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The Panchakarma Process Demystified

2015-12-31      07:54:17

The Panchakarma Process Demystified

Defining Panchakarma

Panchakarma is derived from two Sanskrit words, Pancha meaning five and Karma meaning methods, therapy or treatment. As per Ayurveda, Panchakarma helps cleanse, purify and rejuvenate the mind-body. The process helps remove the harmful ama or toxins, correct the affected doshas and thus detox the body, improve immunity, reinstate balance and offer a definitive mind-body healing and an all-pervading sense of wellbeing.

Why Panchakarma

The mind and body is detoxified by Panchakarma. As the body is prepared and geared up to eliminate existing ama or toxins, then assimilation of nutrients is improved and with toxins removed and feeling nourished and completely cleansed, the mind-body balance is restored in completion. The agni within, or our digestive fire is cleansed and we regain our essence, the Ojas.

The Derivatives of Panchakarma

The Ayurvedic guidelines and principles are based on the elements of nature, Panchabhuta and Tridosha premise. In this, an individual is seen as a perfectly balanced entity of mind-body and soul. If this is achieved, we can defer illnesses, delay aging and be healthy and young too. Before embarking on a Panchakarma treatment, the physician takes into consideration, the person's age, gender, vigor, illnesses and body types. And accordingly the five-stage therapies which in turn have many procedures are administered for a prescribed number of days. Again, certain sections of the therapies are administered on individuals, based on their needs, requirements and what their ultimate goal is. All these therapies are undertaken by trained personnel under the guidance and direction of the physician. At Ayuryogashram too, an Ayurvedic resort in Thrissur, Kerala, all Panchakarma treatments and therapies are carried out by trained therapists under the aegis of the resident Ayurvedic physician. What are the five defining processes in Panchakarma? There are five or Panchakarmas or methods that make up Panchakarma

Vamana Karma

Vamana Karma is a therapy where vomiting is induced to reduce excess mucus and this cleanses the Kapha toxins collected in the body and decongests the respiratory tract.

Virechana Karma

Virechana Karma is controlled purgation to eliminate body toxins especially from the stomach, intestines, liver etc. It helps control pitta dosha and thus reduces its ill-effects on digestion.

Nasya Karma

The nose is considered as the doorway to our head. In this, herb-infused oil drops are inhaled or vapors from medicinal herbs that have been boiled are inhaled and this helps clear the sinuses and reduce excess mucus secretions and kapha-driven problems. It addresses any respiratory or even allergy-induced sicknesses and also calms the central nervous system.

Nirooha Vasti Karma

Both Nirooha Vasti Karma and also Anuvasana Vasti Karma are two types of enemas that helps empty or clear the stomach, the intestines of any waste materials that hasn't been passed out in normal course. This is such a cleanser that it really helps balance the doshas and reduces bloating and stomach ailments. This enema is more water-based with some herbal medicines added to it.

Anuvasana Vasti Karma

Anuvasana Vasti Karma is another type of purgation or enema that helps clear the intestinal tract and the stomach. The enema is carried out with medicated oils, tonics, and even some milk of plants. This has proven effective in reducing dosha-induced illnesses and also helps clear the stomach of any waste residues.

Panchakarma Treatments

Elimination, detoxification, purification, cleansing, absorption and amalgamation are what the Panchakarma process follows. Therefore, at a reputed Ayurvedic health centre or resort in Kerala like Ayuryogashram too, the process follows all the modalities of defined Panchakarma that has a preparatory phase and a post-treatment therapy too. It starts with the Poorvakarma where we prepare the person before the Panchakarma therapy. The treatments comprises Abhyanga, a beneficial herbal-oil massage, Shirodhara, where warm, herbal oil is poured on the forehead followed by a Swedana which is a herbal steam bath all of which are very therapeutic and helps, heals and repairs the body. There are treatments like Garshana, where wool or silk glove is employed to brush the skin to help circulation, Kizhis, where herbal poultices are applied on the body. And there are different types of massages like Pizhichil where warm, herbal oil is poured on the body and therapists massage in synchronized moves. Udvartana is a dry massage with a paste or powder so as to help eliminate toxins and tighten skin too. Panchakarma also comprises the Five Senses therapy wherein all our five sensory organs are also targeted to maximize its overall benefits. And of course, the different Basti treatments or enemas to finally help purge the toxins out. And Panchakarma is followed by Paschatkarma wherein a strict diet regimen is followed so as to help better absorption and achieve an overall wellness. Summing up The very objective of Pachakarma is to experience an overall wellness, mind-body balance and be at perfect peace with oneself. In the process, all our main dhatus or tissues are cleared, our metabolism and digestion is enhanced, we can root out illnesses, eliminate any waste from the body with ease, and all our sensory organs are rejuvenated and we eventually experience the ultimate harmonizing effect on the troika, the mind, body and soul.