Panchakarma is the name of the cleansing process used to rid the body of toxic materials caused by poor nutrition or by disease. It’s the ultimate healing experience for both body and mind, for strengthening the immune system, detoxifying the body, and restoring well-being and balance. Panchakarma is the most effective healing system used in Ayurvedic medicine because it promotes rejuvenation and detoxification. It is recommended when a person is experiencing illness or just feeling out of balance, or on a seasonal basis.
Meaning ‘five treatments’ or ‘five actions’, Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word. Our body will usually efficiently process and remove waste materials, including the vitiated Doshas, however because of our poor exercise and dietary habits, and our lifestyle and genetic predisposition, the metabolic co-factors, digestive enzymes, hormones and Agnis which controls and regulates the body’s internal homeostasis become upset. This leads to disease, because of the accumulation and spread of toxins throughout the body. In Ayurveda this waste materials is called Ama; Ama is an unpleasant sticky, bad-smelling and harmful substance which should be completely eradicated from the body.
PanchaKarma is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a seasonal treatment in the maintenance of physical and mental hygiene, and balance. It corrects imbalances and removes excess Doshas, in addition to eliminating harmful Ama from your system by means of the body’s own organs and elimination methods, such as sweat glands, colon, bladder, lungs, stomach, urinary tract, intestines etc. PanchaKarma is a very enjoyable experience; it purifies the tissues at a deep level, involving daily oil baths, massages, nasal administrations and herbal enemas.
PanchaKarma: A Five-Fold Therapy
PanchaKarma is a very individualized, five-fold therapy, based specifically on the individual’s needs; it depends on the Ayurvedic constitutional type, age, immune status, Doshic imbalances, digestive strength, and many other factors. It may be that only parts of the five treatments are required, as it’s totally dependent on the individual. The procedures will be administered by a trained therapist in a definite sequence for a specific period of time. PanchaKarma is normally a comfortable and enjoyable experience, however there may be some discomfort associated with the intense release of body toxins. That’s why it’s imperative that a trained expert administers PanchaKarma because they will recognize the signs of proper (and improper) PanchaKarma therapy.
PanchaKarma: Initial Consultation
As with any other medical procedure, your therapy will begin with an initial consultation by an experienced Ayurvedic Physician, who will be able to determine your constitutional type (Prakriti), the specific health problem (if there are any), and the correct intensity for the prescribed therapies.
These treatments have proven to lower metabolic activity and to create measurable brain wave coherence. The mind and body relax into a wonderful sense of peacefulness, and while in this state it’s possible to release emotional tensions and to cleanse toxins from body tissues.
Next: Description of Therapies