When body, soul and spirit become imbalanced as a result of stress, anxiety and discomfort, a ‘reset’ is needed to bring the life energies back into balance. This is precisely the balance that Panchakarma strives for. ‘Step by step, the doshas that cause illness are expelled from the body’s main seats. Ayurvedic teachings state that the doshas are first disturbed in their seats, then swell and eventually spread throughout the body,’ explains Holistic Ayurveda mastermind Christina Mauracher. ‘If there are weak points, this is precisely where they’ll settle, penetrate the tissues and trigger a wide variety of both illnesses and blockages.’ Over the summer months, for example, a surplus of pitta accumulates, which can be balanced out in early autumn with a diet rich in bases, lots of seasonal vegetables and low-acid fruit. In late autumn, a vata surplus can be balanced out with juicy, nourishing, warm and easily digestible food. Sweet fruits (steamed, stewed or as a compote) and root vegetables (in a soup or stew) are excellent for re-stabilising out-of-control vata.
The aim of a Panchakarma treatment is to drain the excess doshas from their main seats while reducing those in the afflicted or weakened areas of the body, thus triggering healing processes.