Ayurvedic Cleansing Procedures - Panchakarma
In Ayurveda, the term Panchakarma indicates the cleansing and rejuvenating treatment protocols. The word Panchakarma, derived from two Sanskrit words – Pancha means ‘five’ and Karma means ‘actions’, means – ‘five therapies’ or ‘five actions’. These are a set of cleansing procedures to eliminate the toxins (Ama) and vitiated doshas from the body. They also help the body to gain its innate ability by strengthening the immune system and overall well-being.
The five cleansing procedures are:
- Vamana (Emesis therapy)
- Virecana (Purgation therapy)
- Vasti (Enema therapy)
- Nasya (Nasal medications)
- Rakthamokshana (Bloodletting)
Why you need Panchakarma:
Human body has a natural cleaning mechanism to fight against the toxins and eliminate them from the body. When such toxins are not completely eliminated or when body can’t do the cleaning properly, over days these toxins accumulate and go further deeper into the body tissues and cells, and block the body channels. In Ayurveda such toxins or all kinds of substances that are harmful and useless to the body like metabolic wastes, undigested or partially digested foods, body waste products, unprocessed emotions etc. are termed as Ama. This affects the natural biochemistry and other functions of the body and blocks the flow of Prana – life force which ruin the natural makeup of the body.
How to prepare for cleansing procedures:
To achieve the best of Panchakarma and make it more effective and tranquil, the preparations are very important. Prepare yourself best possible at home by following the Pathya (the path which is conducive or favorable to the body) including diet and regimen to avoid the sudden shock to your body with new changes in lifestyle.
Stages in Panchakarma process:
The three main stages in Panchakarma are:
- Pre procedures (Poorva Karma)
- Main cleansing procedures (Pradhana Karma)
- Post cleansing procedure (Pazchath Karma)
The preparations for the main cleansing – to soften and loosen the toxins as well as to enhance lightness of body for the easy elimination of toxins. This includes Snehana (oleation therapy – saturating the body tissues with lipids or oils) and Swedana (fomentation – heating the body).
The main cleansing part – Here the physician selects the appropriate cleanse or cleanses among the five, after the complete examination of the patient and imbalance.
The rejuvenation part – to implement the fundamental tools which help to bring back the energy and strength of the body and digestion after the cleansing. This includes introducing gradually back to solid foods, activities and lifestyles and rejuvenation herbs.
PS: Always do Panchakarma with the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic physician.