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The Panchakarma Experience

Classic Panchakarma, an ancient Ayurvedic routine of purification and rejuvenation takes up to ninety days, but ask a modern person to do three months of intensive cleansing and you won’t find many takers. Certified Panchakarma specialists Greg Soucy run Healing Hands in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where they have abbreviated the process to a seven-day regimen.
One of the requisites for this mode of Ayurvedic cleansing is to get away from the day-to-day grind. “We want you to get away from the telephone, the TV, e-mail and your normal routine, because that’s what got you out of balance in the first place,” Greg explains.
In understanding Panchakarma, one must comprehend the Ayurvedic concept of balance. Each of us is born with a unique constitution, our own mind-body fingerprint. What throws one person off balance may be exactly what grounds someone else. An Ayurvedic practitioner will determine your constitutional nature by taking an assessment and assigning your dosha as a combination of three distinct body types that occur in varying amounts of each of us. These types are kapha, pitta and vata. Your dosha individualizes your Panchakarma experience.
During the week, therapies follow a daily routine. Guests rise at 7am and are greeted with the herbal tea of the day. Next comes a half an hour yoga practice followed by half an hour of mantra, breathing and Pranayama, followed by a gentle colon cleansing and another cup of tea. A marma point massage subsequently stimulates or decreases marma points in the body, which are much like acupuncture points and act as gateways between mind and body. During the massage, a unique therapy called Tarpana occurs, penetrating long-forgotten wounds of the soul and allowing the client to release.
The person on the massage table begins to re-experience painful events stored in the cellular tissue. “Flashbacks will come to you, like a video,” Greg explains. The one receiving Tarpana talks to the spirit of the person who has hurt him. He gets to give the stuck energy back and forgive the transgression. “One client came with chronic fatigue and she said that she had the hardest time just waking up,” Greg reports, ”She felt like she had this metal helmet on her head that was encasing her and wouldn’t let her wake up. One day we did the Tarpana and in the end she said her helmet was free. Since then she’s able to get up in the morning.”
Following Tarpana, the chakras are balanced with essential oils. Shirodhara, a unique Ayurvedic treatment comes next on the agenda. A continuous stream of warm oil is poured over the forehead for forty-five minutes. Inducing a deep relaxation by calming the central nervous system, Shirodhara also opens the third eye. Clients often report seeing vibrant colors or visions and often go into a deep restful state for anywhere from several minutes to several hours. “We let them rest,” Selene relates, “We don’t wake them up, because if they go so deep in relaxation,
they actually need it.”
Each of the seven days are geared to cleansing and rebuilding particular organ systems. The first day the stomach and colon are targeted; the second day the liver and gall bladder are addressed; the third day cleanses the lungs; the fourth supports the kidneys; the fifth rejuvenates the circulation system; day six goes to assisting the reproductive organs, and the seventh day is dedicated to rest and Nirvana. For the first three days no solid foods are eaten. After the fast is broken, Greg serves up healthy organic Ayurvedic meals that receive rave reviews. Spices, foods, juices and teas are chosen to balance an individual’s dosha and complement the organ system of the day. You might eat a familiar dish of apple oatmeal for breakfast and be surprised by a lunch of traditional Indian Kicharee, a healing dish made of basmati rice, mung dahl and ghee.
Other specialized treatments are woven into the week’s health-giving schedule, such as an eye cleansing, an ear candling and a clearing of the nasal passages. No stone is left unturned in this incredibly comprehensive collection of treatments. Greg have treated individuals with acute ailments such as AIDS, various stages of cancer, fibromyalgia and diabetes, and have reported tremendously positive results. “The imbalance that has gone on too long manifests into symptoms that, if continued to be ignored, create a disease within the body. What the Ayurvedic practitioner tries to do is find the imbalance and take it away,” Greg explains.
Following the same logic, one who is not suffering from a serious illness will simply feel better spiritually and physically following Panchakarma. Many return year after year to receive the same therapies and testify that they go to deeper levels each time.

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