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Ayurveda is an age-old science that uses nature’s remedies to balance and detoxify the body through body wisdom, seasonal knowledge and Panchakarma. It is designed to restore the degenerative process of the human body, with the potential of long-lasting wellness within it.
What is Panchakarma treatment? (What is Panchakarma treatment?)
Panchakarma treatment is a set of five therapeutic treatments given to the patient for complete detoxification of the body. According to Ayurveda, detoxification of the body is essential before any other major treatment. Even for healthy people it is recommended to undergo this treatment once in every five years to get rid of all the impurities and chemical toxins that have accumulated in the body over the years. In some cases, Panchakarma treatment alone can cure many chronic diseases which will not require any further treatment later.
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word which literally means “five actions” or “five remedies”. It is a means of flushing out ama or toxins from the body, thereby cleansing and rejuvenating the body and mind. It uses five methods or treatments that are guaranteed to detoxify the body.
5 steps of Panchakarma treatment
Preparation before purification
Before the actual detoxification begins in Panchakarma treatment, the body needs to be prepared in prescribed ways to encourage it to release toxins. Two methods are used for this: lubrication and sweating.
Snehana is a full body massage with medicated herbal oils. Oil massage is done in a special way in the body to move the toxins towards the gastro-intestinal tract. The oil also penetrates the skin leaving superficial and deep tissues soft and supple, thus helping to relieve stress and nourish the nervous system. Lubrication is given for 3 to 7 days as indicated.
Swedan is sudan or sweat. It is given every day immediately after lubrication. An herbal decoction can be added to the steam to further loosen toxins from the body. Sweating liquefies the toxins and facilitates their movement towards the gastrointestinal tract.
1. Vamana- Vomiting Therapy:
When congestion occurs in the lungs due to repeated bronchitis attacks, cold, cough or asthma, the Ayurvedic treatment is therapeutic vomiting. This therapy eliminates kapha that produces excess mucus.
2. Virechana -Purgation Therapy:
When excess pitta (bile) is secreted and accumulates in the gallbladder, liver, and small intestine, it results in rashes, skin inflammation, acne, chronic fever, vomiting, nausea, and jaundice. Ayurveda suggests therapeutic virechana or therapeutic laxatives in these conditions.
3. Nasya – Nasal Administration:
The nose is the door to the brain and also the gateway to one’s inner self. Nasal administration of medicated drops is recommended for an excess of accumulated physiological humor in the sinuses, throat, nose, or head regions. They are eliminated through the closest possible opening – the nose.
4. Basti-Enema Therapy:
The major seat for Vata is the colon. Basti therapy involves preparing herbal decoctions and medicated oils in the rectum. It provides relief from constipation, digestive problems, chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pain, back pain, sciatica and various joint pains. Many other vata disorders such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasms and headaches can also be treated with basti.
Removal of toxins from the blood. This process is used to cure diseases caused by impure blood. The name is derived from two words ‘Rakt’, meaning blood and ‘Mokshana’, meaning to leave.
Who should follow the Panchakarma treatment program?
All those who live with constant stress from their work and daily lifestyle, and those who are addicted to tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Those suffering from gout, chronic digestive problems, constipation, migraine, obesity and insomnia, or anyone who feels the need to cleanse their body.
What are the benefits of Panchakarma treatment? (What are the benefits of Panchakarma treatment?)
Panchakarma treatment removes toxins from the digestive system, intestines, lungs, blood vessels and nervous system. It strengthens muscles and joints and helps in hormone secretion of all glands. It improves appetite, quality of sleep, sexuality, concentration and memory. No wonder many people feel like they’ve got a new body after a Panchakarma treatment
Why is monsoon considered a good time for Panchakarma?
- In the summer season, the pitta dosha becomes weak and the vata dosha increases in the body.
- When the monsoon comes, the fire in the body gets extinguished and the digestion process slows down.
- On the other hand, rain and cold environment promote gases and this creates disturbances in the body. Panchakarma helps the body to manage the three doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
- Panchakarma is a combination of five detoxification procedures.
Monsoon is considered the ideal time for Panchakarma therapy as the body can utilize the nutrients more effectively after Panchakarma.
As the body is freed of toxins and with a fresh influx of nutrients, Panchakarma helps to replenish the body and strengthen all the organs and tissues.