Kati basti is a treatment of the lower back, unique to Ayurveda. ‘Kati’ refers to the lower back and ‘basti’ means ‘to hold’.
Flour dough is used to form a well on the lower back and is filled with warm oil. The oil is kept warm by continuously replacing it as it cools.
The warm oil increases blood circulation in the area, relaxing the muscles, relieving pain, improving movement and reducing stiffness.
“Then the real magic happens, which I can’t quite explain. [Kati Basti] feels exceptionally relaxing and completely changes how my back feels – so much lighter. Freeing.” – Birgit
A traditional Ayurvedic full body massage (abhyanga) helps to relieve tension in the muscles.
Medicated herbal oils are used, which are absorbed through the skin to nourish the body.2
Abhyanga is traditionally followed by steam therapy – either localized or of the entire body – to further soften and relax muscles.3
If you want to learn more about abhyanga, check out Robert and Melanie Sachs’ course on Himalaya mountain abhyanga below.
Therapeutic Enema (Vasti/Basti)
By inserting herbal oil or herbal decoction into the colon in the form of therapeutic enemas, excess Vata is removed from its main seat in the pelvic area.
Both the rectum and colon have very rich blood and lymph supply that allows for effective absorption.
Studies have shown that substances delivered by enemas are more effectively passed into the general bloodstream than by oral administration, as it bypasses metabolism in the liver.2