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A Spring Cleanse for the Body and Mind-The Ayurveda Approach

Spring is a great time to clean the house and our bodies. Ayurveda offers a method of cleansing that restores our natural ability to assimilate and eliminate the what we consume.

Almost everyone needs to detoxify and rest their body from time to time. Some of us need to cleanse more frequently or work more continually to rebalance our body. There are many types of cleanses that restore the body by eliminating toxins, thereby improving our ability to absorb nutrients. Ayurveda focuses on a method of cleansing that restores our natural ability to assimilate and eliminate what we consume in life.

Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India, which originated there over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda is referred to as the Science of Life. Ayurvedic theory asserts that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion and proper excretion leads to vitality. Ayurveda emphasizes re-establishing balance in the body through diet, lifestyle, exercise, and body cleansing. In addition to diet and lifestyle, Ayurveda also focuses on Yoga (its sister science) and meditation to create health and balance.

The Ayurvedic term for cleansing is called panchakarma. What is panchakarma? 

Panchakarma is the ultimate mind-body healing experience for detoxifying the body, strengthening the immune system, and restoring balance and well-being.  

According to ayurveda, good health depends upon our capability to fully metabolize all aspects of life, assimilating that which nourishes and eliminating the rest. When we can’t completely digest our food, experiences, and emotions, toxins accumulate in our bodily tissues, creating imbalance and – ultimately – disease. Panchakarma is an elegant cleansing process that releases stored toxins and restores the body’s innate healing ability.

When our digestive energies, known as agni (fire), are robust, we create healthy tissues, eliminate waste products efficiently, and produce a subtle essence called ojas. Ojas which may be envisioned as the innermost sap of our psychophysiology, is the basis for clarity of perception, physical strength, and immunity. On the other hand, if our agni is weakened, digestion is incomplete and creates toxins that get stored in the body. This toxic residue is known as ama.

The process of panchakarma restores agni and removes ama in three steps.  Purva Karma:  Actions that prepare the body for strong purification; Pradhan Karma: Techniques of elimination;  Paschat Karma: Techniques of rejuvenation (Rasayana). 

Generally this process takes 7 to 21 days.  When complete a person will feel lighter, energized and have a much more positive outlook on life.  These effects will continue to accumulate after the cleansing process is over since the body and its energy systems are more balanced and efficient.

If you are interested in Ayurveda or doing panchakarma you can contact Sharyn Galindo an ayurvedic health practioner and president of North Shore Yoga at nsyoga2@aol.com or go to the North Shore Yoga web site at www.nsyoga.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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