Questions and answers about Panchakarma

The chief physician of CALENDULA, Dmitriy Ivanovich Skonitsev, tells about the basics of Panchakarma and about why you need to clean your body. 

Our patients get to know about how effective the treatment at CALENDULA thanks to recommendations from relatives and friends who visited us before. Real experience and sincere feelings work better than any advertisement. But once a person comes to our clinic, he or she is not ready for all the procedures and limitations. That is why there are many questions that arise immediately. The most frequent ones are covered here by Doctor Dmitriy Ivanovich Skonitsev.

– There is a cleansing program that is available in the clinic right now, for example, Classic Panchakarma and Complex Panchakarma. What is the difference between them?

– Each program is based on Panchakarma — a cleansing therapy that allows returning your body to some starting point. The difference lies in the goal that the patient wants to achieve or, to be exact, in the state of health he or she has now. Some people will feel more energy and health after the cleansing only. The others have disorders that require the proper treatment. In the second case, Panchakarma is the only thing that needs to be performed in terms of the professional treatment. For example, spinal disc herniation, ulcerative colitis, pseudorheumatism require cleansing. Once the accumulated mucus, scum and undigested food are out, we restore the natural functions of organs and systems, let medicine find proper cells and speed up the recovery process up.

Before we decided to use Panchakarma for the treatment, we tested various methods — cleaned liver or intestines separately. But once we discovered Ayurveda, we were impressed by its fantastic effect and are successfully using it for more than 20 years.

– It is seen in Classic Panchakarma program, that the focus is on Ayurveda source materials. All these authentic sources appeared thousands of years ago. Are you sure that they are applicable today?

– The knowledge and techniques described in Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita are of current interest today more than ever. The passive lifestyle of modern people that weakens their immune system, the increase of external stress factors, low-quality frankenfood are the main reasons. The Ayurveda says that explicit knowledge about biology, physiology, anatomy and medicine has come to the sages in a form of divine revelation, therefore this knowledge is considered to be trustworthy. Charaka and Sushruta are great Ayurvedic doctors, who wrote down all the things that they learned from teachers, added their own comments and experience and thus made this knowledge available for descendants. While working, we discover the effectiveness of all the techniques described in ancient books constantly. It is important to follow the original sources. Unfortunately, some Ayurvedic centers skip the essential parts of the cleansing procedure in order to make it easier and more pleasant for the customers because they use Ayurveda as a tourist attraction and nothing more.

– What exactly do they skip? Panchakarma is considered to be a consistent therapy with certain stages and procedures, isn’t it?

– Most often, people think that Ayurveda is a relaxing massage or SPA. But in addition to abhyanga-massage, there are other procedures, for example, Vamana is therapeutic vomiting and Basti is herbal enema. It goes without saying, that patient needs to be ready for such a piece of experience, while the staff should be professional. Vamana helps remove mucus that is accumulated in the antrums and caverns of the upper body. In order to clean the body fully, deep oil impregnation, heating and steaming are required. Massages, Svedhana, Urovasti (oil baths for different body parts) together with the dedication of a doctor who performs the procedure – all these help to achieve the best results. Each person has individual tolerance to Vamana. Some people go through it easily, for others, it is a real challenge. It depends on how clean your body is. After the procedure is over, a patient needs to rest and restore the energy. Time is the most valuable resource in Panchakarma. Also, Classic Panchakarma requires some time for meditation and yoga practice, vegetarian food (the food is considered as medicine in Ayurveda), cozy and calm apartment. We try to meet all the conditions that are described in ancient books.

– How much time do I need to clean my body fully — 10, 14 or 21 days?

– 10-day Panchakarma is impossible. Sometimes patients come to us with a strict condition and say that they have 10 days only. After analyzing the state of health and diagnosed diseases, we make an assumption about the reasons why a person feels bad. Then, we make a schedule in order to come to the roots and treat the main illness during a short period of time. After 10 days, the patient feels better but we can’t name this technique as Panchakarma. In order to perform the full cleansing of the body, we need 3 weeks or at least 2 weeks. This is physiology.

– Could you explain what exactly takes place on the physiological level?

– The first stage of Panchakarma is body saturation. We give a patient some Ghee oil (melted butter), make massages with vegetable oil and herbs that are suitable for his or her somatotype. It helps to fill the body with good cholesterol as most people do not have enough of it. Then the oil task is to complex intoxicants and to bring them to the digestive tract. The food you have eaten today will get to the gastrointestinal tract in 7 days only — and there is no way to fool nature. All the things that are linked by good cholesterol — toxins, slags and other substances — will leave the cells and go to the digestive tract in 10-12 days. Only after this period ends, we will be able to remove them completely. How? You will need to perform several Vamana and Nasi procedures that remove the mucus and extra liquid.

After the mucus is out of your body, we speed the metabolism up. The liver begins to filter more blood and therefore is ready to absorb all intoxicants better. With bile, the toxins leave the patient’s body. In 5 days, the bile will become more watery. And finally, the intestine that accumulated immune complexes for years needs to be cleaned. Together with this baggage, we get more — all the things that didn’t leave your body with the defecation during the first stage of Panchakarma. Now everything needs to be dissolved, bound and removed using enema therapy. The quantity of enemas depends on the state of health again. It will take a lunar month — 21 days — to renew the body completely.

– There are so many ads that promise parasite cleansing nowadays. Does Panchakarma helps in this case too?

– There is no other way to get rid of parasites – only Panchakarma could help. Helminths and worms breed in a suitable environment. Mucus (or sweet mucus as it was called by Avicenna) is the one. There are many products that stimulate mucus — sweet, sour and even fatty ones. Parasites can live in the intestines and other body parts. That is why when the acid level increases, helminths have better conditions to breed. Drugs do not solve this problem completely. By the way, during a long time, tansy flowers, sage, chamomile btoths were used to kill worms only because they are good in mucus dissolution. Panchakarma allows you to remove mucus at the beginning and to clean the intestines at the end stage — make the full cycle of parasite cleansing.

– How to control the cleansing process?

– The main factor is how a patient feels. Also, we control the inches the person loses to understand whether it is fat or liquid. However, all those things are partial. It is better to make ultrasound investigation, electrocardiography and other tests to be sure.

– Could you list the diseases that Panchakarma successfully treats?

– There is no chronic illness that could be treated without the full cleansing of your body. Hypertension, diabetes of the second type, chronic gastritis, spondylosis, polyarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joints arthritis are only a few of them.

– Some people think that they are completely healthy. How to awake their interest to the cleansing?

– Healthy people have good body and also healthy intelligence. Vedas say that Vidya is responsible for health. Vidiya is mindfulness. Unfortunately, some people leave with Avidyia — ignorance. A mindful person understands that he leaves in a world with a food crisis. All the products he eats are genetically modified and that is why can’t be absorbed fully and leave the unnecessary remains in our body. In this case, cleansing is essential. However, there are many people who have problems but prefer to ignore them. It is a well-known fact that illness starts in our mind. When the conscious is broken, the body functionates but you lose the control. A person thinks that if he or she eats and sleeps and is sexually active — it means the body is healthy, and even if something goes wrong, a doctor will give a magic pill and that’s it. But after the second and third pill, this man or woman understands that nothing changes and will be searching for the alternative treatment.

– Which season is the best for Panchakarma?

– In Europe, there are no preferable seasons, so if you have time, do not hold over. The European climate is calm, there are no periods of too hot or too cold weather. It is not recommended to perform Panchakarma if it’s 50 °C in India. However, nature has cycles, and different periods have different influence on the body. In winter, the mud freezes and the liquid stops. In spring, the water flows. Our body reacts the same way. That is why the border between autumn and winter or winter and spring, when substances change their state, is the best time for cleaning and prevention of seasonal illnesses.

– After the course is ended, could I get back to my normal life or are there some special recommendations?

– There is such a thing as a confession. After confessing, a person tries to change the things he made wrong. Panchakarma is a kind of confession, an apology to your own body. Lifestyle and food are the key factors that make us healthy or not, so be sure you make things right.

– During Panchakarma, meat is forbidden. Why this product is dangerous for our body?

– This question has several aspects. Let’s start from the scientific explanation. Scientists say that meat is a product with animal proteins. Those ones are foreign matter for our body. Our immune system treats them with aggression. When someone eats meat permanently, the immune system is excited every day. Panchakarma tries to balance all body parts and systems.

The next thing is important too. Vedas says that meat is a tamasic product. Tamas is a state of conscious full of egoism. The mind that is closed inside itself could not open. Panchakarma requires the openness of your body and mind. With tamasic food, we slow the recovery down.

It is worth noticing that the meat has low bioavailability. For example, pork includes a big amount of proteins, but once you eat 100 grams, you will get 17% of bioavailable products only. 83% will be accumulated and won’t bring any help. We will need to remove them too. But with food that has many celluloses, warmth and energy — like cereals and legumes — the cleansing process will start faster.

– How do patients describe their feelings after full cleansing?

– They feel an incredible emotional lift. They are relaxed and fresh, vigorous and younger than before. Most of them can’t stop repeating: “I haven’t felt this for so long”.

– What is the most important thing for you as a doctor?

– A doctor should be objective. Let’s say a person comes to the clinic with an arterial pressure as high as 180/100 mm Hg. After Panchakarma, his pressure is 120/80 mm Hg and it stays on the same level. This result is important to me. Or if someone took 2-3 medicaments to stop glycemia before the treatment but now doesn’t take any tablet and has a normal blood sugar — I feel the real inspiration for sure.