Panchakarma is a deep Ayurvedic medical treatment that traditionally belongs to India and is not simple.
The meaning of the cure-
In modern living conditions (e.g., industrial food, dietary misunderstandings, pollution, computer work, stress), man accumulates many toxins (in Sanskrit, ama), physical as well as psychic. If one wishes to advance on the paths of personal and spiritual development it becomes essential to have recourse to powerful but natural methods of detoxification.
The advantage of Panchakarma when compared to another detox cure is that this method allows to evacuate the toxins from every cell of the body, not only from the stomach and intestines. This promotes the regeneration of the cells, improves the functioning of all the systems, the work of the glands, thus purifying and balancing our emotions and our modes of thought and actions.
In this sense, Panchakarma is really a complete tool that bears the title of Rasayana (in Sanskrit, method of rejuvenation).
After Panchakarma not only does the body have a beautiful complexion and the luster, the joints are soothed, the sensory functions become more precise, the mind is quiet and the meditation deeper.
Choose the moment and place
1. Panchakarma is particularly beneficial whenever a transition takes place: transition between seasons, marriage, before the child's conception, rupture, grief, reconversion for a new job.
2. The best season in the West would be late summer, early autumn (because the body is strengthened by the energy of the Sun, fruits and seasonal vegetables)
3. The best season in South India would be the monsoon season- June, July, August (because it is the time when the climate is the mildest) with the recommendation to take the time on the spot after the cure so as not to return suddenly to the cold.
4. In Northern India, the best time will be October, November, December, January and February.
5. If you have the predominance of vata in the constitution (air + aether) you can also do panchakarma at the time of the monsoon: May, June, July, August.
6. Other than the reputation of the doctor, the place chosen for panchakarma must:
- be sheltered from the wind
- to be in the nature (far from the city), silent
- ensure hygiene and especially water (filtered potable)
- not to be near the sea
Pancha means 5 and Karma means action
"Panchakarma" is translated from Sanskrit as five actions. They are actions of detoxification, they will not necessarily be applied all but 2 or 3 depending on the constitution of birth "prakriti" and the imbalance of the current moment "vikriti" of the person. The diagnosis in Ayurveda is made by taking the pulse. This technique is very old, complex and precise. It is not surprising that after 3 minutes of pulse-taking the doctor tells you all your illnesses since childhood!
The group of 5 actions is therefore called "pradhana karma" or main actions:
1. Vamana: vomiting which aims to release the toxins accumulated in the stomach and to balance and purify the kapha dosha (water + earth)
2. Virechana: purge (usually with a herbal decoction) purifying the intestines by eliminating the stool, it balance pitta dosha (water + fire)
3. Basti: the rectal enema that cleans the colon and balances the vata dosha (air + aether). There are two types:
Sneha Vasthi: enema based on oils
Kashaya Vasthi: enema based on decoction of plants
4. Nasya: the application of oil in the nose that aims to detoxify the head and nasopharynx, to balance the kapha dosha (water + earth)
5. Raktamoksha: bleeding (usually practiced locally with leeches) that purifies the blood system, pitta dosha balance (water + fire)
Before the karmas
These 5 actions are not applied "dry"! There is a "before" of karmas.
The preparation of the system for treatment is called Purvakarma, it uses two methods:
A. Snehana: oleation
B. Swedana: sweating
If the duration is more than 1 week, the therapist takes doses of pure or medicated ghee (clarified butter) for a few days (with ayurvedic herbs). His body is also massaged with a lot of oil (usually sesame). Whatever the massage, with 2 or 4 hands, the aim being to "soak" the body in oil because the oily substance repels toxins at the cellular level. The oil removes the accumulations of all the parts of the body to collect them in the stomach and evacuate thereafter!
Here is the complete list. Massages are chosen according to the individual case of each person:
Abhyanga: massage with oil all over the body
Lepa: application of oil in the form of dough
Mardana: vigorous massage
Udvartanam: massage with spice powder and oil
Elakizhi: massage with potions of plants soaked in oil
Navarrakizhi: massage with plants soaked in a decoction of milk
Pizichil: shower massage with large amount of oil
Shirodhara: filet of oil on the forehead (Ksheeradhara: with milk)
Vasti: local care in the form of oil bath with dough (Januvasti: knees, Netravasti: eyes, Kadivasti: lumbar)
Karnapoorana: care of ears with oil
Gandusha: retention of oil in the mouth
Sweating in a specific chamber -Swedana (where only the head comes out so as not to overheat it) is used repeatedly to remove toxins through the pores.
After the cure
During and especially after the cure, great attention is paid to the feeding and taking of herbal medicines to help the system (and especially the digestive system) to leave. This is Paschatakarma.
The mental plane is equally important in the rehabilitation phase: therefore, plan a transition of a minimum duration equal to that of the cure!
Imagine that when you sweat the body the pores open and the system becomes vulnerable, extremely sensitive to any aggression. You have the same state of "open pores" as when leaving Panchakarma.
Things to avoid absolutely:
- Travel (especially airplanes)
- Intense work
- Long working at the computer
- Swimming and tanning
- Alcohol, cigarette, drugs
- Meat, fish
For whom is Panchakarma good?
As a natural and personalized treatment Panchakarma will be beneficial for everyone. The cure is particularly recommended:
- people after 30 years
- to yogis and people wishing to deepen their spiritual practice
- Parents (especially women) before conception of the child (waiting 3 months after the end of Panchakarma to consider a conception)
- people with back and neck problems
- people with chronic diseases: diabetes, arthritis, bronchitis, asthma, constipation, migraines, insomnia, sinusitis, acne, eczema and others
- people who are depressed, nervous or have burnout syndrome (burnout)
If you find yourself in more than one of these categories panchakarma is good for you!