Panchakarma – The Major Treatment of Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, human body is composed of the three Doshas, the seven dhatus and three malas. Equilibrium of the dosha, dhatu and mala maintains the healthy state of body and mind. But imbalance in any of them gives rise to disease. The purpose of Ayurveda is to maintain this equilibrium. This can be achieved by two methods. One is to pacify the dosha or by eliminate the dosha by nearby route i.e. Panchakarma. Panchakarma acts as curative as well as preventive therapy. It is purifying as well as rejuvenating procedure. Panchakarma is the soul of Ayurveda. As promised by Ayurveda, Ayurveda believes in treating the disease at its root, not just symptomatic treatment and boosting the body’s capacity to resist and fight disease. Panchakarma Chikitsa(treatment) for diseases like Infertility, Psoriasis, Insomnia, early ageing, irritability, lowered concentrating capacity, Hypertension, Hyperacidity following stress and strain of today’s day to day life problems. With Panchakarma principle, we also treat chronic diseases like Diabetes, Arthritis, Asthma, Spondilosis, Chronic Constipation, Colitis and Skin Diseases like Psoriasis. Principles of Panchakarma Chikitsa(treatment) are also followed for women in pre and post menopausal syndrome like hot and cold flashing irritability neuritis excessive sweating, weight gain, menstrual irregularities and leucorrhoea, menorrhagia the excessive menstrual bleeding etc.

The Panchakarma treatment of Ayurveda requires years of hands on clinical training and experience to be effective. Ayurvedic type massage offered in spas and center not dedicated Ayurvedic Medical health care, may appear similar, but are decisively different. Without the proper training in Ayurvedic Medicine, these Panchakarma therapies cannot be administered properly and may even aggravate or worsen the person’s condition.

Before doing Panchakarma there are certain steps to be followed which are called as Poorvakarmas. They are Snehana (oleation) and Swedana (sudation). Snehana can be done by two ways, application of oil internally and externally. There are four types to promote sweat in Swedana. The purpose of Poorvakarma is to liquefy and guide the provoked Doshas (impurities) to the mainstream to facilitate the Sodhana karma. Diseases occur when toxins get accumulated in body and clog these channels. Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, stress, changes in environment etc lead to accumulation of toxins in body. These accumulated toxins have to be expelled out in order to keep our body healthy. Through Panchakarma therapy these toxic clogs are removed to normalize the physiological process. Hence Panchakarma therapy is called as detoxification therapy. Panchakarma therapy can be administered to a normal person to prevent diseases and keep his body healthy. Panchakarma therapy is also used as a purifactory therapy to cleanse the body before starting a treatment. A diseased body can be compared to a soiled cloth which can not be colored as we desire. Hence to attain the maximum benefits, the body has to be purified or cleaned before starting the treatment. The cleared channels help medicines to penetrate the deeper tissues. SNEHAN It is the oilation therapy. It is of two kinds, internal and external. Internal Snehan: in this treatment medicated oils and ghee (clarified butter) etc. are given for internal use. These sneha are so subtle that they can enter into minute pores of cell membrane. They have a tendency of pushing or mobilizing the impurities from there so that their elimination becomes easy. Ghee (clarified butter) prepared from cow’s butter is best for this use. External Snehan: this comprises of different kinds of massage. Medicated oils are applied on the body and different methods are used for that. These massage techniques are many times used in the treatment of muscular fatigue, loss of motor functions, arthritis, paralysis, migraine, spondylities and bodyache. They also induce sound sleep by relaxing the nervous system, increase immunity of the body and are beneficial to increase skin’s lustre. SWEDANA It is the second Purvakarma. It means fomentation or heating therapy. Different types of fomentations like steam bath and poultices are used on specific parts of the body. Many kinds of warm medicated oils, water, milk and herbal decoctions are also used. They are either used in a bath tub or are poured on the body. These types of fomentation treatments are very beneficial in diseases like pains in the joints, neck, lumbago, hemiplegia, urinary disorders, renal diseases, muscular dystrophy, common cold, asthma and loss of muscle functions. Swedana or fomentation liquefies or digests the Doshas and opens the mouth of blocked channels and pores of cell membrane. This makes the elimination of wastes easy when the actual Panchakarma are performed. So after doing these Purvakarma or preparatory treatments, the main karmas (Panchakarma) are done.

WHY PANCHAKARMA: – to eliminate the toxic matter from the body. – to enhance the power of digestion and metabolism. – to get rid of diseases from the very root out of the systems. – to restore normal health. – to gain the strength, increase the virility and improve the progeny. – to have more clearer complexion. – to increase the power of sense organs and motor organs.

Natural Therapies – The Medicine of the Future

Mother Nature is blessed with an abundance of living creatures that can be found in every corner of the earth. It is in the depths of the ocean and even in the air. The human species, taken as the most intelligent of all life on earth; has time and time again worked to improve the quality of life. These efforts based on trial and error; and on research supported by advanced technology have propelled the human civilization forward. The medical field has jumped by leaps and bounds in the ground breaking medical treatments. However, while our faith in the medical profession is strong, we still have a tendency to fall back on the old fashioned Grandma’s “chicken soup” remedy.

Yoga therapy is in essence a system of self healing. The practice of Yoga has clearly shown to work silently on the human body, thus restoring it to its original state. While Yoga therapy is not an independent substitute for medical treatment, its practice will remove ailments and aches or at times it prevents them from deteriorating. There are various types of Yoga therapy that is designed for specific ailments like high blood pressure, neck and spinal pain, arthritis, asthma or bronchitis, diabetes and the many preventive measures that can be adopted as therapy. Below I have listed some Yoga therapies that will definitely aid and curing some of the most common ailments.

Water Therapy / Gajahkarni

This is a special method of consuming plain water daily, non-stop for forty eight days. The results are spectacular; according to Yogic scriptures this unconventional technique removes all diseases above the diaphragm. Completely cleanses the upper half of the body.

Colon Cleansing / Shankaprakslana

This is a natural purified method of water-gastro-intestinal track cleansing. The Yoga end-to-end water cleansing is a remarkable technique of drinking water coupled with specific Yoga postures to clear the entire digestive track. This therapy should be done under the guidance of a Guru.

Water Fast

This therapy provides lasting benefits and is definitely worth the effort. All of Hollywood’s celebrities have written their own beauty books and expounded the benefits of water fasting. However, they all fast one day each, mostly on Monday’s because they party over the weekend. Water fast is simple and efficient way to rest the body, and cleanse it at the same time. The body is feed light and refreshing small meals.

Blood Purification / Satkriyas

This is simplicity at its peak, cleansing the kidneys, liver, pancreas and bladder. Excess build up of toxins are removed and purified. This is a special combination of strategic water intake and specific breathing exercises for forty eight days non-stop. You will feel the benefits by the second day. Works well.

Weight Management / Prana Shakti

This is and amazing therapy because you will learn how to melt your body fat by utilizing your own body heat (body energy, chi, ki, prana; named differently according to different cultures). What’s more exciting is that there is no dietary restriction. Plus you can direct your own energy to target problem areas. All it takes is five minutes a day of this excellent weight loss method, utilizing the ancient Yoga technique.

Oxygen Therapy / Pranayama

This is a simple yet efficient way to maintain health and eradicate disease. Oxygen therapy is a rejuvenation technique to remain glowing and youthful. The key is to oxygenate every cell in the body through specific breathing exercises.

Yoga therapy will improve the quality of your life without the use of medication. Yoga’s natural therapies are indeed the “medicine for the future”

Risks And Precautionary Steps Involved In Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

When mild hyperbaric therapy is administered properly and effectively in well maintained Hyperbaric Centers under the guidance of efficient test administrators, then there are high probabilities that the health conditions of the patient in question will certainly improve. However, individuals with lung diseases like as asthma, lung blockage, emphysema or any other obstructive condition should avoid undergoing this therapy, or certainly consult a doctor and weigh the relative drawbacks and benefits. There are certain potential risks that are associated with the safety of Hyperbaric Centers. Let us have a look at them:

Fire

A hyperbaric chamber is always susceptible to catching fire because of the supersaturation of oxygen although media reports of such accidents in the United States have been nil. However, there are some precautions that should always be kept in mind. Fire is mainly caused by three things:

Flammable materials

Oxygen

Ignition source

While it is impossible to remove oxygen from the chambers, as the therapy rests on the basic principle of inhaling pure oxygen, the other two sources can definitely be done away with. Patients should not smoke inside the chambers, or carry items that may cause a spark, and hence lead to a fire. Such items include electronics and gadgets, or even certain types of toys like the wind-up toy-cars. Such precautions should be taken even more carefully in the case of hard chambers kept in clinics and hospitals, where the purity of oxygen that is administered is a complete 100%, and the pressure levels are almost 4 to 6 times more when compared to a mild hyperbaric chamber.

Explosion

The lack of media records regarding explosions in hyperbaric centers does not warrant the fact that there will no accidental explosions in the future. Explosions take place when there is a rapid expansion in the gas volume creating an acute pressure situation that is relieved by a sudden outburst. When the pressure builds up tremendously, then the chambers are unable to withstand the force. An explosion will occur only when the gas within the chamber is caused to expand rapidly in a situation with high temperatures caused by fire. The only precautionary step for avoiding an explosion is to have fire prevention safeguards in place. Although explosions are rare, being adequately prepared for one always helps to prevent possible disasters.

Oxygen Toxicity

In mild hyperbaric chambers, where the pressure does not rise beyond 1.5 ATA, there are no possibilities of oxygen toxicity. The most common explanation of oxygen toxicity is that there is a complete exhaustion of the system’s radical-detoxification mechanisms that include superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase along with certain enzymes. Therefore anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium etc. are always recommended for patients undergoing hyperbaric therapy. Patients who undertake therapy in mild hyperbaric chambers, on the other hand, are advised to take a break of 3 to 4 weeks between consecutive sessions to allow the body to naturally fight the effects of oxygen toxicity and return to normal.

Seizures are a common side effect of oxygen toxicity, and rarely ever seen in the case of patients undergoing mild therapy. Although a seizure, by itself is harmless, it can have a detrimental effect on the physical health, as the person looses all control over his/her motor movements during one.

Myopia(nearsightedness) and cataract(blurring of vision due to pigmentation on the lenses) are other symptoms of excessive oxygen toxicity. Other causes that may result in oxygen toxicity are adrenocortical hormones, dextoamphetamine, CO2 inhalation, hyperthermia, insulin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, paraquat, alcohol, hyperthyroidism, recreational drugs, deficiency of Vitamin E etc.

Otic Barotrauma

This is real risk faced by patients undergoing therapy in both mild and hard hyperbaric chambers. However, it is temporary and not life-threatening. The tympanic membrane in the middle ear tends to repair itself quickly, even if it is ruptured. The only way to prevent inflammations in the ear and avoid hearing muffled sounds for days, if not weeks following the hyperbaric therapy is to plug in cotton or ear phones and thereby save the middle ear from the risk of adjusting to fluctuating pressures, thereby risking injury in the process.

Nitrogen Narcosis

This condition is not a serious threat. It is the complete saturation of the body with nitrogen. This is a major concern of aquatic divers who spend a lot of time underwater and breath a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen. For divers, it is a triple layered problem. Breathing 100% oxygen at great underwater depths might result in seizures, while inhaling ambient air risks narcosis. The only other option is to add helium to the whole mixture of nitrogen and oxygen. However, helium is extremely expensive, and has a tendency to reduce the normal body temperature. Also, those patients who are treated at pressure levels lower than 1.5 ATA in a hyperbaric chamber tend to run the risk of nitrogen narcosis. The only solution to this problem is to breath in pure oxygen that can help to reduce the level of nitrogen in the body.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is beneficial for the treatment of many health conditions that are caused by oxygen paucity. However, there are certain risks as well. Hence it is best to be aware of them and take adequate precautions, apart from being aware of the possible solutions.