According to Ayurveda, the body comprises three components, the Prasanna Atma or the soul, Indriya, the sense organs, and Manas, the mind; it also consists of doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas represent the nervous, metabolic, and nutritional systems and are responsible for keeping your body balanced. When either of these doshas is disturbed, you risk developing a disease, infection, or illness.
Ayurvedic treatments, therefore, focus on balancing these doshas and restoring the original state of equilibrium. Some of the most popular regimens and treatment modalities are, Dinacharya, Rutucharya, Vega Dharana, Rasayana-Vajikarana, and Panchakarma.
The name panchakarma translates to “Five Actions” and is a five-step process involving lubricating the body and cleansing it of all unwanted waste. This unique treatment focuses on all aspects of the cleansing; it includes preventive, curative, and promotive actions for various diseases.
The Five Karmas
The human body is divided into four sectors for ease of cleansing– the head, the gastrointestinal system (GIT), the upper half, and the lower half of the body. These sectors or different body parts help us focus on each section and ensure a thorough cleanse.
To cleanse the body now, we have five procedures or Karmas.
Vamana, or therapeutic emesis, is a form of induced vomiting that helps clear the upper gastro till the end of the stomach, also known as the duodenum, and a significant part of the respiratory tract.
Virechanam is a form of controlled purgation induced by natural laxatives that helps clear the lower gastro from the end of the stomach, or the duodenum, to the exit.
Anuvasana is a type of enema that is conducted using medicated oils. These oils are injected into the rectum to lubricate the rectal area and then expel lipid-soluble waste through the anus.
Nasayam is the administration of prescribed drugs or medicated substances through the nasal cavity to cleanse the respiratory tract and paranasal sinuses.
Asthapana Basti is also a type of enema that is administered with a therapeutic decoction. This procedure cleanses the region between the transverse colon and the anus.
The Panchakarma Procedure
To thoroughly experience the benefits of a full body cleanse through Panchakarma, you will have to perform these three integral steps,
This is the preparatory procedure that helps dislodge the various toxins accumulated in the body before expulsion. It consists of two processes, Snehan (oleation) and Swedan (fomentation).
Pradhan Karma is the main procedure that follows the first step. During this phase, the body is studied, and the right type of karma is administered for optimal benefits.
The final step, the post-therapy procedure, mainly consists of a dietary regimen that helps restore your body’s digestive and absorptive capacity to its normal state.
Panchakarma is a popular Ayurvedic treatment that focuses on cleansing the body. This procedure should be performed only under the supervision of a professional Ayurvedic practitioner since it could be fatal if not conducted under the right precautions.
However, there are other methods of body cleansing that you can consider if you want to perform it in the comfort of your home!