The average American spends 10 hours a day watching TV and using computers and mobile devices. With this amount of eye strain, and often not enough rest, our modern eyes are getting pretty tuckered out! According to Ayurveda, the eyes are one of the homes of pitta dosha in the body — a combination of the fire and water elements, pitta is responsible for all transformation in the body. In the eyes, pitta dosha transforms the reflection of an object on the retina into an image and allows us to see. When we overuse our eyes, pitta flares up and causes painful, dry, blood-shot eyes, inflammation in or around the eye, or even impaired vision. Ayurvedic medicine recommends cooling treatments for the eyes to calm pitta dosha and keep the eyes bright, clear and tension-free.
Netra Vasti is the process of bathing the eyes in a well of ghee (clarified butter) — traditionally used to purify the eyes, restore clear vision and slow the natural degeneration of the eyes. Ghee is highly anti-inflammatory and cools, lubricates and rejuvenates the eyes, strengthening the ocular muscles and nourishing the optic nerve, improving vision, and preventing formation of cataracts, glaucoma and conjunctivitis. Because the eyes are connected to the nervous system, bathing the eyes in this way also promotes a deep state of relaxation and can be helpful for anxiety, insomnia and chronic tension.
A clinical study conducted in 2011 by Poonam et al. studied 22 patients with myopia (nearsightedness). Patients received Netra Vasti five times (in 25 days) and the researchers reported a significant improvement in visual acuity in over half of the patients.
During your Netra Vasti treatment at blossom āyurveda, your practitioner will create a reservoir around each eye, using a simple dough of flour and water. Ghee is poured into the reservoir and the eye comfortably bathes in the ghee for 10 minutes. You will then enjoy a relaxing facial massage with marma point therapy, followed with a grounding warm oil massage for the hands and feet.
Netra Vasti is ideal if you experience any of the following:
Blurred or otherwise impaired vision
A history of chronic conjunctivitis (not acute infection)
Dry, itchy or watery eyes
Dark circles around the eyes
Tired, irritated eyes
Inflammation in or around the eyes