Sluggish and tired all the time? Dealing with chronic health problems? Stressed and anxious? Say hello to the ultimate wellness detox; an Ayurvedic Panchakarma.
All the rage in health circles, the word Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means “five treatments.” This extremely restorative healing modality consists of a range of detox procedures for anywhere from three to twenty one days and the treatments are all aimed at rejuvenating your body to create balance, harmony and optimum health; both physical and mental.
The overarching aim of such a transformative detox is to rid the body of ‘ama’; the build up of toxic materials and vitiated doshas that accumulate through dietary, genetic and lifestyle factors and ultimately disrupt the body’s internal homeostasis. While treatments vary from place to place, the multi-pronged detox attack might look a little summin summin like this:
‘Cause who doesn’t love a massage? Designed to deeply penetrate the skin, break down impurities and stimulate material and lymphatic circulation, this extremely detoxifying process allows for the removal of stagnant waste within the body. It traditionally uses sesame oil, and is intended to direct and aid in the healing of the body, which is precisely what the doctor ordered.
Kitchari, kitchari, and more kitchari
Traditionally made from yellow mung daal, basmati rice, a tonne of spices and spoonfuls of ghee (amen to Ayurveda for knowing that anything buttery warms the soul), kitchari is recommended for breakfast, lunch and dinner during a Panchakarma, It’s offered as a mono-nutrient fast in Ayurveda, giving our digestive systems a much-needed break from having to digest all different kinds of food day in, day out. Which is fine by us, kitchari — you had us at ghee.
Sure you can do it yourself, but it’s like tummy rubs after over-consumption at the buffet; it’s so much better when someone else does it. Using a wool or silk glove, a therapist will dry brush your entire body (how good!) in order to enhance circulation, assist in lymphatic drainage and cleanse the skin. This will allow for subsequent oil massages to penetrate the skin on a deeper level thanks to freshly opened pores. Sign. Us. Up.
Some ‘third eye’ action
The practice of shirodhara involves a steady stream of warm oil being dripped over the forehead, with a focus on the ‘third eye’ area. This is intended to release stress from the central nervous system, enabling the body’s natural healing mechanism to work better.
Yep, it goes there. Panchakarma ain’t shy when it comes to releasing the intended build up of toxins that has made its way to the surface throughout treatments. The Basti enema is intended to provide vigour, vitality and strength to the body. It is used to flush out the toxins in the body through the intestinal tract, which sounds kinda gross, but kinda completely satisfying too? So if you’re ready to dive deep into Ayurveda and want to kick off the (sort of) New Year with the ultimate detox, why not look at a Panchakarma. To summarise:
“Stress, environmental pollutants and poor lifestyle choices create a toxic load on the body that—if left in the tissues and bloodstream—results in poor health. Panchakarma reverses this degenerative process quickly and its effects are often profound and long-lasting.”
And let’s face it, who doesn’t need a five day detox, ama-right? (Sorry, couldn’t resist).