Influence of Maharishi Ayurveda Purification Treatment on Physiological and Psychological Health.
Erfahrungsheilkunde—Acta Medica Empirica (German medical journal), Vol. 11, pp. 720-729, 1988.
Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany
Maharishi Panchakarma, one of the many aspects of Maharishi Ayurvedaa, aims at purifying and balancing the physiology. This therapy includes herbalized oil massage (abhyanga), herbalized steam treatment (swedana), pouring of herbalized oil on the forehead (shirodhara), medicated enemas (basti), laxative treatment (virechana), and other forms of treatment. This study was conducted to assess the effects of Maharishi Panchakarma in the areas of physiology and psychology. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, urea, uric acid, and glucose were measured before and immediately after a two-week treatment period on up to 93 patients. Psychological evaluation was made using the Freiburger Personality Inventory (FPI), which was administered to 106 subjects before, immediately after, and 6-8 weeks after treatment. Results showed reductions in total cholesterol from 203.5 mg/dL to 179.5 mg/dL (n=82, p<0.001), and in urea from 23.9 mg/dL to 20.4 mg/dL (n=70, p<0.01). Uric acid, triglycerides, creatinine, and glucose did not show significant changes. Over the two-week treatment period, significant changes on 6 of the 12 FPI scales were observed, including reductions in bodily complaints, irritability, bodily strain, psychological inhibition, and openness, as well as greater emotional stability. Psychological testing six to eight weeks after treatment showed evidence of sustained benefits for mental health and well-being. No significant changes were observed in physiological or psychological parameters in 10 control subjects, except for a temporary increase in aggression. These findings support the results of previous research on Maharishi Panchakarma indicating its effectiveness in improving physiological and psychological health.
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