By Julie Burger
I used to think that I was treating my body pretty well. I ate organic food, was gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and enjoyed protein shakes daily. I had even stopped smoking (though I was still vaping, so not free of the addiction). Since quitting smoking had made me extremely constipated, I did daily enemas, which I had read was a healthy option. While enemas remedied the issue, they had a big impact on my life – imagine trying to date and explain to someone that you have to step out to do an enema.
But constipation was not a new experience for me. I’ve had issues with digestion throughout my whole life. I’ve also struggled with headaches and fatigue and was used to taking daily naps. I tried colon cleanses, gallbladder cleanses – it was always something. I spent too much time Googling symptoms and finding few answers. I thought this was how my life was going to be. But that was before panchakarma.
I first heard about panchakarma from a friend who had gone through Hale Pule’s Panchakarma Home Therapy in the past. Just before she told me about it, I had made the decision that I needed to do something about the daily enemas, and, because I believe in a natural approach, panchakarma appealed to me. I emailed Kelsey and told her that I was concerned about going off my gluten-free diet during panchakarma. I was shocked by her response. She told me that by resetting my agni with panchakarma, I would once again be able to eat the foods that I had grown sensitive to. She also told me that I would have more energy and would enjoy cooking. I didn’t believe her, but I signed up for Panchakarma Home Therapy anyway.
The panchakarma difference
In my initial consultation, Kelsey told me that I should quit vaping in order to detox in the weeks before panchakarma so I could get the most benefit. I threw away my vape pen and began to eat soupy rice and made a few other changes she suggested, like stopping eating at my first burp and eliminating ice water. When panchakarma began, I switched to eating kitchadi and began incorporating calming pranayama and meditation into my days to support the treatments.
After experiencing panchakarma, I realized that I’ll never do a different kind of cleanse again. I had never had someone coaching me before; I was just reading the directions on a box. With Panchakarma Home Therapy, I participated in three webinars and could also check in with Kelsey over email whenever I had a question. Here I had someone who cared about my health, rather than someone who said, “Buy this cleanse for $60 and good luck!”
After the 10 days of panchakarma was over, I immediately noticed that my energy levels increased. I was also clearer mentally – no more brain fog. I dropped 10 pounds of excess weight that had always stuck with me. And the best part: I began to have bowel movements on my own without enemas.
In the months that followed, more changes came. I now have more energy and often get compliments on how clear my skin is and how shiny my hair has become. I’m even friendlier. Even though I’m an introverted person who enjoys alone time, I find myself spending more time speaking with people than trying to run away from them. I have also learned to pay attention to intuitive eating. I know now that if I overindulge in something, I’ll pay for it the next day. A big “aha” for me was when I began to ask myself, “If I eat this, how will it make me feel?”
Making room for a new lifestyle
Ayurveda is now part of my daily life. I cook from Myra’s cookbook a lot. I do 30 to 45 minutes of mantra, pranayama and meditation each morning, and Yoga asana every day and experience fewer meltdowns. I enrolled in the 400-hour Ayurvedic health counselor certification program and am enjoying the way it challenges me to change the way I think. It’s fun unlearning behaviors that were taught to me about food, and it has unleashed things that I need to work on, such as my body image. The lessons have continued to unravel.
When my friends remark on the changes in my life, I give them the Hale Pule website. I tell them that it’s a lifestyle change so you have to be ready to take responsibility for your own health, rather than taking a pill. In Ayurveda it all comes down to you, not something outside of yourself.
I’m so grateful to have discovered panchakarma and Ayurveda – my life has truly changed as a result of this experience.