It is Winter now in many parts of the world and according to Ayurveda this is the best season to detoxify the body physically and mentally. This is also the best time to rejuvenate the body.
It is important to know the mechanism of Panchakarma, Ayurvedic detoxification. Let’s understand how it is helpful and how it works for the detoxification of the body. Let’s detoxify from the toxins generated during the year 2014 and remain healthy in the upcoming year 2015.
This entire universe is regulated by the forces of the air, sun and moon. These three forces are responsible for harmony as well as the disturbances in the universe. These three forces are represented by tridoshas (i.e. vata, pitta and kapha) in the human body. As long as these are in harmony one will be healthy; any disturbance among these will result in a diseased condition. So in Ayurveda the main line of treatment is always aimed towards creating harmony among these three doshas.
These three doshas regulate all the systems of the body physically and the psychological part of the body as well. So when we are targeting towards harmonizing the doshas actually we are aiming to establish complete health.
As per Ayurveda the main line of treatments are known as shamana and shodhana. Shamana is to pacify the aggravated dosha within the body while in shodhana the aggravated doshas are expelled out of the body. As per the condition of the patient and level of disease these are applied for the treatment purpose.
In shamana treatment tail or tailam (medicated oil) is indicated for harmonizing the vata dosha; ghee harmonizes the pitta dosha while honey balances the kapha dosha.
Shodhana treatment is given according to the location of the doshas in the body. As vata is located in the lower one third of the body so the treatment involved will be applied in this region.
The shodhana treatment for the vata diseases is the basti therapy. As vata is the only active dosha in the body and the other two are dependent on vata for their activities, by harmonizing the vata dosha indirectly we are harmonizing all three doshas. This is the reason the basti treatment is given as frequently as half of all the treatments. Some scholars of Ayurveda also recommended basti treatment as the complete treatment.
The area of the pitta dosha is the middle one third of the body so the treatment involved will work on this region.
The aggravated pitta is expelled out of the body by virechana, therapeutic purgation.
The kapha dosha dominates the upper one third of the body and the nearest exit for the upper one third is the mouth so the aggravated kapha is expelled out of the body by vamana therapy or therapeutic vomiting.
So far we have looked at treatments for the physical body. For complete health, we cannot ignore the psychic aspects. It is the vata dosha which specially affects one on the psychic level creating restlessness and anxiety. To calm down the vata dosha on the psychological level Ayurveda recommends relaxation and nourishing treatments. Vata aggravation always causes restlessness and depletion of nutrition. To harmonize the vata dosha on the psychological level and to calm down the restless mind Ayurveda recommends the shirodhara procedure. In this procedure a constant stream of fluid (medicated oil/ medicated milk/ buttermilk/ decoction of herbs) is allowed to fall on the forehead in a to and fro motion.
According to Ayurveda the nose is the gateway of the brain. The medicines given through the nasal route – nasya, directly work on the brain. So the nasal medicines nourish the brain tissues directly. Besides nourishing, Ayurveda also talks about certain cleansing nasyas which expel out the aggravated doshas from the head and neck region.