Good health depends upon our capability to fully metabolize all aspects of life, assimilating that which nourishes and eliminating the rest. When we can’t completely digest our food, experiences, and emotions, toxins accumulate in our bodily tissues, creating imbalance and – ultimately – disease. Bio Purification or Panchakarma/ Shodhana Therapy is an elegant cleansing process that releases stored toxins and restores the body’s innate healing ability.
A robust digestive energy or agni results in healthy tissues, eliminate waste products efficiently, and produce a subtle essence called Ojas (Vital Force). Ojas, may be envisioned as the innermost sap of our psychophysiology, is the basis for clarity of perception, physical strength, and immunity. On the other hand, if our Agni is weakened, digestion is incomplete and creates toxins that get stored in the body. This toxic residue is known as Ama.
When ama accumulates in the body, it blocks the flow of energy, information, and nourishment throughout the system. Ayurveda considers this build-up of toxins the underlying cause of all disease. A common example of this is the accumulation of saturated fat and cholesterol that is beyond the body’s capacity to metabolize. Over time, this leads to the blockage of the blood vessels and arteries and, ultimately, to heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
While it’s easy to understand agni and ama in terms of food, it’s important to remember that your mind and heart are continually digesting energy and information as well. Right now your mental digestive powers are working to break down these ideas into components that your intellect can assimilate. Similarly, your emotional agni is responsible for processing your experiences and feelings, including the smile of a loved one, unexpected criticism at work, or the excitement of a new relationship.
The descriptions that follow cover the variety of therapies that may be performed during a Panchakarma(PK)/Bio Purification(BP)/ Shodhana therapy is intended for purification of the body, by which the accumulated morbid humors responsible for disease are expelled out to produce an ideal environment for proper functioning of body. But Panchakarma, the purification therapy expounded in Ayurveda is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the Ayurveda practices. Due to ignorance, it is often perceived as just another system of oil massage. The process of the forceful expulsion of the Dosha is known as Shodhana. It is of five types i.e. Niruha, Vamana, Virecana, Nasya, and Raktamokshaņa. Ayurveda advises undergoing Panchakarma/bio purification at the seasonal changes or an annual cleanse to clean the body, improve the digestion and metabolism.
PK or BP presents a unique approach of Ayurveda with specially designed Therapeutic procedures of internal purification of the body through the nearest possible route. Such purification allows the biological system to return to homeostasis and to rejuvenate rapidly & also facilitates the desired pharmaco-therapeutic effects of herbs or other dietary suppliments administered thereafter. Panchakarma has a full therapy role as promotive, preventive and curative procedure many illnesses.
A typical Bio Purification (BP) or Panchakarma (PK) consists of series of therapeutic procedures for internal and external oleation, Digestion, circulation and elimination of ama (toxins). There will be certain dietary restrictions during the process which will be determined based on the body type and goal of the treatment.
Snehanna: Internal administration of an individually prepared herbal for proper internal olation for a duration of 3,5,7,14,21 days. Given systematically in an increasing step order. This is done prior to all the procedures. The type of the ghee or herbal formulation is subjected to change from person to person and varies based on the condition, digestive capacity, age, weight etc.
Deepana & Pachana: Deepana is process of boosting the body’s metabolic activity and boosting the agni/digestive fire to digest the ama (toxins) and other morbid body humors. The process of digestion is called Pachana.
Abhyanga: An individually prepared herbal-oil massage designed to deeply penetrate the skin, relax the mind-body, break up impurities, and stimulate both arterial and lymphatic circulation. It enhances the ability of nutrients to reach starved cells and allows for the removal of stagnant waste. The desired result is a heightened state of awareness that will direct the internal healing system of the body.
Shirodhara: A warm, gentle and methodic pouring of herbalized oil over the forehead, synchronizing brain waves and profoundly coordinating and calming the mind, body, and spirit.
Garshana: A dry lymphatic skin brushing with either a wool or silk glove. This enhances circulation and cleanses the skin so that subsequentoil and herbal treatments can penetrate deeply into freshly cleansed pores.
Swedana: An herbalized steam bath, during which the head is kept cool (an important difference in Ayurvedic steam treatments) while the body is heated to remove mental, emotional and physical toxins lodged deeply within the tissues. The cool head and heart provide a sense of calm and openness while the therapeutic steam over the entire body can penetrate and cleanse deeply, without overheating and causing stress to the body.
Note: Hear Heart refers to Shiro Hrudaya which means brain/intellect. Ayurvedic classics explain about two hearts or hrudaysa. One is the Uro Hrudays which means heart, a seat of soul and mind. Other one is shiro hrudaya which means brain which is a seat of intellect.
Udvartana: A deeply penetrating herbal paste/ dry powder lymphatic massage. This powerful exfoliating treatment will magically restore your natural radiance. It conditions the skin while releasing stagnant lymphatic toxins from the body.
Nasya: Individually prescribed herbs and oil drops, inhaled through the nose, which clear the sinuses of excessive mucus. It is also an important therapy for proper function of the central nervous system. This treatment combats the deep dryness that exists at the root of many respiratory and allergic conditions.
Kati/Greeva/Netra/Hrudaya/Nabhi/ Janu Basti: A herbal dough dam will be build on lower back, neck, eyes, heart, naval or knee to have the herbal oil collected and penetrate deep enough to absorb the morbid accumulated doshas. This procedure aids in proper lubrication and revitalization of the joints.
Pinda Swedana: A deep cleansing treatment using rice cooked in milk and herbs that is massaged into the tissues and joints. The treatment is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating as well as powerfully detoxifying.
Maharishi Panchakarma was investigated for its effect on cardiovascular risk factors. Pancha Karma was given for three to five days to 31 subjects (15 male and 16 female). Fasting blood samples were tested for various biochemical parameters before, during, one week after, and 2.9 months after PK. Results showed improvement in several cardiovascular risk factors. Lipid peroxide (LP) levels rose during PK, then fell at 2.9 months to levels lower that the original levels (p=0.023). The transient rise in blood stream levels of LP may be due to an exchange of peroxidized cell membrane lipids for undamaged lipids present in ghee and sesame oil. Both sesame oil and ghee contain linoleic acid, an important structural lipid in the cell membrane, which also serves as the substrate for other structural lipids. The massage that is a part of PK may accelerate this exchange process, possibly by the activation of phospholipase A2. As the peroxidized lipids are removed from the body by the extraction and elimination procedures of Pancha Karma, the levels of LP should ultimately decrease, which is what this study confirmed.81
Other cardiovascular risk factors also showed improvements with use of PK. Total cholesterol fell acutely in all subjects (p=.0001) and HDL cholesterol rose 7.5 % (p=0.015) at 2.9 months, if original values were mg/dl. Vasoactive intestinal peptide, a coronary vasodilator, rose a significant 80% (p=0.003) 2.9 months after Pancha Karma. Reductions were seen in pulse (p=0.033) and diastolic blood pressure (p=0.027) after PK. State of anxiety measures also improved significantly (P<0.025).2
An additional study on Maharishi Panchakarma was conducted in the Netherlands on 93 patients and also showed improvement in cardiovascular risk factors. Total cholesterol was measured before and immediately after a two week treatment program. Results showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels (p<0.001). A psychological evaluation was conducted using the Freiburger Personality Inventory before, immediately after, and six to eight weeks after Panha Karma treatment. Over the two week treatment period, there were significant reductions in bodily complaints, irritability, bodily strain, and psychological inhibition, as well as greater emotional stability. Results of testing conducted six to eight weeks after treatment showed evidence of sustained benefits for mental health and well-being.
Sesame oil, which is used in Panchakarma, for massage and enemas has also been shown to have antineoplastic properties. Lipase-digested sesame oil and undigested sesame oil dramatically inhibited the growth of three malignant colon cell lines in vitro but did not substantially inhibit growth of normal colon epithelial cells. Sesame oil also selectively inhibited malignant melanoma cell line growth in vitro, as compared to normal melanocytes (p=0.006).
Duration: 10-21 days, Classical Panchakarma
Signs that tell you need a Detox:
A thick, yellow coating on your tongue when you wake up : A thick white/ yellow coating on your tongue indicates a high toxic content in the body. A thicker coating means more toxins are present in the body.
Feeling lazy after eating : Lack of proper digestion due to the presence of toxins can make one feel lethargic after a meal instead of feeling energized.
Foul breath :Toxic build up in the body can lead to foul or pungent breath.
Blurry Thought Process : Inability to make decisions quickly and sharply as well as poor concentration is a sign of toxin build up in the body. Detoxification of the body helps in improving mental and physical clarity.
Unexplained joint or body pains : Accumulation of toxic substances can also lead to unknown body pains.
Abhyanga is a nourishing and balancing oil treatment. Helps to Look younger, nourish your skin and get rid of skin ailments. A blissful comfort for your body with Ayurvedic oils. This is performed by one of our expert Ayurvedic Therapists using warm oil. The type of oil will be subjected to body type, season, and requirements.