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Panchakarma - Five techniques

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Panchakarma is a Sankrit terminology which means five techniques i.e. panch is five and karma signifies the procedures or techniques. It is a very popular therapy used in Ayurveda designed to “purge” and cleanse your system.

We have explained you the process in step-by-step below:


Pre-preparations for Panchakarma

Before performing the 5 steps, your therapist will help you prepare for Panchakarma and it involves two phases viz. Snehanam and Swedanam.

Snehanam is nothing but an oil therapy or oil massage that is performed on your body while swedanam is steam bath. Both the processes detoxify your body and make your skin soft.

You enter panchakarma once these therapies are over.


5-Fold Steps of Panchakarma and their Benefits

1. Therapeutic vomiting (Vamana)

Vamana or therapeutic vomiting is externally induced to get rid of excessive mucus or kalpa deposited inside lungs. This treatment is recommended for people with congestion in chest, cold, cough, bronchitis, asthma, tonsillitis, diabetes and many more...

In many Ayurvedic centres the patient is given a enemic concoction which could be licorice and honey or it could be calamus root tea added with some salt and cardamom. This induces vomiting and the upper gut gets cleared.

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2. Purgation Therapy (Vireka, Virechan, herbal laxative therapy)

According to Ayurvedic definition, Virechan is the cleansing of the pitta and the purification of the blood toxins. It focuses on the lower part of the gut, the stomach, kidneys, liver, spleen and sweat glands and is therefore beneficial for people with intestinal disorders, constipation, skin diseases, jaundice, piles, skin diseases, tumours etc. They believe that this purgation therapy help get rid of Pitta and Kapha primarily.

Laxative herbs like prunes, bran, flaxseeds husk, psyllium husk, etc. are given to the patient to stimulate bowel.

3. Enema (Vasti)

Vasti therapy is performed to get rid of Vata doshas like constipation, sexual problems, kidney stones, back pain, intestinal and digestive problems, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, backache, etc. The therapy aims to improving health of your intestine and rejuvenating your system.

The herbal enema usually comprises of oils which could be sesame oil, calamus oil or it’s an Ayurvedic decoction.

4. Nasal Administration (Nasya -herbal inhalation therapy)

Nasya means nasal administration of medicine. They believe that nose is the outlet to the brain and cognition. The treatment is directed to solve Prana disorders which typically include migraine, headache, sinusitis and other related problems with the throat, nose and head. Worth to note, it is conducted on people suffering from seizures, and kapha-oriented problems (bronchitis, breathing problem, congestion, asthma, etc.) as well.

In this technique the patient is asked to inhale vapours from boiling water mixed with medicinal herbs. 

5. Blood Letting (Rakta Moksha)

Rakta Moksha is a process to purify the blood from the accumulated toxins absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract. It’s performed by an expert after evaluating your medical history. Surgical techniques like Sira vedhana (puncturing the vein) or pracchana (scrapping blood out from a particular point) or other tools like leech or deer horn are employed to extract blood.

Blood-letting helps to overcome skin diseases like abscess, leucoderma, eczema, etc, herpes, jaundice, varicose veins, etc. However, it’s important to note that blood-letting is not performed on people with asthma, anaemia, convulsions, etc.


The last step After Panchakarma – Rejuvenation

Panchakarma is not complete without rejuvenation. Once your system is cleaned, you need to rejuvenate and so “rasayana” or nourishing treatments like massages, yoga, meditation, breathing, etc. are incorporated to boost your mind, body and spirit.

Once this step is over, you can sense holistic improvement in your physical health and mental cues like confidence, consciousness, intelligence, etc.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: August 08, 2014