1. Pre-Cleanse Prep: Purva Karma
Purva Karma prepares the body’s tissues for cleansing and the release of toxins. There is a need to prepare the body to encourage it to let go of toxins and metabolic wastes. The process begins approximately one week before the Pancha Karma treatments. During this time the client:
- eats a simple diet
- takes ghee internally
- takes herbs to support the body’s elimination process
- reduces the usual day-to-day activities
- reduces exposure to mass media
- spends time being quiet and still (ie: in meditation, taking walks in nature, etc)
- establishes a consistent daily routine
- eliminates refined, packaged, and prepared foods the your diet (including alcohol, leftovers, coffee, chocolate, caffeine, red meat, and sugary foods)
2. The Cleanse Itself: Pancha Karma
The Pancha Karma Therapies
This is the heart of the Pancha Karma. It is a time where resting is emphasized. Doing less is the priority over doing more. Clients eat a very simple diet and focus on really taking care of their needs.
The following treatments are performed daily for five days during Pancha Karma:
Garshan is an energizing, oil-free massage using silk gloves to stimulate lymph flow and toxin removal. It increases circulation, aids in cellulite reduction, and brings a glow to the skin. This is done before abhyanga to enhance the oil absorption through the skin.
Abhyanga is the classical treatment of whole-body nourishing oil massage. Choreographed massage strokes balance the nervous system and move you into a deep state of blissful relaxation, release, and rejuvenation.
Svedana is steam therapy. Swedana has been used since ancient times to detoxify the body and, ideally, follows an abhyanga massage to purify the bodily tissues. This procedure also removes stiffness, heaviness, coldness, and inflammation while pacifying vitiated doshas.
Shirodhara is a treatment in which a steady stream of warm herbal oil is poured onto the forehead and crown. This subtle therapy induces a profound sense of peace and well being, balances emotions, calms the mind, and reduces Vata dosha.
Additionally, clients have the option to add-on other treatments, and our practitioners often recommend specific treatments based on the client’s health history and presenting imbalances.
3. Paschat Karma
Paschat Karma is the time post-Pancha Karma where we ease back into our usual life. We consciously construct this time to be easeful, gentle, and gradual. A too-quick re-introduction into “normal” life will shock the system, leading to new imbalances that will effectively undo the work that was just done.
Foods are intentionally re-introduced one at a time to ensure that the digestive system is ready for them. Similarly, life activities are gradually re-scheduled so that your energy can keep pace.