My Body, My Lab

To Realize this very entity as a living, changing, personal laboratory was a beautiful experiment.

I know a lot about allopathic, or Western medicine, but the knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine was new to me about 3 years ago. Over time, as a nurse and practitioner of yoga, a lot of the lifestyle techniques and the wisdom backing Ayurveda were very familiar to me, but the depths and years of this science, I had not known.

I now find myself in an Ayurvedic Hospital in Delhi, India. for a 10-day Panchakarma cleanse. If you have read any of the previous blogs, you may know that I have had some healing journeys myself that have given me a greater awareness of new ways of healing and alternative methods. Ayurveda means the knowledge of life and teaches us how to return to our unified nature; it is a system of medicine that aims to guide you to self-realization or knowing one’s essential nature. Ayurvedic medicines’ purpose is to eliminate the cause of disease instead of working to decrease or suppress symptoms, which in turn can shift stress to another body part.   Nonetheless, here I am, experimenting with this body. Testing the science of this wisdom of returning to my true nature and releasing the dis-ease or deviation from the true nature of my being.

Panchakarma is the science of purifying the body. This method goes straight to the root cause of the problem and re-establishes the essential balance of ‘Tridosha’ (three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in body. This is beneficial to do during seasonal changes in order to clean the body and improve digestions and the metabolic processes. I really did not know too much about what it all entailed, besides deep cleansing, until I arrived.

Wow, what a process. I am on day 5/10 and it has already been a journey. I can only imagine what I will feel like on day 10. The stress I was holding has decreased tremendously and my body is starting to feel more unified and balanced again. Little did I know how strong this mind was and how persistent it was to lock me into fear and worry when life had been pushing me to change and grow even more. Even with such a deep sadhana of daily puja, meditation, pranayama/kriya/hatha practice, aarti, and evening meditation, the worry still managed to sneak in. Was it because I was in a different environment for 3 months? away from the spiritual community, or was it just a persistent mind that needed a deep cleanse?… one can guess all they want. It is part of the journey and I am grateful for each part of this path.

We all stumble and we all leap, I would consider this both. It is a huge leap that is serving a grand purpose of a little stub of the toe. Our body is meant to heal itself, sometimes it takes longer than expected and various methods encountered to heal. I went from IV meds to oral allopathic meds, to herbs, to diets, to fasting, to Ayurvedic herbs, to deep panchakarma cleansing. It is a total experiment, always. Doctors are researchers in action every day with nurses as the laboratory experts, medicine as the method of treatment, and patients as the subjects. Science is always an experiment, it cannot not be, and there is no known to the human form and the infinite energy backing its existence. Here in Ayurveda, the medicine isn’t just something you take, but it is also, what are you thinking, what are you eating, what time are you taking it at, what are you thinking or doing while you are eating, the energy that you are in while eating can cure you or kill you. For instance, if you are in a state of anger or anger is arising within your being and you eat, that anger is what you are consuming which will soon turn into disease. Just like if you are thinking and in fear, you are eating that fear which is then stored in the information packets of your cells as fear and stress. This is all very true and backed by science for years. This even includes the emotions while watching your phone, movie, or television, or even just people watching. Even to think of water as medicine is Ayurveda. There are so many beneficial ways to drink water and other ways that are not so beneficial to the body.

My point is, there is so much that I did not learn about living a healthy life when I was growing up and over time I learn more and more through this body as a laboratory, finding out what does not work, to find out what does. It is a total journey that I am epically grateful for. I could write about this for days, but I will stay relevant to the here and now and share more in intimate settings.

Panchakarma is challenging. It will push you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You will be tested, but the results are up to you. I have experienced being totally irritated and overwhelmed to extreme bliss and ecstasy. It is a mini version of the full practice of life. It is a process of de-stressing and re-turning to a state of harmony. One does not have to dive so deep as to come to India to an Ayurvedic Hospital to experience this, but you can take small steps to change your awareness of health and the being as a whole. Start with water:

-Drink a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water a day

-Best to drink water when you are not eating, or 15 minutes before food, or 1 hour after food

-Take small sips of water at a time instead of chugging a bottle or glass

-Best to drink water at room temperature, or warmer, not cold water

-After waking up, it is good to drink 2 glasses of warm water

-It will benefit the body to drink water before bed

-Water itself is a medicine

Start here! Let your body be your lab, experiment, think positively, be aware of your thoughts, witness the movements of the mind, meditate, create less dis-ease and more ease. Return to balance.

From morning treatments to midnight treatments, it is an experience of deep love and healing, returning to truth, to unity within and without to the point where you know the body is energy and there is no such thing as within and without, it just is. Back your being with love, with intelligence, with positivity, with the science of health, and that will be your experience.

You can heal that which you want to heal.