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Panchakarma is Ayurveda's primary purification and detoxification treatment. The word Panchakarma contains two Sanskrit words 'Pancha', which means five, and 'Karma' which means action. Together it means 'five actions' which shows clearly what Panchakarma actually is: an Ayurvedic treatment consisting of five different actions which clean the body from any kind of toxic material.

Ayurveda says that whenever your doshas, your body humours, are not in balance, waste matter is created which which is called Ama. It is a noxious, foul-smelling substance of which the body has to be cleaned as thoroughly as possible which can be done with Ayurvedic treatments such as Panchakarma. In order to avoid producing Ama, a proper diet according to your dosha as well as a healthy lifestyle with exercises is recommended.

All purification techniques of Ayurveda are called Shodana. Panchakarma combines a series of five treatments which together help to remove toxins that cause deep rooted stress and illness. These five therapies are: Vaman, Virechan, Nasya, Basti and Rakta Moskshana. The Ama is evacuated through sweat glands, urinary tract, intestines, etc. and the body can come back into its natural balance.

Panchakarma is a highly personalized treatment. A particular Panchakarma method is given according to the individual‘s constitution and disorder. It is based on the needs of the individual depending on the body type, dosha imbalances etc. Usually, only parts of the five therapies are needed. It is a very pleasant experience and additionally involves daily massages that support the process of Ayurveda detoxification. Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma as a seasonal treatment for toning your mind and body system.

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I underwent Panchkarma a few years ago--- It was very rejuvenating, not to mention fraught with all kinds of psychic refreshers.  At that time, I lived in the city (Denver), and was employed ( very important when the bills arrive).  Although I think I could self-administer part of Panchakarma, without the massage it would not be as effective.  I also think the connection with the practitioner is an important element.  In India, it is generally done in hospital; mine was not, but I saw my practitioner every day for 10 days. I highly recommend Panchakarma as a regular practice!

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