Karkidaka chikitsa or Monsoon Ayurvedic therapy is the most important Ayurvedic therapy practiced annually. It is a tradition that has been followed for several centuries in Kerala.
The month of Karkidakam (the last as per Malayalam calendar) is considered the ideal time for Ayurveda treatments for re-energizing body cells and rejuvenating yourselves. Karkidakam, the month that witnesses heavy monsoon rains falls between mid-July to mid-August.
The health of people is on a low during monsoons and consequently there is a higher risk of contracting diseases.But, a good sign is that the body can imbibe the goodness of Ayurvedic therapeutic treatments during this period By undergoing Karkidaka chikitsa, you can be benefited in several ways. Your immunity is enhanced, and a healthier lifestyle is attained.
During the monsoon, the digestive fire(agni) is weakened due to the rain, cold, and wind. During the hot summer, toxins are produced in large quantities and these get aggravated during the cold monsoon seasons. Owing to increase in humidity, the already vitiated doshas are aggravated. The sudden climatic shift causes increased acidity of food affecting the pitta dosha resulting in digestive impairment and fever. Vata is in a heightened state and kapha dosha is also imbalanced. These imbalances in the doshas caused by the accumulation of toxins results in impaired immune systems and the body becomes prone to diseases such as digestive, respiratory, arthritis, allergies and many water-borne diseases.
So this is the period when blood requires complete purification to push out all the toxins. And therein lies the importance of Kardikaka chikitsa.
The high humidity causes the pores on the body to stay open, helping the therapy to work effectively.
Karkidaka chikitsa, the holistic approach to healing the body and mind and rejuvenating it, is focused on balancing the doshas and at the same time cleansing the body by removing all the toxins.
Karkidaka chikitsa is essentially the treatment carried out to decrease the aggravated doshas and correct the digestive impairment.
Internal treatment includes administering medications. Along with that, medicated porridge or Karkidaka kanji is also given, which is considered as the inseparable part of the treatment. The kanji improves digestion by strengthening the digestive fire and helps the body in expelling the toxins effectively. It is easily digested and does not need much Agni. The oushadha kanji contains Ayurvedic therapeutic ingredients, medicinal plants, herbal mixtures, spices, and grains. It plays an important role in boosting the body's immunity and strength and rejuvenates it. Metabolism is also improved to a great extent and the circulatory system functions efficiently.
Panchakarma therapy (Sodhana) helps in detoxifying the entire body and improving the natural immunity and resistance to various diseases. This therapy is ideal during Karkidakam as the humidity during monsoons leaves dhatus, the seven tissues of the body, relaxed and soft. This facilitates Snehana (external oil application) and Swedana (steam therapy that involves inducing sweat from the body) making detoxification and removal of toxins easy and effective.
The Panchakarma treatment includes five procedures - Vamanam ( vomiting therapy), Virechanam( purgation by consumption of special herbs), Nasyam (administration of medication through nostrils), Vasti ( insertion of medicated oils into blood) and Raktamokshana (removal of impure blood).
The therapy helps to completely rejuvenate the body.
Abhyanga involves massage of the body with hot oil of medicinal value, which completely rejuvenates the body. The massage therapies improve blood circulation and increase oxygen and nutrient levels in the tissues to rejuvenate and refresh the body
Karkidaka chikitsa can stimulate various energy points (Marmas) in the body and revitalizes muscles, nervous system and skin.
The duration of the treatment can be seven, fourteen, twenty one or twenty eight days depending on individual requirements.
The rejuvenation capacity gained from the treatment lasts for one year. The current health concerns are alleviated and the body is equipped to deal with issues during less challenging times.
A strict regimen or plan needs to be followed during Karkidaka chikitsa. Fumigate the house at dusk to eliminate moisture. Spiritual recitation is essential to invoke the satwika nature of mind. Use perfumes and expose your clothes to fumigation. Footwear and umbrellas must be used during the season.
Presently, the whole world is facing the pandemic and is trying to fight it out effectively. Our frontline Covid warriors are using PPE kits to stay safe from the disease. We can equate Karkidaka chikitsa to Personal Protective Technique as it is a great way to prevent diseases and hence Covid too. If you get afflicted with Covid, you can undergo Karkidaka chikitsa as it is an effective way to deal with Post Covid complications also. So, Karkidaka chikitsa can be aptly called PPT.
Karkidaka chikitsa helps in the overall improvement of the flexibility and agility of the person, refreshes body and mind and prepares you for prolonged wellbeing.