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Panchakarma: My Initial Experiences

The word panchakarma literally means “five actions”, and in panchakarma there are five different procedures used as a therapeutic way of eliminating toxins from the body.  I started panchakarma last week.  Each day I go to the clinic, check in with the doc, then go for my treatment.  At first, I felt like I was in heaven!  But then?  Shit got real lol.

In week one, I was given internal ‘medicine’ to take daily.  Each day I would awaken, take the internal meds, then go to the clinic for my check-in.  After check-in, I would receive a head massage and a full body deep-tissue massage, then I would go into the steam box.  The steam box is typically a big wooden box that encompasses your body, with a slot for your head to poke through the top. It releases hot steam inside, which opens your pores and assists in the elimination of toxins (see pictures below).

I also got some funky, dukey-lookin’ stPanchakarmaHeaduff put on my head, that I had to leave in for two hours. That put a damper in my daily plans lol.  Walking home with this mess on my head every day was fun!  No.  Seriously!  The looks I got were priceless!

I loved the beginning of week one!  Even though I was on a limited diet, I still had a host of foods to choose from that were quite delicious – including my ‘Health Idli’s’ (if you’re subscribed to my Facebook page you know what these are).  The massages were to live for, and I left feeling so relaxed.  However, toward the end of the week, everything changed.

During the fourth and fifth day I was really, really tired.  I came home after each treatment and fell asleep.  Also, on the fifth day, I was very emotional.  I went for my check-in and the next thing I know I’m bawling at the doctor’s desk!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with detoxing the body, crying is a symptom – it always gets worse before it gets better!  The doctor and I talked for about an hour and I cried most of the time.  Then I went in for my treatment and cried during the head massage.  After that I went home and, yes, cried some more.

PanchaSteam2      PanchaSteam1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEAM BOX

The next day I wasn’t supposed to take any internal meds and man I felt a total difference!  For that one day I had energy for a change!  On this day I also was on a liquid diet, as a preparation for the following day’s ‘purgation’.  I drank fresh coconut water most of the day, and had one bowl of soup.

I was excited to start week two, because I knew I would no longer be walking around with dukey-head lol.  That meant I could actually go somewhere after treatment and get some things accomplished.  Instead of the head massage and treatment, I was going to get a face massage and some nose drops.  COOL!

The doc warned me that, after the drops, I would need to spit and clear my nose, so to go to the bathroom after the face massage take care of it.  She also warned me to not snort the drops.  So the man put the drops in my nose and I had to let it drip towards my brain for a couple minutes.  I didn’t fully snort it.. but.. I did inhale a little harder than normal. I figured, I’m paying good money for this cleanse and I want it to be effective, right?  What was I thinking?!

After my face massage, I felt fine, so I went straight into the steam box.  Suddenly, just after I’m closed into the steam box, my throat starts to burn and I can’t breath without coughing.  I expected throat symptoms, no biggy.  Next, my eyes start burning.  Now I’m confused, because doctor never mentioned anything about eyes burning.  “Why are my eyes burning?!”, I wonder.  I ask the man if my eyes are supposed to burn.  “No”, he says.

Okay, honestly?  I may as well have snorted habanero sauce; I’m pretty sure it would have given similar effects.  “Holy heck!!”, I think, “What IS that stuff?!”  I feel like someone placed a torch behind my eyeballs and they were burning from the inside out, like an inferno is inside my head.  Tears were streaming down my face, unprovoked by me.  I am now choking on, what seems like fumes in the back of my throat.  A steady burning sensation hurled through my nose, and it began to run.. I’m pretty sure it eventually just went completely numb at some point.

Walking home I probably looked like a drunkard on crack whose best friend just died; walking all cock-eyed with my eyes all bloodshot, tears steady streaming down my face.  My throat was sore, my nose was still burning, and I’m pretty sure at this point that I no longer have nose hairs.  As soon as I got home a roommate asked if I was okay; he thought I was really upset and had been crying.  Later, a different roommate asked me if I was sick with a cold or something.  A good hour to hour and a half passed before it finally settled down and I’m not going to lie, it sucked.

So much for shopping and sight-seeing after treatment!  Let’s hope tomorrow is more gentle lol.  There you have it, folks.  That’s my adventure for the day and my initial experiences with panchakarma.  Okay, okay.  It wasn’t THAT bad, of course I’ve exaggerated for sheer entertainment purposes lol.  I can’t give an honest review of panchakarma until I’m through the entire treatment, but don’t let this post scare you away from it; I hear that many celebrities swear by it and come to India to have it done annually.

What’s the weirdest or funniest experience you’ve had with a cleanse?

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My Friend Is Trying To Kill Me!

My friend is trying to kill me. I’m sure of it!  She’s been giving me long-distance pointers on how to cook and source ingredients in India.  She instructed me to get a pressure cooker to cut my cooking time for beans.  Okay.  I’ve used a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker before, no sweat!  So I bought the cooker.  Here’s a picture of it. Beautiful, isn’t it?

IMG_6788 Now I’m not technical, so I’ll skip the technical
language, but the directions said to watch for the
little dilly-bopper to raise up and then shortly after,
the cooker will ‘whistle’.  I describe what happened
next in this letter to my friend:

“You’re trying to effing kill me aren’t you?!?? Oh my
effing GAWD!!! That cooker!! Holy s#$&, girl! The
directions said it would whistle… so I’m waiting for
something that sounds like a tea kettle.. not a
freaking rocket ship taking off, blowing up the
kitchen!!!

I about jumped clean out of my skin when that
thing went off! I have a pressure cooker at home
by Kuhn Rikon and it does NOT do that!! I seriously about wet myself lol. I literally jumped, then quick turned off the gas stove! I didn’t know WHAT to do next!

I thought the thing was giving me a warning that it was about to blow! I shut it off. Then I took off the lid and proceeded to simmer the beans for the next, like, TWO FREAKING HOURS LOL. Darn near had heart failure!!”

I’m not kidding you!  Years back, an ex boyfriend took me to a Monster Truck show featuring a vehicle with a jet engine.  Yeah.  This sounded just like that!  My friend reminded me that everything in India is loud… even the pressure cookers!  And the beans?  They came out tasting GREAT!  Bon appetit!

IMG_6787

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There’s a Monkey in My Kitchen!

Baby_ginger_monkey

I talked to a fellow yogini yesterday, who has been to Mysore, India.  She said it gets really hot there, and mentioned sleeping with the windows open.

I asked, “Is that safe?  You don’t have to worry about somebody coming into your place?”

“No”, she replied.

She told me I don’t have to worry about anyone breaking in, that it’s totally safe.  She said most apartments have bars on the windows.  She did give me a forewarning, though.  She warned, if I get an apartment where there are no bars on the windows, I need to beware of the monkeys!  She said the monkeys will come in through the windows and eat your food!!

Holy heck!!  I’m thanking my divine for that forewarning!  I think I would jump clean out of my skin if I were to awaken in the middle of the night to someone rummaging through my food, no matter who or what that ‘someone’ is!  How would you even get a monkey out of your house?!

What would you do if you were to awaken in the middle of the night to the sound of someone rummaging through your kitchen, and then found a monkey there?!

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