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 art of appropriate living which helps to achieve longevity. It can also guide every individual for prevention of disease from gaining a foothold in the system. To achieve this status of body, mind and consciousness, Ayurveda prescribes Panchakarma Therapy for cleansing of body toxins.
According to Ayurveda, good health depends upon our capability to fully metabolize all aspects of life, When we can’t completely digest our food, toxins accumulate in our bodily tissues, creating imbalance and – ultimately – disease. Panchakarma is an elegant cleansing process that releases stored toxins and restores the body’s innate healing ability.
Panchakarma is the traditional Ayurvedic way of inner purification to enliven the self-healing abilities of the body. The translation for Panchakarma is "five actions". It stands for the five Ayurvedic ways of intensive inner purification, detoxification and cleansing, in order to strengthen, to heal, to revitalize and to balance. Various dysfunctions can be brought back into balance, leading to more vitality, health and a higher quality of life. Panchakarma is an age-old method to reconnect with that inner source of relaxation, well-being and healing.
Purva Karma (Preparatory Procedure)
Before the actual operation of purification begins, there is a need to prepare the body in prescribed methods to encourage the body to let go of the toxins. The two procedures are Snehan and Swedan. Snehan is the oil massage. Oil is applied to the entire body with a particular type of massage which helps the toxins to move towards the gastro-intestinal tract.
Oil massage also makes the superficial and deep tissues soft and supple, thus helping to remove stress and to nourish the nervous system. Snehan(Oil) is given daily for three to seven days to be taken internally , as indicated. Swedan is sudation or sweating and is given every day immediately following the Snehan. A herbal decoction may be added to the steam to further loosen the toxins from the individual. Swedan liquifies the toxins and increases the movement of toxins into the Gastro-Intestinal Tract. After three to seven days of Snehan and Swedan, the humors become well "ripened."
Pradhan Karma (Main Procedures)
a) Vaman means therapeutic vomiting which is a medicated emesis. This treatment is done for the aggravated Kapha dosha (Phlegum), which dislodges the toxins mainly from the Respiratory and Gastro-Intestinal Tract. This therapy is also done for preventive & curative purposes.
Indication: Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Sinusitis, Asthma, Metabolic disorders like Diabetes., Skin allergy, eczema, psoriasis, Obesity, Urticaria etc
b) Virechan is a medicated purgation therapy which cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract, liver and gall bladder from toxins. It also removes toxins from the blood and thus purifies the blood.
Indication: Rheumatic Arthritis, Gout, Obesity, Chronic Asthma, Cardiac Disorders, Tumors growth, Jaundice, Gall stone, Spleen disorders, Eczema, psoriasis, Hypersensitivity, Urinary retention etc.
c) Basti involves the introduction into the rectum, herbal substances like oil and decoction etc in a liquid medium. Basti, is the most effective treatment of neurological disorders, although many enemas over a prescribed period of time are usually required.
Indications: Constipation, Low Back Ache, Inflammatory disorders like Gout, Rheumatism, Neurological disorders like Sciatica, Nervous disorders like headache, Obesity, Emaciation, Sexual weakness, Infertility, Muscular atrophy etc.
d) Nasya: The nose is the doorway to the brain and it is also the doorway to consciousness. The nasal administration of medication is called nasya. An excess of bodily humors accumulated in the sinus, throat, nose or head areas is eliminated by means of the nearest possible opening, the nose.
Indications: Stress, Emotional imbalances, Stiffness in the neck & shoulders, Dryness of the nose, Sinus congestion, Hoarseness, Migraine, Hemicrania, Headache, Convulsions, Stiffness in the head, neck, teeth and jaw and facial paralysis
e) Raktamokshana is one of the Panchakarma Ayurvedic treatments or the 5 basic techniques of detoxification. It is made of two words – Rakta i.e blood and Mokshana i.e to let, and combining both these words makes the word Raktamokshana which means ‘to let out blood’.
Raktamokshana is an effective blood purification therapy, in which carefully controlled removal of small quantities of blood is conducted to neutralize accumulated toxins of many blood borne diseases
Indications: This is highly effective in diseases like Skin Diseases, Odema, Abscess, Inflammations, Dullness, Uraemia and Pericarditis. Allergies, Skin disorders such as Eczema, Allergic Dermatitis, Tonsillitis and Sciatica. This procedure also decreases the load on the vital organs of heart and liver.
Paschyat Karma (Post Panchakarma/Follow up Regimen)
For enhanced benefits after Panchakarma treatments, one should avoid both diet and lifestyle that contribute to illness. Follow up regimen in regard to diet and lifestyle helps to intensify digestive and metabolic fire, restore physical strength as well as for optimum functioning of the body systems. Post Panchakarma regimen includes intake of wholesome food and avoidance of day sleep & physical and mental over-strain.
Benefits of Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments
Eradicates diseases from its root cause. Restores health & wellness and minimises recurrence of the disease. Promotes immunity & improves strength, vigour and vitality. Enhances digestion and metabolism, delays ageing rejuvenate the body and mind, improves the functioning of sense organs and mind, promotes longer, healthier and happier life. A diseased body can be compared to a soiled cloth which cannot be coloured as we desire. Hence to attain the maximum benefits, the body has to be purified or cleaned before starting the treatment.