Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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tissues to move freely without sticking to the channels to the gastro-intestinal tract for elimination. Internal oleation is done for three to five days or even longer as per the requirement of the patient. This is followed by external oleation in the form of oil massage. Oil is applied to the entire body with a special type of massage that helps the toxins to move toward the gastro-intestinal tract. The massage also softens the superficial and deep tissues helping to relieve stress and nourish the nervous tissues.. Snehana stimulates secretions that dissolve the ama (toxic substances) sticking to the dhatus (elements of the body) and transports them to the gastro-intestinal GI tract where it can be removed by Panchakarma.

Swedana
It is the process of therapeutic application of heat to the body. The purpose is to dilate the body's energy shrotas or channels so that the objective of snehana, i.e. removing ama from the dhatus, can be easily achieved. After massaging the oil over the body the individual is then given a steam bath which further loosens the toxins and increase their movement towards the GI tract. After three to seven days of these practices the patient is ready to eliminate the aggravated doshas and the accumulated ama.

Shirodhara.
It literally means dripping oil like a thread on top of the forehead. It consists or dripping warm oil in a steady stream on the forehead. It uses oils made with special herbs that calm and nourish the mind and open the prana shrotas in the head. It quietens both the mind and the senses, which allows the body's natural healing mechanism to release stress from the nervous system.

Panchakarma (Five purificatory actions)

Vamana
This is the process of therapeutic vomiting, for the purpose of expelling excess kapha and kaphic ama from the kapha zone or upper part of the body. Special herbs such as yashti madhu (licorice) and madan phal (Randia Dymotorum) stimulate the action of Agni (fire) and Vayu (air) elements. They are hot, strong and penetrating. Their action permeates the fine channels in the kapha zone and stirs up and liquefies the ama. Just as fire always move upward, the heating action of these herbs create an upward motion which lifts ama out of the kapha's seat in the stomach. It is administered for the kapha-related disorders. These include all lung problems, bronchial asthma, allergies, chronic colds, rhinitis, diabetes mellitus (Prameha), arteriosclerosis, arthritis and skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis and leukoderma. It is also beneficial for some viral disorders like herpes zoster.

Vamana therapy is contraindicated for people who are weak, the elderly who are frail, young children and pregnant women. People with T.B., pleurisy, hepatitis, degenerative disease of the liver, severe heart disease or B.P. should not undertake this therapy.

Preparation for Vamana.
To prepare for vamana, snehana and swedana is administered for seven days, after which time the patient should show signs of complete internal and external oleation. This is confirmed by a soft, shiny and slightly oily quality to the patient's skin. He also examines the 

 

   
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