Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic method of cleansing the body of unwanted waste. Ayurveda is an ancient healing science that has comprehensive teachings on preserving and maintaining physical and mental health for complete wellbeing. It is a testament to its genuine wisdom that the teachings of Ayurveda can be adopted even in today’s faster paced world. Consider the eight Panchakarma important questions to ask if you are contemplating this ayurvedic cleanse that eliminates accumulated impurities.
What is Panchakarma?
The word panchakarma is derived from two words; pancha which means five while karma means procedures and is a five-stage treatment that includes curative, preventive and promotive actions for various diseases. Panchakarma therapy is a type of detoxification program that uses different Ayurvedic purifying and rejuvenating procedures.
What are the stages of this treatment?
Each stage of this treatment has a defined purpose towards restoring your body’s natural healing ability. It lasts over the course of several days with time allocated towards rest and processing the experience. Your body has a finely developed and equipped system to remove waste through various channels – sweat glands, blood vessels, urinary tract and intestines.
The five stages in ancient times included:
- Basti, which used herbal enemas to purge the large intestines
- Nasya, which is the method used to clean the nasal passage
- Vamana, removes toxins in the stomach through therapeutic vomiting
- Virechana, removes toxins from the small intestines
- Raktamokshana, purifies the blood with carefully controlled letting of small quantities of blood
Today these five stages and treatment processes have been slightly modified to suit the needs of modern life:
- Cleansing enemas
- Nasal administration
- Gentle laxatives (senna)
- Specialized diet
- Herbal oil massage
- Steam baths
What is the purpose of Panchakarma?
The purpose of panchakarma treatments is to help gently clear your body’s impurities removal channels so that everything works efficiently, optimally and smoothly, leaving you feeling healthy and energised. According to Ayurvedic teachings our body and mind are intricately connected meaning that when you feel physically healthy your mind too benefits.
What are the benefits of this treatment?
Ayurveda advocates a holistic approach to healing believing that balance is key. Panchakarama helps remove toxins from our entire system helping our body and mind regain balance for happiness and wellbeing. Not only does it completely purify your body of toxins, but it also helps strengthen your immune system. Further benefits include:
Opening blocked channels
Speeding up your metabolism
Strengthening your digestive fire
How do you prepare for the treatment?
Panchakarma has three main phrases namely the preparations phrase, the principal procedures and the post-therapy procedures. There are a few different ways you may be asked to prepare for your panchakarma treatment such as to avoid coffee and tea a few days before, avoid tobacco, stop eating processed or junk food, avoid dairy products and to start massaging your body with a prescribed herbal oil. Again the preparation will depend upon the advice given to you by your Ayurvedic practitioner.
Do you have any underlying health conditions?
Panchakarama is a wonderful cleansing treatment for your body which can help with many health problems, but it cannot work miracles. It is important to discuss with your panchakarma physicians if you have a chronic illness and the level of pain you suffer. In cases such as this your treatment maybe modified or if not you will be advised to avoid the treatment at all.
What are the lifestyle changes to be made during and after treatment?
Panchakarma treatment is all about re-setting your body within, so that it can function smoothly. You will have to make certain lifestyle and dietary changes to promote a wellness lifestyle to restore balance to the body. You will be advised to adopt an Ayurvedic diet which means eating to suit your body type while the importance of incorporating rest and herbal self-massages into your daily routine will be emphasised. Speak with your Ayurvedic physician regarding these easy to adopt changes that will help you maintain the benefits of the panchakarma treatment. It is important that you are able to commit to these changes in order to reap the full benefits of the treatment.
What are the side effects of this treatment?
Side effects right after the treatment include fatigue, headaches, malaise, congestion and a generally feeling of being unwell as panchakarma can create an initial increase in symptoms. These effect do not last a long time and are just the process of toxins leaving your body.
Panchakarama is the perfect gift to yourself as the benefits are long lasting helping your incredible human body function to its fullest potential for an overall feeling of health, mindfulness and wellbeing. Speak with an ayurvedic practitioner today and find out how panchakarma can benefit you.