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’ stuff 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.
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?