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Here’s everything you wanted to know about Panchakarma & its origin

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Ayurveda is an age-old branch of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. This branch of medicine firmly believes that for good health, it is necessary to create a balance between the mind and body. Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic treatment performed to cleanse a body. With the help of Panchakarma, you will be able to completely purify your body, boost your immune system, and create the required balance between your mind, body, and soul.

The word ‘Panchakarma’ is a Sanskrit word, which basically means five steps. The five treatments included in Panchakarma are; Vamana, Virechana, Basti, Nasya, and Raktamokshana. However, the practitioner customizes the treatment, according to the needs of an individual. It is not the same for all.

Before Panchakarma

The process of Panchakarma usually begins a week before the scheduled date. This begins with your interaction with the doctor and discussing your expectations from the treatment. This way, keeping your medical history in mind, your doctor will create a unique plan for you.

A week before your treatment, you will have to begin an at-home cleanse. This includes consuming a morning drink as instructed by your doctor, eating light (such as khichdi), and practising gentle yoga (if instructed).

The main treatment

Panchakarma is not a single session treatment. Depending on the individual, it can last anywhere from a week to 2 months. The first step of Panchakarma is known as the Vamana. This treatment is usually prescribed for people with a dominant kapha body type. Here, the recipient goes to therapeutic vomiting to eliminate all the toxins from the body and respiratory tract.

The second step is the Virechana treatment. This step helps create a balance in pitta and purifies the blood. It includes medicated purgation, which helps flush out all the toxins from the liver and gallbladder. After the Virechana, your gastrointestinal tract will also get cleansed. If required, this treatment is usually performed three days after the Vamana. However, it can vary from person to person.

Basti is the third treatment of Panchakarma. It is said to be extremely beneficial. This treatment is also quite popular because it can remove the toxins from all the three doshas- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Also, it mainly concentrates on vata and helps create a balance in the same. Since it is believed that vata is the cause of several ailments, it is important to keep a balance in vata. Basti provides a complete detox of the body and helps cleanse the colon.

Nasya is the fourth treatment. It provides a relief from a migraine, chronic headaches, and ear, nose, and throat disorders. In this treatment, the recipient is offered nasal medications (in the form of oil, sprays, fumes, etc.) to treat the areas above the neck.

Raktamoksha is the final Panchakarma treatment. It offers a complete blood purification. In this treatment, your Ayurvedic practitioner will remove small quantities of blood to create a harmony in your pitta and eliminate all the toxins. This treatment is said to prevent several blood-borne diseases.

After Panchakarma

These are several benefits of Panchakarma. They include; prevention of several ailments, removal of toxins, increased metabolism, a boost in the immune system, etc. However, for the treatment to benefit completely and for a longer duration, it is important to follow a few guidelines.

  •    After the treatment, follow the diet suggested by the doctor.
  •    Drink at least 4 cups of hot fluids every day.
  •    Begin yoga or a mild exercise.
  •    Create a daily routine for a healthier lifestyle.
  •    Do a self-massage known as Abhyanga.

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