Eat More G-BOM-BS to Promote Health, Prevent Disease

According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a leading expert in nutritional and natural healing, "G-BOM-BS" is an acronym for six nutrient-dense foods that promote health and longevity and are extremely effective in preventing disease, including cancer. 

Dr. Fuhrman recommends that these six foods should be eaten every day and should make up a significant portion of your diet:

Lose Weight with a Modern Bed of Nails

Endorsed by Dr. Mehmet Oz (host of The Dr. Oz Show) as one of the best products for getting and staying healthy, a modern "bed of nails" can help you lose weight and stay slim.

The modern "bed of nails" is a soft mat with thousands of tiny plastic spikes. It is also known as a massage, acupressure or acupuncture mat. When you lay down on the mat,

Honey Varieties - Arizona and Southwest

Honey has been used as both food and medicine since antiquity.  It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties and is associated with a long list of health benefits.  Honey is also one of Arizona's treasures and best kept secrets. The Sonoran Desert, with its distinct and abundant flora, is a mecca for honey bees. Plants native to the Sonoran Desert, such as the mesquite shrub or the prickly pear cactus, provide the nectar source for uniquely delectable honey varieties.  Honey, USDA Photograph
Credit:  Scott Bauer, USDA ARS
Copyright:  Wikimedia Commons

Panchakarma Journal: Dry Skin Brushing

Buddha Reflecting,

One of the most valuable things that I learned during Panchakarma was the importance of dry brushing your skin on a regular (preferably daily) basis.  This simple and easy action, which only takes a few minutes, has many amazing health benefits.

Healing Herbs and Spices: Aloe Vera Gel and Juice

Illustration:  Galtier-Boissière, Larousse Medical Illustré, Paris, 1912
During my Panchakarma treatment, my Ayurvedic practitioner had me take 2 to 4 ounces of Aloe  Vera gel every morning.  Aloe Vera is recognized in Ayurveda (and in the holistic and natural health community at large) as one of nature's miracles which offers many health benefits.  During Panchakarma, it is used to to help the detoxification process and as a tonic to aid in cleansing the blood, liver and digestive system.

Panchakarma Journal: Daily Diet During Retreat and Detox

During my Panchakarma retreat, I had to stick to a certain diet.  For seven days in a row, I was only allowed to eat certain foods and drink certain beverages.  The preceding and following weeks, I was also restricted in the type of foods I was permitted to eat and the beverages I drank.  My diet was typical - nearly all Panchakarma programs follow the same basic food and beverage plan.  There may be some slight variations depending on your Dosha, the length of your program and your Ayurveda practitioner's course of treatment individualized for your specific needs.

Orange Tomato May Be Healthier Than Red Tomatoes

Golden Yellow-Orange Tomatoes by Morgan Ellis, 

The tomato is considered one of nature's superfruits and consistently makes it on every superfoods list.  Tomatoes contain lycopene, the red pigment that has been associated with many health benefits including its ability to lower risk of cancer, heart disease and macular degeneration, and its function as a powerful antioxidant.  We were always told that the redder the tomato, the better because the deeper red tomatoes contained more lycopene.  So, why are we now being told that the orange tomato is healthier?

Spas and Centers Offering Panchakarma Retreats, Programs, Services

Everyone should experience the amazing health benefits of a Panchakarma detoxification, cleanse and rejuvenation retreat!  The diet, meditation, yoga and Ayurvedic treatments performed during Panchakarma benefit the whole person: mind, body and spirit.

Ideally, a retreat should be at least one week long, with longer times recommended to address more serious health concerns.  Shorter retreat times are also beneficial for rest, relaxation and a reset.

The following is a list of spas, wellness and holistic centers, schools and institutes in the United States and Canada that offer Panchakarma retreats or programs, Ayurvedic treatments and related services.  This list is being updated regularly, so check back often!

  • Authentic Ayurveda Sedona (Sedona, Arizona)
  • MichiMagic (Cottonwood, Arizona)
  • Tucson Ayurveda and Wellness Center (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Amrita Veda (San Diego, California)
  • Ayurveda by Kailas (Los Angeles, California)
  • Blue Sage Sanctuary (Nevada City, California)
  • California Ayurveda (Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, California)
  • California College of Ayurveda Mind-Body Health Center (Nevada City, California)
  • Chopra Center - 10 Day Perfect Health Program (Carlsbad, California)
  • Dhyana Center of Health Sciences (Sebastopol, California)
  • Dr. Jay's Ayurveda and Panchakarma Center (Mountainview, California)
  • Marin Ayurveda (Larkspur, California)
  • Shakti Healing (El Cerrito, California
  • The Healing Gardens (Ojai, California)
  • Yogic Medicine Institute (Los Gatos, California)
  • John Doillard's LifeSpa (Boulder, Colorado)
  • Ayurveda Health Retreat (Alachua, Florida)
  • Ocean Drive Spa (Miami Beach, Florida)
  • Rasayana Cove (Ona, Florida)
  • Akash Ayurveda of Hawaii (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)
  • The Ayurveda Center of Hawaii (Kauai, Hawaii)
  • The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa (Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa)
New Jersey
  • MayaShakti Ayurveda (Annandale, New Jersey)
  • Santhigram Kerala Ayurvedic Center (Edison, Denville, Brunswick New Jersey)
New Mexico
  • Ayurveda for Radiant Health (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • The Ayurvedic Institute (Alburquerque, New Mexico)
New York
  • Ayurveda Center (New York, New York)
  • New York Ayurveda (New York, New York)
  • Pratima Ayurvedic Skincare Spa Clinic (New York, New York)
  • Rudra Ayurveda (New York, New York)
  • Santhigram Wellness (White Plains, New York)
  • The National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine (Brewster, New York)
  • Yoga Revolution and Ayurveda Care NYC (Astoria, New York)
North Carolina
  • Blue Lotus Ayurveda (Asheville, North Carolina)
  • Ashland Ayurveda (Medford, Oregon)
  • Ayurveda Wellness Center and Holistic Spa (Oakdale, Pennsylvania)
  • Houston Ayurveda Wellness Center (Houston, Texas)
  • Santhigram Kerala Ayurvedic Center (Stafford, Texas)
  • River View Spa (Buckingham, Virgnia)
  • Life In Balance Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Center (Seattle and Vashon Island, Washington)
  • Kanyakumari Ayurveda and Yoga Wellness Center (Glendale, Wisconsin)
  • Elemental Embrace (Ontario, Canada)
  • Ojus Ayurveda and Yoga (Surrey, BC, Canada)

Panchakarma Journal: Daily Ayurveda Spa Treatments

Buddha Reflecting by Morgan Ellis,

During each day of my Panchakarma retreat, I received 6 treatments at the Ayurveda Spa.  The purpose of the treatments is to help expel the toxins that have been released by the special Panchakarma food and herbal supplements protocols.  The treatments are considered to be a key component of the Ayurvedic intense detoxification process.

Panchakarma Journal: Tongue Scraping

Buddha Reflecting by Morgan Ellis,

One of the things I was required to do during my Panchakarma retreat was to scrape my tongue every morning.  In fact, it was the very first thing I had to do upon waking.  Scraping, or cleaning, the tongue is an essential component of the detoxification process during Panchakarma.  In Ayurveda, it is also considered a critical part of one's daily health routine.  Why is tongue scraping so important?

Panchakarma Journal: Daily Routine

Buddha Reflecting by Morgan Ellis
I have always been interested in Ayurveda and, before undertaking Panchakarma, I did a lot of research and reading on the subject matter.  Because Panchakarma is quite orderly and straight-forward, I was relatively confident that I knew what to generally expect.  As it turned out, I was not  as prepared for the experience as I had thought. 

The following is a detailed account of my daily routine during my Panchakarma treatment:

Morning Routine
  • Wake up 30 minutes before sunrise
  • Examine and scrape tongue
  • Oil pulling (15 to 20 minutes)
  • Wash face, brush teeth
  • Drink ghee
  • Dress and go outside:  grounding exercise and solar gazing, 15 minute walk
  • Return to the hotel (home):  prepare morning meal (spiced stewed fruit) and set it to cook
  • Prepare Ayurvedic herbal tea
  • Drink hot/warm water infused with ginger root
  • Yoga (30 minutes)
  • Meditation (20 minutes)
  • Eat morning meal of stewed fruits
  • Rest 10-15 minutes
  • Go back out and take 15-20 minute walk
  • Return to hotel (home) and take Ayurvedic herbs
  • Warm Bath
  • Drink Aloe Vera gel
  • Walk to treatment
Mid-Day:  Ayurvedic/Panchakarma Treatments
  • Consultation with Ayurvedic practitioner
  • Dry skin brushing
  • Abhyanga
  • Nasya
  • Shirodhara
  • Chakra Therapy
  • Vibrational and Sound Therapies
  • Steam
  • Return to hotel (home)
Related:  Panchakarma:  Daily Ayurvedic Spa Treatments

Afternoon Routine
  • Eat lunch (kitchari)
  • Rest 10-15 minutes
  • Take a 15-20 minute walk
  • Journal
  • Nap (1 to 3 hours)
Related:  Panchakarma:  Daily Diet During Retreat and Detox

Evening Routine
  • Warm up kitchari and eat
  • Take Ayurvedic herbs
  • Rest 10-15 minutes
  • Take 30-40 minute walk
  • Wash and soak Mung Dal beans
  • Set almonds in water (to soak overnight for morning meal)
  • Wash dishes and clean up living space
  • Read, listen to music and/or journal
  • Herbal/oil enema
  • Hot aromatherapy bath
  • Meditate (20 minutes)
  • Drink Aloe Vera gel
  • Rub Brahmi Oil into soles of feet
  • Journal, listen to music and/or read
  • Sleep
Related:  Ayurveda:  Books and Recommended Reading

Panchakarma Journal: Take Aways After Treatment

Buddha Reflecting by Morgan Ellis

After completing a 7 day Panchakarma treatment, I found myself "changed" in some unexpected and interesting ways.  The experience gave me pause and time to reflect on various aspects of my life.  Although up until then, I felt I was already living my best life, during the treatment I had moments of authentic and stark clarity.  In those notable key moments, it was easy to see where I could benefit from a reordering of my priorities and daily routines.

These relatively simple but important, life-changing truths were my take aways immediately following the treatment:

Tip of the Day: Dry Brushing Teeth

"Shiny Smile" Photo by jdurham
Brushing teeth with a dry toothbrush before using toothpaste first is believed to be effective in reducing tartar and plague deposits by up to 67%, decreasing gum bleeding by up to 50%, and helping to prevent gum disease. You will also notice the difference immediately: your teeth will feel silky and smooth as though they have been professionally polished and your mouth will feel a lot fresher and cleaner.

Use a soft, dry brush and downward strokes starting from the top of the tooth. Thereafter, gently brush in a circular motion at the gum line. Rinse the toothbrush in hot water, and follow by regular brushing with an appropriate toothpaste.

Tongue scraping is another excellent technique for controling bacteria in the mouth, maintaing good oral hygiene and healthy gums, and an array of other health benefits.

Natural Home Remedies for Gingivitis
Ayurvedic Oil Pulling
DIY Natural Toothpaste Recipe

For additional tips and information on proper dental care, including correct dry and wet brushing techniques, visit the following sites:

American Dental Hygienists' Association:  Proper Brushing
Livestrong:  Dry Tooth Brushing
Dr. Oz:  8 Brushing Habits That Harm Your Teeth
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