Showing posts with label Panchakarma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Panchakarma. Show all posts

What is Ayurveda Poster Wall Chart

Wondering about Ayurveda?  In short, Ayurveda is a 5000 year old "science of knowledge" from India that utilizes a wide variety of both topical and internal natural therapies to treat disease and chronic medical conditions.

Unlike Western medicine, Ayurveda takes into account the whole person:  body, mind and spirit and recognizes that each individual has a different constitution that makes him or her unique.

Following the principles of Ayurveda in daily life can also lead to better overall health, weight loss and healthy weight maintenance, lower the risk of disease and protect against illness.

This poster outlines the basic principles of Ayurveda.  To learn more about Ayurveda and Panchakarma (the intense Ayurvedic detoxification program) please see my list of Ayurveda Books and Recommended Reading, which includes works written by leading experts on the subject like Deepak Chopra and Vasant Lad.

Infographic: Aloe Vera Benefits

During my Panchakarma, an intense ancient Indian detox treatment, the Ayurvedic practitioner instructed me to take several ounces of whole leaf Aloe Vera gel every morning.

It is thought that the gel contained in the leaves of the plant helps to absorb toxins as it moves through the digestive system.  The gel is known to have strong laxative compounds which aids in bowel movement and elimination, another important component of detoxification.  When ingested, the gel is also believed to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract, aiding in digestion.

Detoxification, cleansing and improved digestive function are all associated with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.

Aloe Vera is a succulent that has been grown as a medicinal plant and used in both internal and topical herbal health remedies for thousands of years, some of which are described in this infographic entitled "12 Health Benefits of Aloe Vera".

As usual, certain research support some of the health claims relating to the use of Aloe Vera - particularly its use as a topical skin treatment for certain conditions.  Other studies suggest that internal use (ingestion) of Aloe Vera may have some side effects and risks.  Before taking Aloe Vera orally, it is recommended that an individual learns about the possible risks, side effects and cautions and/or consults with a qualified health care provider.

Healing Herbs and Spices: Aloe Vera Juice and Gel

Further reading:
Aloe Vera: Science and Safety (NIH)
Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide: Aloe Vera
Medical Science Embraces the Healing Power of Aloe Vera

Infographic Source:  JuiceUpYourLife

Infographic: Benefits of Sauna Detox

Benefits of Detox Sauna Infographic Source
This infographic is entitled "Benefits of Sauna Detox from Drug and Alcohol Abuse".   Although it is aimed at recovering substance abusers, the information it contains is very useful to anyone who is undergoing detox for any reason, including weight loss and general health improvement.

Both steam baths and dry heat saunas have been around for thousands of years in some cultures and are thought to greatly aid in the elimination of all kinds of toxins that have accumulated in the body, whether that be through ingestion of certain foods, prescription and OTC drugs and medication, or exposure to chemicals.

During the intense Ayurvedic Panchakarma detoxification, a steam bath or sauna is employed as a daily ritual.

Dry brushing the skin before a steam or dry heat sauna is thought to great enhance its benefits.

Is Your Diet Toxic?
Top Foods That Chelate the Body of Heavy Metals
Spring Detox Health Tips
DIY Aromatherapy Detox Bath

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.

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:

Panchakarma Journal: Retreat Packing List

Buddha Reflecting by Morgan Ellis

The day is finally is here!  Today I pack and drive to Sedona to begin my Panchakarma detoxification and rejuvenation treatment.  Whew, its a good thing I'm driving because I am bringing so much stuff.  This treatment is all about "me" - purifying my mind, body and soul, restoring balance and health, and going forward in harmony with nature.   That basically translates into a complete overhaul.   And, that is the reason for so much stuff.

Triphala - Powerful Ayurvedic Internal Cleanser

Illustration:  I. Pfeiderer
In preparation for my Panchakarma treatment next week, I've done quite a bit of research on Ayurvedic herbs and spices.  One of the herbal mixtures I discovered was Triphala.  In Sanskrit, Triphala means "three fruits" and is actually a mixture of three fruits:  Amalaki  (Amla or Indian gooseberry), Bibhitaki (Behada) and Haritaki (Harada).  Each of these fruits by itself has potent healing properties.  Combined, the mixture has a powerful detoxifying and rejuvenating effect.  Since detoxification and rejuvenation is the main purpose of Panchakarma, I decided to try Triphala on my own even before my treatment.

Triphala is widely available in tablet, Vcap, tincture and powder form.  The tincture and powder is consumed by first mixing it into warm water.  I did not want to be bothered with measuring and mixing and I don't care for tablets, so I opted for Nature's Way Triphala, 1500mg Vcaps   - an equal blend of the extract of the three fruits standardized to 45% tannins. 

I followed the recommended dosage of 3 Vcaps per day and almost immediately (within less than 6 hours) knew it was working because I had an unexpected and irregular bowel movement.  For the next week or so, I noticed both a marked increase in the number of bowel movements and changes in the poop itself.  Speaking of poop, everyone should be in the habit of examining their poop on a daily basis.

At any rate, after about 10 days of use, I feel significantly "lighter" in the abdomen and am not bloated after eating certain foods.  So, at least for me, Triphala is doing what it is purported to do:  improve digestive functions in the stomach, help move the food along the GI tract, aid in evacuating the bowel and act as an internal cleanser and detoxifying agent. 

Note that although Triphala is generally considered safe, it is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.

This information is provided for general interest and informational purposes only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Consultation with professional health care provider is always advised and encouraged.

Panchakarma Detoxification and Rejuvenation

Panchakarma (or Pancha Karma) is an Ayurvedic program of intense detoxification and rejuvenation.  This powerful method of purification purges the system of toxins and restores balance to the mind, body and emotions.  It is used to both prevent and treat a wide range of ailments, illnesses and chronic health conditions.  An important aspect of Panchakarma is the release of negative emotions.
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