How to LIVE and how to HEAL: Ayurveda and Panchakarma
Ayurveda is the system of medicine traditional to India. More than 5,000 years old, Ayurveda evolved alongside other ancient Indian philosophies and teaches of how to approach life holisitcally and to live with health and vitality. Ayurveda emphasizes preventative and healing therapies, utilizing the practices of yoga, meditation, the physical elements, and elimination therapies in order to restore balance and thus promote true healing.
The most renowned therapy of Ayurveda, Panchakarma systematically uproots obstructions in the way of one´s healing process, penetrates or eliminates the root, and finally replenishes that which is in need of replenishment. In Sanskrit, the word ¨panch¨ signifies five, and the word ¨karma¨ in this context, signifies action. Together, the represent the five actions of elimination, removing ama (toxins) from each region of the body caused by disharmony of the doshas. The process of panchakarma however is actually composed of three main parts: purva karma, pancha karma, and paschta karma. If the guidelines below are followed from beginning to end, not only can certain diseases be lessened or cured, but the participant will enjoy the effects of feeling light and energetic, with a strong appetite, clear mind, satisfaction and inspiration for life.
Purva Karma: Preperatory Procedures
This is the time period preceding the eliminatory actions of panchakarma. During this time, you make distinct changes to your diet and lifestyle so that Panchakarma is effective. The duration of this period depends on the treatment needed and the individual, but the minimum is four days.
Panchakarma: The Five Actions
Each karma, or eliminatory action, correlates to one or two of the three doshas for which it is specifically indicated. Nasya is especially useful for kapha and vata; vamana for kapha disorders, virechena and raktamoksha for pitta; and basti for vata. However, often all are used together over a given time period to systematically lift and remove toxins from the body as a whole, head to toe.
Paschatkarma: Post Treatment Procedures
Following the panchakarma procedures, it is important to respect the passing stage of initially weaker metabolism, while the digestive fires begin rekindeling. It can be thought of like adding materials to embers on a camp fire; if a big log is placed on top, the embers may go completely out, where as placing lighter materials and slowly building, the fire becomes very strong. Like this, our digestive fire after panchakarma can be completely if instantly putting into it heavy and large amounts of food. On the contrary, if we begin introducing light and easy to digest foods, the quality of the metabolism soon will become much stronger than it was before.