WHY PANCHAKARMA ?
According to Ayurveda, every human being is a unique phenomenon of cosmic consciousness. Each human being has a temperament that falls into one of three Dasha (humors). The three Dashas or Tridashas are: Vata ( ether plus air), Pitta ( fire plus water), and Kapha (water plus earth). The human internal environment is constantly reacting to the external environment. Knowing about Panchakarma helps individuals balance their diet, habits, exercise and lifestyle tailored for each persons’ Dasha.
WHAT IS PANCHAKARMA ?
TYPES OF AYURVEDIC MASSAGES & TREATMENTS
Traditional Kerala Ayurveda Massage. This full body massage is done with medicated herbal oils by two/one therapists in a synchronized manner for 45 minutes. The number of strokes and pressure vary with the condition of the individual. According to classical texts, this massage is indicated daily to prevent ageing and degeneration process. Kerala Ayurveda has pioneered this therapy as per the ancient Ayurveda classics and standardized the procedure with a specific number of strokes. This therapy will treat the whole body physically, mentally and emotionally while balancing the doshas. Its rhythmic motion helps to relieve joints and muscles from stiffness and makes all body movements free. This stimulating treatment increases blood circulation, which in turn encourages quick removal of metabolic wastes, while providing relief to diseases such as anxiety, fatigue, circulatory disorders, rheumatic and arthritic problems, backaches and injuries.
Sirodhara rejuvenates and revitalizes the body and mind. This therapy relieves stress and strain related problems, slows the aging process, improves memory and is known to have a curative effect for paralysis, insomnia; depression. Luke warm herbal oil is poured in a continuous stream onto the forehead, while receiving a gentle massage on the head. It bestow better vision, better hearing, clears nasal problems and calms the body and mind. Sirodhara ultimately strengthens the physical constitution of the individual. Anxiety, hypertension and other neurological malfunctions.
A massage to the body with small cotton cloth boluses filled with cooked Njavara rice after a liberal application of medicated oil over the whole body. The rice is cooked in cow’s milk and herbal decoction. The boluses are dipped in the same mixture of cow’s milk and herbal decoction and applied all over the body to induce sudation (sweat). This procedure is highly rejuvenating, nourishing and prepares the individual to bear the stresses and strains of a busy lifestyle. It enhances physical consistency, strengthens the nervous system and improves the overall appearance of the skin. This is a strengthening fomentation employed in neurological disorders, rheumatism, arthritis and malnutrition of limbs.
Elakizhi(PathrapotalaSweda).This start with the application of oil to all body. Then it is subjected to exude profusely through a massage with boluses of chopped and fried leaves of some specific medicinal herbs after dipping in particular medicated oils. it is effective for various kinds of arthritis, Spondylitis, back pain, sports injuries and for all other soft tissue inflammations especially join pains.
ChoornaSwedam(Podikkizhi) In this type of swedam the powders of kulatha,yava (barley),kushta (Saussurealappa), devadaru (cedrusdeodara), shatapushpa (anethumgraveolens), etc are fried in a frying pan without adding any oils and then they are made into a bolus, the patient is first massaged with the prescribed oil, and then the bolus is heated in a frying pan and then made to pound on the affected part.Choornaswedam is generally prescribed to those patients who suffer from diseases caused due to kaphavata, excess kaphadosha, and also in those persons who have amaavastha in vatadiseases.This treatment is very effective in relieving the pain and also helps to improve the blood circulation, and also gives strength to the joints of hands and legs.
Udwarthanam,a combination of an effective weight loss therapy, followed by moisturizing Abhyangam. This is a typical deep massage using herbal powders, which stimulates hair follicles and subcutaneous fat tissue to break down subcutaneous fat storage. This treatment reduces blood cholesterol, obesity, skin problems, imparts mobility to the joints, strengthens muscles and refreshes the body. The most promising effect is the slimming of the body. Coupled with the relaxing effects of Abhyangam, this therapy tones and nourishes the body as well as helps with weight loss.
The application of medicated oil or powders through the nostrils is called nasyam. Nasyam is very important treatment for illness in the head region. Nasal drops are administered in each nostril for elimination of excess bodily humours accumulated in sinuses, throat, nose & head areas. ‘Nasa hi ShirsoDwaram’ it means nose is the doorway of the brain according to Ayurveda.Main types of nasyam are virechananasyam, dhmananasyam, brumhananasyam and shamananasyam. Nasya not only helps in removing toxins from the head, neck, brain, eyes, ear, nose and throat region, but it also helps in snehan (unction), shaman (pacifying the toxins without removing them), bhringan, tarpan (nourishment) and gives immunity to these parts. With the use of nasaya, mucous membrane of nasal cavity is stimulated and therefore, other associated organs are also affected. Therefore, the obstructed kapha, in the channels, is removed which results in proper blood circulation in the head The procedure of nasaya help in the elimination of spasm in the nose.
Kativasti,specially prepared warm herbal oil is poured over the lower back and retained inside the black gram paste boundary for the required duration. The healing properties of herbal oils used for this therapy deeply cleans and enriches the blood, builds and maintains strong muscle and connective tissues and lubricates the joints keeping them flexible and pain free. Kativasti alleviates lower back conditions like Lumber Spondylosis, Inter vertebral disc prolepses, Lumbago (low back ache), and Sciatica.
Pizhichil the topmost rejuvenation treatment of Ayurveda a true gift from Ayurveda to become young again. In this treatment, precious warm medicated oil is squeezed on to the patient’s body from a piece of cloth, periodically soaked in a vessel containing the oil, with soft massage in a rhythmic way. Two to four trained therapists under the supervision of a physician perform the treatment. The patient should be made to adopt the seven standard positions, so that no area of the body is left uncovered. It is a highly effective way of treating diseases like paralysis, muscle spasms and other degenerative diseases affecting the muscles.
The kapha toxins accumulated in the body and the respiratory tract are effectively removed by Vamana, one of the five therapies of Panchakarma in Ayurveda. Vamana is therapeutic vomiting, which is a medicated emesis therapy. People with high imbalance of kapha are given this type of treatment, which loosens and mobilizes the toxins, in an effort to eliminate them from the body. Waste products (vitiated dosha) are eliminated through the upper gastrointestinal tract. The vitiated kapha are eliminated through the mouth. After vomiting, the sinus is cleared, which in turn provides relief from congestion, wheezing and breathlessness.
One among the five classical detoxification programme (Panchakarma) and indicated in Vata disorders. The main seat of the Vatadosha is Pakwashaya (large intestine); therefore Vasti, the medicated oil enema, is the main therapy for all Vata disorders such as constipation, neurological ailments, paralysis, flatulence, lower backache, gout and rheumatism. The results nourish and rebuild the Dhatus (body tissues), strengthen their activities, restore and strengthen the body’s immunity. This is very nutritive while removing accumulated Malas (toxins) from the colon.
SirovastI is the term applied to the process of allowing medicated oils to bath on the head for a prescribed period. A bandage is tied around the patient’s head and a cap with an open end on top (like an open-ended chef’s hat) is secured. The medicated oil, warmed to body temperature, is poured into this cap and allowed to soak into the scalp. Highly recommended for facial paralysis, dry mouth or nose, and several head conditions.
This therapy is normally done after a course of Sneha Vasti. This is a cleansing enema where a combination of honey, oil, herbal paste, herbal decoction, etc. is administered as per the patient’s requirement and condition. This therapy eliminates Vata and helps to treat disorders ,digestive and other ailments ,it Facilitates digestion, Prevents constipation, aids nervous disorders, alleviates arthritis ,helps paralysis, combats flatulence, eases lower backache, Cures gout, Slows rheumatism.
Janu Vasti provides simple and effective relief from painful knees, especially that pain which is caused by Osteoarthritis. It relieves pain and stiffness and eases movements of the knee joint. Meanwhile, it also strengthens the joint, muscles and soft tissues around, improves circulation and enables the patient to resume work daily chores.
Raktamokshana, merely known as bloodletting is a unique para-surgical measure traced back to Veda’s period, indicated in various diseases where gross vitiation of raktha (blood) is present, done either by metal instruments or by leeches (jalauka) or vegetable gourds, considered on its tremendous prophylactic potential to do away the certain diseases
There are many diseases that require external application of medicines for their complete cure. Lepanam and Upanaham are such treatments where the medicines are applied in the affected part of the body.In Lepanam a paste form of the medicine prepared from the appropriate drugs along with some suitable herbal liquids are used for the application. It is highly effective in Twak Rogas (skin diseases) like Eczema, Psoriasis etc. And can also be applied as MukhaLepa (applying on face) for Mukha Dooshika(Pimples), to increase the skin complexion etc.. Vilwadi Yoga, Dooshi Vishari Gutika, Rasnadi Choornam etc. are some examples of drugs that are used as Lepana dravyas.
Virechanam therapy is defined as the medicated purgation therapy, which cleanses the Pitta and purifies blood, by clearing the toxins from the body. The treatment concentrates on the toxins that are accumulated in the liver and gall bladder. The gastro-intestinal tract is also cleansed by Virechana therapy. This treatment is usually administered for three days after Vamana treatment, but its duration may vary from case to case. In fact, Virechana can be administered directly after purvakarma, without undergoing the Vamana therapy that precedes Virechana. While performing the Virechana, the vitiated doshas are eliminated through the rectum. The drugs used for the purgation therapy are vitiate the doshas and bring them into the abdomen. During the procedure, the patient is subjected to Oleation first, then Fomentation, which is followed by Emisis and Samsarjana Karma (post operative). The internal Oleation is followed for three to seven days. Thereafter, a medicated steam bath is performed for three days. A light and warm diet is prescribed for the patient, a day before starting Virechana. However, certain factors like body and mind constitution, age of the person, mental condition should be considered, while opting for Virechana.
Thalapothichil is the traditional treatment of Kerala which is very effective in conditions like insomnia, anxiety and stress disorders, mental retardation etc. Paste is prepared with medicinal drugs (according to the condition of patient). For mixing often medicated buttermilk is used, patient seated in a chair, oil is applied all over the body, pre pared medicine is pasted thickly over the scalp, the paste is covered with plantain leaf. Duration of the treatment shall range from 20 -40 minutes.
Gentle herbal cleansers will clear away dirt, toxins, pollutants, and exfoliate dead cells. They can clear out clogged pores, without harshly stripping skin of natural oils. Blended chickpea flour, ground almond meal, and dry milk powder with a tiny dash of turmeric is a good basic cleanser for all skin types.Moisturizing daily is very important to keep the elasticity of such delicate skin. The best way to moisturize is massing the face with a little sesame or almond oil that is blended with Vitamin E and a few drops of pure essential oils like lavender, rose, sandalwood, or jasmine.
In Sanskrit the word Greeva refers to neck and vasti stands for a container. So the procedure, in which warm Medicated oil is allowed to stand on back of neck as shown in the figure, is called as the Greeva Vasti. This procedure is very useful in maintaining normal structure and working of neck region. The patient is made to lie face down on the Droni. A reservoir made of black gram dough is built up on the neck which will cover all the vertebrae of neck and 2-3 vertebrae of thoracic region. After ensuring that this is leak-proof, lukewarm medicinal oil, which alleviates pain and strengthens the bone and joint tissues, is slowly poured into it. When the oil cools down, it is squeezed out with cotton gauze and the procedure is repeated a few times. The oil and the receptacle are kept on for about half an hour. After removing them, the affected area may be gently massaged with the same oil. The patient is then made to take rest for a short while. The healing properties of herbal oils used for this Vasti deeply clean and fortify the blood, build strong muscle and connective tissues, and lubricate the joints. Greeva Vasti is likely to alleviate most types problems associated with the neck.
A thick layer of cotton wool soaked with warm medicated oil is applied over the affected area. The oil is recycled periodically to make it warm. This therapy is very effective for degenerative and painful problems like back pain,osteoarthritis, Spondylitis, injuries, etc.
HERBAL sTEAM BATH
A gentle application of warm herbal oil is first done over the body. Next the individual is made to sit, keeping the head out, inside a steam chamber that lets out herbal steam from medicinal herbs makes the individual perspire profusely that promote cohesion between cells. The steam will open up the very small pores of the skin thereby removing all wastes and pacifying the three doshas. A great therapy for toning the skin and giving it a special glow.
This is an Indian vedic steaming bath procedure that affects the whole body by the steam of the brew of herbs in a special wooden cabin. The head, however, remains on the outside and is cool to create a sense of calm and openness, while the herbal steam is wrapping the whole body, deeply penetrates and “cleans out”, not overheating and not causing extra stress. This procedure improves blood circulation, stimulates sweating, opens the pores of the skin and activates the cell membranes. As the sweat is released through the skin, it washes out deeply located toxins, accelerates the waste removal and fat burning, thus significantly decreasing the measure round hips and waist. The herbs mixtures used in warming help to restore energy balance, contribute to the correction of physical and emotional state.