The final week of this incredible Panchakarma experience and the last post of nine in the panchakarma series. If you missed the previous eight posts you can catch up by following the links below:
- My Panchakarma healing journey begins
- Arrival at the Panchakarma Retreat
- Panchakarma – Snehana
- Pokhara Exploration
- Deeper Dive into Ayurveda
- Let the Basti begin!
- First Glimpse of the Himalayas
The last two and a half weeks have flown by and I can’t believe I’ve only got a week to go, I could easily stay longer. I’m getting far too used to having daily massages, not having to cook or do any chores and basically just being spoilt rotten.
For a change of scenery I ask to move rooms on my final week. A couple of the rooms are empty now and I spy a room I like the look of. It still has a lovely view over the lake and it has a bath which is a bonus. Fingers crossed the hot water sticks around.
My new room is called Dhanvantari, meaning the God of Ayurveda, wisdom and love of life. I’m going to love this room! Not that I didn’t like Ganesh, just nice to have a change.
My last morning Basti goes well and I’m very happy it’s the final one. My blood pressure on the last day is 85/60 and pulse is still 62. That day I have yet another whole body massage, a Picu, Siro Dhara plus another Ayurveda class, this time with Dr Kristina. This class is on food which again I find very interesting.
The next day I have my last evening Basti, it’s quite a relief to have both morning and evening ones all done and dusted. I’m feeling really great and extremely clean inside! I still feel a bit weak but my blood pressure is on the rise at 90/70 the following day then 100/60 the day after that with my pulse increasing to 72 and weight now at 53kg.
I’m back on the normal diet and Dr Rishi has also instructed the home ladies to make me a toasted banana every day now for afternoon tea. This is extremely yummy and cooked with butter, brown sugar and toasted almonds.
Each day I complete my morning routines along with my early lakeside walk then I have various treatments throughout the day. One day I have a whole body massage, a Picu, head and foot program, a Chakra Basti and a Siro Dhara all in one day – talk about spoilt! This Chakra Basti focuses on my Swadhisthana chakra which is located at the coccyx.
I have a rest day scheduled for the Thursday however I ask Dr Kristina if I can move some of the treatments from later in the week to the morning of my rest day as other days are very full. So on my rest day I have a private Yoga session, a follow up consultation, a spinal program and a Chakra Basti – this one focuses on my Vishuddhi Chakra (throat centre).
Tonight I sadly say goodbye to a lovely lady I’ve got to know the last two weeks from Denmark. We were planning on spending the afternoon walking up to the Peace Stupa. However some big rains hit then later on a huge thunderstorm – so pleased we didn’t get caught half way up.
World Peace Pagoda
We get a beautiful view of the Peace Stupa from the happy house. Balanced on a narrow ridge high above Lake Fewa, the brilliant white World Peace Pagoda was constructed by Buddhist monks from the Japanese Nipponzan Myohoji organisation to promote world peace.
I may try and fit this in before I leave otherwise I have a feeling I’ll be back.
Today begins the last step in my Panchakarma process – Sirovirecana. During the next four days I will get the subtle therapies that focus on my sensory organs. The basic aim is to provide relaxation, cleansing and rejuvenating effects to these sensory organs and also to the brain, nervous system, perceptions and inner intuition.
The Sirovirecana program includes the following three therapies:
- Karnapurana (ear irrigation).
- Herbal nasal smoke and Nasya (deep nasal and sinus irrigation).
- Netratarpana (eye irrigation).
I am given all three therapies for four days in a row and it takes one hour to complete each day. Before each daily session I have my normal massage to prepare for them.
They are administered by Dr Kristina who starts off massaging my ear areas and the sides of my neck before adding a warm herbal oil into each ear then massaging it further all while lying on the massage table on my back.
I then turn on to my stomach with my face in the massage table hole, while a fire is set below sending the medicated smoke into my nostrils. First cumin seeds are added to the fire, then ajwain seeds (this one burns slightly), coriander seeds, black pepper powder (another burner) and finally medicated ghee with artemesia leaves. It’s not unpleasant but also not something I’d make a habit of doing regularly.
Turning again to my back, Dr Kristina gently massages my nasal area and sinuses before adding a special nasal drop preparation, about 7 drops to each nostril. She massages again after the drops then shakes my head to jiggle it around inside – that feels a bit weird.
Finally the eye irrigation and this is definitely not pleasant. After the gentle eye massage, small ‘glasses’ are made around my eyes by shaping flour dough into small rings, this is to form ‘dams’ in my eyes to keep the liquid in place. A mixture of triphala ghee and medicated oils is then slowly dropped into each eye and I am then instructed to open my eyes and perform various eye exercises, with breaks in between each one. This can be quite painful and I feel a burning sensation in my eyes. It doesn’t last too long and before I know it the ‘glasses’ are removed and my eyes are bathed in a calming warm solution.
After the Sirovirecana therapies are complete, I then rest for about 10 minutes in the treatment room then am told to rest my eyes for two hours, wearing dark sunglasses. I’m not allowed to expose them to bright lights, hot sun, cold air or polluted areas or look at any mobile devices, computers or books.
The outcome of these therapies is to feel a deeper silence, tranquility and expansion of happiness within.
During these four days all the yummy treatments and yummy foods continue along with my daily routines and long lakeside walk.
On the final day of my Sirovirecana, I enjoy my usual early morning walk on the lakeside. This morning I’m greeted by a particularly clear view of the Himalayas. I’m pleased to see the wee puppy this morning as I haven’t seen him for a few days and was starting to get worried! I wonder if my fellow walkers/joggers will notice I’m gone after Wednesday.
Panchakarma Experience Reflections
Preparing to leave I think about the last few weeks and all that I’ve been through. It’s been quite an amazing Panchakarma experience and something I’m really happy to have done. I can definitely see myself doing a Panchakarma every one or two years. Dr Rumee said for a one week Panchakarma it is recommended to do one yearly and for a three or four week one then every two years is sufficient.
I would love to come back to Nepal, specifically Pokhara. Badri told me, when he was here, they have bought a large piece of land higher on the hill above lakeside, about a 20 minute drive from here. They plan to build a new centre there within 4 or 5 years. They are also building a new centre in Kathmandu in a forest area which sounds a lot nicer than the city itself where their current centre is. He said they are getting more and more popular and need to expand to cater for the demand.
What has impressed me most about the Ayurvedic Health Home is the attention to detail, the cleanliness and the efficiency of how everything is run. All of the doctors and the staff are very caring by nature and no one ever seems in a hurry to finish a treatment, consultation or class.
Something that I also really appreciate here is that the therapists always wash their hands before doing the facial massage. When I did my Aromatherapy diploma training this was always so important and really drilled into us. I find it odd that with some massages I get back home, many therapists don’t always do this.
I mentioned earlier in a post that two of the founders are Dr Rishi and his brother Badri. The third founder is a German lady, Marlies Foerster. She has been responsible for the training and professional guidance for developing organisational systems, quality-control and staff-management. This side of it certainly shows as the centre is run like a tight ship.
With a background in professional health care since 1962, she worked as the Head of Nursing at a large hospital in Dusseldorf, Germany. She managed the continuing education programs for health care professionals and worked for many years as Chairperson of the Federal Working Party of Head Nurses.
Since August 2000 Marlies has been living in Nepal, working with Dr. Rishi and Badri Koirala to establish the Ayurveda Health Home, the pioneer and first professional Panchakarma Centre in Nepal and has helped to bridge the traditional culture of Nepal with the European and foreign guests.
Since I have been here I have met guests from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, England and the US so it certainly attracts people from far and wide!
My final Sirovirecana is administered by Dr Rumee who is now back from Kathmandu. Before that to prepare, I have my last 90 minute whole body Abhyanga given by Sarita which is fitting as she performed my first one the day I arrived.
It’s a full house that evening at the dinner table with four guests from the US, two from Germany, one from England and me.
The Grande Finale of my Panchakarma Experience
It’s my last day here and I’m treated like a queen! My three hour treatment starts with a 75 minute whole body Abhyanga. This is then followed by the most amazing treatment of the last few weeks – a whole body oil bath. I have seven therapists in the treatment room to administer this!
Tail Dhara – Pizhichil (Whole body oil bath)
This bath gives the feeling of completeness and totality. The culture of oil baths is very ancient in Ayurveda and is highly regarded in the classics. This practice is still found in traditional families and especially in South India.
In this process a silent and calm environment is created with a relaxation massage being given first. A group of therapists then enters the room, maintaining silence, and bringing collective peace and a meditative energy with them.
The environment thus harmonises with the therapy procedure. Two therapists, working with the same rhythm and healing energy, pour a stream of warm Ayurveda oil from the feet to the neck and vice versa along with massage. The soft, smooth, slippery and gentle touch with oil and therapists’ love continues for one hour.
It gives a feeling like being in a mother’s womb – smooth, soft and free deep inside. The prime energy of healing is gently nurtured and stimulated throughout the treatment, resulting in a feeling of wholeness, self and transcendent love, and happiness.
It treats the following conditions:
- People who desire the growth of inner healing potential source.
- To cleanse and rejuvenate their system.
- Avagahana Sveda (Herbal tub bath).
To finish off, I am immersed into a herbal bath filled with rose and other flower petals both in the bath and decorated around the bathroom. I relax here for about half an hour, soaking up the wonderful feeling of having successfully completed my first Panchakarma experience and knowing how healthy all my insides must be right now. I’m feeling pretty blissed out!
The bath treats the following conditions:
- Muscles pain, cramps, stiffness.
- Joint swelling, deformity, and pain.
- To induce sleep.
- To cleanse the body and improve circulation.
- To calm the mind and body.
In the afternoon I have my final hour long consultation with Dr Rumee and I also speak to Dr Rishi on Skype later that evening.
My blood pressure is now 100/70 and weight 53.7kg and my ama (toxins) are pretty much clear now. I do still have some issues with my agni (digestive fire) but am told this will calm down in a week or so as long as I take things easy and continue on a good diet.
They both offer me very good advice on where to go from here with my diet and lifestyle which I take copious notes on. Dr Rumee also gives me a written sheet of instructions and said she will be in contact in a few months to follow up on how I am going with everything.
I have a few goodies to take home including a six month supply of herbal tablets for my bones that will slowly increase the density now that my body is receptive to healing and will easily absorb the herbs. This will also help with my skeletal issues.
I’m now feeling ready to come home as I’m missing Paul and the kitties after being apart for so long.
After almost a month of wonderful treatments and total body cleansing I’m feeling fabulous. I wonder if I can sneak a therapist and a homelady into my luggage!!
Thank you to everyone who has been following along on my journey and for showing such an interest in all I’ve been going through in my Panchakarma experience.