Panchkarma is a Sanskrit word that means “five actions”. It is a process that helps in cleaning the body by removing the toxic materials left as a result of disease, poor nutrition, and environmental toxins. Normally, the human body carries the ability to process and remove these waste materials. However, due to the repeated dietary indiscretions, poor lifestyle and exercise patterns the internal homeostasis of the body becomes disorganized. This may lead to accumulation and spread of toxins throughout the body resulting in disease. This waste matter is known as ama in Ayurveda. Ama is a sticky, harmful, and foul-smelling substance that needs to be completely evacuated from the body.
Panchkarma is used to correct the imbalances in body as well as eliminate the harmful ama out of the system through body’s own organs and channels of elimination. It is a very pleasurable experience that is tailored to cater individual needs and may involve:
- Warm oil massage
- Herbal steam therapy
- Nasal administrations
- Lymphatic massage
- Other special treatments
It is a seasonal treatment recommended by Ayurveda for maintaining mental and physical hygiene. Depending on individual’s needs, all or only a few therapies are utilized. Specially trained therapists administer these therapies in an exact sequence for a specified period of time.