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Panchakarama is the sacred manthra of rejuvenation. Panchakarma in Ayurveda means five type of therapeutic way of treatment to eliminate toxins from the body and to replenish the tissues of the patient. 

The common procedure of Panchakarma includes Emesis (Vamanam), Purgation (Virechanam), Medication Oil Enema (Snehavasthi),Enema with herbal decoction, oils, honey etc(Kashayavasthi) and Installation of medicines through nose (Nasyam).

The person who requires Ayurvedic treatment is assessed for his/her physical and mental requirements and treatment is prescribed for various purposes like curative treatments, disease prevention, rejuvenation and revitalization. Some of the general types of treatments are as given below: 

It means oil massage. Medicated oil according to the needs of the individual is massaged over the body. The person undergoing Abhayangam reclines in seven positions and usually the same lasts between 45 to 60 minutes. The recipient is made to lie on a wooden bed called ‘Dhoni’ while undergoing the treatment and special care is given to the foot massage giving special emphasis to the sole of the feet. This treatment is found highly effective in reducing mental tension and in increasing the strength and functional efficiency of the body muscles. Other beneficial effects of Abhayangam include better body circulation, improving vigor and vitality, better and sound sleep and reduced nervous weakness.

It means to raise or elevate. It is believed that this name is derived from the treatment’s capacity to improve the body condition of the person taking this treatment. Fine medicated powder is applied over the whole body with upward strokes of massage, quite opposite of the usual Ayurvedic massages. The same seven positions of Abhayangam are followed here also and the treatment usually lasts for 45 minutes. Udhhvarthanam is well known for its capability to induce perspiration, reduce obesity, diminish body odor, and improve skin complexion and also to provide better mobility to the body joints. Treatment is to be done for 7 to 14 days to attain desired effects and is of good help in treating specific diseases where oil is contra indicated or in the case were patient suffer from oil allergy. 

It involves the fomentation of the body by applying linen bags filled with ‘Njavara’ rice cooked in milk and medicated decoction made primarily from ‘Kurumthotti’ all over the body. Ti is very important to maintain a constant temperature while applying the linen bags and the paste of medicine is removed after specific period of application with palm leaf scrappers. This treatment is found effective in treating the degenerative changes in musculo-skeletal structure and is found to enhance strength, vitality and complexion of body. Njavarakizhi also prevents the complication due to old age debility.

"Shira Veda" (vein puncture), "Jalooka Avacharana" (leech application) etc. are the methods commonly used for this. Using leeches in the treatment of many skin diseases is well known and accepted all over the world. Leech application is used in treating diseases like eczema, non-healing ulcers, varicose veins, pigment disorders, haematomas, etc.

In this treatment warm medicated oil is squeezed over the whole body of the patient using a piece of cloth that is dipped in medicated lukewarm oil from the height of 3 to 4 fingers. A rhythmic pattern is followed while applying the oil, which is followed by gentle massage. This therapy is effective in treating all types of nervous degenerative diseases including all types of paralysis. A treatment that stimulates body and its functional systems, Pizhichil is performed by Masseurs positioned at both sides of the dhroni.

It is another form of sudation therapy where herbal steam is applied evenly on the entire body to produce perspiration. The head region is excluded from the treatment by admitting the patient into a specially made steam chamber for 15 to 20 minutes. Before going the treatment the person undergoing the therapy is given cool liquids to prevent dehydration. Swedanam can be effectively utilized in treating muscular stiffness and numbness and is found to enhance the body’s blood circulation.

It is a form of Dhara (pouring) where medicated buttermilk is poured over the forehead and scalp continuously in an oscillating pattern for a period of 45 to 60 minutes. It is found effective in rejuvenating the brain cells thereby improving memory. It is frequently used to cure sleeplessness, mental tension, all types of headaches, premature graying and hair falling. Thakaradhara is also found to be very effective in treating skin diseases like psoriasis.

It is another form of Dhara known as Snehadahara also , which uses medicated lukewarm oil that is poured allover the body. A variation of this treatment is known as Sirodhara , which is very popular where a vessel with a hole in the bottom is used to pour oil on the scalp and forehead continuously for 45 to 60 minutes. This will be repeated for 7 to 14 days. This therapy is very effective in maintaining the equilibrium of body and mind. It is also found to increase the memory, clear voice tone and to provide relief from all types of stress and strain.

One more form of dhara therapy where medicated lukewarm milk is poured over the body to induce perspiration. Usually cow’s milk is utilized for the treatment, but occasionally buffalo milk is also used in this treatment for diseases caused by the disorders of ‘pitha’. The pouring of milk is done by using a special pitcher with nozzle and is continued for 45 to 60 minutes and is repeated for 7 to 14 days as per the patient’s requirements. This treatment is found to be very effective in treating paralysis and body weakness.

It is one of the most important treatments of Ayurveda where vitiated doshas and toxins are eliminated through anus by applying medicated enema. Herbal oils and decoctions are introduced into colon through rectum. Vasti has a place of great prominence in Panchakarma as the cleaning of alimentary canal is one sure shot way of eliminating the body of its harmful toxins. ‘Vasti’ means bladder in Sanskrit sand a special device consisting of a bladder and a tube is used to administer the medicine. Vasti is done either using processed oil or by a mixture of medicated oil, decoction of herbs, honey and medicinal pastes. This treatment is effective against hemiplegia and other paralytic conditions.

It is indicated that form of therapy where herbal oils, decoctions and powders are applied through nasal openings. The process is usually carried out after applying oil and steam on the face of the patient. Ayurveda considers nostrils as the pathway to the brain and hence this therapy is very effective in purifying and rejuvenating the brain cells. The therapy is very significant in Ayurveda as it is found to be very useful in curing some of the serious ailments like loss of consciousness, stupor, insomnia, hysteria, hemiplegia, and facial paralysis. It is also used to treat less serious disorders relating to neck and shoulders.