If Panchakarma were to be introduced at the Oscars it would be spoken of in the haloed tones reserved for the likes of Sir Ian Murray McKellen and Dame Judith Dench. Its a youth elixir, cellular level cleanser (hold on to your disbelief till you hear the explanation) and flusher out of most bodily and mental maladies.
Panchakarma literally means ‘five evacuative procedures’.The five procedures are:
- Nasya : Medication through the nasal cavity to remove kapha/phlegm from the sinuses and head.
- Vamana: Cleansing of bile and toxins from the gut, yup, by inducing vomiting.
- Virecena: Cleaning out the small intestines, think double enema.
- Vasti : Enema, plain and simple, but performed two ways. One with a large quantity of herbal decoction and another with an oil based medicine.This counts as two procedures.
The yoga and ayurveda retreat I did my panchakarma at, did not practice the fifth ‘Rakthamoksha’ using the darling little critters called leeches.
The course of Panchakarma is determined by the Ayurvedic Physician after she checks your prakriti, pulse, and tongue to determine which of your doshas are pertrubed. She guages whether your Ayurvedic body type is a vata, a pitta or a kapha and that combined with your ailment, charts out how your panchakarma will be performed.
I was getting treated for a gyneacological problem so my panchakarma was 19 days long. During panchakarma organically prepared medications are introduced through the dermal, rectal, oral and nasal tracts.The body is prepped to accept the evacuative procedures by exfoliation with herbal powder, massage with medicated oils, steam baths to open pores,a strict diet,and a constant supply of several oral medications, three times a day.
A qualified Ayurvedic physician must always be supervising the timings, medications, diet, temperament of the patient,contraindications and adherence to the regimen. The body gets prepped successively to receive the next phase of treatment so I am not sure 7 day flash treatments work. A 14 to 21 day treatment is ideal depending on your symptoms.
My ayurvedic body type is vata, as are most Americans. I am prone to extreme dryness.My eyeballs are so dry I have not worn contacts for the last six years. My skin is super dry. Otherwise I thought I was pretty healthy, my medical reports are stellar but I had a minor gyneacological problem my Kaiser Permanante doctors attributed to my advanced age of forty. I am prone to little anxieties and thinking to much.I like to call myself introspective.
Post Panchakarma I notice all my social anxieties and driving related anxieties completely gone. I change lanes singing a tune. I am a completely relaxed driver as opposed to my stomach in knots everytime something unexpected came up.
I find myself nine pounds lighter, from 118 pounds I have gone to 109 pounds, the same weight I had in my twenties. I had been dieting and doing power work outs since January hoping to nudge that 118lbs to 115lbs atleast. I am a five foot nothing so even three pounds make or break a dress size.
I look ten years younger, so say my family and friends. The bumps on my face I developed during pregnancy are almost invisible. My skin is clearer and so much less dry. I am still bathing with the oil (Sahacharadi Tailam) I was given during discharge and am taking a teaspoon of medicated ghee (Dadimadi Gritham) every night to keep my vata from getting pertrubed. Pertrubed vata is no fun !
The result of a completely natural body cleanse through panchakarma is that not only do bodily issues get resolved, even mental blocks disappear, bringing a complete restoration back to your natural self. In my case, I have decided to let go of several key relationships that were toxic to me. I have also broken through my purpose in life, you can’t miss it, its all over the blog.
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Please share if you have an Ayurveda detox experience. I would love to read and respond. Thank you !