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Panchakarma - The Ancient Definitive Mind-Body-Spirit Healing Procedure of Ayurveda
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Panchakarma is the most definitive mind-body-spirit healing experience for purifying the body, strengthening the immune system, restoring balance and well-being, and re-connecting you with your soul. It is one the most effective healing therapy in Ayurveda Science and Medicine. It promotes Healing, Purification and Rejuvenation.
Panchakarma in Sanskrit means “five actions” or “five treatments”, a process that cleans the body of residual toxic materials left by disease and compounded by lack of proper nutrition, and builds immunity against infections. Though the body has the innate ability to efficiently process and remove these foreign materials, including the vitiated (Prakopa) doshas, the modern carefree lifestyle practices dent this.
The digestive enzymes, metabolic co-factors, hormones, and agnis which regulate the body’s internal homeostasis become disorganized due to one’s repeated dietary indiscretions, poor exercise patterns, lifestyle, and genetic predisposition. This leads to the accumulation and spread of toxins throughout the physiology resulting in disease. This waste matter is called ama in Ayurveda. Ama is a foul-smelling, sticky, harmful substance that needs to be completely removed from the body.
Panchakarma removes excess doshas, corrects imbalances and eliminate the harmful ama out of your system through the body’s own organs and pores of elimination (colon, sweat glands, lungs, bladder, urinary tract, stomach, intestines, etc.). Panchakarma purifies the tissues at a very deep level.
Panchakarma is highly personalized, based on the needs of an individual depending on constitutional type, dosha status, age, digestive ability and immune conditions among other factors. Depending on each individual’s need, all or only parts of the five therapies are utilized, and procedures administered in a definite sequence for a specified period of time.
And remember. Never undergo a Panchakarma Therapy without consulting a qualified Ayurveda Physician/Vaidya. For, only he/she can determine your prakriti (constitutional type), and decide on the appropriate therapies in tune with the health issues, if any, that you suffer. It involves daily massages and oil baths, herbal enemas, nasal administrations. AyurVAID recommends Panchakarma treatment for maintaining mental peace, spiritual equilibrium, and physical health.
FIVE METHODS OR PROCEDURES (PANCHAKARMA):
- Vaman - emesis - induced vomiting.
- Virechan - purgation - induced laxation.
- Vasti - medicated enemas of decoctions or oils.
- Nasya - nasal medication.
- Rakta-mokshan - Blood letting.
THREE STAGES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
The whole procedure is divided into 3 stages. It is important to follow all three stages of Panchakarma to achieve proper results.
- Purva karma ( Pre-operative procedure)
- Pradhan karma (Main procedure)
- Paschat karma (Post-operative care)
(A) PURVAKARMAS (PRE-OPERATIVE PROCEDURES)
The Preparatory Procedures are used to soften our tissues, so that lipid soluble toxins which get deposited into our tissues and are hard to eliminate, can liquefy and flow back into the digestive tract from where they are taken out. Purva karma treatments are to be performed before starting the Pradhan karma treatments. These treatments are directed to prepare a patient mentally and physically for the main procedure. It includes three procedures:
Pachan karma- To improve digestion with some digestive herbs and fasting, so that patient can digest Ghee properly, which is given to liquefy the fat soluble toxins.
Snehan karma- In this process, medicated Ghee is given to the patient in increasing doses which helps to liquefy the fat soluble toxins deposited in the deep tissues.
Swedan karma- Swedan means steaming, in this process full body Steam bath is given to the patient which helps to open up the body channels while the heat helps to liquefy the toxins facilitating their movement from the tissues to the digestive tract.
(B) PRADHAN KARMA (MAIN PROCEDURE)
It includes all Panchakarma procedures. It is most essential step in curing a patient from the disease, and to remove the toxins which are liquefied by the preparatory treatments. These are:
Vaman (Therapeutic vomiting): Vaman is one treatment among panchakarma for kapha predominating disorders. After proper preparation of the individual through purva karmas for about 5-7 days, therapeutic induced vomiting is done by giving emetic drugs orally along with a large quantity of medicinal liquids. The subject is allowed to vomit all the contents of the stomach. This treatment is very good for treating bronchial asthma, sinusitis, cough, psoriasis, eczema, epilepsy, and insanity etc.
Virechanam (Therapeutic Purgation or Diahorrea): Virechanam is one of the Panchakarma procedures for pita predominating disorders. After proper preparation of the individual through purva karmas for about 5 to 7 days, Virechanam is done by oral administration of Laxative herbs. This treatment is very effective for treating skin diseases, Acne, Hyperacidity, High Blood pressure, Depression, insanity, dermatitis etc.
Vasti: Vasti means enema therapy, Vasti is one of the treatment among Panchakarma for vata predominating disorders. It is of 2 types:
Sneha vasti: This is medicated oil enema; it is beneficial for constipation, neurological ailments, paralysis, flatulence, lower backache and dryness. The treatment nourishes and rebuilds the body tissues (Dhatus), restores and fortifies the body's immunity. This promotes better nutrition while removing accumulated toxins (Malas) from the colon. Prior to this procedure the individual’s body is prepared by massage and steam bath especially for the stomach and lower back.
Niruha vasti: This treatment is normally done after a course of Snehavasti. This is a cleansing enema where combinations of honey, salt, oil, herbal paste, and herbal decoction are administered as per the patient's requirement and health condition. This treatment is effective for treating arthritis, constipation, neurological ailments, paralysis, flatulence, lower backache, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, rheumatism, sciatica etc.
Nasya: Nasya means administration of medicine through nasal route. Prior to the administration of medicine face, shoulders and chest are massaged with specific herbal oil and steam inhalation is done to open up the channels. This treatment cleanses and strengthens the nasal passages, allowing fully and easy breathing. This treatment is very good for treating headache, bronchial asthma, sinusitis, allergies, migraine, facial paralysis, neuralgia, earache, dark circle around the eyes etc.
Raktamokshan:This is mainly used in the diseases resulting from aggravation of toxins in the blood. It is done with needles, leeches or suction cups. This treatment is very good for treating eczema, psoriasis, infections gout, sciatica and in cases of stagnant blood causing local inflammation etc.
(C) PASCHAT KARMA (POST-OPERATIVE CARE)
Paschat karma means after care. In this, certain precautions are taken after finishing the main procedures to get the full benefit of Panchakarma. It includes certain rejuvenating treatments and Rasayan therapy, lifestyle management, diet management, intake of herbal supplements etc.
These include following procedures:
- Sansarjan karma (Food therapy after detox)
- Rasayan adi prayogam (The rejuvenating Rasayan Therapy)
- Shaman chikitsa (The Pacification therapy with Herbs and life style management)
Benefits of Panchakarma:
- Helps to restore metabolic fire (AGNI)
- Eliminates AMA (toxins) and strengthens tissue functions.
- Assists in balancing all three doshas.
- Helps implement a healthy diet and lifestyle.
- Reduces stress, improves relaxation & tolerance.
- Slows the ageing process.
- Boosts the immunity levels.
- Improves strength, endurance and vitality.
Disclaimer: * Outcomes may vary from person to person