WHAT IS PANCHAKARMA?
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word, which literally means “five actions” or “five treatments”. It is a five step therapeutic program designed to cleanse and rejuvenate the body, as well as the mind and spirit.
In order to understand Panchakarma, you must understand the terms dosha, Agni and Ama.
Agni means gastric fire, enzymes, metabolism and the ability to convert information that we receive from our food, emotions and experiences into nourishment. Agni, our ‘digestive fire’, is located in the digestive tract and is also present in the tissues. When Agni is strong, all food is properly broken down and nutrients are absorbed in your mind body physiology, whilst unabsorbed/unwanted excreta is eliminated out of the body.
Weak Agni leads to poor digestion and results in an accumulation of undesired impurities referred to as Ama (metabolic toxins).
Ama can be described as a kind of toxic “sludge” that comes from undigested food, environmental pollutants, and unassimilated emotions, as well as from normal bodily processes such as cell metabolism.
Ama accumulates in the body’s tissues and channels when improper dietary and lifestyle practices weaken our Agni. An accumulation Ama disrupts the body’s natural cleansing process. When the resulting buildup of Ama clogs our organ systems and internal channels, it can give rise to various imbalances and diseases.
Panchakarma is the holistic process of Ama cleansing and purification of mind and body. Once Ama is reduced and Agni is strong again, you will be better equipped to face life’s challenges. The first step is to clear out Ama through Panchakarma, and then to learn the tools to maintain ongoing good health.
Characteristics of Agni and Ama
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