Welcome to Virecana day! This is post five in the Panchakarma series.
If you missed the previous four posts and you want to catch up, you’ll find them below:
- My Panchakarma healing journey begins
- Arrival at the Panchakarma Retreat
- Panchakarma – Snehana
- Pokhara Exploration
Now I have completed the preparatory procedures (Purvakarma) for stage one, I’m ready for the main procedure (Pradhanakarma) which is called Virecana.
The main objective of this is to expel morbid substances, dissolve systemic physiological and emotional toxins (amas) from the circulating channels (srotas). It creates a healthy environment for the subtle transformation and nourishment and also provides the best healing opportunity.
Virecana is a therapeutic purging which helps to expel toxins from the central part of the body (liver, gallbladder, pancreas and intestines – the Pitta system). It is very effective for releasing digestive and metabolic load produced by different forms of food, emotional impulses or reaction.
I am told to welcome this awakening phenomenon!
The evening prior to Virecana, I am given a prepared herbal powder to take with a glass of warm water just before I go to bed. It tastes pretty foul so I drink it quickly then brush my teeth before hopping into bed – not quite sure what to expect.
I awake around 5am and perform my daily routine. At 7am I meet Dr Rumee who shows me into a therapy room where she takes my blood pressure (now down to 100/60) and pulse as well as asking me a few questions on how I slept, how I’m feeling and so on.
She then gives me a stomach massage while Paru, one of my regular therapists, gives me a foot massage – so far so good I’m thinking!
After the stomach massage I have a couple of hot water bottles placed on my abdomen (hot fomentation) then I am shown some special exercises to perform. Next I am given a rather nasty tasting herbal concoction to drink, far worse than the night before.
Without going into too much detail, shortly after downing two glasses of this concoction it certainly had the desired effect of releasing!
I am told to rest for much of the day which is easy as I’m feeling quite drained. A thermos of cumin tea is sent up to my room for me to sip on along with hot water. I am supposed to have breakfast at 10am but I fall asleep. I’m woken around 11am with a bowl of very watery and plain rice soup (congee). I’m not particularly hungry but they encourage me to eat some. I snooze on and off then lunch is sent up around 1pm which is not so watery rice soup.
For the next three days, my diet of rice soup gets thicker and thicker and gradually spices are added then finally on the third day, there are vegetables added then at dinner, lentils (kitchari).
I also have a bowl of boiled apples each afternoon which I find very enjoyable.
That evening there was a huge thunderstorm which feels quite fitting to how I’m feeling after quite a grueling day. I feel very cosy and snuggled in, listening to the wonderful sounds of thunder rolling in over the mountains.
At times it was difficult to tell the difference between the lightning and the New Year’s Day fireworks going off down by the lake.
Saturday is a rest day but I do have a consultation with Dr Rishi who arrived that morning from Kathmandu. We sat down, along with Dr Rumee, for over an hour and he asked me many more questions about various health and other issues. It’s a very interesting discussion and he gives me some insights into why I have suffered so much back pain over the years and also why I have osteoporosis.
He believes that I have a certain amount of stress in my life (doesn’t everyone?) which compromises the circulation to my muscles, joints and bones and this is a contributing factor to my health issues. My poor sleep and poor digestion are another factor and all of this and more will be addressed during my stay here.
I have full confidence in him and his team and this Panchakarma process. I understand that this is a lifelong adjustment I need to make and once I’m back in the real world there are many practices I will continue to enhance my health and further my healing.
Dr Rishi Ram Koirala
Dr Rishi Ram Koirala is an M.D. Ayurveda physician and is Medical Director at the Ayurveda Health Home (AHH). He has more than three decades of professional experience as a practicing Ayurvedic physician following 12 years of university study in Ayurveda and Medicinal plants. Dr. Rishi has successfully treated a large number of people both in Nepal and worldwide. He has a devoted following amongst those interested in Ayurvedic Medicine. Dr. Rishi is also a spiritual healer with deep roots in Nepali traditional medicine which he inherited from his healer-family.
Dr Rishi specialises in Panchakarma therapy management and is a skilled diagnostician providing in-depth health consultations, according to the principles of Ayurveda. Dr Rishi was an Executive Board Member of the Nepal Health Research Council and a member of the High Level Health Policy Advisor Committee of the Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal.
In addition, Dr Rishi is widely consulted as a resource person for many institutions, both public and private, in Nepal and globally. I have also noticed some books in the library here that he has authored.
We have some new arrivals today to the happy house who are from Queensland. This is the group who were on the original trip that I had booked and they have spent the last week traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara via Chitwain National Park and Bandipur. Their trip sounded interesting but they seemed very pleased to have arrived here at last. Due to landslides on the way, their bus journeys were far longer and dustier than anticipated.
That evening after dinner, we have a group meditation led by Dr Rishi.
Coming in the next post is New Year’s Eve and Easter Sunday. All in the same week!!