Join Ananda as she scours the planet for traditional medicinal and healing practices

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Conclusion and an Interesting Twist

I know you're all holding your breath wanting to know about the Basti or enema expeience. Well needless to say it wasn't pleasant and I'm really hoping that something good and worthwhile will come from this.

My first colon piercing experience involved only half a cup of oil. Let me just say that since water and oil don't mix well together flushing it down the toilet is nearly impossible. The next morning 1 whole litre of this brown looking herbal concoction was slowly poured into me. It felt warm and hmmm... like it didn't belong there. After a half hour on the toilet and a cold shower, I thought I was going to be fine when my stomach and abdomen started complaining. The cramps that ensued had me in tears. And I was filled with sadness and anger. Old energy blocks apparently dissolving away into the porcelain bowl.

I repeated this 2 step process one more time. Do I feel clean? Not really sure. Do I feel healthier. Umm no. My blood pressure dropped dramaticaly, and I was extremely tired, and I lost a couple of kilos (in muscle I think).

According to Vijay I need to build up from here - see it as a new beginning. Well my hopes are up and I'll let you all know how I'm doing when I get home.

And now for something completely different:
Vision school update.

I feel like a drop out. Today Jose and I went to an optometrist. I was tired of straining my eyes from not being able to see with the reduced prescription (both eyes were seeing different things) I was given at the school For Perfect Eyesight. And lo and behold my prescription is right back to where it was before I started the program. Perhaps it's because I neglected my eye exercises, perhaps the faulty prescription I was wearing was straining my eyes, or perhaps my vision never improved at all and I was duped!

But Jose's improvement has held so far. It can't be a hoax. And a good friend managed to improve her eyesight through similar methods a whoppin 3 points! So despite this horrible blow I commit myself to trying again. (Maybe Salima will share her eye improving techniques with me).

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The treatment continues

This has certainly been a trip.

After the treatment of Ilakizhi (I believe that's what the brutal herbal beating is called) I felt exhausted. After 3 days my blood pressure dropped and all I wanted to do was hang out in bed. I did manage a walk on the beach at sunset however.

Then I began a new treatment, just in time for my birthday. After my daily massage I started a 4 day course of Kativasthi. While I lie on my back a damn of gram (chickpea) flour is created on my back. It's meant to act like a reservoir to hold oil in place. Then warm medicated oil was continuously poured onto my back and removed. This feels great. I often fall asleep. With thi snew treatment my energy has increased, I've been feeling light and active. Yoga and meditation seem to come more easily, yesterday I didn't even take my regular afternoon escape from the heat nap!

Tomorrow however starts the scary part - the first in a round of enemas (don't know how I feel about exposing my bum to a woman in a sari armed with a sharp weapon). They tell me they're going to put a litre of medicated oil into my colon, then give me some kind of massage after which I will pay my respects to the porcelain God.


well for those of you interested in more you can check out Ammrita Kerala Ayurvedic which is where I'm taking this treatment.

My next posting I will provide a more in depth discussion of Ayurveda - what's the point and Ayurveda, why, what, and huh? As well as an update on my enema experience

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Diving into Ayurveda

OK. So I'm doing it. I'm diving head first into a treatment plan that I'm a tad skeptical about, however I will try it with an open mind.

Arriving to Goa felt like the weight of the world was sliding of my shoulders. The warm sea air (noticeably cooler than the scorching heat of Tamil Nadu), the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the portuguese architecture gracing the tropical landsape. Ahhh heaven. I spent 2 months here 5 years ago, but I was bracing myself knowing that the tourism industry, always predominant, had exploded. Especially in my cherished Arambol, a formerly sleepy little fishing village now grown beyond recognition.

Our first planned stop was Candolim. An old friend (Vijay) opened a gorgeous Ayurvedic clinic here, and we thought to stop for a brief hello, a couple of days and then head down to my old haunt Arambol. Vijay treated Jose and I to some free massages, steam baths, and facials. And I was hooked by the luxury of it. Vijay also has a way with words and he convinced me to stay for a treatment. After contemplating his offer I accepted.

I have to admit this mode of medicine is a bit bizzare and often uncomfortable. I had experienced some basic massages - but the first day of treatment was something else.

I met with the Ayurvedic Doctor who told me very little. I had to fish everything out of him. He took my pulse and I asked him to explain what he found. He said I'm Vatta Pitta. A blend of 2 doshas. In Ayurveda there are 3 Doshas - Vatta, Kappa, and Pitta. Each a constitution having it's own quirks and tendencies. I will get more info on the specifics and add it to future postings.

Anyways I'm starting with a treatment to remove excess Vatta. 4 women pund me with linen bundles filled with piping hot herbs, while a 5th woman prepares fresh bundles as the temperature of the beating must remain constant. This is done while I'm contorted into 7 different positions. Some comfortable, some not. This process lasts around an hour. After which I'm so stinky that even after a shower my boyfriend won't come near me! This follows a wonderful Ayurvedic massage performed by 2 people (I will describe this further soon).

After the brutal pounding I am guided into a "steam bath", which looks like a medeival torture device - a big box with a hole for my head. I sit there for 15 minutes while steam medicated with a combination of herbs is piped into the box. This feels almost unbearable after all the previous treatment. But the facial I get after makes up for it.