Purvakarma (Preparation of the body for Panchakarma)
Snehanam – Abhyangam or oil massage on the entire body of the patient helps the toxins to move into the gastro intestinal tract. Oil massage also helps to make the tissues softer and helps to remove stress and nourishes the nervous system.
Swedanam – Sudation or sweating is administered immediately after Snehanam. It helps to liquefy toxins in the body and increases its movement in to gastro intestinal tract.
Purvakarma procedure helps to move the aggravated Dosha and Ama (Toxins) from its places deeper in the body to gastrointestinal area for elimination.
Panchakarma (comprises of five distinctive cleansing methods)
Shodhanam aims to remove the excess toxins from the body. Shodanam includes panchakarma that offers traditional Ayurvedic methods for purification and detoxification through vaman (emesis), virechana (purgation), asthapana Vasthi (enema), anuvasana vasthi (enema), and nasyam (nasal instillation of oils).
It aims to correct the imbalance of the three basic elements of human body- Vata , Pitta and Kapha , in order to maintain the inherent equilibrium.
Vata is the principle of motion, and is responsible for everything that moves in the body. Vata governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movements, and pulsation of heart. Vata promotes creativity and flexibility.
Pitta is composed of the elements of fire and water expressed as body’s metabolic system. Pitta is responsible for digestion and assimilation in the human body. .
Kapha is the principle of grounded ness and stability. Kapha is composed of earth and water and, it is the energy that forms one’s body structure.
They govern the biological and physio-pathological changes in the body. Vatha-Pita-Kapha is present in every cell, tissue and organ.
Vamanam – Emesis,
Virechanam – Purging,
Nasyam – Administration of medicines through nostrils,
Asthapanam – Enema with decoction (Kashaya Vasti)
Anuvasanam – Enema with Medicated Oil (Sneha Vasti)
Raktamokshana – Leech therapy.
Emesis (Vomiting) – When the congestion in lungs leads to bronchitis or asthma, therapeutic vomiting or Vamanam is administered to eliminate the Kapha causing excess mucus. Once the mucus is released, the congestion, wheezing and breathlessness comes down and the patient feels very comfortable. Vamanam is also suggested in the treatment of chronic asthma, cold, diabetes, congestion, indigestion, and other diseases above supraclavicular region.
Purgation Therapy. – When excess Pitta (bile) is secreted and accumulated in the gall bladder, liver and small intestine, it results in rashes, skin inflammation, acne, chronic fever, biliary vomiting, nausea and jaundice. Ayurveda suggests administration of therapeutic purgation or therapeutic laxative in such cases.
Enema Therapy- Vasti involves introduction of herbal oil or herbal concoctions through the anus. It is the most effective treatment for Vatha disorders. Any medication given rectally goes into the deeper tissues of the body. Vasti relieves constipation, distention, and chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, kidney stone, heart pain, backache, sciatica and pain in the joints. Many other Vatha disorders such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasm etc. also are effectively treated with Vasti.
Nasal administration of medicine is called Nasyam. Nose is the doorway to brain and it is also the doorway to consciousness. The excess of bodily phlegm accumulated in the sinus, throat, and nose or head area is eliminated by instillation of medication through nose. Nasyam is indicated for prana disorders, sinus congestion, migraine, headache, convulsions and certain eye and ear problems. Nasyam helps to improve breathing also.
Bloodletting/raktamoksham is extracting a small amount of blood from the vein to relieve the tension created by Pitta induced toxins in the blood. Toxins present in the gastro –intestinal tracts are absorbed into the blood and circulated through the body. Bloodletting also stimulates the spleen to produce antitoxic substances and helps to stimulate the immune system.
The patient who undergoes panchakarma is brought back to normal diet and life style by putting him or her through a balanced and light diet.

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