Panchakarma – measures to heal the system

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Panchakarma – measures to heal the system

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Ayurveda is synonymous with the word Panchakarma. More often than not, a person seeking Ayurveda treatment approaches the doctor wanting to undergo Panchakarma, with questions like “Is massage Panchakarma?”

Panchakarma treatment are very integral to Ayurveda and form a part of the treatment protocol not only in disease conditions but also for promoting health and well-being. These procedures overarch all the sub-specialties in Ayurveda and are administered differentially based on many factors. They may be in the form of external physical treatments to the body – entire/ part/local or medications administered to the body via oral/nasal/anal routes. Panchakarma is believed to cleanse the system, thereby addressing the root cause of the illness and also helping better absorption and assimilation of nutrients and medicaments.

The term Panchakarma is composed of pancha meaning five and karma meaning action/therapy. The five core procedures that constitute Panchakarma include

   1. Vamana (therapeutic emesis)
   2. Virechana (therapeutic purgation)
   3. Basti (medicated enema)
   4. Nasya (nasal instillation of medicine) and
   5. Raktamokshana (blood-letting)

It is not surprising that owing to the antiquity of the science, some of these practices were a part of tradition in earlier generations.

Panchakarma procedures are taxing to the human system, thereby warranting preparatory procedure (purva karma) to acclimatize the body to the therapy and also post treatment care (paschat karma) to allow the body to recuperate from the therapy. The therapies are usually administered over a course of few days to few weeks depending on the disease/heath condition being addressed.

Periodic administration of Panchakarma therapies provides prophylaxis against seasonal diseases like asthma and allergic rhinitis, lifestyle disease like obesity, early diabetes etc. Some of these procedures are also used in isolation in select conditions.

The main objective of Ayurveda panchakarma procedures is to achieve optimal health and well-being through a comprehensive approach that addresses mind, body, behaviour, and environment.

MSR-ICAIM promotes authentic Ayurveda panchakarma procedures conducted by certified therapists, under the supervision of trained and experienced doctors. The techniques followed for the procedures are drawn from classical literature and also the widely practiced Kerala Ayurveda therapies.

Some of the procedures that we offer include

  • Snehana (oleation)
    • Abhyanga (massage with medicated oils)
    • Udvartana (massage with dry powder of herbs)
    • Kaya seka (pouring of medicaments over the body including Dhanyamla dhara, Pizichil)
    • Shirodhara (pouring of medicaments over the head)
    • Kati/Greeva basti (retention of oil on the back/neck)
  • Swedana (sudation)
    • Patra pinda sweda (sudation with fresh medicated herbs)
    • Churna pinda sweda (sudation with medicated powder)
    • Shashtika shali pinda sweda/navarakizhi (sudation with special rice cooked in herbs)
    • Avagaha sweda (tub bath with decoction of herbs)
    • Bhashpa sweda (sudation in steam chamber)
  • Vamana (therapeutic emesis)
  • Virechana (therapeutic purgation)
  • Basti (medicated enema)
  • Nasya (nasal instillation of medicines)
  • Dhoomapana (inhalation of medicated fumes)
  • Raktamokshana (blood-letting) using jalauka (leech)

 

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