Panchakarma (or Pancha Karma) is an Ayurvedic program of intense detoxification and rejuvenation. This powerful method of purification purges the system of toxins and restores balance to the mind, body and emotions. It is used to both prevent and treat a wide range of ailments, illnesses and chronic health conditions. An important aspect of Panchakarma is the release of negative emotions.
The term Panchakarma is derived from the Sanskrit words: panch (meaning "five") and karma (meaning "action"). Thus, Panchakarma means five actions or steps and refers to five different methods of removing toxins from the digestive system, tissues and organs.
Panchakarma is highly individualized and takes into consideration a person's specific mind-body type (physiological constitution) and individual health concerns. This is typically determined by an Ayurvedic practitioner after examination and diagnosis. Diagnostic techniques include examination of the radial pulse, skin, face, lips, tongue, nails, eyes and urine.
Panchakarma detoxification uses only natural substances and processes. The program typically includes:
- Ingestion of ghee (clarified butter) to facilitate internal oleation
- A special diet to assist in cleansing the digestive system
- Ingestion of Ayurvedic herbs to aid in cleansing the blood, tissues, liver, kidneys and other organs
- Topical application of herbal preparations
- Specialized Ayurvedic massage (abhyanga) and procedures (shiro dhara)
- Therapeutic heat (swedhana)
- Various Ayurvedic vibrational therapies
- Administration of nasal meditation (nasya)
- Meditation and Breathing
- Stretching and Yoga
- Solar Gazing
- Warm Baths
Other treatments may include therapeutic vomiting, colonic irrigation or enema therapy and blood-letting, although most Ayurvedic practioners and centers in the U.S. do not offer this last service.
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This information is provided for general interest and informational purposes only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Consultation with professional health care provider is always advised and encouraged.