Detoxification is the only way to beat stress and strains from the daily life. Panchakarma, the latest therapy in the Ayurveda, deals with the detoxification of the body.
Ayurveda is a natural way of healing several disorders and illness in the human body, and Panchakarma is an essential part of Ayurveda. It is a purification therapy to achieve a balance between mind, body and consciousness. Basically, Ayurveda stresses on the healing therapies, with the help of numerous methods of rejuvenation.
Panchakarma can be explained as, Pancha- five and Karma- treatment, which means a combination of five procedures, which detoxify and eliminate the doshas in the body.
According to the Ayurveda, the body should be fully purified before beginning any Ayurvedic therapy. Panchakarma is practised to purify and rejuvenate the mind and body and maintain balance in the three doshas- Vita, Pitta and Kapha.
Procedure of Panchakarma
There are two stages of Panchakarma,
- Preliminary practices
- After practices
Purva Karma or Preliminary practices
It involves neutralising toxins and it is done before practising Panchakarma. It involves two therapies, namely, Oleation and Fomentation
Also called Snehana, its main purpose is the application of medicated oil or ghee on the body. Various minerals and herbs in the oil get deeper into the tissues and slacken up the toxins in the cells. For external oleation, Greevavasti and Januvasti are practised in addition to several other procedures such as Pizhichal and Shirodhara.
Also called Svedana, this therapy is practised to generate sweat so that the tissues, which became soft with the Oleation technique, become more flexible. The deeply rooted toxins in the tissues loosen up by Oleation and then get flushed out of the body with the help of sweat generated by Fomentation.
The procedure in the after practices gets divided into five important steps.
Vamana- Therapeutic emesis
This therapy is practised to pacify aggravated Kapha and mainly to treat asthma. In this treatment, a recipient has to go through therapies of oleation and fomentation for few days. This liquefies the toxins, which then gathers on the upper cavities of the body. After it gathers, the patient is induced with emetic medicine. This makes the patient vomit, thereby removing toxins from its body. Vamana is preferred for the treatment of cough, epilepsy, obesity, asthma, anorexia, etc.
Virechana- Therapeutic purgation or laxation
In this therapy, toxins are removed from the body by evacuation of bowels. The recipient has to go through the therapies of oleation and fomentation before he is given an herbal laxative. This facilitates the bowel movement, thereby removing harmful toxins from the body. This therapy is practised for the diseases caused by Pitta aggravation such as jaundice, celiac disease, piles, intestinal disorders, etc.
Vasti- Medicated enema
It is said to be the most effective and important therapy for curing intractable diseases. In this, herbal medicines are administered through enema for curing complicated chronic diseases. The herbal oils, ghee, milk or decoction are given into the rectum on the basis of nature of the disease. This is purely used in the cases of vata aggravated conditions like headache, paralysis, urinary retention, constipation, etc.
Nasya- Nasal administration of drugs
This therapy is widely used for treating illness and diseases that occur above the neck region. At the start of the therapy, the head and shoulders are massaged gently. Then, the patient is given the nasal drops in both nostrils. This cleans the entire region of the head and the patient gets relief from various kinds of migraine and headache. It is very effective in curing neurological disorders, sinusitis, respiratory diseases, etc.
Raktmokshana- Therapeutic bloodletting
This therapy is practised to clean the impure blood in the body. Most of the diseases are caused because of impure blood in the body and thus, it is crucial to cleanse the blood. It is very effective against several diseases and can be undertaken in the entire body or in a specific area of the body. It is practised to cure diseases such as psoriasis, pigmentation, etc.
With increasing cases of ailments, Panchakarma is widely used to cure lifestyle-related diseases. It has numerous benefits like elimination of toxins, weight reduction, boosting immunity, elimination of excess mucus etc. However, Panchakarma should be practised under the supervision of Ayurvedic practitioner.