Ayurveda has always been popular. But I find most people are not aware of the correct process of ayurvedic treatments.
In ayurveda, ‘Am’ and ‘Mal’ are the terminologies used to describe toxins accumulated in the body. Ayurveda believes that the body can heal itself, provided it can rid itself of toxins. Panchkarma are the five techniques of clearing the body of toxins. But panchkarma can’t be given in isolation. It must be preceded by ‘purva-karma’ and followed by ‘paschat-karma’. Purva-karma is the process by which toxins are moved to the body’s channels for elimination through stool, urine, sweat and breath. There are three steps in purva-karma:
1) Paachan: Encouraging digestion of undigested materials through herbs boiled in water and consumed like decoctions
2) Snehan: Internal and external oil treatment
3) Swedhan: Steam or dry fomentation
For internal oleation, medicated ghee or oil is to be consumed daily. External oleation is in the form of a daily medicated oil massage. External and internal oiling are accompanied by medicated steam to allow the flow of toxins to the surface. This includes massages like abhyanga, pizichill, shirodhra, udwartanam, etc. All three processes along with a diet regime are important before the actual process of panchkarma begins.