Ayurveda is one of the most ancient forms of medical sciences which was originated in India. In India, ayurvedic methods of treatment have always been used for a long time but now ayurvedic treatment methods are followed across the world in various countries.
Since very old times Ayurveda has contributed to the world which is very helpful in the treatment of diseases. It heals the body in the most unique method. According to Ayurveda, the human body is a unique phenomenon. It is a result of the interaction of the five basic elements of the universe, i.e.- Earth, Space, Fire, Water, and Air.
The interaction of these elements results in the formation of three types of doshas in the body, which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These are together known as tri-dosha.
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Vata, Pitta, and Kapha (TRIDOSHA):
Vata is the combination of space and air, Pitta is the combination of fire and water and Kapha is the combination of Earth and Water. Every human being has a unique balance of these three doshas in their body which is constituted during fertilization and embryo formation. The balance of these three doshas determines the individual’s constitution and psycho-somatic temperament.
When the unique balance of these three doshas is disturbed in an individual’s body. Then, their metabolism gets disturbed and they start accumulating ailments and diseases in their body resulting in an unhealthy body.
According to Ayurveda, a healthy human body is defined as the one with a robust digestive fire in the body, called Agni. It maintains a proper balance of the three doshas in the body. These two conditions are necessary for proper metabolism and digestion of food, emotions, and experiences.
A proper metabolism and digestion results in the combination of nourishing elements in the body and proper removal of waste from the body. When the metabolism and digestion are not good in the body then the body fails to remove the waste from the body and starts accumulating it.
This waste is called as Ama in ayurvedic terms. Accumulation of ama results in the formation of diseases in the body. To deal with toxins and ama in our body, Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma as a seasonal treat. It helps in maintaining mental and physical hygiene and keeps the body away from diseases.
Panchakarma: The oldest Ayurveda Treatment
Panchakarma is one of the oldest treatments in Ayurveda which is used to cure, detoxify and heal the body and mind. The word Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word which is derived from two other Sanskrit words, Pancha and Karma. Pancha means five and Karma means action.
Hence Panchakarma is a five-action therapy which helps in curing diseases and healing and relaxing of body and mind. Panchakarma treatment varies from individual to individual depending on various factors like the ayurvedic constitution of the individual, age, dosha balance, digestive strength, and immune status.
Depending upon the condition of the individual, any one or all the five parts of the Panchakarma are performed on the individual. Before performing Panchakarma an expert in Ayurvedic science is consulted.
The procedure is then performed by highly trained and experience ayurvedic therapist according to the procedures which were recorded by ancient vaidyas. Before performing the steps of Panchakarma the body needs to be prepared for its procedures. This part of the treatment is known as Purvakarma or pre-purification treatment. The Purvakarma takes places in two steps, one is Snehan and other is Svedana.
Snehan is the oil massage. In Snehan oil is applied on the whole body and then the body is massaged in a particular way. This helps the toxins move towards the gastrointestinal tract. Oil massage also relaxes the body from stress by relaxing the muscles and softening the tissues, hence nourishing the nervous system. Snehan is performed daily for three to seven days.
Svedana is the sweating treatment and it is performed regularly after performing Snehan. It includes the exposure of the body to steam with the addition of some herbal concoctions to further loosen the tissues. This encourages the better movement of toxins towards the gastrointestinal tracts.
After performing Snehan and Sevadana for three to seven days, the doshas become ripened. After that one or more than one part of the Panchakarma is performed on the individual depending on the requirement.
The Panchakarma is a five-fold process and the steps are named and defined below.
The Five-Fold Process
- Vamana- Therapeutic vomiting and emesis.
- Virechan: Purgation
- Basti: Enema
- Nasya: Elimination of toxins through the nose.
- Rakta Moksha: Detoxification of blood.
This is the treatment which is recommended for lungs and breathing-related issues. Bronchitis, cold, asthma is caused due to the accumulation of a cough in the body. In Vamana, the excessive mucus caused due to Kapha is removed from the body through therapeutic vomiting.
After performing Vamana, the individual feels relaxed and the sinuses become clear. After performing Vamana, resting, fasting, smoking herbal cigarettes and not suppressing natural urges like urination, gas, coughing, etc. are recommended.
This treatment helps in removal of skin related problems like rashes, acne, swelling, digestive problems and other problems like jaundice and nausea caused due to excessive secretion of pitta or the bile in the body. In this process, therapeutic purgation in performed which also helps to restore the bowel balance.
After performing this treatment consumption of certain food types which may cause an imbalance of the bowels and doshas must be avoided.
Vata is one of the main causes of manifestation of diseases like piles, constipation, and arthritis. It is generally present in the bone marrow and the large intestine. In Basti, treatment focuses on the elimination of retention of feces, urine, bile, and other excreta.
In this procedure, a recommended diet needs to follow which includes ghee, milk and various other foods.
This treatment is used to clear the head and nose. It gets its name because it is performed on the nose. In this treatment, the head and shoulder areas are massaged in a particular manner for relaxation and then certain herbal nasal drops are poured in both the nostrils.
This treatment clears the head and helps to remove disease like cerebral pain, hair issues, sleep disorders, sinusitis, and various other head and nose related diseases.
In this treatment, the purification of blood in the body is performed. It may include purification of blood from one or more parts of the body. This treatment helps in a large extent in the removal of skin disease like dermatitis and psoriasis. Once an individual undergoes the Panchakarma treatment, he must follow a regular diet and lifestyle. This is recommended by the Ayurvedic therapist and expert depending on the on their condition.
Panchakarma not only helps in the treatment of various diseases but also helps in making body pure and free of toxins. Regular performing of Panchakarma helps to reduce the aging effects on the body. Also, it keeps the body away from diseases and increases longevity. Hence, in this stressful life, one must take time for themselves and undergo this amazing and relaxing treatment of Panchakarma.