In Ayurveda, the state of perfect health and well-being is dependent on the body’s capability to metabolize all facets of life. Because of genetic factors and more commonly lifestyle factors, we have weak areas of our body that accumulate toxins, when unaddressed these become disease. Ayurveda understands, if you want to experience optimal health, it is crucial to maintain a strong digestion and eliminate toxins from the body.
Panchakarma is the purification procedure used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The word Panchakarma means five actions and refers to five procedures intended to intensively cleanse and restore balance to the body, mind and emotions. It reverses the degenerative process quickly and its effects are often profound and long lasting. Ayurvedic practitioners use Panchakarma as a support to a variety of health imbalances and as a preventative. It can be particularly effective for those imbalances that are chronic, metabolic or stress related.
According to Ayurveda, every human being is unique and it is important to address health care based on the individual. The aim of Ayurveda is to ensure good health for a healthy man and to eliminate the disease of a diseased man. In both cases, Panchakarma detoxification is necessary to cleanse and balance the systems of the body and is highly individualized, based on the needs of the individual depending on the constitution, imbalance, age, digestive strength, immune status, along with many other factors.
Panchakarma therapy is known to clear the various microscopic and macroscopic structures of the body such as the respiratory system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, reproductive system, nervous system, among others that are effected by insufficiently metabolized toxins, processed foods and emotions. It removes free radicals, balances cholesterol and triglycerides, regulates blood pressure, and introduces antioxidant enzymes into the body. It can slow the aging process, enhance vitality and mental clarity and because of it’s capability of stress management,
Panchakarma may even prevent heart attacks, stroke paralysis, and cancer. It’s techniques have shown to create measurable brain wave coherence and to lower metabolic activity, thus allowing the body and mind to drop into a profound level of peacefulness. In this state of relaxation, it is possible to further cleanse toxins from the tissues as well as to release deeply held emotional tensions.
Many Ayurvedic experts believe that even healthy people need regular Panchakarma today because our environment is so polluted. According to research cited by Maharishi Ayurveda, up to 100,000 synthetic chemicals (including PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides like DDT/DDE) are used in modern industrial and agricultural processes. Traces of these chemicals pervade our food, water, air, and even our own bodies, and some are associated with allergies, reproductive disorders, certain types of cancer, and other diseases.
Toxins along with undigested food matter, is known as Ama. Ama clogs the body on all levels and, when left unchecked, it becomes the breeding ground for disease. Ayurvedic medical texts describe ama as cold, heavy, wet and sticky, it develops form environmental toxins and internal toxins generated by poorly assimilated food.
If you have high cholesterol, hardened arteries, tooth tartar, a coated tongue, joint pain, body odor, or excess mucus, you have the physical symptoms of ama. Energetically, it lurks in the system as fatigue. Mentally, ama creates dullness, irritability, and greed. According to Ayurveda, Panchakarma addresses the root causes of disease by removing years of accumulated ama (along with excess Vata, Pitta, and/or Kapha) and supporting your agni.
Traditionally Ayurveda recommends a Panchakarma at the junction between each season to clear out impurities generated during the previous season to help you transition smoothly in to the next. A Panchakarma in the early spring is always a goodbecause it can help reduce your sensitivity to pollen and prevent colds. The job of your Ayurvedic practitioner is to tailor a program to re-balance your body and mind.
Panchakarma is a three-stage process. The preparatory phase begins with en-kindling the digestive fire or agni, and loosing toxins while lubricating the body’s subtle channels with internal and external oleation and sweating techniques. According to Ayurvedic theory, these preparatory procedures liquefy the body’s impurities and push them toward the gastrointestinal tract.
After several days of Purvakarma, the practitioner will choose one or more of the five (pancha) actions (karma) of elimination to rid the body of the ama, this can also last up to several days. Once the elimination procedures are completed, it is very important to restore the body and partake in Rasayana (rejuvenation). These internal and external Rasayana techniques are just as important as the other stages of the Panchakarma, to ensure the body has not only been purified but strengthened, limiting the possibility of future disease.
Like all medical procedures, Panchakarma must always begin with an initial consultation by a qualified Ayurvedic Physician who can determine the individuals constitution, nature of the health problem if any and the appropriate degree of the intensity of the techniques used in the Panchakarma. Specially trained technicians must administer these procedures in a definite sequence in a specified period of time.
Participation in a clinical Panchakarma requires close supervision by an Ayurvedic expert at all times. If your body is not properly prepared for cleansing, or if your techniques are incorrectly administered, you can overwhelm your nervous system or dislodge more toxins then your body can handle, along with other precautions to consider.
Ayurveda has evolved for other thousands of years, it is important to understand and preform each stage of Panchakarma proficiently with the time and grace according to its traditional practice. Most people want a get quick cleanse, but Panchakarma is gentle, soft and slow, though Panchakarma, Ayurveda is trying to create a gentle deep wave of cleansing, not a tsunami, so it may have long lasting profound effects.
Panchakarma may help with most minor and major illness including:
- Nervous system disorders
- Stress, Insomnia, Anxiety
- Sports injuries and Arthritis
- Frequent Illness
- Allergies, Asthma
- Infertility & Sexual Health
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Drug Detoxification
- Stomach discomfort
- Weight Gain or Loss
- Headaches and Migraines
- Digestive disorders
- Skin Conditions
- Auto Immune disorder
- Joint immobility
- Circulation related imbalances
- Thyroid Conditions
- Crohn's Disease & IBS
- Heart Disease
- Blood Pressure
- Emotional Health
- Senior Health
- Depression and Bipolar
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.