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Ancient Detoxification

by Holly Hale

The mainstream consistently drives popularity around new cleansing techniques. Whether it’s using laxatives, teas, food, diuretics, vitamins, minerals, juices, fasting, smoothies, liquid diets, herbs, enemas, toxin elimination through sweat, steam rooms or saunas, or elimination diets, there are too many detoxes on the market to count.

Furthermore, both the goals and outcomes vary greatly from individual to individual. Some detoxes claim to rid the body of toxins, others promote weight loss, while others are marketed to help with circulation. This makes it almost impossible for individuals to determine which detox is right for them. Also, for most of the detoxes, there isn’t any convincing evidence that they remove toxins from your body or improve your health. Not to mention detoxing can be dangerous in certain circumstances and could lead to health complications if not done under the care of a trained practitioner or doctor. 

What is Panchakarma?

Panchakarma is authentic cleansing; it is neither a recent innovation or a new-age fad. This ancient practice has stood the test of time for more than 5000 years through the science of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a health care healing system focused on diet and lifestyle that originated in India but is now practiced all around the world. Panchakarma is a deeply healing way to reset your body and renew your well-being on all levels—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Panchakarma uses proven time-tested methods to support the whole person by cleansing and eliminating the toxins that create imbalance and dis-ease.

The process, overseen by either an Ayurveda practitioner or doctor, is customized to an individual's unique body type and harness the natural intelligence of the body to restore optimal health and balance. 

Panchakarma comprises a series of different treatments that gently release physical and emotional toxins and stressors from the mind and body—leaving individuals rejuvenated, deeply relaxed, vital, clear, and with a renewed sense of well-being. These include, but are not limited to

  • Pachan—Pre-cleanse diet and herbs to give body nutrients and help begin detox process.
  • Nasya—The use of herbal oils that move through the nasal passages to eliminate toxins that may be stuck within and address numerous nasal and sinus-related health imbalances.
  • Swedana—A treatment that utilizes herbal steam to release toxins from the body through the skin.
  • Snehana—Internal and external oil treatments where healthy oils are used to moisturize and further flush out toxins. This treatment may also include
  • Abhyanga—Warm oil massage of the skin to help stimulate the detoxification process
  • Basti—Sesame oil is placed directly (and gently) onto the skin (or into the colon to flush out toxins without having to go through the entire digestive tract). Oil helps to moisten toxins in the body, so that they can be moved to the digestive tract and removed from the body through natural elimination. 
  • Virechana—Specific and time-proven herbs are selected by an Ayurveda practitioner or doctor to gently remove toxins throughout the body, including the blood, skin, sweat glands, most major organs, and the digestive tract.
  • Personal health consultation—Diet and lifestyle recommendations are provided by an Ayurveda practitioner or doctor.
  • Marma—Treatment given by a trained profession to remove stagnation and realign the bodies nadis, or 72,000 channels of circulating life force, through application of pressure on specific pressure points. 

Other techniques like bloodletting and purgation that are not used in the United States for obvious reasons, but are still practiced in other parts of the world. Also, there are different iterations of Panchakarma that are made by a trained Ayurveda practitioner or doctor to suit an individuals needs or lifestyle. 

 While some individuals may choose to get one Panchakarma cleanse in their life, many others complete an annual or biannual cleanse to maintain year-round health.

Who is Panchakarma for?

The Panchakarma process is unique for each individual and different iterations are used to suit an individuals needs or lifestyle. Panchakarma is recommended (but not limited) for anyone experiencing:

  • Chronic stress
  • Lethargy 
  • Impaired sleep
  • Mental fog
  • Dull aches and pains
  • Chronic illness like cancer, diabetes, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • History of chronic illness in family
  • Women looking to become pregnant in the future
  • Lifestyle imbalance
  • Overwork, fatigue, and chronic stress
  • Exposure to pollution/air particles
  • Poor diet currently or in the past
  • Preparation of the transition of seasons; this is often when individuals get sick

What does Panchakarma do?

Restore Digestion

Digestion is really important when it comes to Ayurveda. If an individual’s digestion is not working properly, it is less likely that the body will be able to remove toxins on it’s own. 

From an Ayurvedic perspective, toxins are the underlying cause of disease. Optimal health is experienced through a strong digestive system and elimination of toxins from the body. 

Greater Energy

A cumulative buildup over time of stress, tension and worry, or wear and tear on the body lowers energy levels. Panchakarma helps to remove this build-up, strengthen internal capacity, and clear out accumulated blockages naturally leaving individuals feeling more energetic and more alive.

Light Body, Clear Mind

A common response to Panchakarma is the lightness that many Panchakarma participants feel. Some may experience physical weight loss, but more importantly participants feel a sense of lightness and clarity. 

Holistic Approach to Pain Relief

Many people attend panchakarma to relieve chronic illnesses or chronic pain. The combination of treatments, food, and herbal supplements works to help manage illness or pain by cleansing your system at a deep level and restoring balance within the body. 

Where can I get Panchakarma?

Individuals in the US may get treatments at Ayurveda centers here or travel to facilities outside the US. A lot of time, when travelling outside of the US, individuals will visit India.   

The Art of Living faculty is comprised of world-renowned Ayurvedic doctors from our Sri Sri College of Ayurvedic Science and Research Hospital in Bangalore, India. The Art of Living has a dedicated university for individuals practicing to become Ayurvedic doctors. The Art of Living Retreat Centerlocated in Boone, North Carolina, offers many different retreats for Panchakarma.  

Wherever individuals are expecting to have Panchakarma, the cost is typically around $10,000. Treatments in the US are much more expensive than in India, but individuals that get Panchakarma in India must pay for travel expenses. 

Not only is the Art of Living Retreat Center the #1 Ayurveda Spa in the country, we are looking to make the benefits of the Panchakarma treatments more readily available to individuals here in the US by offering the highest quality Panchakarma retreats for the lowest prices. Our retreats range from a 3-day retreat, which starts at $890, up to a 6-month program—all of which start well under the $10,000 price point for other options. 


Panchakarma Ayurveda Group Cleanse 

3-day retreat 


Panchakarma Refresh Individual Ayurveda Cleanse 

5-day retreat 


Panchakarma Renew Group Cleanse 

9-day retreat


Anxiety, Depression, and Chronic Stress Wellness Retreat 

8-day retreat

5-day precleanse


Diabetes and Weight Loss Wellness Program & Retreat

10-day retreat

7-day precleanse 

6-months of coaching


Whether you want to enjoy deep rest and rejuvenation or find holistic methods to manage chronic issues, The Art of Living Retreat Center offers effective practices for self-care and the restoration of physical, mental, and emotional balance. Read more about participants that have shared their powerful experiences with Panchakarma reviews

Sign up for a free consultation to speak with an Ayurveda specialist.

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