January 29-30 – Birthday and Days 1-2 of Panchakarma

January 29-30 – Birthday and Days 1-2 of Panchakarma

As today was my first day of panchakarma, and some of you are new to all of this, I’ve decided to give a day by day description of the process once again, even though I did it several years ago.  Have even gone back and reviewed the old posts and found some of my reactions similar to what they were in the past, although less intense. So just a quick couple of words about my birthday “celebrations” and then on to panchakarma. My birthday dawned early, when I got my first text message greeting at 7 AM from and Indian friend!!  Rude awakening but began the day pleasantly.  I would love to be able to say that the day dawned sunny and warmer as it has been, but it dawned cloudy and much cooler…but there was nothing I could do to change it, so just got on with the day.  The fact that a few weeks ago was SO cold, actually made the chill of THIS morning not so bad at all. The day moved along with lots of greetings on facebook, e-mail and messenger, as well as in person and by phone…very pleasant and giving a warm feeling knowing that there are many people out there thinking of me (at least once a year!!) And then, following my morning of meditation and pranayama, and my usual oatmeal with apples, cinnamon, cloves, raisins, almonds and fruit juice, I went down for my first day of Panchakarma.  Panchakarma is a cleansing and rejuvenation treatment, a process which takes various lengths of time (I usually do 4 weeks, last year did 6 weeks), and it is based on the ancient Indian medicine called Ayurveda, meaning “the science of life”.  For more information just google it and you’ll find everything you need to know about what the treatments involve, what doshas (body types-but not really) are all about, and how they are used to determine health and imbalances etc. So, I came down for day one to the clinic, and as I walk in, Doc says to me “First Birthday, then panchakarma!”….His wife had come down especially to see me bringing with her a special birthday treat which she knows I love .  Carrot Halvah.  Now, Halvah in India refers to anything which is sweet.  And this is a lovely dish made from carrots and cream and spices and simply divine.  So I was handed a large portion to eat and enjoy for my birthday!! And then down to business. Day one is usually a consultation first where pulse checking determines what needs to be “fixed”, but I had already had mine as you may recall so all I needed to do this morning was to weigh myself.  Good weight for me, 56 kg, which Dr. Arora feels is my ideal weight at this age, although I find it a little too much. Then, up for my full body massage with medicated oils, and this was wonderful as always.  Due to the cold weather, the room had a heater on (didn’t help much), but the table also had an electric mattress pad, and I was given a got water bottle to keep with me under the 2 very warm blankets I was covered with, and I was fine.  The oil was heated and all in all I did not feel the cold at all. After the massage, downstairs for a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter), disgusting, but very good for lubricating the system, and a glass of herbal tea.  Then I would normally eat kicheri (a meal of mung beans cooked together with rice, herbs and spinach or other vegetables and considered THE easiest food digest in the world – hence used during treatments, and also for invalids, after childbirth etc).  But I have changed my system this year to make it easier for me.  I take the kicheri back to the room with me so I just have to heat it up in the evening, and have found a place which will prepare my steamed veggies and chapaties with ghee for me.  SO I go there directly from the treatment, just nearby, very conveniently eat my lunch, saving me having to shop for the veggies, prepare them myself etc., in the evening.  And then up to rest and relax in my room. I went home feeling good, but towards evening developed a bad headache, same as previous years and had a bad night…also got up to pee many times which is unusual for me but a good sign that the massage already started the process moving along and cleansing.  I believe the headache is a withdrawal symptom from all the caffeine I’ve been drinking daily in chai… In the past it lasted several days and was really really bad. I can already tell you, that it was already gone by this morning and I am fine today. So that was day #1. Day number 2 DID dawn warmer and sunny and after breakfast went down for my massage where I was able to take advantage of the “sun room”.  A closed in porch with lots of windows which is extremely warm and lovely as long as the sun is out.  I was still given a blanket and hot water bottles but they were unnecessary until I moved later on to the other room for the second part of the treatment for the day. The massage, given this time by the second massage therapist, was even better than yesterday… Anyway, following it, I had my first Sirodhara, which is treatment where your eyes are gently covered and warm oil is dripped on your forehead for about 45 minutes.  I did not used to enjoy this, but Dr. Arora taught me last year how to get the best results, and now I find it very relaxing, even falling asleep. Sirodhara is good for three things basically (and others as well), insomnia – which I don’t have, memory, which I also don’t have!!, and for proper functioning of bone marrow which is very important as we get older. Since your hair becomes completely soaked in oil, there is no choice but to take a shower…which is done with a bucket, but plenty of hot water, and by the time I finished, I was really hungry.  Downstairs again for ghee and herbal tea, packing up my kicheri and off for lunch. It is now 5 in the afternoon…I feel good today, if a little tired, but nothing like in the past, have had my snack of fruit and will soon begin to think of dinner. And that’s about it. Nothing interesting to speak of…but I am pleased I have waited until now to do the panchakarma…warmer weather, and I am past much cleansing and healing already.  I feel it will be a very productive month. Namaste Jane

11 Responses to January 29-30 – Birthday and Days 1-2 of Panchakarma

  1. Sarah says:

    Do you know if the doctor ever treats anyone for thyroid issues? I’ve read several things online that say Ayurveda doesn’t really address thyroid directly, but here in the states it’s a huge issue and none of the western approaches work at all. I would seriously come to see this doctor if Ayurveda can restore healthy thyroid function because I am very sick and belive the body can heal itself. Shalom, Sarah

  2. Jane says:

    Hi Sara
    I couldn’t answer that question. I myself have had hypothyroidism for over 25 years now and am successfully treated with eltroxin. If I would ask the doctor, he would simply say that he cannot give me an answer without seeing you and diagnosing you himself. There are many things involved here, and ayurveda is a completely holistic system of health care so that it would not relate to a specific issue but deal rather with the whole person. Panchakarma, for me, has solved my problem with arthritis which I have suffered with since age 16. I tried every thing possible, both conventional and complimentary medicine over the years, but nothing gave me long lasting relief until I did my first panchakarma 5 years ago. Since then, I have had no arthritis pain to speak of, but the treatment itself was not directed SPECIFICALLY at my arthritis.
    I don’t know if I’ve explained myself well here…and don’t think I’ve given you any definitive answer to your question.
    with light love and joy

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Jane,
      That does help and I understand no one, including a doctor could say anything without seeing me, I was just wondering if he had ever seen cases where, in treating the entire patient and cleansing through panchakarma, thyroid health was restored or if the panchakarma and ayurvedic methods do not “tend” to restore thyroid health on their own. Does that make sense? Shalom, Sarah

  3. Jane says:

    OK…understand better now what you are asking…I will speak to him today when I go down shortly for my session,
    Let you know what he says…write again if I haven’t answered in the next couple of days….my memory is not what it used to be!!!

  4. Sarah says:

    Hi Again, it is Sarah. Don’t mean to be impatient, was just asking again because you mentioned reminding you. Just wondering what the doctor had said. Thank you. Shalom

    • Jane says:

      thanks…I DID speak to him but of course forgot to write.Before I say anything else,remember, I told you that I have been taking eltroxin for 25 years and have not even thought to stop taking it even though I do panchakarma every year. It is not something I want to play around with. However, you said that you haven’t been able to find a solution for your thyroid problem (which you haven’t mentioned what form it has taken). I ask Dr. Arora specifically about thyroid and he answered as I knew he would. Panchakarma, done long enough, can balance out any problem in the body. But without knowing what your specific thyroid problem is, what your age is, what your dosha is, what your life style is, what other imbalances you have, where the thyroid imbalance comes from etc., there is no way he can give you any answer. He HAS cared for people with thyroid but he never talks about “curing” any specific issue, but of bringing balance to the person on all levels. ANd again, he says there is NO problem which cannot be taken care of if panchakarma is done for a long enough period of time. There are people who spend months doing it…people who go into anyurveda hospitals for months etc. THis is the best I can do…
      with love light joy and good health

      • Sarah says:

        oh, God bless you. You answered my question. What I wanted to know was if panchakarma could potentially resolve any imbalance in my thyroid function. My hypothyroid has been brought on my stress and poor lifestyle. After studying Ayurveda for a few months it just made sense to me that if the body is purified enough and cleansed, balance and health would return. No doctors I have met in the US take this approach but have the advice that once an illness or imbalance appears it is either due to age or something that cannot be reversed. To me, what the doctor is saying is that anything can be brought into balance and health given enough time and proper cleansing, care and following the science. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am going to begin looking at flights. Shalom.

    • Jane says:

      just one more note. Panchakarma is not something you do just once if you have a chronic health issue. I do panchakarma every year. That is how I keep my arhtritis under control. Keep that in mind when you consider it as an option for thyroid problems.

      • Jane says:

        Hey Sara! Glad I could do something to give you direction. Would love to hear how it works out for you, or if you need any help in getting things together for a trip to India.
        You can write to me directly to my e-mail…that would probably be easier
        All the best
        with love light and JOY

  5. Harriet says:

    Hi ladies! This is fascinating to read. Jane, does this mean hormones can be brought into balance through panchakarma? I have always believed that and sounds like it from what the doctor was saying. As a 60 year old post menopausal woman I would be very interested. Cheers!

    • Jane says:

      Hi Harriet…yes, in all except the most difficult of cases of hormone imbalance, and then even the ayurveda doctor will recommend some form of herbal assistance,or even conventional HRT, panchakarma can help to balance hormonal issues related to menopause. But again, each case has to be dealt with individually.

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