To appreciate all the details of a landscape, to read a book in comfort, to work with your computer without your eyes blind… vision is essential in our day to day and we need to keep it in good condition over time. Therefore, it is imperative that the eyes also take care. In Ayurveda there is a therapy for eye care called Netra Basti.
It is a treatment in which eyes are bathed or submerged in plain or medicated, warm clarified butter or ghee. A well like structure is formed around the eye using a dough in the shape of a ring and is used to hold the ghee. The eye is submerged in ghee for around 10-20 minutes. During this time all the dust, mucus and other impurities trapped in the eye comes out and forms a layer in the ghee.
Netra Basti is essentially a bathing of the eyes. Netra means “eyes” and basti is the Sanskrit word meaning “to bathe” or “cleanse.” This deceptively simple, yet deep acting treatment is use therapeutically under medical supervision to address many eye complaints, but also has many beneficial side effects from a beauty standpoint. It cleans the eyes and relieves the tensions trapped in and around the eyes and their sockets. This relaxes not only the eye area, but the whole face. Fine lines and puffiness in the eye area are eased, along with inflammation and dryness of the eye and the skin around the eye.
How to Do Netra Basti?
What you need:
½ cup organic ghee.
Pillow to support your head and neck.
Food warmer or a small bowl of hot water to keep the ghee in liquid form.
Blanket to keep warm.
A room which is quite, calm, aromatic, pleasant to senses and warm enough to keep the ghee in liquid form for some time.
2 small bowls will also be require.
Keep all the ingredients ready on a small tray for ease. A minimum of 45 minutes should be given to the treatment. Warm the ghee till it becomes comfortable to the skin. The best way to check is to move the finger back and forth in the ghee.
If you just touch the ghee with your finger or wrist it may give you a false temperature by coating your finger like a tiny glove so avoid that practice. So, moving your finger in ghee will give you its exact temperature.
Now you need to do the dough. For that, just mix 1 cup whole wheat flour with ½ cup warm water to form a dough.
- Firstly remove any kind of contact lenses or any eye makeup that the person is wearing. They may cause a reaction with ghee and cause irritation in your eye.
- Lay him down comfortably on your back by placing a support pillow or a towel under his neck by rolling it. He should be really comfortable while lying down. A tummy warmer pillow or any equivalent can be a good option. Back strain can be eased using a knee bolster.
- Massage his scalp and loosen his neck, all this is done in order to relax the person. The massage is done mainly concentrating on the midline of the head follow by a gentle short message towards the face, from the chin to the temples using stroking circular motion.
- Place a rolled towel under the left ear of the person’s face as a support so as to tilt the face. Now the right eye socket will be directly facing the ceiling. If there is any kind of oil or makeup or dirt around the neck, wipe it all using a cotton to obtain a clean surface.
- Now is the time to form the well like structure using the dough. Then, after you form the dough using the procedure stated, shape the dough in a circular manner roughly the size of a golf ball. So, push a hole in it making polo or a donut-like structure. So, this structure should be big enough to cover the eye socket.
- Place this structure on the socket of the eye and press it firmly so that the dough sticks around the eye. Then, place it in such a way that it does not block the nostrils. This is a well like structure which holds ghee on the eye.
- Ask the person to close the eye inside the dough and start pouring ghee. First of all, pour only ½ tsp ghee so as to check that the temperature suits the client or not. Before pouring check the temperature by your own finger and it should be barely warm.
- Now ask him to briefly blink the eye and continue blinking until it becomes comfortable to keep the eye open. So, the ghee should stay in liquid form, if it starts to harden or become cloudy it means that either the starting temperature of ghee is low or the room temperature is not enough to maintain the liquid form.
- It is ideal to keep the ghee as a clear amber solution for about 15-20 minutes. You can hold or make a gentle contact with the person’s neck or head to provide a more comfortable experience.
- The eye releases the toxins and tears as the ghee stings. This is all a part of physical and psychological changes that occurs during the treatment.
- Now the ghee is removed by breaking the wall of the well slightly and collect the ghee in a small empty bowl placed near the outer edge of the well. Tilt the head of the client to ease the process. Remove the dough well and place it in the same bowl. Take care that the ghee should not be used again. Wipe the eye with a tissue or a towel.
- Repeat the whole process with the other eye.
Benefits of Netra Basti
Refreshes tired, sore, dry, itchy, and teary eyes.
Eases eye tension and proves to very soothing for dry and tired ‘computer eyes’.
Relieves eye socket tension, twitches, and squinting.
Eases wrinkles and dark circles around eyes.
Improves the vision.
Nourishes and rejuvenates eyes.
Enhances the beauty of the eyes.
Also, this netra basti treatment takes only a few moments, even doing both eyes at the same time for 5 minutes gives great relief. So, even if your eyes are not bothering you, this is still a great therapy that tremendously calms and soothes the mind and body as a whole! The Ghee creates a settling effect on your fried nerve endings, leaving you feeling grounded and in control rather than under the control of this chaotic world
In our Arogyadham Ayurvedic Treatment Center, you can enjoy all the benefits of Netra Basti. Our Ayurveda physician Vaidyaratnam Dr. Rakesh Agarwal is a specialist on ayurvedic rejuvenation strategies.
Finally, we invite you to share this post with your friends and if you have any questions, please write a comment in the comment box below!