Your knee joints are like those friends who stick by your side through ‘thick’ and ‘thin’. The knee joints carry much of your body weight before it is transferred further down the limbs where bones are much smaller. So when knee pain strikes, it has the potential to debilitate your day to day activities, movement, affect sleep and the overall quality of your life. Along with proper diet and other detoxification processes, Ayurveda comes with a wonderful and long-lasting solution to knee pain in the form of Janu Basti.
What is Janu Basti?
Stiff joints are bathed in warm medicated oil. This treatment also includes a massage to the affected area. In this treatment, a wall or compartment like structure is built out of dough made from black gram flour, around the inflamed area in the knee. The calming herbal oils are poured into these pockets and left to stay for some time, so their full benefits can seep into the joint tissues, lubricating them and providing comfort, relaxation, reduction in inflammation and pain.
After the Janu Basti, full-body massage or abhyanga is administered with calming body oils. Abhyanga incorporates warm, aromatic oils, rhythmically massaged into your body, which loosens toxins, relax the nervous system, and provide rest, nourishment, and rejuvenation. It improves blood circulation, tones, and moisturizes skin, works up the lymph system, reduces inflammations and calms the mind and nervous system.
Type of oil to use
Shankara’s Calming Body Oil has been formulated keeping Vata imbalance in mind. This ultra-nourishing body oil is the perfect remedy for arthritic pain arising out of Vata aggravation. Filled with essential oils of sandalwood, borage, cardamom, vetiver, aniseed, ginger, Bala and clary sage among others, that helps soothe emotions and relax the body and joints while delivering the benefits of rich nutrients, antioxidants, and intensely moisturizing ingredients.
Benefits of undergoing Janu Basti treatment include
· The most important benefit of the treatment is that it pacifies Vata (air element) imbalance.
· Rejuvenates the lubrication in the joints, reinforces and strengthens the joint structures.
· Deletes stiffness and pain from the knee joint area
· The strengthening action protects the knee from further damage owing to age or overuse.
· Blood circulation to the region increases that helps improve mobility and nourishment of knee joints
· Janu Basti followed by abhyanga is beneficial for multiple knee related disorders.
Arthritis caused by Vata imbalance is called Sandhivata or osteoarthritis, a degenerative disorder caused by the damages, aging, and weakness in the cartilage surrounding the joints that affect the knee joints. Cartilage degenerates that lead to increased friction between the bones at the joint that causes stiffness and pain. Because Janu Basti helps bring Vata dosha in balance, it is incredibly effective in treating degenerative pain like osteoarthritis.
b) Iliotibial band syndrome
IBS is the injury due to overuse in the connective tissues located between the outer thighs and knee. This pain can be especially felt while running as the heels touch the ground with every stride. RICE treatment and anti-inflammatory medical therapies are generally the first lines of treatment suggested by doctors. The pooling method in Janu Basti helps reduce the inflammation in the targeted areas of the knee.
c) Osgood-Schlatter disease
More common among children during their teenage, this disease manifests in the form of inflammation right below the knee where the tendon runs from kneecap to the shin. Most often, some rest, light stretching, and non-invasive treatments like Janu Basti can help relieve the knee pain caused by this type of inflammation.
Pain emanating from conditions like inflammation of tendons, or runner’s knee which is injuries in the kneecap due to overuse, preacher’s knee or injury to the meniscus (cartilage between the shinbone and thigh bone) can all be profoundly helped by undergoing Janu Basti treatment.
Where can you take the Janu Basti Treatment?
A quiet and heavenly place for the finest Ayurvedic treatments is The Art of Living Retreat Center, nestled at the top of Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, North Carolina.
The center has all the ingredients-spa retreats, Panchakarma, finger-licking delicious fare, Yoga and Ayurvedic Dosha balancing treatments with the idyllic views of the hills-that go into making the perfect timeout for healing and relaxation.