Panchakarma Overview

Learn more about Panchakarma and its benefits

What is Panchakarma?

Pañchakarma is a residential holistic treatment program for reducing discomfort from chronic conditions and alleviating symptoms of disease. Pañchakarma uses techniques from Traditional Āyurvedic Medicine to restore your health to its natural state. Those techniques include body therapies, herbal formulations and specific dietary adjustments.

Pañchakarma can be likened to a detoxification process or a cleanse; however, panchakarma is an advanced, systematic medical procedure that should only be done with a qualified professional.

Pañchakarma Napa Valley offers a modern, collaborative approach to this ancient restorative process. At our facility, pañchakarma programs are overseen by both a western medical doctor (Remy Coeytaux, MD, PhD) and an Āyurvedic specialist (Jessica Vellela, BAMS). This collaboration fosters integration with your current health care program and a holistic state-of-the-art clinical experience.

The word ‘pañchakarma’ is a conjunction of two Sanskrit words: ‘pañcha’ and ‘karma’. ‘Pañcha’ means five and ‘karma’ means action. During pañchakarma, some combination of five therapies are used to alleviate discomfort caused by the buildup of impurities within the body.

Pañchakarma Benefits

Participating in a pañchakarma program along with appropriate changes to your diet or lifestyle may provide the following potential benefits for three to six months post-treatment.

  • Possible improvement in clinical indicators for a given chronic condition, like hemoglobin A1c for people with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Reduction in the dosage or number of prescribed medications
  • Improved digestion and elimination
  • Relief of symptoms of discomfort or disease
  • More energy
  • A sense of calm, a feeling of ease and a peaceful mind
  • Improved overall health

You will also learn about the contributing factors to ill health and good practices you can use for staying healthy after pañchakarma.

Please note that pañchakarma alone will not necessarily make lasting changes to the physiological processes that underlie some chronic medical conditions. Most people need to make some changes to their diet and lifestyle after pañchakarma to realize significant and lasting improvements to their health.

Preparing for Pañchakarma

It is important to prepare yourself and your body in specific ways before starting pañchakarma. We will guide you through that process before your pañchakarma begins. We will make recommendations for dietary adjustments and we may encourage you to take some Āyurvedic supplements or formulations prior to your arrival. This is important for several reasons, including:

  • To lighten and prepare your body for pañchakarma
  • To optimize your metabolism
  • To help you digest any undigested food waste or impurities that may affect the outcome of your pañchakarma program.

We may then recommend that you add ghee to your diet. The intake of ghee or another fat is an important step in pañchakarma. Ghee is clarified butter. It has been heated until the milk solids separate from the oil and turn brown. It has a nutty flavor and is used in Āyurveda for its medicinal properties. Ghee can lubricate your body internally to help mobilize impurities, called doshas in Traditional Āyurvedic Medicine. External body therapies soften the ligaments, tendons and muscles. Both practices allow the impurities or doshas to release from the tissues, bind to the fat and be carried out of the body.

Pañchakarma Body Therapies

When undergoing pañchakarma you may receive some combination of these body therapies daily. These therapies provoke or excite the impurities in preparation of cleansing.

  • Two or four-handed massage oils and relaxes the body
  • Steam and heat treatments induce sweating
  • Oiling the nasal passages soothes the sinuses
  • Controlled pouring of oil over the forehead calms the mind

Cleansing with Pañchakarma

After the preparatory steps are complete, pañchakarma therapies cleanse the body. These therapies are methods of bio-purification which aid the body in eliminating stored pollutants from tissues, organs and channels.

Everyone naturally experiences varying amounts of waste buildup in their bodies over the course of normal life. These accumulated waste products are called doshas. Doshas are a peculiar concept because they can support health or be a source of disease, depending on many factors that influence them. Essentially, doshas are the things that are most likely to bother you.

The goal of pañchakarma is to cleanse these built-up waste materials from the body.

When undergoing a thorough cleansing process like pañchakarma, it is important to work with a properly trained qualified professional. Call our team to learn more.

Why Pañchakarma Is Necessary

Discomfort can be managed to some degree with daily corrective measures and Āyurvedic formulations, however these measures may not produce significant results or they may only help temporarily. Panchakarma on the other hand may help you achieve significant improvements in health over a shorter period of time.

Pañchakarma uses internal preparatory steps along with body therapies and a special diet to release impurities or doshas from the tissues and cleanse the body.

Our collaborative approach improves patient care post-pañchakarma. Following pañchakarma, our medical doctor, Remy Coeytaux, MD, PhD, will communicate with your primary care physician or other members of your healthcare team for a defined period of time. Follow-ups with our team evaluate your diet, lifestyle and experience for optimal health moving forward.

Pañchakarma can be done yearly or seasonally depending on your health goals and state of health. Talk to a member of our team today.

Is Pañchakarma Next for You?

Call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx or contact us to learn more.


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