Introduction to Panchakarma

Panchakarma (five actions) is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind, and consciousness.

What is Panchakarma Treatment?
 

Panchakarma is a treatment program for the body, mind, and consciousness that cleanses and rejuvenates. It is based on Ayurvedic principles, every human is a unique phenomenon manifested through the five basic elements of Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.

The combination of these elements are three doshas (tridosha): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and their balance is unique to each individual. When this doshic balance is disturbed it creates disorder resulting in disease.

Panchakarma is done individually for each person with their specific constitution and specific disorder in mind, thus it requires close observation and supervision. Treatment starts with pre-purification Measures of Snehan and Svedana, and then cleansing methods – Shodanas are applied.

Main Panchakarma Benefits
 
Eliminate toxins and toxic conditions from your body and mind.
 
Restore your constitutional balance improving health and wellness.
 
Strengthen your immune system and become more resistant to illness.
 
 
Reverse the negative effects of stress on your body and mind thereby slowing the aging process.
 
Bring about deep relaxation and a sense of well-being.

 

 

What are the 5 Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments?

It’s important to understand that “pancha karma” actually means “five actions or five treatments.” There are five primary treatments included in Panchakarma which we elaborate on below.

Vamana
 

This Ayurvedic cleansing involves induced vomiting to eliminate excess mucus and toxins in your body.  Vamana is beneficial in diseases of Kapha dosha. This is done for respiratory problems like bronchitis, cough, cold and asthma. It also treats chronic allergies. The period for this process is approximately 10 days.

Virechan

For this treatment, we use Ayurvedic herbs to induce bowel movements which helps eliminate toxins from your system. It helps with negative accumulations in the body and promotes overall health and hormonal balance. The patient is provided by many purgatives and bowel increasing elements making the gut. This therapy is done for treating skin diseases, gastrointestinal dysfunctions. It completely eliminates diabetes and headaches. It also treats the dosha related to excess pitta in the body. The duration of this treatment is 10 days.

Basti
 

This treatment involves the use of enemas to eliminate toxins from the colon. It is typically used to treat digestive disorders, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Oil is used in this treatment is castor or medicated oil and given through anorectal, urethral or vaginal. It also involves herbal oil like sesame oil. Vata is mainly diagnosed for such treatment, and elimination of bile, urine and other excreta is done in this. It treats backache, sciatica, pain in joints, chronic fever and kidney stones. Done for the time of 8 to 30 days.

Nasya
 

This holistic approach to treatment involves using a nasal spray or drops to remove toxins from your sinuses and respiratory system. It’s designed to help with allergies, headaches, and other sinus issues. Through nasal routes, medical oil is used, and treatment is done. Some preferred medicinal oils are til oil & castor oil. It is basically for problems such as nervous system disorders, migraine headaches, eye & issues of ear and sinus congestion. This treatment flushes out the toxins from the head and neck region. Duration of complete Nasya treatment is 7 days.

 

Rakta Moksha
 

This treatment involves bloodletting usually through the form of leeches on the body. While we do not provide this Ayurvedic therapy, it’s useful for treating skin and blood disorders. As the name signifies, it clarifies and purify the blood and treat skin infections like dermatitis and psoriasis. Impure blood is the underlying cause of hypertension, repeated diseases and skin disorders like rashes, herpes, acne and hives. It also treats for the cases of enlarged liver, spleen and gut. In this, blood is removed in small quantity in a controlled manner very carefully. It neutralizes the pitta toxins present in the blood. It is mainly of two types: Shastra Visravana: It uses sharp instruments for Raktamoskshna.

Anushastra Visravana: No instrument is used for Raktamoskshna

Ayurveda emphasizes preventative and healing therapies along with various methods of purification and rejuvenation. Ayurveda is more than a mere healing system; it is a science and an art of appropriate living that helps to achieve longevity.

It can guide every individual in the proper choice of diet, living habits, and exercise to restore balance in the body, mind, and consciousness, thus preventing disease from gaining a foothold in the system.

According to Ayurveda, every human being is a unique phenomenon of cosmic consciousness, manifested through the five basic elements—Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Vata—a combination of ether and air, pitta—a combination of fire and water, and kapha—a combination of water and earth, are called the tridosha.

These are the three humors or the three organizations of the body, which are also derived from consciousness. Each individual constitution or psycho-somatic temperament is determined by the relative proportions of these three doshas at the time of fertilization.

When the embryo is formed, the constitution is determined. There are seven basic constitutions with one or more doshas predominant according to Ayurveda.

They are: vata, pitta or kapha predominant, vata-pitta, pitta- kapha or kapha-vata predominant and vata-pitta-kapha in equal balance, a rare occurrence.

Three stages of classical panchakarma

Classical Ayurvedic Panchakarma process includes three main components, i.e. Pre-procedure phase, Procedure Phase, post-therapy procedures.

In starting phase, per-procedure phase- with intake of fats like Ghee and Tail- softening of toxins completes. Because here we do target the toxins which are fat soluble. Along with the softening of toxins, toxins starts moving to the GIT so these can be washed off through any of the routes.

Main procedure is to remove the toxins from the system. The main five karmas help in this process.

While removing toxins, this is not possible to maintain the homeostasis like a normal condition. Therefore after completion of the main procedure a dietary regime comes in plan.

Benefits of Panchakarma

There can be several benefits of Classical Ayurvedic Panchakarma. These benefits are basically according to the procedure. And you can find these details on the concerned pages of these procedures. Some most common benefits are as follows:

  • Basti helps in neurological diseases, joint problems and problems related to musculature. But over all domain of the Basti is too big to narrate in words. Therefore Charaka himself says- basti is half of the complete treatment.
  • Vamana helps in skin diseases, bronchial issues and problems with metabolism.
  • Virechana works well in diseases associated with blood and digestive system.
  • And when it comes to reach to the brain by avoiding blood brain barrier, Nasya works wonders.

This is all about indications and involvement of the doshas. And only a well trained physician should take this call not a patient.

 

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