Panchakarma: Detoxify, Strengthen, Restore

Feb 17, 2016

Panchakarma shilajit

Panchakarma is a cleansing process used in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic medicine originates from India and is thought to be the world’s oldest healthcare system. The Sanskrit word “Ayurveda” means “knowledge of life.”


 What is Panchakarma?

Panchakarma is a technique incorporating actions on the mind and body. The treatment is used to help eliminate the toxins in the body’s cells, to promote self-healing, and to rejuvenate all systems in the body. The goal is to release toxins, strengthen the body’s innate healing abilities, and restore balance. It helps the body digest that which nourishes and eliminate everything else.

The name Panchakarma is taken from two Ayurvedic words:
• ‘Pancha’ meaning five
• ‘Karma’ which are the therapeutic measures.

The name literally translates as ‘Five Therapeutic Measures’. These five measures are used to detoxify, purify and rejuvenate the body. Panchakarma is traditionally undertaken before any other type of Yogic practice is performed. It is considered a powerful Rasayana therapy (systemic rejuvenation of mind and body).

One of the detoxifying and restorative agents used in the practice of Panchakarma is shilajit. This sticky, tar-like substance is found oozing from rocks in the high altitudes of the Himalayan mountains of Tibet, Pakistan and India. The all-natural herba-mineral compound contains approximately 85 different minerals. Shilajit is one of the most powerful restorative agents used in Ayurveda.


 How do I Find a Good Ayurvedic Practitioner?

When looking for an Ayurvedic practitioner, it is crucial to not just jump at the first name you come across. Like most practices, Ayurvedic medicine has its fair share of charlatans and people who will take your money with no real understanding of the procedures they claim to practice.

A good place to begin searching for a qualified practitioner is on the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA) website. Another is the International Society for Ayurveda and Health (ISAH) website. The ISAH collaborates with Ayurvedic Medical Schools of India for education and training and lists local and regional practitioners of Ayurveda with extensive information on their qualifications and experience.

When looking for an Ayurvedic practitioner the ISAH recommends practitioners who have trained at a recognized Ayurvedic medical school.


 How Often Should I have Panchakarma Treatment?

It is recommended that you have treatment with each change in season when the body can experience unrest due to changes in the weather. But it is an effective treatment whenever you personally feel like your body needs reinvigorating.


 How Much does Treatment Cost?

The price of Ayurvedic treatment can vary, so it is always worth clarifying with the practitioner before booking any sessions. As a general rule of thumb, you should expect to pay $60 – $80 per hour. A lot of Ayurvedic treatments such as massage and yoga therapy are now covered by many medical insurance policies, so it is always worth checking this out with your insurance company.


 What are Your Experiences?

What are your experiences with Panchakarma? What were the benefits you realized? What were the challenges? Share by commenting below!


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