All you need to know about this magic ancient science
Ayurveda, a natural system of medicine, originated in India more than 3,000 years ago, which serves to awaken your body’s ability to restore balance using principles that are seemingly basic and yet profound.
These same principles are mirrored in many indigenous cultures today, especially when it comes to the importance of restoring harmony or balance to cultivate good health. In addition, woven into Ayurvedic teachings is a sense of love and compassion for each person’s healing journey and a reminder to regard yourself in the same way. Remember we are all for loving ourselves and being kind to our bodies.
One of the first things you will learn about or experience when starting to delve into the world of Ayurveda is the cleansing and rejuvenation process called panchakarma, where you quite literally clean the slate and start anew.
And trust me it’s a story and it’s taken me four years to get fully on board and it’s still a conscious decision for me daily – it’s really just about knowing your body more and being very aware of what you eat, and what environments you place yourself in.
What Is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma eliminates accumulated impurities from the mind-body physiology; it is essentially a detoxification program. Our body knows how to cleanse itself quite efficiently and is well-equipped to remove waste through various channels such as:
Panchakarma helps to gently clear the channels of removal in the body so that everything runs smoothly and efficiently, like a well-oiled machine.
The Importance of Detoxification
According to Ayurveda, good health depends on your body and mind’s ability to metabolize all of life’s experiences, both good and bad. This is why digestion, or agni, is important as it relates to the metabolization of life on all levels. Agni means gastric fire, enzymes, and metabolism and determines how efficiently you are able to convert information in the form of food, emotions, and experiences into nourishment. When agni, is strong, everything is broken down and absorbed into your mind-body physiology appropriately. Anything that is not useful is eliminated from your body and mind. Read more about Gut Health here
When agni is weak, it leads to improper digestion of food, experiences, and emotions and results in an accumulation of undesired impurities. Ayurveda refers to these unmetabolized materials as ama and they are viewed as toxic residue. The presence of ama clogs the channels in the body that are in charge of waste removal and circulation.
In a world that is busy, stressful, and toxic, it places a huge strain on your physical and mental systems, especially over time. While you may not see it with your eyes, you most assuredly feel it. Stress is a huge problem and is the cause of many ailments.
How can you focus on creating a happy life that Ayurveda promotes when you feel like crap? The first step is clearing out the gunk, or ama, through panchakarma and then learning tools to maintain good health.
Signs You Might Benefit from Panchakarma
The signs of ama accumulation can be obvious. If you notice you have any of the following symptoms,
Thick layer of coating on the tongue
Tired throughout the day, especially after meals
Body aches and pains
Bad smelling breath, odour and flatulence
Constipation or diarrhoea
Ayurveda emphasizes the need to rekindle one’s agni to prevent unhealthy accumulation. This is accomplished through regular practice of the following:
I do a combination of exercise regimes virtually - depending on how my body feels, I train daily with Taz Falconer and I add in some extra yoga as well with Boho Beautiful. I choose this for myself and my mental health its a small sacrafice to make.
I like to follow the Deepak Chopra 21-day meditation challenges there are also cool and really resonate with me – and it’s really just 15min of your day you have to sacrifice for yourself.
4. Daily Abhyanga
Self-massage done on the body using warm herbal oils. The massage is done in the direction of arterial blood movement. This helps to improve blood circulation, provide relief from pain and stiffness, and help in de-stressing. It also helps in correcting energy (Dosha) imbalance in the body.
Pranayama is a collection of breathing exercises developed by the ancient yogis for purification, mental focus rejuvenation, and healing. Prana translates into “life force energy,” and Yama translates into “control or mastery of.” Thus, pranayama is a breathing technique used to control, cultivate, and modify the amount, quality, flow, and direction of vital energy in the body.
Why Should You Try Panchakarma Treatments?
You don’t have to be sick to benefit from panchakarma. If you are healthy, then you will become stronger and have more energy. If you are sick, it will gently encourage you back to health in a natural way. Prevention is important!
How Often and When?
Traditionally, Ayurveda suggests doing panchakarma with the change of the seasons, so about three or four times per year. Any time you experience transitions, things can get out of balance and accumulations occur. Anytime you feel out of sorts or ill, consider panchakarma. The whole process helps to remind you about the importance of taking care of yourself and honouring where you are at and what you need in the moment.
Please note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.