Panchakarma Chikitsa

Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means "five actions" or "five treatments". This is a process used to clean the body of toxic materials left by disease and poor nutrition. Normally the body has the innate ability to efficiently process and remove these waste materials, including the vitiated doshas. However due to one's repeated dietary indiscretions, poor exercise patterns, lifestyle, and genetic predisposition the digestive enzymes, metabolic co-factors, hormones, and agnis which regulate the body's internal homeostasis become disorganized. This can lead to the accumulation and spread of toxins throughout the physiology resulting in disease. This waste matter is called ama in Ayurveda. Ama is a foul-smelling, sticky, harmful substance that needs to be completely evacuated from the body .

Panchakarma will remove the excess doshas and correct imbalances in them as well as eliminate the harmful ama out of your system through the body's own organs and channels of elimination (colon, sweat glands, lungs, bladder, urinary tract, stomach, intestines, etc). Panchakarma purifies the tissues at a very deep level. It involves daily massages and oil baths and is a very pleasurable experience. Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma as a seasonal treatment for maintaining mental and physical hygiene and balance.

Panchakarma is a five-fold therapy; it is highly individualized based on the needs of the individual depending on the Ayurvedic constitutional type, doshic imbalances, age, digestive strength, immune status, and many other factors. Depending on each individual's needs all or only parts of the five therapies are utilized. These procedures must be administered by specially trained therapists in a definite sequence for a specified period of time. In addition, although Panchakarma is for the most part a delightful and comfortable therapy, there can be periods of discomfort associated with the profound release of toxins which does occur. It is therefore essential that the therapy be supervised by a knowledgeable expert who can recognize the signs of properly and improperly administered Panchakarma. Fortunately these signs were meticulously recorded by the ancient vaidyas.

Like all medical procedures, Panchakarma Therapy always must begin with an initial consultation by a qualified health professional who can determine the individual's prakriti (constitutional type), the nature of the health problem (if any), and the appropriate degree of intensity of the prescribed therapies. There are certain special circumstances in which panchakarma should be administered only with strict medical supervision: recovering drug addiction, alcoholism, hypertension, diabetes, and eating disorders are the most common. Panchakarma may also not be appropriate for individuals who are significantly underweight or physically weak or for persons with inadequately treated (or undiagnosed) hypothyroidism or hypoglycemia. The same is true of persons with cancerous diseases, immune deficiency states, or those recovering from recent surgery. All potential patients, but especially those identified above, should always consult a qualified health professional before initiating any form of detoxification program.

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