Panchakarma, Cleansing and Rejuvenation Therapy By Vishnu Dass, LMT, NTS, CAyu Ayurveda, the ancient "Science of Life," is one of the oldest forms of health care in the world. It is a holistic science that places great emphasis on prevention and aims at bringing about and maintaining harmony of body, mind, and consciousness. It encompasses diet and lifestyle guidelines, herbal formulas and preparations, yoga and meditation practices, as well as various therapies that support and enhance individual Ayurvedic programs.
panchakarma That is, the digestive fire (agni) is in a balanced condition; the three doshas —vata, pitta and kapha— are in equilibrium according to the individual constitution; waste products (malas) are produced and eliminated normally; and the mind, senses, and consciousness are working harmoniously together. When the balance of any of these systems is disturbed, the disease process begins. Basically, any aggravation of the doshas affects agni (the digestive fire) and produces toxins or ama. Other factors play a role in the formation of ama, as well.
One of the most unique aspects of Ayurveda is its cleansing and rejuvenation program known as panchakarma. Panch means "five" and karma means "action." Panchakarma consists of five therapeutic actions or treatments that are specific methods to safely and effectively remove ama (toxins) from different areas of the body without damaging or weakening the system. Panchakarma is very unique in that it is tailored to meet each individual's needs according to their constitution and doshic imbalances.
Before one undertakes the process of panchakarma, a skilled Ayurvedic clinician must assess one's weaknesses and determine one's constitution and current state of doshas, as well as which tissues, channels and organs are involved in the imbalance and need to be addressed. Then the clinician can design a program specific to one's needs.