AYURVEDIC DETOX (PANCHAKARMA)
All of us at some point of our life realise like:
- I am not feeling 100% anymore!
- I am not feeling hungry; I am not at all enjoying food
- My digestion is not good, My bowel movements are all over the place or My bowel is not at all working
- I feel overwhelmed/angry/frustrated/anxious/teary too easily
- It’s taking ages to fall asleep and I feel like a zombie in the morning
It’s all because our system is getting sluggish due to accumulation of metabolic wastes (aka toxins). These wastes will be higher if you are stressful, following unhealthy diet and/ or erratic sleep pattern, avoiding exercise or addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, sugar, etc. If not eliminated timely, they can turn toxic and damage the systems leading into chronic diseases and infections. That is why it is important to detoxify regularly to maintain health and prevent illnesses. As we do service for our vehicles to maintain performance, Ayurveda recommends to do detox yearly to ensure health.
What is Panchakarma aka Ayurvedic detox?
Panchakarma, the gem of Ayurveda, is the term used in Ayurvedic classics for detox. It is a Sanskrit word derived from two Sanskrit roots; pancha meaning five and karma meaning procedure (here). When something upsets body, body expels them mostly through nose, vomiting, sweat, stool, etc. You can experience this sort of cleansing in food poisoning, chest infection, fever, etc. Ayurveda uses these natural ways of cleansing in an increased but controlled way through panchakarma.
Five treatments that come under the heading of panchakarma are
- Nasal detox (nasya)
- Ayurvedic Therapeutic Enemas
- Ayurvedic Therapeutic Purgation (virechana)
- Ayurvedic Therapeutic Emesis (vamana)
- Bloodletting- eg. Leech therapy, cupping, phlebotomy, etc. There are legal restrictions to practice these treatments by an Ayurvedic practitioner in Australia.
All these procedures are administered after preparing the body with Ayurvedic therapeutic massage treatments (Abhyanga), aromatic steam therapies, etc. Even though they are the preparatory procedures for the traditional cleansing, as they have their own therapeutic and detoxifying effects, now -a -days all these treatments are included under the heading of ayurvedic detox and used separately to get desired quick and easy cleansing. But it’s also true that these quick sessions are not equivalent to the deep cleansing brought about by the classic five detox treatments.
Preparing the body for Ayurvedic detox
Ayurveda is highly holistic in nature. Detox plans are made according to an individual’s dosha imbalance, health issues and body type. So always, detox begins with a consultation. Sometimes according to the state of your metabolism, Dr Rafeena may suggest taking herbs for a short period of time. Body will be able to process the detox treatments properly only if the metabolism is good enough to carry out it. If your metabolism is sluggish or you are overwhelmed with stress having a few sessions of specific Ayurvedic body (massage and/or steam) treatments can help to get quick desired results. So most of the time, detox will be more effective if you plan and start ahead.
Diet during Ayurvedic detox
During your initial consultation Dr Rafeena will recommend the diet that’s healing/nurturing for you. Apart from that, Ayurveda suggests simple diet/ mono fasting during the days of detox (that means you can eat!) to spend least energy for digestion and focus mainly on cleansing and healing. Dietary support and recipes will be provided for the days of detox.
The Process of Ayurvedic detox
From a healthy individual who is keen to maintain health to a seriously ill person suffering from chronic issues can be benefitted from Ayurvedic detox treatments. Generally for any healthy individual, simple/basic Ayurvedic detox is recommended yearly to maintain health. It is highly recommended during
- Thirties-to maintain youthfulness.
- Ongoing stress- to reduce stress and provide wellness.
- When you are planning to have a baby-for healthy progeny and problem free pregnancy and labour.
- Prevent/get rid of burn out.
- When your health is deteriorating.
- Around menopause- to ease the transition.
- Sixties – to prepare for future years to come!
Ayurvedic detox is an important step in the management of chronic diseases
- Digestive issues like chronic constipation, gluten, lactose or various other intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome, acid peptic disease/ H. pylori infection.
- Emotional and mental issues like anxiety, depression, OCD, bipolar disease, etc.
- Spine and joint issues like cervical spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, fibromyalgia.
- General issues like hormonal imbalance, obesity, diabetes mellitus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes.
- Auto immune disorders-Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Psoriasis, alopecia areata, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis.
- Skin diseases like urticaria, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
- Allergies and respiratory issues-chronic sinusitis, hay fever, asthma, bronchiectasis.
- Menstrual disorders like PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, painful menstruation, irregular menstruation.
Please note: Generally if the individual is not healthy enough to carry out his or her daily activities (not because of deformity), ayurvedic detox treatments are not recommended. So it is important to cleanse your systems before it is too late. According to the state of the body, the number of days required and frequency of treatments may vary.
(As detox is highly holistic, after the initial consultation, Dr Rafeena will prescribe the detox script by including following steps.)
Step 1: Boost the metabolism
Boost the metabolism with the herbs-takes around 2-4 weeks. During this time various Ayurvedic treatments are recommended for added benefits and/or specific health issues. You don’t have to do this step, if your metabolism is already good.
With herbalized oil or ghee. This step is highly recommended for specific illnesses with deep root imbalances. The herbalized oil and ghee help to lubricate specific organs, tissues or sites (according to the herbs selected). Apart from lubrication, they also help to boost the metabolism further, mobilise the embedded toxins and prepare the body for detox. Internal lubrication usually takes 3-7 days and you need to follow special diet guidelines. This can also be carried out in a simple way by taking smaller doses in step 1.
Step 3: Ayurvedic Therapeutic Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Ayurvedic therapeutic oil massage or Abhyanga helps to boost the nervous and circulatory system and carry out the detox properly. Abhyanga itself has detoxifying properties as it’s done with herbalized oils.Abhyanga
Step 4: Ayurvedic Aromatic Steam Therapies
Usually you will be sitting in a steam chamber which is filled with aromatic steam or aromatic steam coming through a tube will be applied to your body (there are other ways as well) until you are hot and sweaty. Steam helps to dilate the channels in the body and facilitate the exit of toxins. Sweat itself is a way of taking toxins out of the system.Steam
Step 5: The main detox process/Panchakarma
Benefits of Panchakarma
When properly done panchakarma helps to cleanse the body, expel toxins, improve vitality, boost immunity, lose extra weight, provide youthfulness, get clear skin, provide clarity to mind and lightness of sense organs; and treat specific illnesses.
How will be the detox planned for you?
Detox plan always begins with an initial consultation. If your metabolism is sluggish, body needed to be prepared with certain herbs. Dr Rafeena will tell you how long you have to take those herbs and when will be/ are you ready for detox. Then a detox plan will be made including the required panchakarma and preparatory procedures. Most of the time treatments are combined to get the best possible results and save time. The simplest detox plan takes 3 days to finish. 5 days, 7 days and 10 days plans are also widely used in Australia. Discuss with Dr Rafeena to know about the number of treatments involved and hours required. Cost depends upon the plan; however a standard rate is offered according to the hours/day and the number of days required irrespective of the specific treatments involved.
Time required: Varies. Consecutive 3 days at least.
Cost: $200 to 500 per day according to the hours included.
1-2 detox procedures (eg. Nasal detox +Ayurvedic therapeutic enema) + Ayurvedic therapeutic massage treatments
Herbal tea and dietary support
Sometimes you may need a consult with Dr Rafeena 2 weeks before. $99 for Standard consultation (cost of herbs not included)
Nasal detox (Nasya)
Nasal detox (Nasya Therapy) is the process of cleansing the head. It is the procedure of pouring specific number of drops of Ayurvedic herbalized oils/liquids to each nostril. There are different types of nasal detox according to the dose and the type of the herbal formulations. Herbalized oils are commonly used for nasal detox. Read more about Nasal detox (Nasya) here
Ayurvedic Therapeutic Enemas (Vasti)
Everyone will be familiar with the term enema; it’s the introduction of liquid medicines through anus. But in Ayurvedic therapeutic enema or vasti, various herbal preparations are administered through anus. Ayurvedic therapeutic enema is advised as the prime and the most important treatment to balance vata (the air factor) and to address all the three doshas (humors). Ayurvedic therapeutic enema enjoys high status among all the detox procedures due to its widespread benefits. Read more about Ayurvedic Therapeutic Enemas (Vasti) here.
Ayurvedic Therapeutic Purgation (Virechana)
Generally purgation is recommended only for specific health issues. It is the process of inducing bowel movements by herbal combinations. When done after preparing the body, Ayurvedic therapeutic purgation is effective to address a group of specific illnesses. As the herbal combinations are taken through mouth and detox happens through anus, the herbs come in touch with the whole alimentary canal. So the whole mucosa, nerve endings, blood vessels and associated tissues are involved/ stimulated in this process. Read more about Ayurvedic Therapeutic Purgation (Virechana) here.
Bloodletting is the process of inducing controlled bleeding from specific areas by the means of leech therapy, cupping or superficial small incisions. Bloodletting is recommended when the disease is caused by blood pooling and irritation out of it. It is helpful in skin diseases, poor circulation and inflammation. Due to legal restrictions, bloodletting is not practiced in Australia.
Ayurvedic Therapeutic Emesis (Vamana)
Ayurvedic therapeutic Emesis is practiced only in specific health issues with deep seated imbalances. It is the procedure of inducing controllable vomiting. When properly done Ayurvedic therapeutic emesis helps to relieve specific diseases. Stomach-which is considered as the seat for many digestive, skin and respiratory diseases- is well cleansed in this process. Also, vomiting involves direct stimuli from brain. Read more about Ayurvedic Therapeutic Emesis (Vamana).