Panchakarma : A new Lease of Life With Panchakarma!!
Ayurveda, the Indian science of medicine, has its main emphasis on ‘Agni’. Treatment of this element (AGNI) among the panch-mahabhoot is the solution to most problems associated with the human body. Ayurveda explains the reason for using this approach for the treatment as every disease is said to have originated from the disturbance in the ‘Agni’ i.e. it is said to be the root cause of almost all diseases.
What is Agni?
‘Agni’ is the fire element which is responsible for the digestion of the food stuffs or whatever we eat and therefore ultimately metabolizing it for the health and nutrition of the human body.
Where is Agni located in the human body?
Although it is present in each and every cell of the human body, the main seat of the principal Agni is the ‘Grahani’ or duodenum i.e. the first part of the small intestine. Digestive secretion from the liver and pancreas, the principal glands helping in digestion, also enter into the small intestine from this part known as ‘Grahani’.
Due to faulty dietary habits and unbalanced activity regime, the main digestive gland i.e. Liver functioning is disturbed. Today’s popular fast foods like burgers, pizzas with a combination of aerated soft drinks and alcohol hampers the functioning of GIT in such a way that the whole body pH changes and acid-base imbalance starts in the body. It can be explained as – with such kinds of food mentioned above, actually what happens is that they are not digested in same time as the normal food as they are made up of fine flours and the digestion is sluggish. Result is long time stasis of food in the intestine and its fermentation leading to the formation of acid and gas. Aerated soft drinks have plenty of CO2 and this further add to the gas formation especially in the large intestine.
Colon is full with gases and distended and small intestine has atonia and undigested food along with gases causes flatulence and tenderness of the abdomen. Toxic acid is also absorbed in the blood and this circulating toxic acid causes various kinds of skin diseases and arthritis, as the body pH changes.
The stomach, which is normally lying in a slightly slanting downward position, now, due to the distention of colon lies flat on the stomach bed and thereby preventing the normal and timely flow of contents of stomach into the intestines. Due to this position of the stomach a person feels heaviness or vomiting sensation at certain times immediately after eating as the food is not able to go into the intestines due to the changed position of the stomach. Secondly, the problem of acidity begins here or acid reflux due to the regurgitation of gastric contents into the esophagus.
Subsequent problem: In this condition, the patient goes to the doctor and they choose to give antacids, which further lowers the acid content of the stomach thereby reducing the rate of digestion, as there is not enough acid to digest the food. According to Ayurveda ‘Agni’ goes down and then even normal food items are not digested well leading to more and more gases and toxins in the abdomen.
Solution is Panchakarma
To take out the undigested matter and prevent fermentation thereby cleaning the gases out to bring colon and stomach to its normal position to counteract the acidity problem also. Not only the GIT is balanced but acid base imbalance in the entire body is maintained.
Person taking faulty diet (fast foods, high fat, low fibre) mentioned above along with alcohol, put an extra load on the liver. Liver cells get exhausted to digest such food secreting more and more bile. At a stage these food items are not digested properly and cholesterol and triglycerides are raised in the blood. Fats are also deposited on the Liver further deteriorating the function of Liver. As mentioned in GIT Problem distended colon also sometimes put an upward pressure over the bile duct thereby preventing its secretion in the intestine leading to the stasis of secretion of liver filling the canaliculi (small passage) with litres of crude toxic bile, which are then absorbed in the blood causing Jaundice and other related liver problems.
What is the solution to this problem?
Again Panchakarma What we do in the first procedure i.e ‘Vamana’, we take out this crude toxic bile in the liver which is deposited there from years. Once the load on the liver is removed, Agni in the Liver is kindled to digest all kinds of bad cholesterol and triglycerides and deposited fat on it. Within 15 days to 1 month blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels along with the liver enzymes comes to normal. Liver is a mesh or filter between the food and our body. Our body uses the food what we eat after passing through the liver as it metabolizes the various things in the food. If our liver is loaded with heavy toxins, fats, and lot of bile, our mesh or filter itself is blocked and whatever healthy or balanced diet we eat is not able to reach the body tissues. You can imagine the example of a dirty, blocked drain to understand it. If we put clean water over a blocked drain, it will not allow it to pass through it. Similarly, when our liver is blocked and loaded with extra material (food nutrition’s) whatever we put into it will not be able to go through it into the body.
Anxiety and Stress disorders management:
In today’s stressful life every second person is suffering from anxiety and stress. What is the reason, do you know? We all have a biological clock fitted in our body.
Are we ever conscious about it?
We are never aware of it.
We actually have no time to adjust our routine or schedule to go according to time. This indiscipline causes disharmony in one’s inner body system, which is, not actually ready every time to face the stimulus coming to it. Moreover after certain activity we are not giving any time to the body to take a pause or break. Now a days there is a new tradition also in our schedule that is late night working on the computer, net or watching late night TV. and thus, here also we are not allowing the body system to take rest properly. So, we are over using the body system in a sense. To understand this, we must know that there are two systems in the body, namely, sympathetic and para sympathetic nervous system, which work opposite to each other. During the time of work or stress, our sympathetic system is active and therefore the heart rate, respiration rate and muscle activity increases whereas the digestive system functioning is slowed. On the contrary, at the time of rest or relaxation the para sympathetic system is active and heart rate, respiration rate etc. are lowered and digestive system functioning is enhanced. Therefore, we need observing and balancing the two systems every time. As the para sympathetic nervous system serves as a base for body for growth, repair and healing. If we are over working, sympathetic system is hyper active and excess of stress hormones are flowing always in the blood and we are not able to relax even at the time of rest. Result is vague symptoms in the body like feeling of vibrations or tingling sensation in the limbs, palpitations (awareness of heart beat), insomnia, headaches etc. due to the disturbance in the nerve conduction. Such persons with exhausted sympathetic system then have deficiency of these hormones in their stores and then they are not able to perform before the world at par when needed.
What is the solution?
Panchakarma Through which we make an attempt to calm down the touch receptors in the skin or the nerve endings through different procedures. ‘Sirodhara’ and different kind of ‘bastis’ (herbal enemas) are helpful in maintaining the harmony between the two systems. Yoga, pranayama, and meditation along with the rejuvenation therapy play a beneficial role in altering the activity of the nervous system back.
Urological disorders treatment:
Body throws its wastes out through stool, urine and sweat. Problem of passing urine again and again, burning sensation while passing urine, kidney stones etc. are very common. Why they happen? The reason here again lies in the digestive system as we have discussed before. That is, when the stool is not regular, there are gases in the abdomen and there is a continuous pressure over the urinary bladder. Moreover, gases in the abdomen also cause constipation and the body has a tendency to get rid off toxins through urine. Therefore, frequency to pass the urine increases or there is a continuous urge to pass the urine. Now, let us see, what is the reason of Kidney stones according to Ayurveda. Gases in the colon put pressure over ureters also and there is a back pressure and stasis of material in the kidneys, resulting in the formation of kidney stones.
What is the Solution? Panchakarma, to remove the pressure or abdominal strain by cleaning the intestines and micro channels, so that, there is no undue pressure over the excretory organs and the ‘vata'(air element) can flow into its natural path, that is, through the lower body openings. There by facilitating the elimination of the excreta through their natural roots.