Ayurveda Panchakarma Detox Experience at Jivita Ayurveda

This Panchakarma detox program went on in the summer of 2022. The client went on for 14 days of cleansing in our clinic in Kensal Rise.  Here is his inspiring narrative on the ability of Ayurveda to promote self-regulation or biomechanic healing, an empowering experience at everyone’s reach. 

So, I have a suspected neurological condition. 

I am someone with a highly creative and demanding job and I’m also into yoga and spirituality. I feel like I live a healthy life, being someone who pays attention to the mind/body experience.

I’m in the process of getting a diagnosis, but, we’re not quite there yet, the doctor suspects neurological movement disorder.

In the aftermath of this breaking news, my wife told me she had been in touch with Anu, a local Ayurvedic practitioner and friend of hers who suggested a 2 week cleanse, and intermittent fasting with massage, herbs and enemas! The evening of my trip to the doctor, my wife dreamt of a plant called Mucuna, which turns out to be the herbal/Ayurvedic treatment for movement disorder (Parkinsons in particular ). So, seeing this as a sign, (not that i needed one) I met with Anu, and we decided to start straight away.

“ Ayurveda works on opposites “, so we looked at my lifestyle and after  spending about 2 hours filling in a questionnaire, Anu established my Dosha/type and developed a program for me:

6.15 am wake up, do yoga meditation and pranayama for an hour. Take herbs with spicy milk and ghee. Go for treatment, full body massage with hot oils, and specific ayurvedic treatments with oils, come back home have breakfast of oats, milk and spices and have a couple hours doing nourishing things. Lunch (lentils and rice) at 2pm with herbs, time for a walk, meet a friend, milk at 6pm with herbs, relaxing evening then bed at 10/10.30. Week 2 sees the enema introduced. Repeat without variation for 14 days. 

It dawned on me that this was my side of the deal, do it properly, or it won’t have the effects it could potentially have. 

The basic idea is that we get the body’s self regulation system switched on, through cleansing, fasting and regularity. For example, not eating in the evening allows the body to use energy for dealing with maintenance, rather than digesting your massive dinner you had at 8pm.

So, my life is usually chaotic, not knowing what’s happening from one day to the next. Eating at irregular times, and absolutely no routine apart form getting up very early for the 3 yoga classes I teach. Once they are done, anything can happen. 

Having this new routine was bliss, I knew exactly what was going on every day, and I (mind/body) could relax. 

I’m quite good at doing what I’m told, so I started with good intention and made it to Anu’s beautiful clinic  after following my early morning instruction  to have my treatment. 

The massage seemed to get straight into all the parts of my body that were suffering, rigidity in the neck, tension in the forearms, lack of mobility in the fingers all helped by the use of the herbal hot oils and the years of experience Anu has in this discipline. 

My condition is Vata imbalance, so that requires me to be working with heat. After the massage, an electric blanket was used to warm me up ready for the Shirodara: hot oil dripped onto the forehead, deeply relaxing post massage and helping to balance the Doshas. 

In the second week, this would then be followed by a daily enema, helping to work with gut health and balance. A not unpleasant experience, contrary to what you might think.

Working with Anu, is a creative experience as she’s always ready to listen to how you feel and help you understand its Ayurvedic relevance. I could tell she was constantly tweaking her approach as she got more understanding of me and my body. As the days went by I could feel small changes occurring within my system, but that might then return to where it was the next day. Definitely a frustrating push pull of feeling the body trying to work within the realms of 48 years of learned behaviour.

Routine wise, it didn’t take long for me to adjust to different eating habits, particularly as I knew the health benefits of these practises. However I feel like I embraced the potential for healing, while still being in the headspace of wanting to see/feel results, which can create a sense of frustration that maybe offsets the work you’re doing in the first place. But, It certainly gave me a sense that I was working with my own body and not just handing it over to a health professional and saying “go on then, fix me”.  

For the first week, my family was around in all its hectic chaos and I found it hard to stay in the same zone as I found myself in the clinic. But, week 2 they went away on holiday and I was able to really understand the individuals part in the Ayurvedic process. The combination of de-stressing the body with routine, de-toxifying the body with massage, herbs etc and opening up the possibility of what Tom Myers calls, biomechanical self regulation. The power of the body to heal itself.

It seems to me, from my own personal understanding, and now my Ayurvedic experience that we need to cultivate an internal understanding of our body/mind reality. Having the space in the 2nd week to properly spend time with myself, revealed to me a lot about my internal machinations. Not just the monkey mind everyone talks about, but noticing all inner experiences, without judgement and how they are potentially affecting our physical and mental health, sensations you might say.

For example, I got to fully experience how much anxiety (sensation)  accompanies my daily experience, usually going under the radar and getting pushed to one side in favour of “getting the job done”.  The damage that’s being done by this is obvious only when you pay attention and listen or when you don’t and you end up sick! I realise this is part of what I need to learn, and is part of the environmental and experiential aspect of “what is” for me regarding this condition at present. 

I feel like I’ve started to move away from the idea of “getting fixed” by any modality, and realise it’s more about taking the time to know and listen to yourself. Ayurvedic treatment will definitely open up this already inherent part of you and, with persistent and deepening attention, can offer an opportunity to invite body and mind to unite and heal rather than divide and suffer.    

If you are suffering from a chronic illness check out our panchakarma detox retreat options in our residential clinic in Dorset  in the bosom of the English Countryside. Contact Anu at anu@jivitaayurveda.com  or book a call below. 

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