What is Pancha Karma?

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Got a chronic health issue that you can't seem to shift? Fed up with visiting doctors and trying alternative treatments that just don't work? As a Yoga Therapist, I often recommend that students try Pancha Karma, a radical cleansing protocol that could make a big difference. Pancha Karma has it's roots in one of the oldest systems of medicine on earth - Ayurveda. Dating back over 4,000yrs, Ayurveda (meaning ‘Science of Life’ in Sanskrit) is India’s traditional healing system and Pancha Karma is one of it's 'Big Guns'. And it really, REALLY works.


Cleansing for Health


Ayurveda teaches that all disease starts in the gut, with food choices, stress and unhealthy habits causing toxins to accumulate in the body. When these toxins build up, we experience physical, psychological and emotional health problems.


That’s why cleansing techniques are such an important part of Ayurveda. When the body and mind are cleansed of the toxic sludge (Ama) that causes disease, the patient is able to regain their natural equilibrium.


Of all the Ayurvedic treatments, Pancha Karma is the most thorough and effective. Panca Karma (meaning ‘Five Treatments’) is a full cleansing program that removes all the harmful toxins from the body to create optimum healing conditions.


Like all good things, Pancha Karma can’t be rushed. While some practitioners may offer ‘quickie’ treatments, authentic Pancha Karma takes 21 days to complete. It’s also important to leave time either side of the 21 days of program to prepare for the treatments and then to readjust to day-to-day life after three weeks of total rest.


Panca Karma Treatments


Because Ayurvedic treatments are tailored to the needs of the patient, each Pancha Karma program is personalised to the needs of the individual. Treatments during Pancha Karma may include:

  • Detoxifying massage
  • Steam treatments
  • Herbal compresses
  • Oil treatments
  • Application of herbal pastes
  • Ayurvedic medicines
  • Gentle therapeutic yoga
  • Ayurvedic healing food
  • Meditation
  • Vedic healing rituals


All the treatments are undertaken in an atmosphere of peace and quiet – any kind of exertion, including exercise and work, are discouraged throughout the 21 day process. For a busy Westerner, that can seem like an impossible challenge, but the initial resistance soon gives way to a relaxed surrender.


Who benefits from Pancha Karma?


Pancha Karma is traditionally used to both heal and prevent health problems and can be helpful in managing a range of issues, including:


  • Managing chronic health problems
  • Rejuvenating body, mind and spirit
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Preventing health problems
  • Overcoming fatigue or exhaustion
  • Resolving autoimmune disease
  • Managing excess weight gain or loss
  • Reducing chronic pain
  • Managing diabetes
  • Eradicating skin problems
  • Reducing allergies
  • Letting go of unhealthy habits
  • Reducing digestive problems


Pancha Karma can make a real and lasting difference to chronic health issues. It’s a safe, holistic and tried and tested way of getting – and staying – health.