Panchakarma is a unique Ayurvedic cure, which literally translates as “five actions” for detoxification. Panchakarma restores balance of the body and mind, detoxifies the body and strengthens the immune system. The treatment is the most popular Ayurvedic cure available in all SpaDreams resorts offering intensive Ayurveda. Panchakarma was developed millennia ago in India and it remains the cornerstone of Ayurvedic healing today. It is recommended for anybody who suffers from illnesses related to overall psychical and physical imbalance, from burn-out and depression to hypertension, digestive problems and obesity.
The principles of Panchakarma
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, health and well-being largely depend on the ability to eliminate toxins, tensions and residues which accumulate in the body (ama). Ama is not just caused by an imbalanced diet, but also comes from repressed negative emotions and experiences. Anxiety, feelings of guilt, hidden anger or resentment can result in serious imbalance. Ultimately, accumulated ama results in various negative effects such as psychosomatic diseases or disruption of the metabolic syndrome. The aim of Panchakarma is to get rid of toxins and any other ama that suppresses your natural healing abilities. The opposite of ama is ojas – the essence of positive energy in the form of psychical and physical strength, a clear mind, lightness of the body, immunity to diseases and inner peace. Panchakarma allows replacement of ama with ojas: the negative and destructive energy gets replaced by the positive, healing essence and the balance is restored.
How Panchakarma works
How does this work in practice? Panchakarma is based on an individualised Ayurvedic diet supported by Ayurvedic spa treatments, Ayurvedic medicines and cosmetics, and physical activity (yoga). The treatment is highly individual and personal aims are discussed with an Ayurvedic specialist right from the start. The specialist diagnoses the constitution type and creates an individual meal plan (vegetarian), offers advice on cosmetic treatments and prescribes Ayurvedic natural medicines. An effective Panchakarma treatment should last at least two-three weeks to bring desired effects.
Brief history of Panchakarma
Ayurvedic cures used in Panchakarma are claimed to have appeared first in Vedas (particularly in Atharva Veda) which are amongst the oldest religious texts. They are believed to have come from the god Brahma and date back to 1700–1100 BC. Intensive development of Ayurveda was observed in 6th Century BC to 7th Century AD. Ayurvedic medicine was suppressed during the colonial reign of Britain in India. Nowadays it is becoming increasingly popular due to its individual, holistic approach, which makes it completely different from the conventional medicine. Rather than focusing only on alleviation of particular symptoms and diseases, Ayurveda brings relief to the entire body and mind.
Panchakarma and slimming
The main aim of Panchakarma is detoxification followed by self healing, therefore Panchakarma cannot be treated a short-term, quick weight loss programme. Slimming is available within Panchakarma and it is recommended if weight is one of the reasons for bodily imbalance. Nevertheless, weight loss should be treated as just a bonus to the overall improvement of fitness and well-being.
Good to know about Panchakarma
Panchakarma is an intense detoxifying experience, which is not suitable for families with children, pregnant women and for the people who suffer from extremely severe diseases, which require hospitalisation or intensive care. Panchakarma is a perfect way to alleviate the negative effects of imbalanced lifestyle such as unstable weight and/or moods, digestive problems, insomnia, burn-out, stress overload and much more.
A long-haul journey to India and Sri Lanka as well as the local climate and jet lag means that Panchakarma in India is only suitable for those who do not suffer from severe diseases or mobility problems.
Panchakarma is available also in Europe - choose an Ayurvedic resort in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Poland or Slovenia as an alternative to a long flight to Asia.
Solo travellers, as well as pairs/groups interested in Ayurvedic cures are very welcome in the Ayurvedic resorts. Some Ayurvedic retreats also offer stays without cures for people who are supporting their friends, partners or relatives undertaking the cure, however many resorts only offer stays exclusively for Panchakarma and other Ayurvedic treatments.
The stages of Panchakarma
A complete Panchakarma treatment consists of four stages:
Diagnosis - pulse diagnosis, Dosha determination and overall diagnosis of the underlying causes of health problems.
Purvakarma - the first step, which prepares the body for the upcoming cure - special diet and oil treatments such as Abhyanga (full body massage).
Panchakarma - literally "five actions", which originally included vomiting, use of laxatives, nose cleansing & inhalations, bloodletting and colonic irrigations. Nowadays the procedures are far less dramatic and you will be consulted on which procedures are being selected at the begining of the treatment.
Rasayana - post-treatment including healthy diet and supplements.
Alternatives to Panchakarma
Panchakarma is a great idea for detox, however if you would prefer a more active alternative in your search for inner balance you should definitely consider our yoga offers available in India, Philippines and Thailand as well as in Europe.
Another method for restoring harmony is fasting. SpaDreams offers extensive range of fasting holidays and our resorts in Europe are the most popular.
Spa Dreams specialises in Ayurvedic holidays, as well as in other detox and fasting related holidays. We take pride in our expertise and it contributes to the improvement of health and well-being of our customers.
In order to make your Panchakarma treatment as effective as possible, the Ayurvedic specialists advise to avoid the following:
Use of mobile devices and the internet
Listening to loud music
Intensive physical activity
Staying up late at night
Eating foods not included in the Ayurvedic diet set by the Ayurvedic specialist
Intensive sightseeing and excursions
Bathing straight after oil treatments
Exposure to stress
Duration of Panchakarma
Most Panchakarma packages are available to book just from 7 nights, however an authentic Panchakarma cure should last a minimum of 2-3 weeks in order to bring the best effects.
Panchakarma in Europe
Panchakarma treatment is also available in Europe. Ayurvedic specialists from India and Sri Lanka offer their services at our hotels available in sunny Spain and Portugal as well as in Germany, Poland or Austria for those unable or unwilling to travel to Asia.