Ever considered that neglecting self-care is like a country skipping its taxes, leaving it vulnerable? The result? Our bodies lose their ease, and diseases set in. 

Let's talk about the wisdom body that coined the word 'toxins' when it talked about the pathogenesis about 6,000 years back! It is Ayurveda and Ayurveda is this. Historically, it’s the oldest healing. Philosophically, holistic healing. Geographically, ancient Indian healing. Therapeutically, person-centred healing. Ecologically, the most sustainable healing. Effectively, the art of blissful living and the science of natural healing. And, scientifically, the one that is constantly being proven by our researchers.

What does Ayurveda offer? Ayurveda offers guidance for all possible levels of living. Blissful living, precise preventative measures, and adaptable curative methods. Our health routine is compromised often when life becomes hectic. When we fail in some of these practices long enough - our body becomes vulnerable - just like a country becomes weak or fragile when we don’t pay taxes! The body loses its ease. Disease sets in. 

When you look at the true core of the disease it is always toxins - both endo/exo-toxins, intruded foreign substances, or irritants. 

Toxins and Immunity. The process of disease is built on the tug-of-war between the toxins (ama) and the immune system (balam). If the immune system attacks the toxins effectively it’s called an inflammatory condition. When it attacks the toxins embedded deep in the tissues, it’s called an autoimmune condition, when the toxins overpower the immune system and turn off the regenerative activities this condition is called degenerative. And, finally, when the system outsources the detoxification to the microbes, it’s called an infection. Healing starts with finding the causes, preventing them, dispelling toxins, repairing the affected tissues and finally upgrading the patient's awareness and lifestyle. 

Detox - the theory. Among this, when we need an efficient and complete system for dispelling toxins Panchakarma - ‘the five procedures’, or loosely ‘the ultimate 'cleanses’ is the best path. Let me simplify them into therapeutic emetic, purgative, enema, errhines, and bloodletting. In other words, Panchakarma finds every possible molecule of toxins and expels them from every single cell! Various rituals and treatments of Panchakarma are done in a very peaceful space, in a supportive and caring way, and well monitored. A person slides through this procedure over 3-6 weeks and comes out with better shine and calm. They become more well, efficient, and productive. 

When do you need Panchakarma? You have a recurring issue. It's getting worse. Life as normal is becoming increasingly painful and almost difficult. You can’t find sufficient time for your healing practices and routine. You are not responding well enough to the outpatient treatments. This is when one opts for a Panchakarma program.

What happens during Panchakarma? The most foundational element of Panchakarma is generating a complete sense of restfulness. You unplug from your home and work, relationships and responsibilities, Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and emails and messages. Now you have nowhere to go and nothing to do. Slowly we connect with soft music, an old novel, and the quietness around us. With minimal activities, your mind and body soften. It’s a rare and invaluable feeling, achieved through simple healing rituals such as counselling and abhyanga massage. It takes from 3-7 days for this stage.

The second phase further deepening of the relaxation. Calming sattvic food, warm oil streams on your forehead and body, hot herbal rice paste massage, and other similar treatments will help induce a deeper state of relaxation, taking from 3-7 days.

Now, you are ready for the third phase - to dissolve the deep-seated toxins and reopen your channels with a therapy called Snehapana, or internal oleation. You will perhaps be assigned one specific herbal ghee to help saturate your body and soften the toxins. This can take a further 3-7 days.

The fourth stage is a short one. An herbal steam therapy keeps the toxins melting and moving into the gut.

In the fifth stage, the dislodged toxins arrive in your. Damp, heavy toxins tend to lodge in the stomach, acidic ones in the small intestine, and dry, subtle, and cold ones in the large intestine. Toxins in the head arrive in the sinus. Those in the trapped zone will be left in the blood there. These toxins are flushed using a suitable cleanse. Now the system is cleansed, but a bit tired as if you had a major surgery. After the cleanse is over, your gut flora is renewed and empowered with a meticulous routine and nutrition. The above facts explain why Ayurveda is responsible for over 50% of India's medical tourism.

About Author

Rama Prasad did his Gurukula training at Coimbatore Ayurveda College in the 1980s and delved into the scope of Ayurveda during his private internship with Vaidyamadhom Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri and at his own Sauparnika Clinic in Edappal, Kerala over the following 18 months.

He was captivated by concepts such as holistic medicine, mind-based healing, Constitution-based life coaching, and non-verbal health assessment in the early 1990s.

After working on a 6-month Ayurveda exhibition project at Arya Vaidya Pharmacy in 1992, he joined Coimbatore Ayurveda College as a tutor. In addition to his work in the classroom and student clinic, he also delivered lectures at the Intensive Ayurveda Training for Western students conducted by Arsha Vidya Peetham and coached Ayurveda therapy students on the same campus and along with his private clinic in the evenings.

Between 1993 and 1996, he discovered that the effective utilization of fasting could reduce hospital stays, lower treatment expenses, and improve outcomes considerably. Charyas, especially fasting and nutrition became his favoured clinical topics.

Upon relocating to Australia in 1996, he discovered that over 1760 Ayurvedic herbs are indigenous to Australia. He underwent rigorous training in Hypnotherapy and Mind-Body Medicine in Australia, which transformed his approach to health practice and coaching.

Over the course of 25 years, he introduced thousands of Western health professionals to Ayurveda through his coaching programs in Australia. During this period, he developed a potent form of Tongue Diagnosis and a transformative Five-Element-Based Constitution Analysis (FEBCA). He organised or presented at over 40 international Ayurveda-Yoga-Health conferences in Australia, New Zealand, and India during this time.

In January 2023, he commenced an 18-month project at Vaidyagrama Ayurveda Healing Village in Coimbatore. His current endeavours include – a) creating and implementing an online coaching and support program for students and doctors, b) developing an app that integrates Ayurvedic practice, education, pharmacy, and research, and c) establishing a 25-day intensive Coaching-Lifestyle-Panchakarma program targeting various health conditions such as Autism, Cancers, Apnoea, Diabetes, and more.

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