My partner and I recently returned to Australia after receiving Panchakarma treatment in India, so I will share some of my experience there. Panchakarma is the ultimate in Ayurvedic rejuvenation and healing. Called the five actions (Panch = 5, karma = action), it eliminates ama (toxins) from the system and returns the elements or dosha’s to their proper home.
These processes are cleansing to the body, mind and emotions. The first part is referred to as “the gathering of ama” where the thick, sticky ama becomes increasingly liquefied and is able to be moved from places where it is stuck.
The middle part is the more intense cleanse section, where the ama is expelled from the body.
Then the last part is the more rejuvenating time, where deep nourishment is given to help maintain ongoing balance and an ama free state of health.
I’ve always wanted to receive Panchakarma so I was quite excited to finally be able to go to India and do it, whereas my hubby was a little unsure about it initially. He was willing to give it a go though as he has a chronic back condition which gives him quite a lot of pain. So off we went.
As soon as we arrived we were encouraged to deeply relax, and everything was taken care of. Simple, but yummy, sattwic(pure) food was served. We had a basic but comfortable and clean cottage, where we could sit on the verandah and gaze at the paddy fields and forest. All cleaning etc was also done for us by friendly Indian women. After an initial thorough consultation our specific Panchakarma routine was established.
For both of us the whole time, everyday we received an Ayurvedic massage. For the gathering part, after the massage, we then received Shirodhara and then whole-body-dhara (which meant warm medicated oil being poured over our entire bodies, and we both absolutely loved this). During this time old pains, which for me was the sciatica I suffered a few years ago, resurfaced as they were moving. Practically this meant for me I had a day of pain. For my partner it meant four or five days of intense pain, which was of course challenging, and eventually they gave him herbal pain relief support to get through it. They say that it’s a bit like peeling an onion, and we are going backwards through and eliminating the residues of traumas, diseases, bad habits (alcohol, cigarettes etc), and the like. We also found it a little challenging to be doing absolutely nothing. I was at least allowed to have little walks whereas my partner spent most of the time lying flat.
The daily Shirodaras were very nourishing for me. It was also good to experience how deep they went, and to be on the receiving side for a change.
The cleansing part of course always depends on ones condition, age, current state, etc. For both of us the treatment was massage then steam (with our head out of the box so we didn’t get all hot-headed) and then the medicated enema. It was this part that my partner especially had worried about before coming, but as it turned out for both of us it was not that challenging and we felt amazing afterwards. After the treatment we would come back to our cottage and ly down and rest. For me this part really seemed to open up my intuition and let go of old stuff, not just physical but mental and emotional as well. Our meals while cleansing was Kunji, which is a sort of wild rice gruel. I came to love this, luckily!!
Then the last main part, which focused on nourishing and rejuvenating, began. For this the treatment consisted of warm massage, shirodharas and then medicated rice poultice treatment. It sounds simple but, again, was quite profound and very very nourishing for mind, body and spirit. At the completion of the Panchakarma you are supposed to rest at least for a few days.
We both also loved being able to see our medicines grow in the herb garden and being made welcome to watch the medicines being made in the herb kitchen.
My partner stayed longer than me. After the treatment I traveled to Arunachala, the sacred mountain of Shiva and Ramana Maharshi. I participated in a meditation retreat, which was again very nourishing and easy after the Panchakarma.
Overall it was a powerful and life changing treatment for both of us. We are still feeling the difference on many levels. My partner is returning for more treatment actually, as to really change his chronic condition he needs longer… The initial treatment inspired and helped him so much that he is happy to be going back alone this time…
Have a look in the workshops section here, as I have upgraded the workshops I now offer. Please contact me if you would like me to come to your area to share with you and your friends or students.