Panchkarma— panch and karmas, when literally translated means ‘Five Procedures’. It is an ayurvedic treatment that involves elaborated methods of purification to release stress, which prepares the body tissues to accept the maximum benefits of food, nutrition and exercise.
The five procedures are Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Niroohavasti (Decoction enema), Nasya (Instillation of medicine through nostrils), and Anuvasanavasti (Oil enema). Panchkarma treatment is a three stage process—purva (pre-operative), pradhana (operative) and paschat (post-operative) measures. Ayurveda advises to practice Purvakarma because of the deep rooted imbalances in the body, which needs to be flushed out in the right way by Purvakarma and then by Panchkarma.
To undergo a purification therapy it is highly important for the body to be prepared for the rigorous process to encourage the body to let go of the toxins. Treatments like abhyangam, shirodhara and elakizhi are included to soften the tissues where the oil is applied to the entire body with a particular type of massage which helps the toxins to move towards the gastro-intestinal tract. Thereafter, therapies like Vamana, Virechana, Vasti, Nasya, Raktamoksha are used as per the body constitution (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) to complete the detoxifying process.
Accumulation of ama (toxin) is the primary reason for almost every disease and Panchkarma help us get rid of ama.