In practice, Ayurvedic medicine includes two different concepts of health care. The first one represents the active home care Shamana, which focuses on the harmonization of psychosomatic functions, purification of the body and strengthening the immune system. This particular therapy relieves the symptoms and removes the causes of diseases in their initial phase, by establishing balance of the three biologicallife forces (doshas), healthy functioning of the seven bodily tissues (dhatus), regular elimination of toxic waste (ama) and harmonic metabolism or digestive fire (agni).
For whom is the Shamana home therapy suitable?
Ayurvedic Shamana is the ideal home therapy for most regular working and employed people who are daily exposed to proportional strain and stress. It consists of seven purification methods which are applied according to the individual needs with help of herbal decoctions (kvatha) and elixirs (avaleha), grounded herbs (churna), tinctures and syrups (asava & aristha), tablets (guti-vati), oils (taila), balms (guggul) and ointments (lepa).
7 purification methods of Shamana:
- Stimulation of digestive fire (deepana)
- Purification and detoxification (pachana)
- Fasting (kshuda)
- Regulation of fluids (trisha)
- Physical activity, exercise and yoga (vyayama)
- Heat and sunbath therapy (atapa)
- Fresh air therapy and breathing exercises (marut)
Read more in the article 7 Detoxification Steps according to Shamana Ayurvedic Home Therapy.
Shodana Clinical Care
The second concept of Ayurvedic health care is called Sodhana. It represents a stricter purifying and detoxifying process known as Panchakarma, which is organised under the clinical supervision of a trained Ayurvedic doctor. The main difference between these two concepts lays in the method of treatment of the dosha imbalance. Shamana pacifies disturbed doshas back to their natural state of balance, whereas Sodhana eliminates the aggravated doshas from the body. Sodhana is a special therapy to eliminate the causes of disease in case of advanced, long-term and chronic conditions. It is connected mainly with the thorough purification of the body and general detoxification. Such deeper cleansing therapy eliminates aggravated doshas and accumulated toxins from bodily tissues (dhatus) and circulatory channels (srotamsi). Consequently, they remove the germs causing further development of various diseases.
The main method is a purification procedure called Panchakarma, after which physical and mental health improves. This traditional Ayurvedic therapeutic procedure consists of five steps, which take place under the supervision of an experienced Ayurvedic physician:
5 Steps of Panchakarma
- Vomiting (vamana) decreases kapha dosha in case of chronic diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract. They include coughs and colds, asthma, rhinitis, flu, bronchitis and phlegm in the stomach.
- Use of purgatives (virechana) eliminates accumulated pitta dosha in case of stomach acidity, initial phases of stomach and duodenal ulcers, allergies in the digestive tract, jaundice, skin disorders and rashes.
- Rinsing the intestines (vasthi), which is used to calm vata in case of neurological disorders, paralysation, polio, multiple sclerosis, nerve inflammation, sciatica, back and spine pain, constipation, kidney stones, arthritis or rheumatism.
- Nasal cleansing (nasya) with herbal oils relieves the nasal and frontal cavities, headache, migraines, eye disorders and ear pain.
- Blood-letting (raktamoksha) eliminates excessive pitta dosha and is basically meant for blood purification in case of enlarged liver and spleen, skin disorders, rashes, acne and boils.