Why Panchakarma?

01.14.18

Health

Hi my beauties!

I just wanted to check in for a quick post before I go offline for the next five days for my Ayurvedic PANCHAKARMA at Surya Spa in the Palisades.

The Panchakarma treatment is something I discovered a couple of years ago and have done yearly ever since… it will always be my annual retreat from the world, and one day I hope to do it seasonally as it’s traditionally done in Indian culture.

Maybe this will be my year to do one with the change of each season, you never know! I have to plan around it like crazy, since I retreat from the universe while I do it, which always ends up being SO WORTH IT.

I wanted to answer some questions here about what Panchakarma is, why I’m doing it, and why I think you guys would love it.

I want to start with the disclaimer that Panchakarma treatments are very expensive, especially in the U.S. (you can go to India & have a very traditional experience for a much more affordable rate), but pretty much the only things I choose to spend my money on are: healing, and experiences.

This is a healing AND an experience, and I am over the moon to spend the next five days in complete & utter solitude before I head to Palm Springs to co-host our yoga + reiki Desert Oasis Retreat with Kelsey Patel!

There ARE other options that are more affordable and I talk more about that at the bottom of this post. 🙂 Everyone deserves their own version of this deeply healing experience.

So let’s get into what a Panchakarma is & what I will be up to for the next five days…

What is a Panchakarma?

Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic treatment for detoxification and purification that involves herbal oil massage, herbal therapy, rest, digital detox and more (way more — I’ll elaborate!) and is a gentle, yet profound purification therapy designed to rid the body of toxins.

In Ayurveda, they work with your dosha (your constitution / type) to get you back into balance. I am a pitta dosha (fire), but I have a ton of vata (air) in my system… which means that I have digestive issues, an extreme amount of anxiety, insomnia, food intolerances, a fibroid, and right now… this CRAZY rash (hives and eczema) all over my entire body that doesn’t seem to be letting up.

In other words, my pitta dosha is off balance, as there has been an increase of vata in my body — so this Panchakarma treatment will balance my doshic function on top of detoxifying my bod and giving me all the juicy open time and energy to recharge and get re-inspired away from technology and my daily life.

In balance, pitta is awesome. Technically a balanced pitta has great digestion and sleeps incredibly well, is a great decision-maker and teacher, and is very grounded. I’m sure many of you are pitta dominant also. We all have each dosha within us, and a dominant dosha that describes our constitution.

If you have nooooo idea what I am talking about when I say pitta and vata, then you may be interested in taking this dosha quiz.  Your dosha is kind of like your body’s blueprint — it corresponds to your specific behaviors, emotions, digestion, shape, appearance and more.

Why Am I Doing a Panchakarma?

I decided to do another Panchakarma to ring in 2018 before my health concerns even started flaring up. I love the idea of beginning a new year with a clean slate in my mind, body and spirit.

The element of going technology-free during a Panchakarma is always deeply healing for me, and the place where I am flooded with my best ideas, thoughts, and bursts of inspiration. It’s like connecting to my soul on a whole new, incredibly spiritual level.

And then there are the physically healing elements. During a Panchakarma, your Ayurvedic practitioner will work with you to get your body back into balance — and line you back up with your dosha! They check your tongue and your pulse daily to see how your digestion and your entire system is doing, and they are able to pinpoint where your imbalances are coming from.

I am very certain that most of my imbalances are coming from my liver, kidneys and gut. I have been told by various healers, skincare experts, and more that my liver and my kidneys are both working WAY overtime which is why my body is literally seeping out this rash and other various skin issues asking me for help.

I have chosen to view my rash (you should see me right now — head to toe red bumps like a bright red reptile… that’s what J called me!) AND my fibroid for that matter as my body’s way of crying for help to let me know that things are off. And you’d better believe that I’m going to listen!

Of course all things come at the right time because although I didn’t know my health was going to flare up so badly as it has over the last two months, I booked my Panchakarma back in October because I love how healing it is for my mind, body, spirit connection.

It is also my RETREAT from the world. I won’t be checking my phone, computer, social media, Apple Watch… nothing. I won’t even be in communication with my family, friends, or Jonathan! I am diving into this experience full throttle just as I have all of my other Panchakarma experiences & they have served me incredibly well.

What are some other reasons to do a Panchakarma?

Well, there are a ton. If you are feeling sluggish, depressed, unmotivated, out of touch with your health, out of touch with your heart and soul, having difficulty with digestion or concentration or any type of emotional issue — Panchakarma is a great thing to do.

At this time in my life, I am on a quest to heal. I first started doing Panchakarmas to heal my gut and digestion, and now it’s turned into so much more than that. I feel that my entire body is on a spiritual journey, and with all of the spiritual upleveling I am experiencing on the inside… my body is trying to catch up, and it’s going through the wringer in the meantime. (Cue my current Saturn Return, on top of it all.)

I also have an intense desire to treat my body as well as possible and give myself the gift of major detoxification. On top of that, I am thrilled to have 5 days to myself to go through the treatment process and reconnect to my core and what I am most passionate about — and also to reconnect to my creativity away from the Internet.

I will be reading ALL of the books… last time I read I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb and it changed my life FOREVER. If you haven’t read it, do it. It’s a fiction game changer.

What is a Panchakarma treatment like when you’re actually in the room getting treated?

There are five treatments within a PK, from herbal oil massage, to an oil forehead drip on your third eye (shirodhara), to an exfoliation an steam bath, and more. In the treatment room, two women will be rubbing you with an herbal oil massage made specifically for your dosha / imbalances… how COOL is that? It feels amazing!

In the past, the five treatments within the Panchakarma have transported me to have out of body experiences. I have felt more relaxed, at peace, and at one with the earth than I ever have before. Plus, the treatments are a massively detoxifying experience — for the rest of the day, I sleep a lot, my digestion is amazing, and my body goes through a tune up every time.

I remember thinking during the treatments, “am I asleep or awake? I have NO idea” because I feel that relaxed and peaceful.

The treatments last for about four hours… then you shower, and eat lunch. After that, I will come home for the rest of the day and go back to Surya each morning!

What do you eat?!

KITCHARI!

I love kitchari more than life. It’s an Indian dish made of mung dhal, basmati rice (I sub cauliflower rice with a tinyyyy bit of basmati rice), and ghee sauteed with kitchari spices. You can see it on my Instagram story if you’re reading this post right when it comes out!

It’s actually easy as can be to make. I buy this kitchari kit on Amazon which makes it even easier, and I usually squeeze some fresh lemon or lime into it and add a tiny bit of tahini. DELICIOUS.

The purpose of eating kitchari during the detox is to eat foods that your body can break down and digest with ease. The spices and the warming foods are incredibly easy on our digestive system, and assist the detox process. You can also have broth, white rice, and certain steamed easy-to-digest vegetables and grains. (We all know I’m not a grain person so I don’t opt for those.)

You also drink ghee every morning to stimulate the digestive system, and there is a castor oil purgation to eliminate all unwanted toxins (ama, in Ayurvedic terms) to get the deepest purification possible.

What else?!

I will be getting my treatments at Surya from 9:30 – 1:30 every day, and having lunch there at their gorgeous home kitchen. Other than that, I will be sleeping a lot, reading a lot, meditating, writing, and staying inspired.

My phone will be OFF, computer will be off, and I will be alone with my thoughts and my mind.

I am so ready, and so very excited to begin to heal.

To read more about my Panchakarma experiences…

Go here, and click on any of the posts that interest you the most. This will be my third PK and my second full one… I think next time maybe I should go all the way to India to dive even deeper into the experience.

And I just want to say, if this treatment is on your radar but it’s too expensive… you can absolutely search locally in your area for someone trained who does PK’s out of their home. There are affordable options. Everyone deserves this radical healing experience if it is calling to you. You can even do it for one day, which I can also say from experience makes a big difference.

A second option would be to buy some oils that work well with your skin, and give yourself a healing herbal oil massage every morning before you shower. That is the most affordable way to get your nervous system in on part of this amazing experience… the abhyanga massage. Doing it to yourself is such an incredible act of self-love.

I will miss you guys over the next five days! A LOT! Stay tuned for my upcoming SOLO EPISODE on the podcast this Wednesday… the first Solo Ep of the year, and episode 70 overall on the pod. CRAZY. Subscribe on iTunes so you can get a notification when it’s out.

Sending you allllll of my love, and can’t wait to reconnect on Friday and tell you EVERYTHING! Enjoy this week’s NEW MOON & be sure to journal it out!!!