PURVA KARMA literally means ‘before’ the Karma. This is a nutrition and diet plan. It prepares the body for detoxification and is done before main PANCHA KARMA therapies. It is a pre-purification therapy. Before the actual operation of purification begins, there is a need to prepare the body with prescribed methods to encourage it to let go of the toxins. Purva karma is classified into two procedures;
- snehan (OLEATION)
- swedana (SUDATION/FOMENTATION)
Snehan means “love” in Sanskrit, which is referred to as “internal and external oleation”. You may find internal oleation directions in Purvakarma, and external oleation consists of Abhyanga/Udwarthanam (medicated herbal oil massage) Shirodhara( Medicated oil is dripped over the forehead), Shirovasti(Medicated oil crown on head), Akshi Tarpan (medicated butter cream over eyes and surrounding areas ) and Karnapurana (Oleation of ears).
Procedures under the Snehana are:
In Abhyanga, warm herbal oil is applied to the entire body with unique strokes and pressure points, according to the circulatory channels of body which is designed to help move toxins towards the gastrointestinal tract. Medicated lukewarm oil is applied all over the body in 7 different postures. Gentle massage is done during the process. Oil is applied on the head and ears, prior to the process. Time taken is 60minutes. It is done as part of rejuvenation and also before all panchakarma processes. Patient is allowed to take bath in hot water.
Abhyanga properly done prevents ageing, nourishes the body, provides good sleep, complexion, and improves vision and body strength.
Pizhichil or Sarvangadhara is an anointing of the whole body, a special form of Snehan (OLEATION) treatment that combines rich oil massage with a special heat treatment. This therapy is known as the “King’s Treatment” due to its popularity with the Maharajas and royal families of ancient India.
During this indulgent treatment, medicated and warmed Ayurvedic oil(Type and dosage decided by the physician) is continuously poured over the body while two practitioners rub and stimulate the skin using hands and special cotton cloths. The process is performed with the person both lying down in the oil tub and while sitting in a chair both specially designed for the purpose of applying medicated oils. The flow of warm oil gently washes away tension accumulated over years of stress. Habitual patterns of holding vital energy deep inside feels opened and soothed. As the treatment progresses for a series of days the effects are felt in increasingly deeper areas so that the body and mind are enveloped in a cocoon of warmth and nurturing.
This is a highly rejuvenating treatment that enhances muscular tone and retunes and rejuvenates the entire nervous system and skin, promotes relaxation and inner balance. It is a cure for extremely high Vata doshas, muscular aches and pains, rheumatic problems, osteo arthritis, insomnia and depression. Pizhichil is regarded as the ultimate treatment to renew vibrant health and happiness.
Dhara’ means flow and here it is as a pre-panchkarma therapy, which helps to open the channels of body and mind to facilitate the treatment of diseases. In this technique liquid medicaments (like Herbalized oil,Milk or Ghee) are placed in a bowl at an appropriate height above the body of the patient. The oil is then dripped over the forehead of the patient. This is known as Pransamvardhan dhara. This treatment directly affects the central nervous system and profoundly relaxes the mind.