Panchakarma is a unique mode of Ayurvedic therapy that has both preventive and curative aspects. Panchakarma constitutes the Shodhana Chikitsa which is an Ayurvedic rejuvenation treatment which does not only eliminates the toxins causing the diseases but also replenishes the tissue with nourishment.
Panchakarma is a unique modality of treatment that covers preventive as well as curative aspects. It constitutes the Shodhana Chikitsa which is an Ayurvedic rejuvenation treatment which does not only eliminates the toxins causing the diseases but also replenishes the tissue with nourishment.
The name panchakarma is derived from two Sanskrit words. “Panch” means “five” and “karma” means “action.” The name denotes five primary procedures of cleansing which Ayurveda uses to purify the body. The five-purificatory procedures are: 1) vaman (induced emesis) 2) virechan (induced purgation) 3) niruha basti (decoction enemas) 4) anuvasna basti (oil enema) and 5) nasya (nasal medication). Panchakarma therapy is always performed in three stages – purva karma (pre-treatment), pradhana karma (main treatment) and pashchat karma (post-treatment).
Purva karma includes two preparatory procedures before the commencement of the main panchakarma procedures. These pre-procedures are used to dislodge the toxins from the inner sites and help them in eliminating by the main 5-panchakarma procedures. These are snehan (oleation) and swedana (steam therapy).
Snehana employs the administration of medicated oils internally as well as externally. There are various modes for the external application of the medicated oils, depending on the parts of the body involved and the different types of massage performed. This therapy employs the administration of medicated oils either internally or externally. There are various types of external applications of the medicated oils, depending on the parts of the body involved and type of the massage performed.
The external application of oil in ayurveda is called abhyanga or therapeutic massage therapy. Abhyanga with specific Ayurvedic oils in ayurveda nourishes and revitalize the body tissues (dhatus) and allow the toxins to be removed from the cells. Abhyanga not only loosens the toxins but helps in achieving the deepest healing effects by naturally harmonizing the body–mind, and spirit. It is carried out in silence, which helps to harmonize various functions of the body. Silence and rest are two important components in the process of activating the body’s own self-healing mechanisms. This massage is performed symmetrically with synchronized movements with the help of two well-trained panchakarma therapists and is usually followed by a medicated steam bath (swedana). It improves blood circulation, increases tissue strength, rejuvenates the whole body, removes, and beautifies the skin, delays aging, induces sound sleep, promotes vitality, pacifies vata imbalance, reduces stress, and removes toxins.
Swedan (Fomentation) – Swedan consists of the various applications of heat treatments in different ways to make the patient sweat. It is second major form of the preparatory procedures.
Pradhana karma following snehana and swedana, the toxins came into the gastrointestinal system from where these can be eliminated by the main panchakarma procedures, i.e, vamana, virechana, anuvasana basti, niruha basti and nasya.
Anuvasana basti is primarily oil based enema and is meant to be building and nourishing. It is a cleansing as well as nourishing kind of enema.
Anuvasana basti is primarily oil based enema and is meant to be building and nourishing. It is a cleansing as well as nourishing enema.
Basti is one of the mildest and safest detoxification therapy which is recommended for a wide variety of illnesses and considered one of the most important aspects of treatment. According to Maharshi Charak, therapeutically it is 50% of all the panchakarma therapies procedures. It cleanses the accumulated toxins from the gastro intestinal system and is treatment of choice for the diseases caused by vata imbalance. Vata is the most active principle in pathogenesis. Balancing vata may treat the root cause of most of the diseases. It improves the absorption, stabilizes vata and is highly beneficial as a rejuvenating and treatment also. Medicated oil or ghee, herbal decoction and various other medicated liquids are given as enema to detox and clean the colon.
Vamana is a therapeutic emesis , which specially cleans the toxin and balances kapha.
Administration of herbal preparations and medicated oil through the nostril is called Nasya. Nasya is particularly useful in the treatment of all kinds of diseases occurring in the head region and organs situated above the clavicle.
It removes the accumulated toxins from the liver, gall bladder and small intestine, cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract and balances pitta.
it is necessary to follow a particular procedure after completion of the panchakarma which is called sansarjan krama. Sansarjan means regeneration and karma means procedure. Usually during the panchakarma procedure, the patient is kept on a specific and strict diet regime. Sansarjan krama is a procedure by which the patient is gradually bring back to the normal dietary regime.
Sansarjan krama includes gradually increasing the diet of the patient from liquids to semi-solid to normal. Normally, it lasts for about 7 to 10 days. It is done to boost the effectiveness of panchakarma.
Extreme importance has been given to dietary and lifestyle modification in ayurveda which is also an important component of every prescription. After panchakarma special dietary advises are advised to the patient to increase their strength and vitality.