The Ayurvedic vision of life is essentially linked to the concept of balance, flowing and cleaning. If an organism wants to be efficient, its physiological functions should be balanced, the communications among tissues and the various body parts should work easily, and the elimination of waste materials should be perfect. When one of these elements does not work properly, the organism gets sick.
Therefore, the state of health exists when: the gastric Fire (Agni) is in optimal condition; the three Doshas (Vata-Pitta-Kapha) are balanced; the three waste products “mala” (urine, faeces, sweat) are easily produced and deleted; the senses properly function; body, mind and conscience flow in harmony as a whole. One of the causes of the disease has its roots in the weakening of the most important fire of the body, called “Jathara Agni”, the digestive fire. The main consequence of this unbalance is the creation of “Ama”, which literally means “not digested”. Ama stands for the accumulation of toxins in the form of dark, sticky and smelly matter, which is firstly deposited in the gastrointestinal tract and then is absorbed together with the nutrients by the body. It deeply penetrates in the tissues and settles in those points where the body is weaker. The ama blend with nutrients and through the various channels of movement (srota) settle in those parts of the body where the immunity is weaker. Due to the accumulated toxins, the three Doshas become unbalanced or the srota get blocked. According to the place where the ama accumulate, different diseases can manifest, for example: if ama is in the lungs, congestion, cough and asthma can manifest; if in joints, ama create arthritis; if in the intestines, ama cause diarrhea or constipation. The presence of ama in the body cause some symptoms, such as: laziness, sleepiness, slight fever, pain in various parts of the body, heavy stomach after meals, constipation, intestinal gas, patina on the tongue and appearance of mucus in the faeces. The presence of these symptoms shows that the digestive fire is weak or our way of eating is wrong.
However it is important to underline that in the Ayurvedic medicine when we speak of the body we refer to the material/physical body and the mind at the same time. The mental ama is as negative as the physical one for the functioning of the body and it is the result of the disturbed perceptions and emotions, such as: greed, selfishness, possessiveness, stubbornness, anger, excessive desires, attachment. They become themselves mental impurities and create ama.
The panchakarma therapy provides a whole range of purification practices, which are specific to each constitutional type (vata, pitta, kapha). The panchakarma practices have an impact on the intelligent body functioning through a series of tools, such as the ayurvedic massages, treatments with the application of herbal oils, steam baths, detox treatments based on the decoction of medicated oils, together with a range of dietary and behavioural suggestions.
The practices are designed to rebalance the body system and especially the “Doshas”, the three physiological and biological principles that manage all our body, eliminating toxins that are accumulated in the organs, in the tissues, and in the mind.
In the Ayurvedic medicines, various channels called “srota” cross the body and we should keep them accessible to promote and preserve the overall state of health.
The panchakarma removes those toxins that obstruct the “srota” and it allows the free flow of inner intelligence, which is innate in our body. Several studies and researches clearly show a meaningful improvement in the overall physical and psychological health, while reducing the biological age. A significant increase of the vitality, strength, resilience and adaptability, digestive capacity, together with a sense of satisfaction and joy are also noted. Additional studies show how the panchakarma significantly reduce the cholesterol levels, as a consequence of the reduced levels of free radicals and the increase of a neuropeptide VIP (vasoactive intestinal peptide) that can stimulate the blood flow in the arteries feeding the heart.