Important Guidelines and Recommendations for Your Panchakarma Program
There are different phases in your Panchakarma treatment that you need to be aware of. These stages are known in Ayurveda as Purvakarma (Panchakarma preparation procedures), Panchakarma (5 main therapeutic procedures) and Paschatkarma (post Panchakarma procedures).
In a nutshell, Purvakarma prepares your body to cleanse, Panchakarma removes the toxins through the natural means of elimination, and Paschatkarma triggers the rejuvenation process. The closer you follow the guidelines below, the more you will benefit from your Panchakarma treatment and the deeper and longer lasting its effects will be for overall rejuvenation and health.
Panchakarma Preparation: Purvakarma
Ideally, you should prepare for Panchakarma by slowing down a bit and gradually starting to cut off from your normal routine at least a week before you start therapies. With a few rare exceptions, your diet should be strictly vegetarian at least during the week before therapies.
In most cases, you will start the Purvakarma (or pre Panchakarma) process with internal oleation a few days before you come to the clinic for therapies. You will receive instructions for this during your pre Panchakarma consultation that is included in your program fee, two to three weeks before your actual treatment. Purvakarma continues as you receive Ayurvedic therapies every day, specifically: Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massage), Bashpa Swedana (full body herbal steam), Udvartana (herbal dusting/scrubing) or Lepa (herbal plaster), depending on your situation, and Shirodhara (bliss therapy for mental rejuvenation). In certain cases, Abhyanga may be complemented by Pinda Sweda for specific health conditions.
Panchakarma Therapies for Purification
Purvakarma brings the toxins into the GI tract and Panchakarma therapies gently expel them from your body. Both Purvakarma and Panchakarma therapies (which are called Vamana, Nasya, Virechan, Raktamokshana and Basti) help you move the toxins quickly through your body, so that even though you are detoxing heavily you feel light and clear. Other adjunct therapies can be added to your treatment as well, depending on your individual health needs. During this time you follow a simple, vegetarian mono diet that we provide for you.
For a detailed description of each Purvakama and Panchakarma therapies, refer to the article: > Panchakarma, Cleansing and Rejuvenation Therapy
Lifestyle Adjustments During your Panchakarma in Asheville
For your Panchakarma treatment to work properly and deeply, you should remove the external demands of the world, put aside your usual preocupations with work and family, and devote yourself to rest both physically and mentally to allow the healing process to unfold. This is why yoga and meditation are highly recommended at this time. Asheville has many yoga studios to choose from, but let us suggest the classes that would be most appropriate for you during your cleansing process.
Conserving energy and staying calm is of the utmost importance during this time. You should also take this into consideration for any outdoor activities, and enjoy all the entertainment Asheville can provide on your next vacation, while you devote the time doing Panchakarma for just healing and being with yourself. A short walk in nature is appropriate if you have the energy for it, but other outdoor or vigorous activities must be avoided (kayaking, hiking, swiming, etc.).
It is important to be surrounded with a warm, positive and pleasant environment, reduce sensory input and socialization. Read spiritual and upifting books and avoid anything that provokes strong emotions or stress, as well as watching TV and using computers. This is YOUR time to heal, so embrace every minute of it!
Guidelines for Paschatkarma: the Post-Panchakarma Period
The diet prescribed before, during and after your program is a key element in Panchakarma. Heavy food interferes with the purification process, as well as with rejuvenation. After you are done receiving all your therapies and are headed back home, you should maintain the same type of diet as during your Panchakarma for a few days, since the detoxification process continues and will slow down as you go back to your normal routine and diet. This period is vital to rekindle your digestive fire and expel some of the toxins that may otherwise remain in your body.
A graduated lifestyle is also crucial after receiving Panchakarma. You should move back into normal activity gradually to avoid depleting your energy and to allow the rejuvenation process to take place. We will give you personalized lifestyle guidelines and recommendations before you head back home. Also, taking specialized rejuvenative herbal preparations (rasayanas) is very important at this time to increase the effectiveness of your Panchakarma treatment, tonify all your tissues and increase your vitality.
What To Bring for Your Panchakarma Retreat in Asheville
You should bring comfortable clothes and shoes for yoga and meditation, and to just relax in. A bathrobe may be a good idea as well, along with your favorite slippers. We highly recommend not spending much time on your computer, but you may want to bring a journal to write your thoughts and experiences during your healing process.
Please avoid using lotions, perfume, mascara, makeup and nail polish during your Panchakarma retreat to allow the herbal oils from the Ayurvedic therapies deeply penetrate all your tissues to remove toxins and promote rejuvenation.