Panchakarma’s three main steps are
- Poorvakarma. This preparatory first stage includes snehan (oleation) and swedan (induced sweating) to loosen the toxins in the body.
- Pradhankarma. This refers to the five main karmas, or purifying actions, as previously mentioned.
- Paschaat Karma. This involves dietary inputs, gradually bringing the body’s digestive system back to normalcy, so you may begin having regular food.
Therapies for Cure and Prevention of Mental Health Diseases
Ayurvedic treatment for mental illness begins with self restraint. Ayurveda requires the patient to be mindful of thoughts, strengths, capacity, relationships and family, and seasonal regime, or dincharya. Awareness of these brings a balance in the mind, opening the gateway to good mental health.
Abhyanga. This deep herbal oil massage is a well known relaxation therapy that increases blood circulation in the body and to the brain. Specialized points or energy channels are activated which release stress and relax the mind. Herbal oil application is an effective antidote to vata imbalances, mentioned to be the main cause for mental illness.
Shirodhara. This unique gift from the ancient healing system of Ayurveda is one of the most calming relaxation therapies. It comes from a combination of Shir, or head, and Dhara or stream. In this deeply soothing process, the scalp and forehead receive a gentle, steady stream of lukewarm medicated herbal oil poured in an ancient pattern stimulating points covering the whole of the forehead. Shirodhara rejuvenates and enlivens the central nervous system that gets clogged with residual stress, worries, erroneous eating and lifestyle habits, and work pressure. It treats various conditions related to the nervous system, and/or conditions rising from a vitiated vata dosha.
Nasya. The nose is the door to consciousness and nasal therapy helps to clear and lubricate the sinus passageways. This process of administering herb-infused oils into the nasal cavity also helps to relieve headaches, sinus related migraines, reduces anxiety, clears and strengthens the mind, and stimulates the nervous system. It is important that you take nasal therapy under the supervision of an expert Ayurveda therapist to ensure the correct nasya oils are used, it is administered properly, and you receive the appropriate kind of precautionary information.
Herbs. Below are some of the herbs administered to manage mental illness. Each person is unique and has a unique constitution, therefore, these powerful herbs should only be administered under the care of an Ayurveda practitioner or doctor. Please do not try to take these without being seen by a professional, as they could create adverse effects.
- Kshirbala Oil
- Manasamitra Vataka
- Dhanavanatari oil
- Asanabilvadi oil