4 Reasons why Panchakarma cannot be done at home
This might break your heart but yes Panchakarma cannot be done at home. Panchakarma is a set of clinical procedures mentioned in classical Ayurvedic texts.You can read here to know more about Panchakarma. More and more people now want to explore and experience these age old scientific techniques. Nowadays its very easy to spot such fancy terms on internet as:
- Home Panchakarma program
- Home Panchakarma kit
- Panchakarma stores
- Basti formula for sale
It pains to see that it takes more than eight years of training to become a Panchakarma specialist and ridiculously some people make the population believe that Panchakarma is an easy ‘to do at home’ procedure. This blog is to make people realize that it is not just another ‘Ayurveda home remedy’ but a domain of experts. Here are 4 reasons why Panchakarma cannot be done at home.
1) Massage is not Panchakarma
Neither do the following qualify as Panchakarma:
- Taking hot bath
- Applying steam
- Drinking ghee
- Performing shirodhara
- Taking triphala powder
- Taking dashmool enema
While massage,steam and drinking ghee are poorvakarmas or preparatory procedures, shirodhara is an adjunctive procedure. Self massage cannot even qualify as a preparatory procedure because it will be inadequate.
Dashmool enema performed at home with an enema kit is a far cry from Basti procedure which is the jewel of Panchakarma. Taking a laxative like Triphala certainly does not equate to Virechana procedure.
2) Traditional Panchakarma can only be performed by experts
The main Panchakarma procedures can be counterproductive when preparatory procedures are inadequately done. Only a trained Panchakarma therapist knows the right strokes of an Ayurvedic masssage and he alone should do it. Only a wise physician knows how much ghee a patient needs to drink and for how long (3/5/7 days). Otherwise it can alter the lipid profile of the recipient and can cause metabolic syndrome. Basti/Vamana/Virechana ( the core procedures) are all techniques mastered over a period of many years. They can only be performed by experts and that too in a clinic or a hospital and certainly not at home. A residential Panchakarma clinic or hospital is most ideal. But one may ask the recipient to come to the clinic everyday from home with strict dietary and lifestyle guidelines.
3) Panchakarma has complications
Complications are rare when performed by experts. During and after Basti procedure the patient has to be kept under watch for any signs of vasovagal response. The patient might complain of severe pain or might lose consciousness. All these symptoms are easily managed by a Panchakarma expert. The procedures are very potent and can be harmful if not done properly.
4) 5 day cleanse is not Panchakarma
Complete Panchakarma with all its core procedures requires about 128 days. Adjuvant procedures like Shirodhara, Sirobasti e.t.c. can be done for 3/5/7 days. Among the core procedures only ‘nasya’ (nasal medication ) can be done for shorter period of time. Ayurveda is much about following a healthy diet and lifestyle. So one can follow Ayurvedic principles at home for a healthy living. But one should not be fooled to think that all the promised health benefits of Panchakarma can be achieved in the comfort of home. Ayurveda is much more than ‘home remedies’ and ‘kitchen spices’.