PANCHAKARMA THERAPY COURSE

Panchakarma is Ayurveda’s primary purification and detoxification treatment. Panchakarma means “five therapies”. These 5 therapeutic treatments eliminate toxins from the body, they are : Vamana, Virechana, Nasya, Basti and Raktamoskshana. The series of these five therapies help remove deep rooted stress and illness-causing toxins from the body while balancing the doshas (energies that govern all biological functions).
Panchakarma will remove the excess doshas and correct imbalances in them as well as eliminate the harmful ama out of your system through the body’s own organs and channels of elimination (colon, sweat glands, lungs, bladder, urinary tract, stomach, intestines, etc). Panchakarma purifies the tissues at a very deep level. It involves daily massages and oil baths, herbal enemas, nasal administrations. It is a very pleasurable experience. Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma as a seasonal treatment for maintaining mental and physical hygiene and balance.
Panchakarma is a five-fold therapy; it is highly individualized based on the needs of the individual depending on the Ayurvedic constitutional type, doshic imbalances, age, digestive strength, immune status, and many other factors. Depending on each individual’s needs all or only parts of the five therapies are utilized. Specially trained therapists must administer these procedures in a definite sequence for a specified period of time. In addition, although Panchakarma is for the most part a delightful and comfortable therapy, there can be periods of discomfort associated with the profound release of toxins, which does occur. It is therefore essential that a knowledgeable expert who can recognize the signs of properly and improperly administered Panchakarma supervise the therapy. Fortunately these signs were meticulously recorded by the ancient vaidyas.
Like all medical procedures, Panchakarma Therapy always must begin with an initial consultation by a qualified Ayurvedic Physician who can determine the individual’s prakriti (constitutional type), the nature of the health problem (if any), and the appropriate degree of intensity of the prescribed therapies.
Panchakarma treatments have been shown to create measurable brain wave coherence and to lower metabolic activity. They allow the body and mind to drop into a profound level of peacefulness. In this state of relaxation, it is possible to cleanse toxins from tissues as well as to release deeply held emotional tensions.

The Panchakarma Process: Panchakarma treatments are divided into three phases of detoxifications

 

  • Purvakarma is a preparation for cleansing
  • Pradhankarma or Main course of Panchakarma consists of five cleansing procedures
  • Pashchatkarma, or after care, are therapies applied after cleansing

Purvakarma: Consists of the following steps:

 

Snehan (oleation therapy):

Internal snehan: medicated oils and ghee (clarified butter) are used. These help eliminate impurities so that elimination becomes easier. External snehan: consists of different kinds of massage using medicated oils.

Swedan (sweating):

Sweating is done shortly after the massage. This is normally done in a sweat box. The purvakarma procedures are often under appreciated in the grand scheme of proper administration of Panchakarma.The general purpose of the Poorvakarma Therapies is to begin to loosen, liquefy, and move the vitiated doshas from their abnormal sites in peripheral tissues to the appropriate central site within the alimentary canal.

Pradhan karma : The main course consist of five process as follows:

  • Vamana (use of emetics): Artificial vomiting is induced using herbs. It is usually indicated for people with ‘Kapha’ (phlegm) disorders.
  • Virechan (use of laxatives): Different purgatives are used depending upon a person’s constitution and disease. It is normally used to eliminate excessive Pitta (fire) from its site in the small intestines.
  • Basti: A colon irrigation procedure to first cleanse the colon (Niruh Basti), and then restore (Asthapan) the function of colon with medicated enemas.
  • Nasya (Nasal administration): Medicinal oils or herbal mixtures are inhaled or used as drops (mixed with oils or ghee) to clear the congestion in the sinuses. It is also good for balancing the prana (air) in vata.
  • Rakta Mokshana (bloodletting): We recommend blood donations. Researchers at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City have found that non-smoking men who donated blood had a 30% reduced risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack, bypass, and stroke than non-donors. (The British Medical Journal, March 15, 1997 Volume 314, 793-794).

 

Enema (Basti)

Medicated enemas are used for various specific reasons. In general, this treatment is used topromote elimination of the loosened Vata dosha out through the rectum. There are many specific enemas listed in Ayurveda. Basti involves introducing medicinal substances such as herbalized oils and other herbal decoctions in a liquid medium into the rectum. Basti is especially good for vata disorders. It alleviates constipation, distention, chronic fever, the common cold, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pain, vomiting, backache, neck pain and hyperacidity. Such vata disorders as sciatica, arthritis, rheumatism, neurodegenerative conditions, and gout can also be treated by Basti. There are about 80 vata-related disorders in Ayurveda. About 80 percent of them can be treated with medicated enemas. Since vata is mainly located in the colon and bones, the medication is administered rectally.

Other Miscellaneous Therapies of Panchkarma

Blood Letting (Rakta Moksha)

Blood letting is used to eliminate toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract. This process purifies the blood. It is used for disorders such as repeated attacks of skin disorders such as urticaria, rash, eczema, acne, scabies, leucoderma, chronic itching and hives. It is also often effective for enlarged liver and spleen, hemochromatosis, and for gout. Blood letting, which should only be administered by a qualified physician, is useful to relieve several pitta disorders such as acne and rash. If administered properly, it stimulates the antitoxic substances in the blood stream, thus developing the immune mechanism in the blood system. Do not administer blood letting in cases of anemia, edema, weakness or to very old and very young persons

Nasya (Nasal administration; Errhine Therapy

This treatment involves the administration of herbalized oils and liquids into the nostrils. It is useful for treatment of kapha-oriented problems, of ear, eyes, nose and throat disorders such as migraine, sinusitis, catarrh, and bronchitis. The nose is the gateway to the brain and to consciousness. Prana or vital energy enters the body through breath taken in through the nose. Nasal administration of medication helps to correct the disorders of prana affecting the higher cerebral, sensory and motor functions. Nasya is indicated for dryness of the nose, sinus congestion, hoarseness, migraine headache, neurodegenerative conditions (i.e. multiple sclerosis), convulsions and certain eye and ear problems.

Instructions about Panchakarma

It is important to notice that a specific Panchakarma protocol is selected for each individual after complete physical examination and pulse diagnosis.That’s why to make a universal package for everybody is not recommended, especially when it is claimed to do whole panchakarma in 21 days package is unimaginable. At Ayuskama Panchakarma is tailored according to individual needs and health conditions, and a specific program is made for every patient. Panchakarma treatments can take from minimum 7 days if only one treatment is done to upto 2 months if all treatments are done.

Nasya (Nasal administration; Errhine Therapy

This treatment involves the administration of herbalized oils and liquids into the nostrils. It is useful for treatment of kapha-oriented problems, of ear, eyes, nose and throat disorders such as migraine, sinusitis, catarrh, and bronchitis. The nose is the gateway to the brain and to consciousness. Prana or vital energy enters the body through breath taken in through the nose. Nasal administration of medication helps to correct the disorders of prana affecting the higher cerebral, sensory and motor functions. Nasya is indicated for dryness of the nose, sinus congestion, hoarseness, migraine headache, neurodegenerative conditions (i.e. multiple sclerosis), convulsions and certain eye and ear problems.

Abhyanga

This is a special type of oil massage in which hand strokes are made according to the disease. It enhances blood flow and is usually given as pre-procedure to many therapies as well as a separate therapy in itself.Indication: Obesity, rheumatism, blood pressure, spondylitis, weakness, stress and strain, rejuvenations, relaxation, vigor & vitality.

Pizhichil

Slow stream of warm medicated oil applied/poured all over the body along with gentle massage. The time duration is generally 45-60 minutes per session.
Indications: Rheumatic disease, arthritis, spondylitis, paralysis, hemiplegia, paraplegia, sexual weakness, nervous weakness & other diseases.

Shirodhara (Types: Thaila/Thakra/Kseer/Kashay)

In this procedure, herbal oils, medicated buttermilk or milk or decoction etc are poured slowly on the forehead. The time duration is 20-45 minutes. Indication: Insomnia, mental tension, headache, migraine, sinusitis, certain skin diseases, stress & strain, depression, hair care etc.

Navarkizhi (shashtik pinda swedan)

In this process, the whole body or any specific part there of, is made to perspire by the external application of certain medicated milk puddings tied up in the form of boluses. The time duration is 45-60min
Indication: Emaciation of limbs, skin diseases, rheumatic complaints etc.

Udvartan

This is a typical massage with herbal powders useful for burning fat under the skin. It helps to lose weight, exfoliates dead skin. The time duration is 30-50min.
Indication: Obesity, Hemiplegia, Paralysis, Skin Ailments, Impaired Blood Circulation.

Shirobasti

Lukewarm herbal oils are poured into a cap fitted on the head and stagnated for a prescribed time according to patient’s condition. The time duration is 30-45minutes.
Indication: Facial Paralysis, dryness of nostrils, mouth & throat, severe headaches, burning sensation of head & other Vata-borne Diseases, Hairfall, Thinning and greying of Hair etc.

Kati Vasti

For this, specially prepared warm medicated oil is kept over the lower back within herbal paste boundary. The time duration is 20-30min per session.
Indication: All types of back pain & spinal pain, slip disc, sciatica, spondylitis etc.

Thala Dharan

Special powder mixed with oil is applied on top of the head. The time duration is 30min per session
Indication: Migraine, facial paralysis, heat stroke, high B.P. etc

Akshitarpan/Netratarpan

It is a cleansing process for the eyes, which gives a cooling effect to the eyes, prevents eye diseases and strengthens optic nerve, also improves eyesight. This procedure takes 15-25 minutes.
Indications: Eyestrain due to TV, computer, pollution, tired eyes, watering of eyes, dimness of vision at night. It helps in preventing early formations of cataract.

Mukhalepam

In this procedure, herbal paste is applied to the face for the treatment of wrinkles, dry or oily skin, blemishes, acne etc.

Hrid Basti/Uro basti

It is a unique treatment for heart and chest diseases. In this medicated oil, ghrit or decoction of herbs is placed into the rim of urad flour.
Indication: Useful for strengthening of heart, angina, asthma and other respiratory problems.

Janu Basti

In this treatment, medicated oils, ghrit is placed into the rim of urad flour made at the knee joint.
Indications: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout etc.

MARMA THERAPY

Marma-point massage dates back to southern India year 1500 BC. Masters of kalari, an ancient martial art, first discovered the power of Marma points. In battle, kalari fighters targeted an opponent’s Marma point as a way to inflict pain and injury. According to kalari lore, people have 12 Marma points that, when hit with a knockout blow, can cause instant death. These areas were so important that soldiers even used armour to protect their horses’ Marma points while riding into battle.
Wounded kalari fighters were nursed back to health with Marma therapy. Practitioners used Marma-point massage to stimulate healing in areas that corresponded to the injuries. For blow to intestines, for example, the Marma point on the back of calf, which correspond with the transverse part of large intestine, is massaged to trigger flow of energy to induce healing. Ayurvedic physicians, all over India learnt the importance of this art and hired kalari masters in hospitals to teach . Soon, Marma-point training became mandatory for surgeons, who worked around specific points to prevent risk to life. Today marma-point massage is still a respected component of Ayurvedic healing.

Marma Therapy

Marma are the vital areas of the body. The word Marma comes from Sanskrit origin word ‘mri’ meaning death. The Sanskrit phrase, ‘Marayate Iti Marmani’, also means death or serious damage to body or health after infliction to the point of their situation . Hence these areas are called Marma. In siddha system of medicine they are called Varma.
Marma in Sanskrit means hidden or secret. By definition, a Marma point is a junction on body where two or more types of tissue meet, such as muscles, veins, ligaments, bones or joints.
During ancient times, knowledge of Marma was known to kings and warriors. It was applied in battle fields to hit and achieve maximum lethal effect on enemies. This science was used both in warfare and surgery. From common ailments to serious neuromuscular diseases, all can be treated by Marma therapy.
Common ailments like headache, bodyache, faulty spinal alignment, pain in the joints can be rejuvenated through Marma Chikitsa, which involves Swedana, Abhayanga, Pizhichil, and Kizhi (bolus) treatment. Kizhi treatment is a therapy wherein herbs are slightly fried, wrapped in muslin cloth and tied to make a bolus, heated in medicinal oils in a frying pan and placed on the area to be treated. This is followed by specific massage using fingers, heel or palm. The pressure application varies according to the nature of ailment and the point of application.
Sushruta Samhita describes 107 Marma points in body. In Tamil traditions, 108 Marma points are enumarated, and in Kalari tradition of kerala 365 Marma points are in practice. Major marma points correspond to seven Chakras, or energy centers of the body, while minor points radiate out along the trunk and limbs. The points cover both the front and back of the body, including 22 on the lower extremities, 22 on the arms, 12 on the chest and stomach, 14 on the back, and 37 on the head and neck. (The mind is considered the 108th Marma.) Each has its own name based on their anatomical position.
The human body, needs shodhana(revitalisation) in order to perform its function normally and efficiently. In Ayurvedic system, especially in kerala, Marma massage is performed as a routine in preventive medicine. A professional therapist isolates Marma points and tone them by increasing blood flow to affected part of the neuro-muscular junction. They also aim to tone the surrounding muscles.

MARMA THERAPY

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