Pancha Karma, the ancient Ayurvedic Detox and Longevity Cleanse 

A balanced Ayurvedic lifestyle and routine will certainly enhance one’s health and vitality, but the Pancha Karma cleanse is the most powerful way to jumpstart a healthier regime and to promote longevity. Pancha Karma is a gentle yet profound Ayurvedic approach to detoxification and rejuvenation.  A customized treatment program needs to be designed by a trained Ayurvedic practitioner, who understands diagnostics and disease management. According to Ayurveda, Pancha Karma can reverse the aging process and even relieve longstanding chronic health conditions. It is recommended to offer Pancha Karma to a client at the change of the seasons, during times of transition and stress, and generally two to four times a year for optimum health maintenance. 

 

THREE STEPS TO A PANCHA KARMA CLEANSE

Step 1: Personal Consultation

An Ayurvedic consultation, done by a CAP (Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner) or Vaidya (Indian healer) determines a person's body type, constitution, and personal goals. As a certified Pancha Karma Technician and Ayurvedic Bodyworker, you work closely with their consultation evaluation to design your particular treatments. 

Step 2: Home Preparation

A patient will take several days before the first official Pancha Karma day to gently prepare their body and mind for treatments by following a simple Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle regime at home. Students will learn how to confidently guide a patient through the home preparation and Pancha Karma cleanse. The cleanse usually consists of cooked, easy-to-digest foods such as rice, vegetables, lentils, stewed fruit, herbal decoctions, and medicinal oils. Unlike other cleanses, Pancha Karma does not stress the body by putting it into a fight-or flight or starvation mode; all is designed to soothe and nurture! 

Step 3: Pancha Karma Treatments

Pancha Karma is a collection of individual treatments, all combined to create a powerful cleansing effect. Each Pancha Karma treatment day consists of a variety of luxurious treatments that are custom designed and last about 2.5+ hours per day. At least five plus days of treatments are suggested for seasonal cleansing but seven or more days of the Pancha Karma Cleanse are recommended for best results.

 

Sample treatments offered during a Pancha Karma Cleanse 

Maharani Pancha Karma is based on the original royal cleansing program as it was received by the kings and queens of India, rajas and maharanis, hence the name. Daily treatments often start out with a footbath and herbal teas. Fresh flowers greet the patient in the treatment room, while herbalized oils are warmed for the massage or Shirodhara. Treatments are custom-designed for individual needs. Often we begin with a massage, offered by either one or two synchronized practitioners. Warm oil or herbal pastes are gently massaged into the skin, and then hot towels are applied to open and purify the skin. An herbal steam bath might follow. Other sessions include treatments for the eyes, ears and nose, cleansing and nourishing body scrubs, scalp and head treatments, localized herbal applications, and gentle cleansing procedures with herbs, oils and herbal infusions. 

The time-tested benefits of Pancha Karma 

In Ayurveda we believe that gentleness is the key to detoxification. Many years of medical education have taught us that the body does not like being off balance too much and for too long. Our bodies try to maintain homeostasis, a balanced state in which everything functions properly.

Typical fasts and detox regiments can be harmful and can alter this homeostasis. Liver glycogen stores can be depleted. Alterations can occur in the mineral and electrolyte balance in the blood. Muscle and bone tissue can start breaking down, changes can occur in the acid-alkaline balance, imbalance can occur in the fatty acid composition of cells, and immune function may be impaired. The adrenals are often overtaxed, which means that the body ages and will hold on to each calorie ingested after the fast and store it as fat, due to the cortisol-insulin reaction.

Pancha Karma has been practiced for thousands of years, and is the safe and time-tested method of cleansing. All types of detoxification require great care. That is why the supervision of a certified practitioner is so important when you offer Pancha Karma. Pancha Karma uses specific steps that take care to properly remove the toxicants from the blood stream without harming the body in process.

 

Pancha Karma and Modern Research

Using high-tech laboratory techniques, Robert Herron, Ph.D., and John Fagan, Ph.D., conducted a two-month longitudinal study on subjects receiving five days of Pancha Karma. There were significant positive results. Compared to tests taken prior to treatment, blood levels of the highly toxic PCBs and Beta-HCH were reduced by 46 and 48 percent respectively. 

Without this detoxification program, the natural expected drop in PCB and Beta-HCH over a two-month period is only a fraction of one percent. No other method has been scientifically verified to reduce fat-soluble toxins in the human body without causing negative side effects. Normally these fat-soluble substances remain in the body for many years, but Pancha Karma provides us with a healthy alternative for coping with a toxic world.

Another study researched the effects of a three-to-five-day Pancha Karma cleanse. After three months, the total cholesterol numbers of the individuals had dropped acutely, while HDL (the good cholesterol) rose 7.5 %; free radical damage fell significantly, blood pressure dropped, and problems with anxiety improved. Vasoactive intestinal peptide, a coronary vasodilator, increased substantially. These findings confirm the efficacy of Pancha Karma for cardiovascular health.

 

According to the studies of the National Institute of Health in 2002, the benefits of Pancha Karma include: 

Decreased cholesterol, by lowering toxic lipid peroxide levels

Decreased rate of platelet clumping and thus lymphatic congestion

Decreased levels of 14 major toxic and cancer-causing chemicals from body tissues 

Significantly raised good HDL cholesterol levels

Reduced free radicals, the leading cause of all disease

Significant reduction in physical complaints, irritability, strain, psychological inhibition and emotional instability

Decreased anxiety, aging and reduced doctor visits 

 

The Concept of Ama and the Benefits of Pancha Karma

In Ayurveda, toxins that accumulate in the body are called ama. Symptoms of ama accumulation are lethargy, low energy, generalized aches and pains, lack of mental clarity, heaviness in the body, digestive problems (such as constipation, gas, bloating, or heartburn), weakened immune system, frequent colds and sinus infections, coated tongue, body odor and more.  With the tremendous industrial growth of the past century, thousands of toxic chemicals have been introduced into our food, air, drinking water, and almost every manufactured product. As a result, we are exposed to a potentially huge toxic overload during our lifetime. Regular Pancha Karma cleanses (one to four times a year) help the body eliminate ama or toxins, for rejuvenation, strength and balance.

According to Ayurveda, Pancha Karma is beneficial for individuals who want to stay healthy or suffer from any of the following conditions: low energy, weight gain, arthritis, generalized body pain, fibromyalgia, sciatica, menstrual disorders and menopausal symptoms, aging, emotional and psychological disorders (such as depression and anxiety), chronic fatigue, hypertension, dizziness, migraines and headaches, allergies, frequent colds, flu, sinus problems, asthma, gastrointestinal conditions, endocrine disorders, autoimmune disorders, insomnia, and stress. Pancha Karma can be performed as a post-treatment for cancer to remove toxic residues of malignancies and also to detoxify from all the chemicals we ingest.

Please note, we do not diagnose or treat disease, as that is always reserved to a medically trained professional.

Watch the video to see Corinna guiding a patient through a series of treatments at her Santa Barbara practice.