Patient’s diary: Panchakarma day by day
I got acquainted with the ancient Indian therapy long ago. My son at the age of 7 was made a diagnosis “diabetes”. My son almost did not grow because of the high level of sugar. My wife, me and our relatives were searching for different ways to treat out dear son. In two years we knew about Ayurvedic medicine and its solutions of our problem. Thanks God that the clinic was situated not far from us, in Hungary. Here the Panchakarma is carried out. It was our last hope…
More than 17 years went by. My son is a father himself as me some years ago. He is my proud – he is running his own business and I am happy that he is healthy. Of course there are some prophylactic measures and our way to keep my son’s health is Panchakarma one time each 2 years (sometimes every year). I am glad that my son is full of energy and can tell everyone that he has a strong health. I have also tried Ayurvedic therapy and know well its “after-taste” with festive mood.
Last time I tried Panchakarma 7 years ago. That time I remember well because Vamana was the most difficult procedure for me. Frankly speaking, I was not bent doing Panchakarma one more time because of this hard step to pass. But last years I passed with terrible headaches that spoilt my life. Of course I tried to get through all these with coffee that I drank each morning. But even a couple of cups with coffee did not help me to forget about headache. The effect was rather short-time. My everyday weariness, dog-tired feeling, permanent rush – all these were at one time, as the snowball effect, you know. My hobby became my rescue – I began to paint. But sometimes I thought about my fuzzy figures and less sensitive imagination…
This year I decided to set off for pilgrimage trip with my friends to Afon. Our travelling was planned in May. Thanks to this trip, I found new strength, like I caught the most helpful breath of the fresh air. I think these are the atmosphere of the saint places and interaction with priesthood that changed my pessimistic views and presented new ideas for future. I started to ruminate, analyze my life, rethink about some aspects and things. I felt this wonderful internal energetic and enthusiastic drive. But the problem was relating to my physical condition that led me come back to earth (the same headache, pressure-jumps, the great wish to sleep whole the days). That is why on my way back I decided to visit the Calendula clinic. Moreover, I was permitted to paint the chapel on the territory of the clinic.
My mind in the clouds (the 1st day)
I was forewarned about different changes. It is obvious because more than 7 years went by. The therapeutic process turned into the intensive working day – the procedures started at 8 o’clock in the morning and finished at 7 P.M. The schedule was very busy… So my first morning was the most difficult one – I did not get enough sleep and my headache showed me a flag again. In such unhealthy condition I came to the doctor’s cabinet. First, the pulse diagnostics took place. At the end of the diagnostics doctor knew my body tympanum. Additionally, the dominant subdotes were defined in order to find the optimal treatment the most “active” ones. Also I underwent testing that day. When the diagnostically-oriented part of the ay was finished, the nurse gave me the note with my schedule for my first day in the clinics. And then all my procedures began.
First of all, I needed to drink ghee (melt butter). This time the portion was rather small and I swag off it. Then I should visit salt chamber and run therapeutic exercises (with the hard work under all body parts). But I was waiting with bated breath namely the start of Ayurvedic therapy in order to overcome my headache. I saw in Ayurveda my rescue, the way of my fast treatment. So, I passed the necessary procedure in terms of an hour and a half of Abhyanga massage that is meant as one of the main preparatory stage of Panchakarma. The Ayurvedic therapeutic, Hindu, with gentle oil embrocation worked with my skin. He started with my head and then continued to rub oil in other body parts. First my pose was the sitting one. I remember that all therapeutic movements were focused on the lymph flow – his hands massed my head down the lymph circulation was. The name of my doctor was Anup and he worked hard under each my body part, having rubbed out me in different poses – lying flat on back, lying on the left or right side, sitting, etc. Sometimes I dropped into sleep and saw some blind visions…
My analysis results were ready up to the dinner time. I was told about the superfluity of uric acid and high blood cholesterol level. Panchakarma is considered as an optimal way to solve such problems with health. My first day was also noticeable with the visit to the osteopath. Then there were one more time the salt chamber procedures and the therapeutic exercises. New procedure I tried was Swedana – Ayurveda vapor bath. Moreover, I had to take 9 medications according to the prescription. You know, it was as the brainstorming for me to remember the time and the way of the pills to take (some medications should be taken just after the meal, other ones – in hour after dinner).
It is a pity but I felt only weariness at the end of the day. No alleviation happened. My head was still heavy. Maybe all these factors were because of the long-term voyage from Greece by car. Or maybe my organism decided to rebel – the changes were waiting for my body that was full of amu (different toxins and other wastes) and my nature was not agree with the following situation. My thoughts were centered at the vision that I should paint in the near future.
Focus on descent (the 2nd day)
My new portion of ghee was waiting for me on the reception – the nurse presented me it in the morning. There was more butter than the previous time that is why it was more difficult to cope with new portion. The nurse was very attentive and saw after me in order I drank melt butter unto the last drop. I felt nausea and a headache was growing that time.
I went to the osteopath cabinet. Sergey was name of my doctor – he told me that I had sacral region defect. It was the reason of my backache because this disorder led to the legs length changes. One of my leg was shorter and this situation was harmful for my back (I really had periodic pain). The “pleasing” thing to perceive – you are the man in the best prime with different legs length. But good news were waiting for me too – my situation was fixable. The defect would be eliminated with help of different manipulations in terms of tension and bringing to bear of the body points. I felt better after session like the internal intenseness went away.
Then the therapeutic exercises started – my trainer showed me some yoga asanas. The body and joints were not so easily manageable and were hardly twisted. But the flexibility and physical condition of my instructor inspired me – I believed that everything is possible. Abhyanga massage and nasal douche with salt solution were planned for this day too. These were my Ayurvedic procedures for the second day in the clinic. After nasal douche my breathing became easier. I felt giddy. Maybe it was because of big quantity of oxygen that began to come to my organism, or whether from intensity of procedures I had.
There were only Ayurvedic procedures and yoga in clinic 7 years ago. And now therapy includes also balneo therapeutics elements and traditional Chinese medicine. When the turpentine bath procedure was appointed to me, I was surprised. But I decided not to argue about it – must is a must. The procedure consisted of following stages:
you plunge into a bathtub for 15 minutes;
water temperature is gradually increased;
then your body is covered with bed sheet and foil;
the body is also covered with a blanket over.
In a such way your organism gets warm, pores open, blood circulation and exchange processes become better. My feelings were not so pleasant – imagine that your skin starts to pinch and the burning effect is observed. Having cleaned my body from turpentine solution, I felt the real featheriness.
It is worth noticing that the pressure is measured before and after the (in my case the pressure showings decreased). But mty 2nd day schedule had one more procedure with thermal impact on an organism – Svedana. That time it seemed to me that temperature was rather high for me, because just after the procedure I felt a real weakness. My pressure fell down one more time. I hardly coped with my dinner and went to sleep.
All-in-one (the 3rd day)
Good morning was impossible in clinic without new portion of ghee. My dose became bigger and the mission became almost impossible. But the nurses gave me no chance to avoid drinking this wonderful elixir. The nausea was terrible and I found one lifehack to cope with the awful feeling after ghee drinking – I started to finish my morning procedure with the slice of lemon eating. Of course self-motivation plays an important role in all the processes I did in the clinic. I tried to be patient and tempted myself to do everything unpleasant day by day. It was great that the headache and drowsy feeling left me alone! I forgot about coffee and was living excellent without this morning beverage.
From the very beginning the Abhyanga massage was planned – it was the next procedure after melt butter drinking. I understood that my body should become stronger before the main procedures started. I remembered about Vamana and was dreading it. The third in the clinic was noticeable with very productive therapeutic exercises – stretching set of exercises and some practice focused on hip joints improvement and vestibular apparatus strengthening were easy for me. It was the feeling like after the gym visiting. I sweated hard and gain he pleasant light weakness in the muscles. It was amazing but the turpentine bath procedure also was not difficult to manage with.
The manual therapy and acupuncture were added to my schedule. After manual procedures which were carried out by the therapist Zoran, I got the born-again feelings – the muscular spasms and back clams passed me off. The cervical vertebrae turned into place. And it was only the first session! It would be even better day by day, for sure. Acupuncture also was without any unpleasantness. My visit of the salt chamber was the last procedure according to the 3rd day schedule. After all intensive manipulations done, my organism gave up and I fell asleep. You know, I saw such interesting dreams…
My discoveries (the 4th day)
The list of procedures was similar in kind. The only thing that was changeable – the consequence of the procedures. The bigger portion of a ghee in the morning, breakfast, Ayurvedic therapy, manual therapy, the salt chamber, physical therapy. The second session of acupuncture took place. If the first time the procedure was painless, then now it was rather sore. Doctor Pavel told that such reaction – a positive signal: the sensitivity increased when body channels became clean.
One Ayurvedic procedure that I had was Patra potli – massage with small herbal sacks. It was effective for Vata-dosha sedation that was optimal for me. Anyway the feelings were far from pleasant. The body is oiled and beaten off with warm sacks. The body is heated this way. This procedure is considered as one of Swedana types (the vapor bath). As affected with the heat I fell asleep and had a dream as if I was on the paradise planet and was speaking with Saints. I do not remember the topic of our conversation, but I saw clearly the picturesque nature, a lot of flowers and bright paints …
The Chi Kung training was planned before the dinner. I had heard a lot about the master who gave these classes. Also it was much said about efficiency of Chi Kung. It really impressed, when the trainer gave the set of exercises right on the first lesson and you were able to feel the bundle of energy yourself. So the next stage of cleanup was completed, with new impressions and knowledge gained. I took the book by Robert Svoboda “Prakriti” in the library of the clinic where all editions about Ayurveda, psychology, eutrophy were gathered. Read each free minute and better understood what happens to my organism. I tried to read each free minute and started to understand my organism and the changes I felt.
The crisis point (the 5th day)
I woke up with the clear mind, as the invisible dimming fell down. I was glad to feel myself in such good condition but the sudden change in developments was waiting for me.
The first half of day passed according to the ordinary “working” schedule – procedures, experts and therapeutic exercises were changing. Every time everything was tolerated easier, the effect – was felt instantly. However, the nausea after ghee was the same – awful feeling continued to annoy me. But Panchakarma cannot be full-fledged without “liquid gold” (as melted butter is called). Everything called Ama needs to be compounded with the help of butter and removed in certain body parts.
Swedana was planned after lunch according to the schedule. When the steam supply began, I got sick at the moment. The pressure was measured – 70/40 mm Hg. My problems with pressure caused a real turmoil among medical staff representatives. The doctor called the dehydration as the main reason – such situation was caused by bad water-intake regime. I know that it is necessary to drink at least 2 liters of drinking water every day (especially it is useful for me with my blood solidification level). By the way, I was allowed to drink a cup of coffee. It was done both pressure normalization and the spirit lifting. Maybe the organism still stands against changes and remembers all previous habits?
Fresh swallow (the 6th day)
I spent that crisis night under the control of nurses. The female attention was pleasant, but I joked that would like to be all eyes on for a different reason. Beside my sense of humor and optimistic attitude to the situation, the reading “Prakriti” was helpful. I learned Ayurveda on the mental and physical levels.
I woke up fit next morning. My pressure was measured – 120/80 mm Hg. My weight was measured too – 84 kg. It is worth noticing that my weight was 82 kg at the beginning of the therapy in the clinic. In fact, I gained weight when all people around paid me compliments about my slim down body. I saw myself that my belly became smaller. It means that the stomach returned to the physiological size for these days, intestines swelling also came to the end. I began to gorge with smaller amount of food. I even refused the second course in my lunch meal on a continuing basis.
The 6th day began with the Ayurvedic Nasya procedure. I had the experience of that practice, but earlier the salt solution was applied. Today’s component for Nasya was oil. Before filling the oil in in each of nostrils serially, the therapist had massaged the head, a face (including nasal bosoms), cervical spine of a for a long time. There was a steam inhalation after massage in order to extend my nasal channels. When the liquid from the nose gets into a throat, the feelings far from pleasant. But the effect after is wonderful – easy breathing and clarity of thoughts are achieved. Urovasti was planned after lunch – the procedure is meant as the dough usage with non-absorbing heat effect for birdbath on the chest. The warm oil is poured – the temperature is gradually increased. Then there was Prishtavasti – a birdbath for lumbar zone. The pleasant heat was so relaxing, that I fell asleep and saw different pictures again in my dreams. It was like the bright movie to watch – about church, about future.
Ayurvedic intensive (the 7th day)
Every day I began to wake up earlier, felt myself fit in the morning. All my free minutes that I had I devoted to reading. I noted that uptake of information became much better and quicker. Today I was prepared for the main procedures of Panchakarma – I tried Abkhayanga. There was also a powder massage Udvartana. As I was explained, the powder consists of grained beans with addition of the herbs. All these are able to reduce superfluous dosha. For example, for superfluous Pitta-dosha the herbs with cooling effect are used, for Vata and Kapkhi – with the warming effect.
Svedana and steam massage were also in the schedule of my 7th day in the clinic. The purposeful impact of steam on the digestive tract area relaxes muscles, warms up and strengthens their leak-off capacity. It is worth noticing, that the procedure was absolutely comfortable. The pranayama was the final stage of therapy of day. The concentration at the breathing helped me to calm down and not to think about tomorrow travails.
“V” hour (the 8th day)
Today’s list of procedures was short: 8:15 – Ayurvedic procedures; 9:30 – Vamana. For those who have not had any notion of the important stages of Panchakarma yet, I will explain what is “Vamana”. This procedure is carried out in the morning when Kapha-dosha dominates in the body. There is the biggest quantity of water defluvium in a stomach and lungs at this period of time. Vamana task is to bring all water components of an organism out by terms of vomiting.
I was allowed to drink licorice tea first. Then the massage with oil was done (with usage of the special calming technicians) and then my body was warmed up in Svedana. After that I drank 20 cups of salty solution. The retchings began in 15-20 minutes … The procedure I was afraid most of all this time passed quickly and without serious consequences. There was not any discomfort. I think a key point is the solution formula. I like the feeling after Vamana – clearness in thoughts. I did not go home after procedure – I ran fast without any breath shortness. Also the visual effect was pleasant – the light skin, the ruddiness appeared. Wings sprang up!
Heavenly delight (the 9th day)
I could compare Panchakarma effect with cleaning of the rusty padlock. First, it is greased, then the rust is removed. And then the layer by layer this way. During such cleanup the sensitivity increases. Literally, you feel an organism and toxins in it – after ghee intake the blood circulation, fabrics, gait are made heavier. Everything that did not cause you the discomfort before – begins to disturb you now. There is the only wish – to become clear of all “rubbish” inside as soon as possible.
Today I had Shirodhara – the long-awaited, my favorite procedure. Almost all people associate Ayurveda with Shirodhara. This procedure is meant as the process when in the point of “the third eye” the warm oil flows from a special vessel. This flow is permanent – the oil flows down on your head skin and hair. It is known that oil solution calm Vata-dosha, milk with different extracts – neutralizes Pitta, the concentrated herbal broth reduces the Kapkha impact. I can describe my feelings – for me it is like the oil falls inside the head, enshrouds everything there. This procedure can be compared to meditation. I fell asleep and saw in my dream a paradise garden again. The exotic fruit, flowers, bright greens were around me, the absolute atmosphere of kindness … After Shirodhara I had a feeling of the elation, sensation of the changed mind.
Go-ahead times (the 10th day)
It is worth noticing that I slept less day by day, but felt more well-rested at the same time. I kept in mind that there were two more unpleasant procedures –Virechana and Vasti. The 10th day was threshold of Virechana. The schedule consisted of habitual visits: salt chamber, physical therapy, acupuncture, Chi Kung, Ayurvedic massages, inhalations and birdbaths for different zones. My body was changing and became more flexible, more sensitive, my world perception – more delicate. It seemed, that the special moment came and it I was ready to take my brushes and create…
I took a 14-day course of Panchakarma. I had 4 days to paint an iconostasis in the chapel. The icon Anastasis (“Revival”) was taken as a plot basis for a fresco. I had some time for my art only in the evening, after a dinner. Because all my days were so active – both a caravan of the habitual procedures, and new positive feelings at the same time. Virechana, or a stomach aperient procedure, was passed for me. The most difficult for me was to drink the special beverage with very astringent flavor. The procedure for me is alike the blind intubation.
I coped with Vasti procedures in several stages: cleaning and oil intestinal enemas. The needing solution is selected, on your constitutional type basis. I will miss all details, because the main thing is the positive result. I gained it in full scope – ease, cheerfulness, energy surge.
Every evening I was writing my fresco till the dead of night. It was some kind of irradiation, a prayer in which you use your imagination, figures and paints instead of words. It was the gratitude for new opportunities, health, friends, acquaintances, fresh ideas and capabilities. Taking a therapy course, I understood one: it is necessary to stop and find time for yourself and your inwardness. Even in the active rhythm of our modern life it is very important. I read a phrase in the book by Robert Svoboda “Prakriti”: “Ayurveda is something bigger, than only the healing art. Ayurveda bears upon everything that brings joy in our life”. I agree, completely!