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

Panchakarma Journal: Dry Skin Brushing

Skin Brushing 101 - Infographic from

Panchakarma (or Pancha Karma) is an Ayurvedic program of intense detoxification, purification and rejuvenation.

Dry Skin Brushing

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, is thought to have many amazing health (and beauty) benefits.

Health and Beauty Benefits

❤  It removes dead skin cells and cosmetics, unclogging pores and allowing the skin (our largest organ) to breathe and function properly  

❤  It improves the skin's critical role in effectively detoxing the body and cleansing the lymphatic system, thereby boosting immunity and aiding in digestion

❤  It prepares the skin to better absorb nutrients, such as the healing herbal oils used in Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massage)

❤  It aids in eliminating toxins during perspiration, dry heat or steam sauna, including Svedhana (Ayurvedic steam bath)

❤  It tones and tightens the skin by increasing blood flow and stimulating blood vessels and nerve endings, improving the general appearance of skin

❤  It increases circulation to the skin and stimulates cell renewal, growth, repair and healing in underlying, tissues, veins and capillaries - hence, gently dry skin brushing is recommended for cellulite and varicose or spider veins

❤  It is thought to help reduce fat deposits, thereby aiding in weight loss

❤  Its significant impact on removing metabolic wastes and allowing various organs such as the liver and kidneys to function more optimally is also thought to aid in weight loss

How To Dry Brush

There are many good instructions and infographics (like the one I have included, source below) online that explain how to dry brush.

This is how my Ayurvedic Therapist did it during my Panchakarma:

❤  Lightly brush dry skin daily before your bath or shower, beginning with the soles of your feet and work your way up. 

❤  Use gentle, circular motions in areas of cellulite or varicose and spider veins.  Otherwise, use long strokes toward your heart, avoiding breasts and the face.

                       13" Sisal Dry Body Brush                      

❤  Use a natural bristle brush intended specifically for dry skin brushing.  Select a brush with a long enough (optional: removable) handle so you can get to the hard-to-reach places, like your back.  Replace your brush every 6 or so months.  I like and use the 13" medium texture sisal body brush - pictured and available from Amazon.

❤  Ayurvedic Tip!   After dry skin brushing and before your bath or shower, take a few moments to give yourself a gentle massage using organic sesame or coconut oil.  These oils will nourish the freshly exfoliated skin.  The shower or bath afterwards will help to eliminate toxins.

Infographic Source

Infographic source and to learn more about dry skin brushing, please visit Skin Brushing 101 - GreenSmoothieGirl.


Panchakarma Journal - Tongue Scraping
The Benefits of a Sauna Detox
Ayurvedic Oil Pulling
Tip of the Day: Dry Brushing Teeth


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.

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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