Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means five treatments or five actions; the five-treatment process detoxifies the body and restores the body's Doshas into balance, and strengthens the immune system as part of an Ayurvedic detox. The treatment lasts from 5 to about 21 days, and it consists of herbal massage, steam baths, cleansing enemas, nasal administration, application of oils specific to the body's Dosha, and Ayurvedic meals.
The five Panchakarm processes are:
Basti: Herbalized oil enemas
Nasya: Nasal irrigation
Vamana: Therapeutic vomiting
Therapeutic vomiting and bloodletting have been modified with more relaxing and soothing therapies.
The treatment may include certain Ayurvedic full body massages, such as:
Abyanga & Pizhichil- Abyanga involves the use of warm herb-infused oil specific to conditions. The treatment is nourishing and invigorates the tissues and improves muscle tone. Pizhichil (means to sqeeze) is a treatment that combines two therapies Snehana and Swedhana. Snahana means oil massage, and Swedhana means to sweat. Warm medicated oil is used in this treatment to help in blood circulation, and detox through sweating. Pizhichil helps to prevent acne, promote blood circulation, stress and anxiety relief, rejuvenating, building immunity in the body, and improves muscle tone and development.
Sirodhara - The Sanskrit words Shiro or Siro mean head, and dhara means flow. The treatment consists of gently pouring a consistent warm stream of oil (usually sesame oil) over the forehead that induces a relaxed state of awareness resulting in a total body mind-body balance.
Udvartana or Ubtan - The treatment consists of a powder massage using dry herbal powder or herbal paste to detoxify the body, improve blood circulation, and rejuvenate the body. Snigadh Udvartana is a powder massage using an herbal paste to exfoliate and restore the skin.
Marma therapy - According to Ayurveda, the body has junctures called Marma points where two or more types of tissue join such as muscles, ligaments, veins, bones or joints. Marma therapy uses 107 marmas on the body, and the mind is the 108th marma. These points corresponds to the seven chakras of the body. A detailed map of the marma points on the body was written centuries a go in the Ayurvedic text the Sushruta Samhita. The treatment detoxifies the body and brings the mind and body into balance. The treatment can alter consciousness and change one's awareness, renewing energy and heighten creativity.
Ayurvedic facial - The treatment nourishes the skin, helps to fight free-radicals, enhances well-being, helps to enhance dull and dry skin to a healthy glow.
To learn more about Panchakarma, and if you are interested in Panchakarma self-care guide click here for more information at Maharishi Ayurveda.