Pancha Karma means "five actions" and the five classical Pancha Karma procedures are the core of the Pradham Karma phase. The five main techniques of elimination consists of the following:
- Vamana - therapeutic vomiting with the use of medicated decoction.
- Virechana - purgation with the use of medicinal herbs or oils.
- Anuvasana Basti - therapeutic enema with the use of medicated oil decoction.
- Niruha Basti - therapeutic enema with the use of medicated water decoction.
- Nasya - nasal purgation with the use of oleation and fomentation techniques and medicated oil.
Pradhan Karma should be performed under the supervision of a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist or a Pancha Karma Specialist to avoid the possible risk of complications that may occur during these therapeutic procedures if a proper plan according to the clients constitution is not followed. Patients are advised to minimize their physical movements as well as mental activities during their entire Pancha Karma therapy program.
Praschad Karma or Rasayana are the rejuvenative therapy techniques that provide the tonification which follow the purification and elimination therapies of the previous phase as part of the total Pancha Karma program. Rasayana means "that which promotes longevity by preventing aging and by making the body young again". The therapies consist of re-building the digestive strength by gradually re-introducing foods that are light and easy to digest as per each individuals constitutional needs. This process is very important and may take anywhere from 3 to 21 days by slowly re-integrating more substantial foods for the purpose of creating a healthy balanced state of digestion.
Ayurvedic therapies are deeply relaxing and create the "space" to allow the mind to come into present time. In this way the intention is to cultivate a peaceful mind which in turn brings the physical body into astate of balance and health. In this sense the long term rejuvenation of the body is dependent upon the state of mind that the individual is able to maintain. Thus, patients are advised to direct their awareness toward their inner self or true nature as a body, mind, spirit complex. Daily routines, or Sadhana, become an integral part of the therapies and practices. In working with a C.A.S. lifestyle choices are carefully examined and spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation are implemented to expand awareness toward one's higher self. When this occurs we achieve greater ease of being, optimal health, and peace of mind.
Pancha Karma can be thought of as a "process" that requires a mutual level of commitment from a patient and a C.A.S. toward creating health. In Ayurveda, health is considered a state of harmony and bliss. To achieve this, one must commit to a lifetime of being an active participant in the process.