You are looking for holistic Panchakarma detox for your chronic issues. Maybe someone mentioned you are the benefits or maybe you heard someone’s success story. But you are wondering, Is Panchakarma right for you?
This is all new to you and you have no idea if you should go for it. There’s so much discussion about holistic wellness, yoga and Panchakarma and you’re thinking maybe it works and you want to give it a try.
But you are sceptical at the same time. You have no idea where to begin your search or how it will help you heal your issues.
I can understand the frustration. I started my holistic wellness journey 15 years back. I was tired of chronic skin conditions and no amount of medications helped. My skin looked terrible. Then one day I decided to heal myself from the inside out.
I started reading more about Ayurveda and realised how my skin was the window to the functions inside my body. And looking at my skin I realised there is something terrible going on inside which I have been ignoring.
I followed a lot of natural remedies, listened to my body, found the cues and ate nourishing food. Few years into the journey my skin started getting better.
Then I heard about Panchakarma and I was immediately intrigued. You know how you find a ray of hope and you start doing all your research. The more I read the more I felt confident.
I did a lot of research before going for the treatment. I found a great centre nearby and got a 5-day therapy. My skin cleared in a few days and I got my confidence back.
After my profound healing, I wanted to share the benefits with everyone. What I found from my research I am writing here. I hope it helps you make a decision and improve your health.
Like me, you must be struggling with questions like what exactly is Panchakarma? Is Panchakarma right for you? How is it done? Who will do it? Are there any side-effects?
Is Panchakarma right for you? I leave it up to you to decide after reading this post.
What is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma is a 5-step internal deep cleansing in Ayurveda which is done with oils, clarified butter and herbs. All these five steps are done under the guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner who is either a very qualified doctor or a trained therapist.
Ayurveda is a 5000-year old science and works on the principle of doshas or bodily constitutions. These constitutions when unbalanced cause ailments in the body.
Your body filters a lot of toxins every day. But when the amount of toxins becomes too much, the filtration process becomes sluggish. These toxins breach into your blood and tissues causing problems like inflammation, allergies or pain.
In Ayurveda, most problems in your body originate in the digestive system. There is no western medicine to clean the organs internally or to eliminate excess toxins from the body.
In order to clean the body internally, there’s no medication or treatment in any other form of medicine. The traditional system of Ayurveda cleanses the body from the inside out using this method of cleansing also known as panchakarma.
There are five steps in the process
1. Nasya- Nasal Irrigation
2. Vaman- Induced vomiting
3. Virechana- Controlled purgation
4. Basti- Enema
5. Raktashodhana- Blood purification
You can read more about the entire process here.
Who can benefit from a Panchakarma treatment?
Before answering is Panchakarma right for you, you need to understand who can benefit from the therapy.
If you want a simple detox, you can go for Panchakarma.
If you are suffering from chronic health issues and haven’t found any solution for a long time, you can try Panchakarma. Ayurvedic therapies work at the root cause of the problem. This treatment will reset your body and allow healing from the inside.
If you have a new illness or have been facing it for a long time, Panchakarma is beneficial. The timeline of the treatment can vary depending upon how old is the ailment.
I have heard stories from people who have cured their psoriasis and eczema. I have read stories about people healing their auto-immune diseases with the therapy. These are some testimonials I found helpful.
Below is a list of issues Panchakarma can heal.
Respiratory: Bronchial Asthma, Chronic Allergies, Hay Fever, Asthma, Sinusitis, Loss of smell and taste, Nasal Allergies, Nasal Polyp
Skin: Vitiligo, Psoriasis, Urticaria, Rashes, Herpes, Eczema, Acne, Leukoderma, Chronic itching or Hives, Herpes, Edema
Digestive: Hyperacidity, Chronic Indigestion, Obesity, Constipation
Musculoskeletal: Arthritis, Sciatica, Spondylosis
Lifestyle issues: Obesity, Diabetes, Insomnia, Eyesight, Pre-mature greying of hair, Clarity to voice
Neurological Issues: Trigeminal Neuralgia, Bel’s Palsy, Paraplegia, Hemiplegia
Chronic pain: Low backache, Gout, Rheumatism, Frozen shoulder, Migraine, Stiffness of the neck
Elephantiasis and Gynecological disorder
The time and duration of your Panchakarma treatment are decided by the doctor. It can range anywhere from 5 days to 21 days depending upon the severity of the cases.
Is Panchakarma right for you? If you have been struggling with any of these issues, the answer is yes.
Which season is ideal for Panchakarma?
There is no ideal time for Panchakarma for everyone. Let the Ayurvedic practitioner decide after your consultation with them.
Your body is made of three basic constitution types or doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Most problems arise due to imbalances in these three constituents.
The 12-month calendar is divided into Ayurvedic dosha periods. In most cases, the therapy will be decided based on the imbalance and the prominent dosha during the treatment month.
If you live in a cold country prefer warm months for the treatment as it involves a lot of massages.
Can Panchakarma be given to pregnant or a lactating mother?
If you are pregnant or lactating it is indisputable to ask the question is Panchakarma right for you? Although Panchakarma can relieve your body from hormonal aches and pains during pregnancy, it is not recommended unless your physician approves.
For some people pregnancy is tricky. Any risk should be avoided for such people.
Similarly, Panchakarma therapy needs a lot of mental and physical strength. New mothers are low on both of them. Healing happens only when you are able to sleep soundly.
It requires almost 2 hours of therapies every day.
If however you are trying to get pregnant and nothing is working in your favour, Panchakarma has shown some success. Purification of the body increases the chances of conception.
Is Ayurvedic medicine legal?
Ayurveda is an alternative approach to medicine is recognised by every country today. Although some countries allow doctors to practice Ayurvedic medicine, others might not. For eg., in the USA Ayurvedic doctors from India can practice as Ayurvedic consultants.
You can go through the laws of your country before going forward.
Ayurvedic supplements like herbs, oils, juices are available in most countries today. Sale of some mineral-based drugs might be restricted.
If you are willing to travel, Ayurveda is a legal practice in India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The doctors go to medical school for 5 1/2 years to earn their graduation just like western medicine. They can further specialise in a subject of their interest. They are awarded the degree under the Medical Council of India.
Should I be mentally prepared for the procedure?
Absolutely. Panchakarma is not just another Spa appointment. It is a medical treatment which involves a lot of therapies.
These therapies can be physically, mentally and emotionally strenuous for a lot of people. It is important to set your expectations right.
Read about the therapy, the procedures and then make a decision. For foreigners, the experience can be quite daunting if they have no prior experience with the therapy.
The procedures involve a lot of oil and clarified butter in places where you least expect it. The food is very light during the entire procedure. And fast food or junk food is prohibited during the entire process.
People of what age can go for the treatment?
Panchakarma is a very detailed process that includes therapies like induced vomiting, enema and blood purification.
It demands a certain level of physical and mental endurance.
The therapy can be overwhelming for senior patients above 70 or people younger than 15. The procedure is not suitable for people in special conditions where the body is too weak to take this type of strain.
Ayurvedic practitioners rule out such cases and prescribe it to people only if their bodies allow.
What are the side effects?
If done properly, it can heal your body in a few sittings from the inside. You can see the life and vigour return in your body once again. I have seen people come out of therapies healed. You can read their success stories here.
There are no side-effects of the procedure. However, in the first few sittings,
- Your symptoms can aggravate. If you have eczema, you might experience more itching or inflammation on your skin.
During Panchakarma, you may experience fatigue, headaches, congestion, general illness.
- Also, there might be emotional outbursts for some people as it seeks to release stored up emotions.
Make sure you are going to a verified reputed facility. If not done properly, it can cause dosha imbalance or the patient might not heal. The body may still hold the toxins and the symptoms can aggravate.
Is Panchakarma right for you? I hope I could give you some reasons to consider therapy. But you still have to make a decision. For every person, the experience is extremely different.
Here are some more resources on Panchakarma to help you with your research,
- How to choose a Panchakarma centre? | Factors to consider
- Panchakarma treatment at home: Heal yourself in 5 easy steps
- 13 best Panchakarma treatment in the USA- With cost and ratings
- 15 places for best panchakarma treatment in India
But for any healing, you have to first believe in your heart that it will work. Healing begins in your mind and manifests in your body. All these therapies accentuate healing.
Panchakarma eliminates so many things that bog us down. You feel much lighter in your head, heart and body. Your body will thank you that you took your first step towards healing.
If you have any more questions or feedback, comment on this post. I will try to answer all your questions and concerns.
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Chakshu is a US alliance certified yoga teacher, a biotechnologist and an Ayurveda evangelist. Her passion is to help people live a toxic-free life, emotionally and chemically. She loves reading self-help books. When she is not writing, she is busy thinking about life.