Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic procedure, which provides a complete body cleanse. With the help of Panchakarma, you can achieve a total harmony between the mind, body, and soul. The word ‘Panchakarma’ is derived from a Sanskrit word which actually means ‘five steps’ or ‘five treatments’.
The Panchakarma therapy consists of five treatments- Vamana, Virechana, Nasya, Sneha Basti and Kashaya Basti. When one opts for this treatment, the Ayurvedic Practitioner will customize the treatment according to the patient’s needs. This is because in Ayurveda, each treatment is personalized according to the individual.
Benefits of Panchakarma treatment
Before you begin the Panchakarma treatment, you will first have to consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner. He will do a complete checkup to determine the doshas of your body. Once he identifies the cause for the toxic build-up, he will plan out the areas which are supposed to be addressed through this treatment.
Usually, the Panchakarma treatment consists of 3 phases. They are Purvakarma, Pradhankarma, and Paschatkarma.
Purvakarma acts as a pre-treatment therapy that helps prepare the body for the removal of all the harmful toxins. During this treatment, Snehana, abhyanga, and swedana can be performed. Snehana is basically the first step of Panchakarma. Here, the body is soaked in herbal oils to loosen the toxins from the body. Abhyanga is a medicated oil massage, which provides utter relaxation. And finally, once the massage is completed the practitioner will perform Swedana. Here, you are given a steam bath in order to make it easy to remove the toxins.
In Pradhankarma, Virechana, Vamana, Basti, etc. are performed. After the completion of Purvakarma, the toxins move into the gastrointestinal tract. The first step in Pradhankarma is Vamana. In this step, the patient is given oral herbal oils and massages. And, the toxins are eliminated with the help of therapeutic vomiting.
In Virechana, the patient is given herbal laxatives and oral herbal powders and oils to help eliminate all the toxins through the bowel movement. The third step is nasya, which is a nasal therapy. It helps clear and cleanses the head. In Sneha Basti and Kashaya Basti, the herbal substances are administered through the enema in order to flush out all the toxins from the body. After the completion of these five steps, the body will be completely purified and cleansed.
Paschatkarma refers to the guidelines you must follow after the completion of your main Panchakarma treatment. During this period, your immunity and metabolism are restored. Usually, people just stop at Panchakarma and neglect the post-treatment procedure. And, when this happens the digestion process becomes unstable, leading to the accumulation of harmful toxins again.
Therefore, once you complete your Panchakarma treatment, you must make a few lifestyle changes. For a few days post-treatment, you must only consume light food which is also nutritious. Khichdi and mung dal soup are the ideal food choice. Also, you must not rush into all the activities after the treatment. You must take it slow and return gradually. This prevents a state of vulnerability post the treatment.
So, if you are planning on going for this Ayurvedic cleanse, you must make sure to give it all the time it actually deserves. The whole treatment can last anywhere between 7-45 days. During the treatment, it is advised to rest as much as possible, both physically and mentally.