Friday, February 16, 2007

Ayurveda Panchakarma Treatments #8-9 Down to the Nitty Gritty

I woke the morning of the 15th quite energiezed, with the sun shining, and walked down to my treatment after doing my regular "morning stuff", including some pranayama/meditation/yoga, hot shower, porridge. Today they will begin the internal cleansing regimen and not really looking forward to it.

Treatment #8 - consisted again of a full body massage but the character of the massages has changed I have noted. While each massage is a full body massage, the first week's main emphasis was on the trunk portion of the body, the massages have now moved their emphasis to the extremities. Makes sense if you think of it as cleansing is something which must begin deep within and gradually work its way out....
Following the always lovely massage

I had a full steam box bath but with different herbs than the ones last week. I really enjoy these. And then of course the internal detox began. I will spare you the details, but I had my first enema and will just say that it is not easy. Not because it is terrible unpleasant as I had expected it to be, but it is just completely debilitating energy wise, and also kills the appetite. I could barely eat anything for lunch afterwards, and walking home was difficult. The rest of the next few days I was advised to eat as much of a liquid diet as possible, meaning plain dahl, soups, herbal teas etc., and lots of ghee or melted butter for lubrication. Well, I didn't feel like eating anything at all and had some tea and went to sleep.
In the evening I was a little hungry so had a bowl of plain vegetable soup, and after a short while, simply went to sleep early and slept a full 12 hours.

Treatment #9 - Again, a lovely massage with further emphasis on the extremities and face area, full steam and then an enema. I spoke to Vivek who explained the process and the reasoning behind it. Each day different herbs are used, sometimes with water, sometimes with oil, and each consecutive treatment does further cleaning. He compared the intestine to a pipe which, after years of use gets blocked, even if we eat perfectly and think all is well. The first enema removes the easy stuff, and yesterday was definitely easier than today. Afterwards, what remains in the pipe is the accumulation of years of debris which becomes stuck to the walls like rust on the walls of the pipe, and literally must be "scraped off" a little at a time until everything is removed. This is the purpose of the repeated enemas...

All I can tell you is, it is going to be a horror of 5 more days. This is difficult. I am tired, weak and have no appetite, still have to go back and forth each day, but I must tell you that I have absolutely no pain anywhere in my body for some days now and so it is definitely working. what Vivek further explained, is that most people stop the treatment after the pleasant part and then results are limited in time because the body is still filled with debris. It is this second stage which is supposed to guarantee long lasting results from the panchakarma. Even a year or more. But this of course is something we will have to wait to find out about.