SPECIALIZED TREATMENTS - Panchakarama, Punsawan, Shirobasti, Gandusha
At Elemental Embrace we also offer a number of specialized treatments similar
to those found in Kerala, India, and are conducted, prescribed, and progress followed
by our experienced and qualified resident Ayurvedic Vaidyas from India.
Panchakarma treatments are designed detoxification and rejuvenation, and represent
the primary healing modality within the Ayurvedic holistic science, and primary
purpose of Elemental Embrace. Other specialised treatments are specific to present
condition (eg. pregnancy) and are personally carried out by our Vaidyas after
a detailed consultation.
As Panchakarma is a new concept to the western world, we have put lots of information
on this ultimate detoxification in the form of a series of frequently asked questions.
Panchakarma is the primary healing modality within the ancient Ayurvedic science.
It offers balancing rejuvenation for mind, body, and consciousness. At Elemental
Embrace, we call this ‘wellness’, which is achieved through a series of unique,
natural, holistic, health giving, deep cleansing therapeutic treatments. These
treatments rid the body of toxins and restore constitutional balance improving
health, strengthening immunity, reversing negative effects of stresses which slow
the aging process, and enhances self reliance, strength, energy, vitality and
Yes, PK does all that! The effects are remarkable, and representative of the
timeless existence and value of this gift of wisdom from the heart and vision
of the ancient sages of
Panchakarma means "five therapies". Only one or two of the five therapies are
recommended and offered to each person on a Panchakarma program, determined by
your unique constitution at birth (Prakruti) and current balance (Vikruti). The
therapies work to remove toxins (Ama) from your body through one of the normal
channels of elimination. However, Panchakarma is only effective after preparing
the body for the removal of toxins (ama) by Purvakarma.
What are the Five Panchakarma Treatments?
Vamana is the cleansing of the stomach and lungs by therapeutic emesis or vomiting.
Vamana should not be associated with nausea and sickness as the preparation of
herbs taken orally induces the vomiting, and swift in its process. Vamana is
generally recommended to remove excess Kapha which when aggravated results in
excess mucus, congestion in the lungs causing repeated attacks of bronchitis,
colds, cough and asthma. By clearing this excess Kapha, Vamana prevents (or reduces
the severity) of these problems, and promotes lightness in your chest, clear voice,
and a good appetite.
Basti is the cleansing of the large intestine and the most powerful of the 5
karmas. It can be compared to an oily herbalized / fortified enema where the
oil is retained and absorbed through the intestine and distributed through the
entire body. Bastis promote purification and rejuvenation of the colon and large
intestine. Generally recommended to balance Vata - the dosha of movement - and
thus all physiological activity of the body. This therefore has effects on all
channels, tissues and other doshas of the body.
Bastis differ in concept from colonics as colonics are great in removing the
toxins brought from the whole body into the large intestine by Purvakarma, but
bastis further replenish and nourish all tissues within the body once these toxins
have been removed. Bastis are most effective in a series of 3-7 treatments. They
relieve constipation, distention, chronic fever, cols, sexual disorders, kidney
stones, heart pain, backache sciatica and joint pain. Other vata disorders including
arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasms and headaches may also be treatment
with bastis. As we said earlier… the most powerful of the 5 karmas!
Virechan is the cleansing of the small intestines and Pitta related organs (liver
& gall bladder) by a herb induced purging process. Virechan works to remove
Ama and balance all metabolic functions, avoiding bile related problems of rashes,
skin inflammation, acne, chronic attacks of fever, biliary vomiting, and nausea.
Nasya is the cleansing of the nasal and sinus passages. We breathe in and get our life force (Prana) through our nostrils. They are
the doorway to the brain which controls our sensory and motor functions. Clearing
the toxins and enabling pure Prana improves all mental activity, memory, concentration
and all intellectual activity. Medicated oils through the nostrils prevent headaches,
convulsions, loss of memory and reduced sensory perception, and certain eye and
Ratamokshana is the cleansing of the toxins present in the blood as absorbed
from the gastrointestinal tract. The main reason for the treatments is to reduce
the chance of repeated infections, hypertension, and circulatory conditions by
blood. Reoccurring skin conditions targeted by Ratamokshana include urticaria,
rashes, herpes, eczema, acne and chronic itching and hives. Ratamokshana is also
recommended for enlarged liver, spleen and gout. Bloodletting stimulates the
spleen to produce anti toxic substances which help stimulate the immune system,
and relieves concentration of the toxins in the blood.
This series of five therapies help remove deep-rooted stress and illness which
cause toxins in the body while balancing the doshas (energies that govern all
biological functions). Panchakarma is ineffective if special detoxification diet
is not given along with the treatments.
Ayurveda offers healthcare on the faded part of the wellness continuum in today’s
pill popping world. Panchakarma is a health restorative alternative to this disease
curative living. Many illnesses result from the build up toxins (Ama) in the
body that impairs the functioning of its natural defenses, such as the lymph,
circulatory and immune systems.
PK eliminates toxins and toxic conditions from your body and mind, restores your
constitutional balance improving health and wellness, strengthens your immune
system and helps you become more resistant to illness. It reverses the negative
effects of stress on your body and mind thereby slowing the aging process. PK
will enhance your strength, energy, vitality and mental clarity and bring about
deep relaxation and sense of well-being.
What does all this mean? That when all systems are go, you have the accelerated
opportunity to ecstatically awaken on every level of your being, down to the soul
level. A sharp mind, alert senses, stable body, efficient digestion and absorption
are framework for enhanced immunity, increased body strength, revitalized nervous
system. Deep restorative sleep, insightful meditation and increased spiritual
awareness are signs.
If you suffer from and of the following, eliminating the ama from your body can
help you be refreshed and enthusiastic from day to day.
Emotional or physical strain
Disease or threat of disease
Lack of energy
Heavy and fatigued
How is Panchakarma ‘Health Restorative’?
Ama enters into the blood stream and is circulated throughout the body clogging
its intricate system of channels, and as it gathers it begins to affect your overall
and vital life energy (Prana), your Immunity (Ojas), and your cellular metabolic
energy (Tejas), resulting in disease.
Chemicals in the food we eat (eg. genetically modified food), any negative habits
(smoking, drinking, etc), lifestyle (sleep habits, environmental toxins), incompatible
food combinations (eg. milk and fish, melons and grains, yogurt and meat), seasonal
changes, repressed emotions, stress factors, etc. can all act together (or individually)
to aggravate or derange the delicate balance of your doshas. This in turn affects
your digestive / metabolic / gastric fire (Agni) and produces Ama (toxins).
Ama is the basic and internal cause of all disease, and as it can be traced back
to imbalanced doshas, herein lies the simplistic beauty of Ayurveda! Appropriate
diet, lifestyle, habits and exercise complimented by a periodic cleansing program
of panchakarma will prevent the production of Ama and prevent all internally developed
How authentic is PK at Elemental Embrace?
Panchakarma is at Elemental Embrace is overseen by our resident Ayurvedic Vaidays
who have attained their degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and had extensive experience
within their own panchakarma clinics in India. We import all our medicated ghee,
treatment oils and herbs for Purvakarma and panchakarma treatments directly from
leading pharmacies in
. With a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, and two resident Ayurvedic doctors
on staff, you can be assured that you get the experienced attention, responsive
care, and intellectual assurance you require to take you through what can sometimes
be an emotionally and physically draining experience.
Whether this is your first or semi-annual PK experience, take assurance that
it is our unwavering goal to offer an authentic, effective, true and responsible
Can I enjoy this detoxifying and healing process?
The beauty of PK lies in the gentle, comfortable and relaxing way these treatments
clear the path for rejuvenating energies to flow freely, and promote wellness!
Elemental Embrace offers PK from its residential Ayurvedic Vaidyas which gives
you the assurance of quality care, and does so in a homely environment you are
comfortable with, and offers complimentary spa treatments you are familiar with
to accentuate your stay.
Panchakarma is custom-tailored to you as an individual and to your current state
of health, wellness and constitution. It is a jump start to pro-actively managing
and improving your own health and wellness.
Your time in the countryside, within the healing environment of Elemental Embrace
far from your daily environment is time to recollect and re-heal before you remerge.
Purvakarma are the preliminary panchakarma therapies which serve to prepare the body to
let go of stored ama. During your time and included within your PK package at
Elemental Embrace, a series of Purvakarma treatments are administered.
Abhyanga treatments (2 therapists synchronized body massage and oil application)
is the first step of Purvakarma. This treatment saturates the body with herbally
medicated oils which help loosen ama and move it from deeper tissues into the
gastrointestinal tract. This should be done daily for a minimum of 5 days.
From here Panchakarma's main therapies can remove ama from your body. Abhyanga
treatments also soften tissue which helps to remove stress and nourish the nervous
The choice of oils for the abhyanga treatment depends on the particular needs
and doshic imbalance of the individual, and decided upon during your consultation
with our Ayurvedic Vaidya at the beginning for your stay at Elemental Embrace.
Once the massage is completed, swedana (literally "sweat") is performed. The
main objective of this therapy is to dilate the channels so that the removal of
ama (toxins) can be more easily achieved. At Elemental Embrace a herbal concoction
is added to the steam to assist this process where the toxins are almost liquefied
to encourage and enable movement into the gastro intestinal tract. This sets
the toxins up to be removed by the appropriate of the 5 karmas depending on the
individuals constitution and disorder, Prakruti and Vikruti respectively.
Abhyangas (or similar treatments such as Shirodhara, Thalia Dhara and Udwartana)
are prescribed daily during the PK process, and included within your panchakarma
How long do I need to undergo PK?
Panchakarma is most effectively administered (and in some cases only possible)
on the 5th day at Elemental Embrace. Our PK packages below therefore start at 5 days.
As your body is unique and individual, our vaidyas are consistently asking and
working by your body indicators during your program, which let them know the ideal
time to begin the PK treatments. This can stretch as long as 28 days for some
individuals for a complete cleanse, but the majority of the detoxification can
be achieved after 5 – 7 days of Purvakarma. We therefore recommend a 7 night
package. For more intense cleanses over 7 nights, we will start you off with
a 7 night PK package, and let you schedule in your treatments for the remaining
period of your stay when you have the added benefit of our Ayurvedic vaidyas recommendations,
reports on your progress, a greater PK understanding, and you are more comfortable
with your experience at Elemental Embrace.
What should I expect during my PK program?
On arrival you will have a complete Ayurvedic Consultation with our Ayurvedic
Vaidyas who will discuss your medical history, life style details, and your specific
needs. The Vaidya will make an assessment, and plan your panchakarma program accordingly
to your constitution and needs.
PK is very unique in that it is tailored to meet each individuals needs according
to their constitution and doshic imbalances. Our vaidyas will assess your Prakruti
(doshic balance at birth) and Vikruit (current doshic balance) and determine which
tissues, channels and organs are involved and / or effected by the imbalance,
and choose herbs, oils, treatments, supplements and diet to create a package specific
to your individuality and compatible with your level of commitment.
Daily Purvakarma treatments will be abhyangas or similar which are approximately
75 minute treatments with two therapists administering herbalized oils into your
body, followed by a swedana (a herbalized sweat therapy) and a shower. Furthermore,
as Elemental Embrace is the first (and only as far as we know) retreat which offers
the best of both eastern and western philosophy, we also recommend the synergies
of accentuating your program with treatments including reiki, zen-shiastsu, lymphatic
drainage, or even a muscle relaxing body massage.
After a couple of days depending on your individuality, you will be advised to
do one or two of the panchakarma treatments to facilitate the elimination of the
You will meet with your panchakarma consultant vaidyas at least once a day to
discuss your program and answer any questions you may have.
Elemental Embrace a supportive environment with like minded staff and clients,
and provides space for true contemplation and self-healing.
The treatments profoundly relax the body and mind and improve the flow of the
energy by opening the channels of circulation (srotas) and prepare the body to
eliminate excess doshas or toxins on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
We have daily Yoga and meditation / pranayama classes / sessions, and facilities
including reading / games lounge, pool, hot tub, gym, sauna and steam rooms, outdoor
activities so you can make the most of this time to yourself. (We also have a
large screen projector for films for those of you who want to take it one step
at a time).
What will my diet consist of?
Your diet will be determined by the vaidyas during your consultation and your
level of commitment, although changes may be suggested according to your progress.
Ideally you will accept a special diet of kichadi (a rice and mung daal dish)
and special herbal teas. The kichadi is a mono-diet and has a de-toxifying action
and is nutritious and easy to digest. You will be requested to avoid cold drinks,
cold food, dairy, caffeine and refined sugar during your panchakarma treatments.
What activities will I be required to partake in?
Special yoga classes will be offered during PK. Please advise the instructor
about your yoga background and of any injuries or limitations you may have. Specific
yoga postures may be recommended for your condition for your time with us and
after. You can also make an appointment with one of our yoga therapists to received
private instruction on the postures while you are here though for these additional
fees may apply. Pranayama classes help stimulate, regulate and control the vital
force that exists in your body. Participation in these classes is very highly
Is PK also am emotional experience as well as a physical one?
While panchakarma is a physical process, it affects the body, mind and spirit.
Once you begin your Panchakarma you may begin to notice shifts in your self-awareness,
moods etc. it is common for the unresolved issues to come up to surface which
can sometimes make one feel upset or uncomfortable, and sometimes de-toxifying
can be physically uncomfortable. It is important you observe these feelings and
let the vaidyas know of them so that they can assist this process. Some of the
emotions you may experience may be of sadness, grief, anger, elation, joy, loneliness
and or other. You may become aware of issues in your life that had been buried
or unresolved. Panchakarma may catalyze and also resolve and release these emotions.
The more aware you are of the unresolved issues in your life the more effective
the treatments can be. Meditation yoga and pranayama can be effective ways to
help release these issues from the mind and body.
Can I return to my regular diet after PK?
The Vaidya will discuss the diet for your body type, condition and tendencies
and offer suggestions to implement these changes into your daily routine at home.
Do try and continue to follow the advice (which now having felt better you will
perhaps gladly do so). It may be discouraging to realize that some of the food
in your home and many of your favorite dishes may be on the list of food to avoid.
We find that moderation is a virtue when changing ones diet. If you can stay on
the recommended diet 60 to 70 % for a longer time this is much better than flowing
the diet 100% for a very short time.
Are there any contraindications to PK treatment?
Please note that the panchakarma is contraindicated for women during their menses
and should time their package accordingly. (Contact us for more information and specific concerns).
There are certain medical conditions for which Panchakarma is contraindicated
or modified. It is therefore important for you to be completely honest when filling
out the medical history form. Some of the contraindications are:-
Cancer of the lungs or testicles
HIV or AIDS
Congestive heart failure
Any active viral disease
What shall I bring with me?
Panchakarma is best done in a reflective state of mind. We suggest bringing a
journal and books to read that are conducive to healing. We advice you avoid TV
and loud music.
Generally people find that they need to rest a great deal during PK and it is
important to do so.
Bring a scarf or cap to wear so you can keep the oil in your hair, but not your
favorite one as it will get very oily! You may remain in your robe or whatever
is most comfortable to you for most of the day, and need not get formal at any
time, not even dinner.
You will also be offered disposable undergarments for the medicated oil Purvakarma
treatments, as they may stain fabrics.
You may not want to forget your swimming suit for the pool, hot tub, steam room
and sauna, and some loose clothing for yoga and Thai massage.
Please contact us with your preferred dates, and we will schedule in your treatments
based on the following 5 and 7 night packages. If you are staying for more than
7 nights, we will start you off with a 7 night package, and let you schedule in
your treatments for the remaining period of your stay when you have the added
benefit of our Ayurvedic vaidyas recommendations, reports on your progress, and
your comfort level.
Congratulations on your commitment to wellness! We will do all that we can to
make it happen as effective and enjoyable as possible.
The "Custom Ayurvedic Packages" page will show our suggested 5 and 7 night packages which provide a greater
understanding of the purvakarma treatments and package price of our recommended
Punsawan - Pregnacy Treatments:
Following Consultation, you will be advised on how to prepare your body to house your precious little one! Contact us so we can help you put a series of treatments together for you, beginning
with an Ayurvedic consultation.
Enjoy a special, full body massage, mum, and release that muscular tension in
your neck, shoulders and lower back and baby will love it too!!! The type and
process of the massage may differ depending on how far you are into pregnancy.
Specialized massage techniques are used to relax and normalize your body, helping
to relieve the anxiety, and tense muscles. You sure deserve to feel special!!