What causes imbalances in human body and why you need a Detox?
According to Ayurveda, our body is a combination of five elements - space, fire, water, air and earth.
Vata - a combination of space and air, pitta - a combination of fire and water, and kapha - a combination of water and earth, are called the tridosha.
Every individual constitution has its own unique balance of vata, pitta and kapha, according to its own nature.
As per Ayurveda, in a perfect state of health, everything is in order. This exists when the digestive fire (agni) is in a balanced condition; the bodily humors (vata, pitta and kapha) are in equilibrium, the three waste products (urine, feces and sweat) are produced and eliminated normally, the seven bodily tissues (rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, asthi, majja and shukra/artava) are functioning normally, and the mind, senses and consciousness are working harmoniously. When the balance of these systems is disturbed, the disease (disorder) process begins.
How is the order disturbed? Vata, Pitta and Kapha constantly interact with the external environment. Our diets, stress, repressed emotions can cause this order to be disturbed and lead to aggravation or derangement of these tridoshas which in turn affects the agni (gastric fire) and produces ama (toxins).
This ama enters the blood stream and is circulated throughout the body, clogging the channels. This accumulated toxicity, once well established, will slowly affect prana (vital life energy), ojas (immunity), and tejas (cellular metabolic energy), resulting in illnesses. This can be nature’s effort to eliminate toxicity from the body. Every so-called disease is a crisis of ama toxicity. Ama is the basic internal cause of all disease, due to the aggravated doshas.
Herein lies the key to the prevention of disease: help the body eliminate the toxins. To stop the further production of ama, Ayurveda suggests putting the person on a proper diet with appropriate lifestyle, habits and exercise, and administering a proper cleansing program such as panchakarma.
Although panchakarma is often thought of as the entire procedure, in reality, it is only one part of a group of therapies belonging to a class of cleansing procedures called Shodana.
There is also a group of milder techniques called Shamana for those not strong enough for Shodana.
But before Panchkarma is administered, your body needs to be prepared by a procedure called Purvakarma. Purvakarma consists of Snehana and Svedana.
Snehana (Oleation therapy): In this procedure oil and ghee preparations are used externally and internally. Oil is applied to the entire body as part of a particular type of procedure that helps the toxins to move towards the gastrointestinal tract. Oil massage also makes the superficial and deep tissues soft and supple, thus helping to remove stress and nourish the nervous system. The different procedures include, Snehapanam, Abhyangam, Sirovasthy, Sirodhara and Pizhichil.
Swedana (Sudation therapy): It is done in association with Snehana. Its objective is to induce the body to sweat. A herbal concoction may be added to the steam to further loosen the toxins from the individual. Swedana liquefies the toxins and increases the movement of toxins into the gastrointestinal tract. Therapies coming under Swedana Karma include Njavarakizhi, Pizhichil, Elakizhi, Choornasweda, Steam Bath and Hot Herbal Bath etc.
Once Purvakarma is administered for 3-7 days, Panchkarma begins. Your physician may advise you to undergo one or a combination of the following Panchakarma therapies.
Vamana - Therapeutic vomiting or emesis.
Virechan (Purgation) - Cleansing of the small intestine.
Vasti (Enema) - Cleansing of the large intestine.
Nasya - Elimination of toxins through the nose.
Rakta Moksha - Detoxification of the blood with the help of leeches.
What this program aims to achieve:
Panchkarma is a process of purifying the whole body to attain proper balance of Vatha, Pitha and Kapha based on the Panchkarma, Swethakarma Treatments and Yoga Asanas. Accompanied with satvik diets, you will achieve a renewed vigor and youth at the end of the program. Detoxification and cleansing will rid you of stomach and digestion problems.
Given below is an overview of a typical Ayurveda Panchkarma Package at an Ayurveda Detox Center in India.
Group Meditation / Group Chanting - There is no better way to manage imbalances leading to a disease, than meditation. Group Meditation / Chanting practiced at these Yoga Retreats help you explore your spiritual angle and develop holistic ways to re-align your doshas which may have caused any illnesses in the first place.
Panchakarma procedures – Panchakarma includes five methods of toxins elimination conducted under the supervision of experts who do these procedures day in day out.
Vamana - Therapeutic vomiting or emesis. Vamanam is induced to eliminate Kapha, which causes the excess mucus. Congestion in the lungs causes repeated attacks of bronchitis, colds and coughs. Vamanam is the best treatment for Kapha-related diseases, as well as chronic skin disease such as psoriasis.
Virechan (Purgation) - Cleansing of the small intestine. The elimination of toxic matter from the intestines by administrating therapeutic purgation or a therapeutic laxative, Virechanam is an especially effective cure in cases of jaundice and hemorrhoids.
Vasti (Enema) - Cleansing of the large intestine. An enema using quath or Kashaya Vasti and combatting vata dominant disease, (Vata is predominant in the colon). Vasti involves the introduction of a herbal concoction into the rectum, relieving constipation, kidney stones, backaches, sciatica and other types of joint pain.
Nasya - Elimination of toxins through the nose. The inhalation of medicated oil through the nostrils, eliminating any excess of humours accumulated in the sinus, throat, nose or head areas. The patient’s body is massaged from the shoulders upwards, causing it to perspire. An specific dose of the herbal medicine is poured into the nostrils as the patient inhales. During the process, the area around the nose, neck, shoulders, palms & feet are rubbed. This is highly beneficial in conditions such as sinusitis, migraine, chronic cold and chest congestion. In case of hemiplegia and facial paralysis, nasyam is very effective.
Rakta Moksha - Toxins present in the gastrointestinal tract are absorbed into the blood and circulated throughout the body. Impure blood is drained out of the body through needle-pricking, venesection, leaching etc. Extracting a small amount of blood from a vein relieves the tension created by the pitta-genic toxins in the blood. Leeches have been used as an alternative to bloodletting. Bloodletting also stimulates the spleen to produce anti-toxic substances that help to stimulate the immune system. Toxins are neutralized, enabling radical cures in many blood-borne disorders. Refrain from yogurt, salt, sugar, alcohol, marijuana, sour and fermented foods during this treatment.