mud in a thin wet muslin cloth and apply it. Keep it for 20-30 minutes after application. The advantage of a mud pack is that it helps in the retention of moisture and keeps the body cool. This helps in eliminating morbid matter, drawing blood to the surface, relaxing the skin pores and promoting heat radiation. The experts apply Mud pack to selective body parts only, at a time.
- Mud Bath: Mud bath is applying the mud in a sitting or lying position on the complete body. The only difference between mud bath and mud pack is that mud bath covers a larger part of the body. They spread the paste on the sheet and wrap this sheet around the body. Then you have to take a hot water bath followed by a cold shower. This improves your blood circulation and re-energises the skin tissues.
How does it work?
According to the treatment, the therapist picks the mud and makes a paste. They apply this paste to the body. As Mud Therapy is performed under an open roof, it is allowed to dry under the sun for 20 minutes to one hour. Sometimes, you are wrapped in stipes of clothes to prevent heat dispersion. Finally, they sprinkle some water and the mud is scrubbed off the skin. For some therapeutic effects, they ask you to take a warm water bath followed by a cold shower. No soap.
In this manner, the skin absorbs necessary minerals from the mud and increases blood circulation. For effective treatment, this goes on for atleast 2 weeks.
Benefits of Mud therapy
Mud therapy affects different body organs and body parts:
First of all, the skin looks clear as it removes all the dead skin. This is the biggest change that you notice after a Mud Therapy. As per Ayurveda, it helps in controlling the effects of Pitta. The therapy detoxifies the skin extracting the harmful toxins through its pores.
Applying mud on the abdomen relaxes the digestive system helping with problems such as acidity, constipation and stomach pain. Mud Therapy boosts metabolism by absorbing intestinal heat, thereby strengthening the abdominal muscles.
Stress and Headache
Applying mud on your head is worth experiencing. It helps reduce anxiety, stress, and depression and gives you a sound sleep. The Naturopath experts prescribe it to the patients who suffer from Sciatica, Epilepsy, Post-traumatic Paralysis, etc.
Joint and Muscle Pain
Mud Therapy counter conditions such as arthritis, peri-arthritis, gout, muscle swells and joint pains. It loosens the muscles and allows easy body movements.
Mud Therapy takes off all the stress from your eyes and provides great relief enhancing your vision. This therapy is very effective in treating problems such as conjunctivitis, eye infections, allergies, etc. This is really helpful for the youth today as they spend most of the time in front of the screens.
Some other benefits of Mud Therapy
- Reduces patches and spots on the skin
- Opens clogged pores of the skin
- Tones the skin and holds the body moisture for long
- Enhances collagen production in the skin
- Increases the ability to perspire and excrete toxins
Who should avoid Mud Therapy?
People who are suffering from cold, cough, flu and sinus must avoid it during that time. Also, women should avoid therapy during periods. If you have pimples or scars on the face, then ask your doctor before going for Mud Therapy. And, those who have undergone surgery should also talk to the doctor before going for a Mud Therapy.