Wednesday, March 28, 2018


PANCHAKARMA and seasonal cleansing are purifying and rejuvenating programs for the body, mind and consciousness. They are known for their beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing, and are the signature treatment of Ayurvedic Medicine also known as the science of life or life knowledge that is beyond ordinary perception.

The majority of clinical trials in Ayurveda have been conducted in more than 40 research institutions in India, many supported by the government, with findings published in India and European scientific journals. Because Ayurveda has been outside the Western model of health care and scientific system, research in America lags but is growing and modern scientific studies are using their own language to recently say the same things that Ayurveda has been demonstrating for thousands of years (1).

Exploring larger evidence-base for contemporary Ayurveda is being studied, one by Ram Harsh Singh in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research states:  “Ayurveda represents the most ancient and classical knowledge base pertaining to life science, health and cure. It seems to have been the world view of its time, although subsequently the world view of this knowledge base shrank to India alone and India remained its sole custodian till the end of the 20th century. Because of its unique pro-nature vision, Ayurveda once again is gaining global relevance” (2).

Another interesting study was performed in the Netherlands with a group of patients with chronic illnesses, including asthma, bronchitis , hypertension, and diabetes, that were treated with panchakarma and other Ayurvedic remedies. Strong results were observed, with nearly 80% of the patients improving and some chronic conditions being completely cured. Other studies have shown that panchakarma can lower cholesterol and improve digestive disorders. Diabetes, acne and allergies have been successfully treated with Ayurvedic remedies, and many Ayurvedic herbs have been proven effective in lab tests. Ayurvedic treatments, including panchakarma, have been used successfully to support the healing process of patients undergoing chemotherapy (3).

One study by the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine showed the effect of panchakarma and Ayurvedic treatment in postpartum rheumatoid arthritis to be beneficial in causing remission after 4 months of treatment.(4)

Currently, the National Institute of Health (NIH) is also funding studies on Ayurveda. Outside of scientific research, there are many patients who give testimonials to the effectiveness of panchakarma, which may be obtained from Ayurvedic clinics (4).
Significant improvements were found in self-efficacy towards using Ayurveda to improve health and reported positive health behaviors. In addition, perceived social support and depression showed significant improvements 3 months post program after the subjects had returned to their home context. As a program of behavior change, our preliminary results suggest that the complex intervention, panchakarma, may be effective in assisting one's expected and reported adherence to new and healthier behavior patterns (4).

There are many testimonials for Ayurveda and specifically it’s panchakarma therapy, in that it eliminates physical & mental toxins, restores physical, constitutional & emotional balance, improves physical, mental & emotional health, strengthens physical & emotional immunity, deepens physical & mental relaxation, improves physical & mental energy, improves physical & emotional vitality, improves physical & mental clarity, improves gut health, improves brain health, improves circulation, improves digestion, improves skin, improves the microbiome, improves the RhinoSinoBiome, slows the aging process and increases one’s sense of well-being.

Panchakarma is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat almost all diseases, particularly those that are chronic, metabolic or stress-related in origin. Panchakarma has been used to treat allergies, asthma , arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome , colitis, high cholesterol, depression , diabetes, digestive disorders, heart disease, hypertension , immune problems, infections , inflammation, insomnia , nervous disorders, obesity , skin problems, and ulcers. Panchakarma may be used alongside intensive conventional treatments including chemotherapy and surgery, to support healing and recovery. Panchakarma is safe and non-toxic, and can be used as prevention and to increase general well-being. Panchakarma is limited in treating traumatic injuries, acute pain, and conditions requiring immediate surgery or invasive procedures (5).

Panchakarma is based on central concepts of Ayurveda, which state that disease is caused by the build-up of toxic substances in the body and by imbalances in the body and mind (5).

The ideas behind panchakarma have influenced other alternative treatments. Environmental medicine studies how the accumulation of environmental substances in the body may cause disease, and detoxification therapy utilizes cleansing the body as its central treatment (5).

The first step of any Ayurvedic treatment is a thorough examination and diagnosis by an Ayurvedic practitioner, who determines the type and extent of panchakarma treatment required. According to Ayurvedic theory, physical and emotional traits are classified as three doshasvata, pitta and kapha. Each individual has all three doshas with one predominating. If an imbalance occurs, diseases/conditions appear. Panchakarma rebalances the doshas, bringing them back to equilibrium and the individual back to good health. The physician may prescribe herbal remedies and recommend dietary and lifestyle changes that may be enacted before, during and after panchakarma (5).

Ayurvedic doctors believe that disease generally starts in the digestive tract. Due to poor diets, bad health habits, and other causes, digestion can be impaired, causing a toxic substance called ama to accumulate in the body. Ama interferes with normal functioning and the flow of energy, creating imbalances and disease. One goal of panchakarma is to cleanse the body of excess ama, and to restore the body's digestive integrity (agni ) (5).

In panchakarma, there are two main types of therapy.  Shamana are the supportive therapies that include the preparation and post-therapy measures. The main treatment is called shodhana and refers to pancakarma's five main cleansing and elimination procedures. During preparation for panchakarma, internal and external oil therapy (termed snehana in Ayurveda) is the first treatment. Patients are given oil massages—abhyanga is is a rhythmic full-body massage that promotes arterial and lymphatic circulation and drainage that facilitates cleansing, rejuvenation, and deep relaxation. The heated Ayurvedic oils are selected according to one’s dosha and condition, and shirodhara where warm Ayurvedic oil is poured in a gentle stream onto the forehead in specific patterns alleviates stress and related mental  and emotional conditions, is good for brain health and nourishment, and soothing and calming the nervous system, by synchronizing brain waves, stilling the mind, enhancing blood circulation to the brain, nourishing the hair and scalp and aiding in the release of stress and tension, it is energizing yet relaxing. Sweating therapy (swedana ) is another treatment that uses sauna, steam, heated towels, herbal poultices, and exercise, depending upon the person. They are also fed dietary oils to lubricate the digestive tract. This internal oleation therapy may be used for up to a week before the main treatment. Oil enemas are sometimes recommended as well(5).

After cleansing methods are performed, patients go through an important aftercare stage called paschata karma or rasayana therapy. Patients are advised to rest, avoid certain activities, and often receive additional and continued attention and guidance from their Ayurvedic Practitioner, which may include Ayurvedic psychological care and counseling as part of the healing program, as panchakarma strives to cleanse the patient of emotional problems in addition to physical ones. Patients are also educated about preventative practices. Dietary changes are carefully planned, and lifestyle considerations are examined and recommended. Exercise programs, such as yoga , and stress-management techniques, including meditation or yoga nidra , may be introduced to patients during or after panchakarma, and herbal remedies may be recommended as well (5).

Panchakarma treatment can vary in length from a couple days to several weeks. Some clinics offer in-patient services, during which patients are intensively treated around the clock with medical supervision, dietary therapy, exercise, yoga, meditation, massage, and other therapies. Most clinics offer out-patient services, during which panchakarma treatments may take two or more hours per day until completed. Some clinics provide housing arrangements for visiting patients (5).

Patients should be thoroughly assessed and cared for by a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. Patients should seek panchakarma treatment from reputable clinics with adequate staff and facilities(5).

Certain panchakarma methods are not appropriate for specific health problems, and some should not be performed or should be modified for children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Panchakarma treatments should only be administered by qualified and experienced practitioners (5).

ChayaVeda's programs are tailored according to each individual’s constitution, age, condition and specific needs and are a unique, natural, holistic, health-giving series of therapeutic treatments that consist of a balance of cleansing and rejuvenating body therapies that remove deep seated toxins, open the subtle channels of the body and mind and are life-enhancing, improving energy, vitality, inner peace, confidence and well-being.  Chaya’s Ayurvedic Consultation and Health Coaching, assure proper assessment, therapies, education and support life enriching and sustained results.

1 . Journal of Research in Ayurveda, Ayurvedic research and methodology: Present status and future strategies
Ashutosh Chauhan, Deepak Kumar Semwal,1 Satyendra Prasad Mishra,2 and Ruchi Badoni Semwal3
Ayu. 2015 Oct-Dec; 36(4): 364–369.doi:  10.4103/0974-8520.190699
2 . Exploring larger evidence-base for contemporary Ayurveda, Ram Harsh Singh
Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Apr-Jun; 1(2): 65–66.
doi:  10.4103/0974-7788.64394,PMCID: PMC2924985,PMID: 20814517
3 . Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine Volume 8, Issue 1, January–March 2017, Pages 42-44 Effect of panchakarma and Ayurvedic treatment in postpartum rheumatoid arthritis (amavata): A case study Author links open overlay panelShailesh V.DeshpandeaVaishali S.DeshpandebShraddha S.Potdara
4 . Ayurveda and Panchakarma: Measuring the Effects of a Holistic Health Intervention
L. A. Conboy, 1 ,* Ingrid Edshteyn, 1 and Hilary Garivaltis 2 ScientificWorldJournal. 2009; 9: 272–280.
Published online 2009 Apr 27. doi:  10.1100/tsw.2009.35
5 . Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine
COPYRIGHT 2005 The Gale Group, Inc.


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