The word Panchakarma means five different actions (pancha = five; karma = action). These are five broad groups of different specific procedures of Ayurveda. These procedures are unique purification procedure advocated for quick recovery from chronic disorders. Chronic ailments are the results of long term suppression of toxins inside the body. By Panch Karma, the excessive level of toxic substances which are known as “Dosha” are expelled out of the body by various physical harmless procedures of Panch Karma. Thus a long-term and extremely profound purification of the body is achieved. It is quick acting therapy for the chronic diseases and have long lasting effect. For healthy people, there is a clear increase in zest, vitality, and performance.
In order to prepare body for the main procedure, pre-procedures are carried out before the Main Procedure. The main procedure is followed by post-procedure called Sansarjan Kram.
Purvakarma: Preparatory Procedure
Before carrying out any of the actual procedure, there is a need to prepare the body in prescribed methods to encourage the body to let go of the toxins and thence to enhance the efficacy of actual cleansing procedure. These preparatory procedures are Snehan and Swedan. Snehan is the scientific oil massage being carried out over the entire body in a proper way. This helps the toxins to move towards the gastro-intestinal tract. Oil massage also makes the superficial and deep tissues soft and supple, thus helping to remove stress and to nourish the nervous system. Snehan is given daily for three to seven days, as indicated. Swedan is sudation or sweating and is given every day immediately following the Snehan. An herbal concoction may be added to the steam to further loosen the toxins from the individual. Swedan liquefies the toxins and increases the movement of toxins into the gastro-intestinal tract. After three to seven days of Snehan and Swedan, the doshas become well “ripened.” Once body is prepared for the main procedure, a particular panchkarma method is then carried out according to the individual’s constitution(Prakriti), type and chronicity of disorder and bodily conditions.