Ayurveda believes that it is the accumulation of toxins or ama that leads to ailments or injury. Thus, it is important to cleanse the body to prolong life or health. This process known as Panchakarma is normally done with the change of seasons. Spring is generally considered the ideal time to flush out the toxins by this method. To do cleansing with ayurveda, a full Panchakarma should be undertaken under the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician.
There are three stages of a Panchakarma cleanse:
The Preparation stage: This phase involves a change in your diet and routine to prepare your mind and body for the release of toxins and negative energy. 1-3 weeks prior to the cleansing, certain foods such as dairy products and stimulants such as tea and coffee need to be cut out from your diet. Follow a diet that mainly consists of whole grains and vegetables. Baking and steaming are preferred over cooking. Even fruits should be lightly baked or steamed. The body is massaged with warm oils to loosen the toxins in the tissues.
Following the change in diet, the mind is prepared through meditation and some private moments. To do cleansing with Ayurveda, the primary aim is to rid the body of negative thoughts and energy.
The Purification stage: Through techniques such as fasting, cleansing herbs, chanting, yoga and breathing, the toxins and negative energy are flushed out of the body. Warm water and herbal teas are a must throughout the cleansing process. Abhayanga, which is an ayurvedic massage, loosens the deeply embedded toxins for elimination. Shirodhara, a procedure in which a stream of warm oil is poured on your forehead, is wonderful for calming the mind and nervous system. Three meals are eaten during the day, with the afternoon meal being the heaviest. Enemas and laxatives are also employed in order to flush out the toxins from the digestive system. Vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended to maintain correct levels in the body. It is best to retire to bed early and ruse early. You must exercise daily in the mornings. This increases you intake of oxygen and helps to flush out toxins.
The Rejuvenation Stage: In this stage, healing herbs and high quality foods are consumed to rejuvenate the body. You return to the simple diet that you followed in the first stage. Eat whole grains and drink enough water. This phase puts a lot of importance on the cleansing of the mind through meditation, as the body has already been healed by now. This can be an emotional time for people undergoing the process, so you must take time off work during this stage.
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