Panchakarma Detoxification Treatment
In Ayurveda, health is defined as the state where every aspect of our being is working properly and in harmony with all its other aspects. i.e, the digestive fire (Agni) is in balanced condition; the three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – are in equilibrium according to the individual constitution; waste products (malas) are produced and eliminated normally; and the mind, senses, and consciousness are working harmoniously together. When the balance of any of this system is disturbed, the disease process begins.
Basically, any aggravation of the doshas affects agni (the digestive fire) and produces toxins (Ama). Other factors play a role in the formation of ama as well. The factors that lead to the formation of toxins are poor digestion of food, improper food combinations, poor drinking water, pollution, and pesticides in food, the emotional and physical stress of trauma and so on. These toxins accumulate and spread throughout the body and eventually deposit themselves into the deeper tissues, organs or channels, creating dysfunction and disease.
In Ayurveda, there is a cleansing and rejuvenating program known as panchakarma. Panchakarma consists of five therapeutic actions or treatments that are specific methods to safely and effectively remove ama(toxins) from different areas of the body without damaging or weakening the system.
There are three phases of Panchakarma:
- Purva karma – Pre Purification Procedure
- Pradhana Karma – Main Purification Procedure
- Paschat Karma – Post Purification Procedure
Purva Karma: Purva karma therapies serve to prepare the body to get rid of stored ama(toxins). Purva karma consists of two steps :
Snehana (Oleation): Snehana is the first step of Purvakarma and it consists of saturating the body with herbal or medicated oils. Snehana is the internal oleation with ghee or medicated oil, helps loosen ama and move it from deeper tissues into the GI tract where panchakarma’s main therapies can eliminate it.
External oleation is called Abhyanga and it consists of vigorous massage over the whole body with medicated oils. The choice of oils depends on the particular needs and dosha imbalance of the individual.
Swedana (Sudation): Swedana is performed after the massage. The main objective of this therapy is to dilate the channels so that removal of ama can be more easily achieved. There are two types of swedana, Nadi swedana usually focuses on specific areas of the body such as core joints or muscles. Nadi swedana improves mobility and reduce pain and Bashpa Swedana used to further detoxify the body after Abhyanga. It is usually followed by herbal plasters and poultices called lead to help draw toxins out of the pores of the skin.
Pradhana Karma: After Purva Karma, ama is back on GI tract and can be removed from it with the main Panchakarma Therapies :
Vamana ( Vomiting Therapy): When there is congestion in the lungs causing repeated attacks of bronchitis, colds, cough or asthma, the Ayurvedic treatment is therapeutic vomiting – Vamana, to eliminate the kapha which is causing the excess mucus.
Virechana: When excess bile, Pitta is released and accumulated in the gallbladder, liver and small intestine, it tends to result in rashes, skin inflammation, acne, chronic attacks of fever, vomiting, nausea, and jaundice. Ayurvedic literature suggests in these conditions the administration of therapeutic purgation or a therapeutic laxative.
Nasya: The nose is the doorway to the brain and it is also the doorway to life-force. The nasal administration of medication is called Nasya. An excess of bodily humor accumulated in the sinus, throat, nose or head areas is eliminated by means of the nearest possible opening the nose.
Vasti: Vata’s predominant site is the colon. Ayurvedic Basti involves the introduction into the rectum of herbal of herbal concoctions of medicated oil and certain herbal preparation in a liquid medium. It relieves constipation, digestion, chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pain, backache, sciatica and other pains in the joints.
Paschat Karma: The set of procedures that follow the main therapies of Panchakarma is Paschat Karma. Paschat Karma is aimed at assisting the body in the re-establishment of healthy metabolic system and immunity. If the post-treatment procedures are neglected, the digestion may not normalize and the production of ama may continue.
The above-mentioned treatment plan is the general panchakarma detoxification process for a normal healthy person. However, our doctor will have to check your past medical history and diagnose your present health condition, before finalizing a right treatment plan for you.