The Head (Siraha or Uttamanga) is one among the prime organ of the body, where brain is seated along with all the sense organs (Indriyas), which perceives all the sensory information and interpreted. Among them eyes (NAYANA) considered to be most vital and useful for the perception of visual information, as per AYURVEDIC MEDICINE it is predominated by alochaka Pitta (A sub type of pitta), often subjected to strained due the increased screen times like watching computer, televisions and phones. Due to which the burden on the vision is greatly increased and caused enormous amount of the damage.
Certain conditions associated along with aging, repetitive eye strain through years of work and so forth can irritate or strain the eye/s to the extent they need further intervention to be able to maintain the healthy function.
Netra Tarpana is the Ayurvedic treatment in such cases.
It is used in cases where the patient is:
- Suffering eye strain
- There is a stiffness/rigidity within the eye movements
- The eyes are excessively dry
- Suffering eye injury
- Certain Vata Pittaja diseases are causing problems within the eyes
- Has abnormal deviations of the eye
- Eye lashes falling often into the eyes
- Dirtiness within the eyes, possibly from work conditions
- Hyperaemia of the conjunctiva
- Atrophy of the cranial nerves
- To pacify irritation, soreness, redness or tearing within the eyes themselves.
What is Netra Tarpana?
Netra (eye) and Tarpana (nourishment) is directly treating the eye with nourishing therapy. A dough is made that is appropriate (sticky enough but gentle enough) for the face and gently made into a bowl like shape around the eye. Ghrita (medicated Ghee) is then warmed and then placed over the eyes contained within the dough bowl and the patient is to preform eye movements and blinking.
Contraindications of Netra Tarpana:
- On cloudy, excessively hot or cool days
- A patient who is excessively worrying
- A patient who is physically exhausted
- A patient experiencing vertigo or dizziness
- If the patient’s symptoms worsen or do not improve with the treatment
How was Netra Tarpana performed on the day?
- A bowl to make the special dough, it needed to be stickier and looked smoother than a standard type of Vasti for the body. The flour of wheat flour/black gram and hot water.
- Heating device, a double boiler (with water bath in the bottom) and Triphala Ghrita (Ghee medicated with Triphala) to prepare and heat the Ghrita as required.
- Cloths, towels, tissues: for patient modesty and cleaning as is required
- Cotton balls: to put the Ghrita into the Basti.
- A clean spoon: for distribution of the Ghrita.
- The dough needed special preparations compared with the basti/vasti of the body. It is made from a grain mixture of whole wheat/black gram/pulses and hot water is used to construct the dough. It is then carefully molded around both eyes and across the nose bridge. Water is then used to make a seal on both inner and outer walls by gently bringing down a small amount of the dough onto the patient.
- When the eye basti are complete, and Ghrita is sufficiently warmed (it is not made too warm/hot) the patient was asked to test with his little finger the temperature. Then a cotton bud was used to wipe a layer of the Ghrita over the patient’s eyes and then slowly, gently cotton balls were used to gently drip the warm Ghrita across the eyes. When a sufficient amount was administered (covering the eyes enough so when the patient’s eyes were opened they were immersed in the Ghrita), the patient was asked to slowly blink, and then move his eyes up and down and side to side. (It was necessary at times to push the Basti towards the patient’s eyes at the top of the bowl to ensure complete immersion at times). When the Ghrita had lost its warmth, the Ghrita was removed slowly by daubing gently with cotton balls and returning it to the upper bowl above the water bath. It was reheated and re-administered the same way three times at 10-minute intervals.
- After the last of the Ghrita was removed, and cloths and towels were used to help clean the skin of the upper face, the patient was instructed in his own time to sit up. Practitioner then examined the patient and decided to have him lie back down and used saline to flush his eyes as it brought out quite a lot of redness and inflammation. After about 10 minutes the patient was fine to sit up and move around again.