“Do you want to rejuvenate 3, or even 5 years? Then sign yourself up for the Panchakarma treatment!” This is a common recommendation in India where this ancient method of cleansing the body, mind and spirit of toxins, deriving from Ayurveda, is still widely popular today!
Our daily habits and overall lifestyle determine our state of health on a physiological, mental and energetical level. Even if we make a conscious effort to take care of ourselves, from time to time we need to purify our body and mind from all the toxins that we accumulate, as they contribute to premature ageing and an overall loss of vitality. In Ayurveda, the Panchakarma treatment is a great way for cleasning and rejuvenating our body and mind, and is used either as a prelude to other treatments or as an end in itself. It consists of five types of therapies that all have their specific function of cleasning the body of toxic materials.
Preparatory treatments: Abhyanga massage and Swedana
Before the Panchakarma some preparatory treatments, referred to as Purvakarma, are applied that prepare the body for the release of toxic materials. They include the renown Abhyanga massage in which a lot of oil is applied onto the body. The main aim of the Abhyanga massage in the Panchakarma therapy is to move the toxins towards the gastro-intestinal tract. The Abhyanga massage is followed by Swedana (sweating), that also helps to release the toxins. The massage is applied from 3 to 7 days and the Swedana is always performed immediately afterwards in the form of a steam bath. According to the Ayurveda these preparation measures, apart from mobilizing the toxins, also relax the body and mind and release tensions.
The Panchakarma therapies
The five basic therapies can be used in somewhat diffferent manners depending on the Ayurveda center, the therapist, the region, etc., so it is difficult to make a standardization.
- Nasyam: application of medicinal drops through the nose, that is considered the doorway to the brain and the consciousness
- Vamanam: induced vomiting
- Virechanam: purgation
- Vasthi: medicated enema
- Rakthamoksham: blood letting
Often these basic therapies are combined with other related treatments in Ayurveda such as Shirodhara (medicated oil is poored over the forehead), Tarpanam (application of medicated ghee over the eyes), Karnadhoopanam (application of medicated fumes to the ear), etc.
Several days Ayurvedic cleansing process
The Panchakarma therapies are performed on a daily basis during 7, 14, 21 or even 28 days, depending on the body condition of the patient/client. Usually the client is offered a package in an Ayurveda center that includes accommodation, a few hours of daily treatment sessions according to the steps of the Panchakarma, yoga and meditation sessions, as well as meals that are based on Ayurvedic dietary recommendations. Commonly consultation sessions with an Ayurvedic doctor are also included in which the client receives advice related to diet and lifestyle management according to their body type (dominating dosha).
Each of the therapies work on eliminating toxins and balancing the bodily humors or doshas in our body. Even if the Panchakarma therapies might seem somewhat aggressive at a first glance, the result is a purified and rejuvenated body and a clear mind.
We hope that this article awoke your curiosity to know more about the Panchakarma treatment and other Ayurveda treatments! Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about Ayurveda medicine, massages and body treatments.
Wishing you a meaningful day ahead,
Massage Around the World
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