My Ayurvedic Detox Experience

Updated: 5 hours ago

This is going to be a long post because I have 14 days / treatments to document + my experience and progress along the way. Why am I doing this?

After a lifetime of tummy troubles and mental health issues, and within the last decade battling mystery symptoms it was time to do something a bit more drastic and serious to get my health back on track.

I know that there are hundreds and thousands of people out there with mysterious illnesses and symptoms and are steadily becoming disillusioned by the mainstream healthcare systems. I love how we have access to quality emergency and healthcare but it can only do so much. They aren't trained in integrative or whole body medicine. I wish that each system talked to each other. In fact, my wish is that before I die, the Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic, Indigenous Wisdom, Herbalists and Western Medicine will talk to each other and complement each others services. This is the way forward. For now, we have to do these separate and what I am investing in is completely out of reach for so many and that really, really sucks! I am documenting this so that it may help someone, or multiple people in a similar situation and if you are in a place to invest in your health, do so. Stop doing the headless chicken run in the western system. They will just give you another cream or anti-depressants (true story). I am also in this stage of consciousness and awareness that I need to let go of control (fear of spending money on extravagant things) and when I continue to be met with resistance that I will actually take the loud and clear message instead of continuing to ignore it and hope my symptoms will magically disappear. My friend who is an amazing astrologer, put it in good words today regarding the Neptune transit.

"Neptune, dissolves whatever he touches. He is the ocean, and the fog that surrounds the ocean. It's about psychic visions, spirituality, transcendence, dreams, and complete dissolution and letting go. There is no clarity with Neptune! "Faith" and “Trust" are the salves, or the balms here, with the only relentless activity allowed being that of surrender and letting go of all expectation and control"

That pretty much sums it up for me. I have been holding on and resisting so much, feeling like a control freak, only total surrender to receiving specialized care that I intuitively know will be healing will be my salve and balm moving forward.

psstt..if you want to know what your Neptune transit is up to in this crazy timestamp of current life, check in with Nicola here.

A bit of history for context.

I remember always having a bit of tummy trouble and health issues as a kid. I remember having crash hunger and feeling hungry all the time even though I just ate, or after eating I would have a sore tummy. I remember being told it was just growing pains. I had fainting spells as a kid, where I just couldn't run too long, or too hard, and drastic temperature changes from cold to hot made me faint. The earliest memory of this was in year 2. I was lining up outside in the schoolyard, it was snowing and there was lots of snow on the ground - we were all in full snowsuits to play at recess. I remember looking at my mittens which were orange and white striped (a home made knitted pair from gramma) and the lines went blurry. Next minute, I am laying in the sick bed with no idea how I got there or why. I don't remember what happened after but I don't remember this being looked into. It wasn't until high school that I was confirmed to have anemia, my hair went prematurely gray (really awful for a 13 year old girl) and the hunger crashes and fainting spells continued. Without going into too much detail for the next part, I will skim quite a bit. I was bullied from years 6-9 and it was really terrible. By the time I was 15, I had re invented myself after a summer off of school. All of a sudden boys took interest and I made bad relationship decisions until my 20's. That was really sucky. I abused alcohol and drugs in my 20's and that definitely added to my gut problems that became worse in my late 20's and early 30's. The bullying caused enormous mental strain for me. Every day I had to endure censorship, feeling left out and verbal attacks from peers. It made me terrified and riddled with anxiety. Before I met my husband I was in a toxic abusive relationship and this added to my state of fight or flight and anxiety.

Next Steps

Now that I am a Holistic Practitioner, I fully understand the Whole Person medicine. We look at Mind, Body and Spirit (or Soul). You cannot have a healthy body if your mind is toxic and negative, you cannot have a healthy mind if your soul/ spirit is crushed. Because of my pre-teen years all the way to adulthood, my spirit was crushed unequivocally, my body was screaming for help and my mind was just as toxic; alternating between negativity, anxiety spirals and depressive states or just apathy. My Wild Woman psyche was injured severely.

Once I met my husband, I was little more than a poorly bandaged up feral creature (at least that's how I felt). I couldn't believe that he crossed my path. Why now. Why not 2 years later after I have time to properly heal. But love doesn't really choose the 'right' time and I had to get my shit together.

We took a trip to Mexico and I got sick there - the classic food poisoning scenario but after that trip, about 12 years ago, I haven't been the same. When I moved to Australia in 2012, I was sick every 5 weeks with some sort of virus. This went on for the first year and a bit. It really took a toll on my body. I just kept saying it is new germs and once I get accustomed to this it will get better. It didn't.

It just changed tactics and disguises.

I started to get really bloated. Like I can count beyond both hands the amount of people asked me when my baby is due (no baby - just awkwardly bloated!). I am a fairly skinny person, so the gut bloat was an issue. So much pain with this too. I started seeing my Doctor about it. A few were totally unbelievably useless. One even said it was all in my head. I saw naturopaths, which helped a little but didn't address the root cause. I saw more doctors, who referred me to more specialists and they referred me to other specialists.

I have done almost all available medical screening tests from copious amounts of blood work, MRI, brain scans, heart scans, Ultrasounds, colonoscopies, endoscopies, other lab tests, you name it, I have done it.

Nothing came back abnormal. Yet the symptoms persisted and they were getting worse.

I saw nutritionists, dieticians. More naturopaths. I saw Acupuncturists. Colonic Cleansing. Yoga. Gym Membership. Fad diets. Probiotics. Elimination diets. Allergy tests. Intolerance tests. All the things. in 10 years I reckon I have spent many several thousands of dollars on all of the above. I found out that I am low in iron. Ok - why? No one could tell me. I have a persistent parasite.....the alternative medicine folk are really concerned about this, the western mainstream doctors and practitioners tell me its nothing of concern. Who do I believe?

I have candida + aspergillus mold (from a naturopath test). ok - I am getting more answers but still no solid treatment plan or path or answers.

I saw some homeopaths which help with acute symptoms when I have flare ups but still not solving anything.

I finally found an integrated doctor (warning, bad language ahead), who did more tests and we finally found some more evidence.

Good news is my aspergillus mould levels are down (but that test was done before the mould in Brisbane this year so who knows where I'm at now).

We also found that my candida is not only present, it is systemic and quite serious. Ok that explains a lot of symptoms but how to treat it?

I am allergic to wheat, dairy, prawn and a few other random things. Well fuck. That sucks. I always snuck a bit of gluten or some cheeky cheese tastes once in awhile but thats off the cards now too.

I am allergic to Fructose. Fucking hell! So wine, alcohol, honey, and fruit - see ya! It's been fun.

We also find that I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Basically my cells that are meant to ward off nasty things like candida and other uninvited guests are attacking and inflaming my body. I have a perfect inflammation storm happening inside me. Next stop, cancer - great, can't wait! So shit is getting real and I need it to stop before it gets worse. My Holistic training is whispering to me that I need to let some things go and pronto - so I cut some things loose in my life. The volunteer gig which I love and lots of area's of my business that were dead weight anyway. Studies are done so I can just chill out a bit and heal.

I studied

Almost completely disillusioned with the western medical system, I needed to research some other ways. I found Holistic knowledge and creative therapies and studied this. This was a game changer. I was already an artist and I knew when I created art, my anxiety lessened and I was able to get grounded and into a calm headspace. But when I learned about Holistic practice and applying art with creative therapies, I unraveled 20 years worth of trauma, triggers and mental health issues in 2 years. It was incredible! Whilst this help heal my 'mind' and my spirit, my physical symptoms still persisted and I suspect that this portion wasn't going to be an overnight fix. I understand that when doing something physical to support your health ( Yoga, Gym, Running, Lifestyle Diet, any or all) you need to support your mental health. This is where creative therapies come in and I practice this in some form everyday (If you would like support with this, give me a message)

I met a Kundalini Yoga Teacher

So I search google maps for different services -- weird maybe? I think other people use instagram but I like to be different. I find this amazing woman who is just 3 minutes down the road from my daughters school. I have no idea what Kundalini Yoga is but I give it a go. If you haven't tried it, I can't really put it to words. You just have to try it. It is all about breathing and healing through mantras and postures. And the Kundalini Gong sound bath is other-wordly!

Anyways, she kind of looks at me while we are on the subject of food and she says that I would really benefit from an Ayurvedic diet for my Dosha. I have heard of Ayurveda quite a few times but this was obviously a clear message because of the timing of it. So I bought a Ayurvedic Cookbook written by a fellow Millennial as I knew it would be easy to read. It took 6 weeks to arrive from the UK but once it arrived I poured over the pages. Definitely gave me a good scope of what Ayurveda is, and I suspected my Dosha is Vata.

If you don't know what Ayurveda is, read about it here. Or google it and read up on it. So I started to eat vegetarian 4 weeks ago now, and not just salads. In fact, if I am truly Vata, the worst thing I could do is eat raw veggies and a plate of salad. It would simply putrefy in my guts because I don't have enough agni (fire) in my guts to digest it. Wow. This makes so much sense and a game changer for knowledge for me! My next steps was to ask my incredible ancient wisdom neighbor. An absolute ray of light in her late 70's. She is well known in the alternative medicine scene here in Queensland, having written many medical journals on Naturopathy, herbalism, homeopathy - she knows her stuff and has been organic for over 30 years. I am so blessed to have this neighbour! I adore our conversations and listening to all of her stories, she has lived such a rich and diverse life of study, experiences and living life to its fullest and most vibrant. She is like an adopted grandmother which is so special to have here in Australia. When I asked her about Ayurveda, she laughed because she said she has just brought out all her books to restudy them (at 80 - I love how she is always studying and learning!) She lent me her favourite cookbook and gave me a contact of one of the best Ayurvedic doctor's in Australia. With no time to waste, I booked in for an initial consultation that week. You can take a Dosha test, which are pretty accurate, however there is no better way to be certain than to see a practitioner. They will take your pulse and they will know your entire medical history and symptoms within 30 seconds. Yeah. Its pretty crazy!

My Investment in Health

Today's Date: Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

After the initial consultation, he offered me some treatment options. I opted for a 14 day cleanse. He said that eating Ayurvedic will absolutely help, but the state that my body is in, there is only so much good nutrition can do - you have to clear the toxic waste that has been accumulating in my bloodstream / guts and intestines for likely years. He discovered my liver is not healthy or happy and I know that my kidneys were aching (after I was recovering from covid) so this definitely concerned me and I knew this was now or never.

I called my husband to let him know that our savings is going to take a hit and he is so lovely and supportive and just said you can't put a price on life or health and after so many years of feeling rubbish and sick all the time, lets just do this.

So for $3,500 it begins. What I love about this detox program is that they not only provide recipes for my Dosha type, plus herbs to prep you and also herbs for maintenance and recovery, you also get 14 treatments. Like a proper detox retreat. I am going to have 14 days of specialized massages and treatments so to me, this is worth it.

Day 1:

Treatment 1: Abhyanga (Traditional Ayurvedic Treatment – Therapeutic Massage)

Abhyanga is the traditional ayurvedic full body massage using herbal oils selected to suit your mind-body constitution (dosha) and any presenting symptoms or imbalances. The therapist practices abhyanga with an acute awareness of the energy points in the body (marmas and chakras).

The massage moves energy into your body at the same time it loosens toxins from your tissues and stimulates your body’s natural ability to heal.

The treatment may benefit both your nervous and endocrine systems, enhances blood and

lymphatic circulation, improves muscle tone, and reduces free radical activity within your body.

In a word, this massage was DIVINE. I had 2 massage practitioners and they poured so much warm oil on me. It wasn't just a little oil, it felt like a whole bottle. Totally warmed up and beautifully relaxing. If you have ever had a Lomi Lomi massage, it was kind of like this. Flowing and repeated motions. I knew that this massage was not only relaxing, it had a clinical purpose which will help detoxify my body.

Treatment 2: Herbal Paste Detox Massage (Udvertana)

Herbal Paste Detox Massage “Udvartana” is a special ayurvedic body therapy that involves two therapists massaging a person’s body using a unique herbal paste. The herbal paste consists of herbal powders and oils designed to provide maximum therapeutic benefit for your body type and health condition/s.

The treatment is performed on a traditional wooden table made from the neem tree, which enhances the healing and detoxifying effect of the treatment.

Udvartana paste uses sesame oil, which is hot in potency, infused with herbs to create lightness, dryness, and roughness. The friction of the paste on the skin during the massage opens the pores, removes blockages in the blood vessels, increases the heat in the tissues, and stimulates fat metabolism. The oil base of the paste also protects the skin from becoming superficially dry so it remains soft and supple after the treatment.

Again, I had 2 massage practitioners and this treatment was directly after the first oil massage. I couldn't believe how luxurious this felt! It felt just as long as the first massage which felt ages! After the massage, I was bathed and scrubbed with a lovely perfect hot temperature decoction of herbs to rinse off. The wood table was perfect as the water drained into a bucket. I have a few more of these massages coming up and I am so excited for them!

Honestly, I felt like I was being prepared for some sort of lavish event and I had 2 ladies maids helping me dress and prepare and cleanse my body. It was the most luxuriant feeling and treatment I have ever had. I love myself this much to receive this care at this time in my life. So special!

Treatment 3:

After the paste massage, the therapists bathe your body with a therapeutic herbal liquid. You are then invited to sit in a herbal steam chamber where the body heats up, sweats out toxins and stimulates metabolic processes that have a ‘cutting’ or liquefying action on fat tissue.

Udvartana reduces both vata and kapha. After the treatment, you can expect to feel rejuvenated and revitalised, de-stressed and relaxed, yet also invigorated.

I like to call this a steam cabinet. Your head is outside which is nice because I have been in steam rooms before at spa's. While lovely, I always find it hard to breathe. In this treatment, I was placed in this little wooden cabinet seated, with my head out so I could see the room and breathe. The steam was so nice and I was envisioning the toxins leaving my body after the full massages.

Day 2

Friday, June 24th, 2022

I will preface this entry with a note regarding my prep to this. I have done 3 weeks of lifestyle prep by eating Ayurvedic Vegetarian for my Dosha. I suspected I was Vata, so I ate for Vata. No raw foods. A lot of soupy / porridge consistency foods with warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and clove. For savory it is lentils and basmati with Vata vegetables cooked well and spiced with cumin, coriander, hing, ginger, mustard seed and a few other spices. I have lost 3 kg of 'toxic waste' that has been accumulating in my guts, intestines and blood for many years. I feel so much lighter (physically and mentally) already. Doing something like this isn't for the faint of heart. It isn't recommended that you do something like this cold turkey if you aren't already on the path to health and are serious about it. It would be a waste of money if you didn't follow the lifestyle or treatment plan. For me, I have been on this path for a decade, I could even argue this was my path for my entire life.

Trying to fit into a world that isn't right for me and my physical body cannot handle it. So for me, I am ready and determined to go through with this treatment in its entirety with the intention that I will heal and reset. I am not only shedding toxic physical weight, I am also shedding spiritual weight and limiting beliefs. I am shedding my injured psyche and reconnecting with my body and its needs, its deepest yearnings and intuition. I know I am ready for this next journey. From here, I cannot go back to drinking weekends, cheese binges, eating wrong food combinations. This is a reset of lifestyle so I can fully surrender into alignment and occupying a life that is meant for me.

Ayurveda may not be for you, but if you are like me, and have tried many avenues in health industries, this may be a path worth considering. The fact that it is one of the most ancient practice of preventative health (over 5,000 years but likely longer with oral history) assures me that this is the right one for me as I consider myself an 'old soul' who needs some ancient nurturing and wisdom instead of guinea pig experiments to clinical studies of modern disconnected-from-mind+body treatments.

I will also note that if you believe that a vacation or a new hair cut or a new wardrobe will fix your health and happiness issues - a gentle reminder - it won't. Ask yourself the same hard question that I had to ask myself.

What am I running from?

Why can't I commit to something I know will be good for me and more wholesome and get to the root of healing.

I'm not sure who needs to hear these words;

A vacation won't do this if you don't address root causes. Stop running (flight) and get your shit together. Or more gently, be present with what is feeling uncomfortable and understand the feelings and triggers, make changes so you stop feeling this way. These are the words I had to ask myself too. Pretty confronting but essential to understand the inner blocks.

Today's mantra is: Be honest is yourself.

1st treatment

Abhyanga (Traditional Ayurvedic Treatment – Therapeutic Massage) Whole body oil massage. The same as treatment 1 on day 1.

I had 2 practitioners again and the massage was just as relaxing as the one yesterday and I was able to go deeper into my body and relaxed state today.

2nd treatment

Herbal Rice Ball Massage Small cotton bags are filled with a particular kind of cooked rice which is dipped in warm milk with medicated decoction and massaged on to the body

This was so interesting. It was cooked rice with herbs and herbally medicated hot cows milk that they soak these fabric wrapped rice balls and then use that to massage your entire body. I actually loved the feeling. It was hot, but not uncomfortable, it was firm but soft and felt really amazing on my hands and feet but also loved it on my back the best.

3rd treatment

Hot water bath.

The bath.

I think this is actually my favorite treatment! Having 2 other people bathe you is right up there with the most luxurious thing I have experienced. Hot water is poured over you while they massage and sort of scrub your body clean of the sticky rice residue. You are sitting on top of the wood Neem table and the water drains off of you (you are wearing disposable bra and underwear).

4th treatment.

Steam cabinet again. See notes from day 1.

5th treatment

Oil enema. I have had colon cleanses before so this was easy. It was only 100ml and over within seconds and I was able to drive home comfortably. You have to hold it in for at least 30 minutes before releasing.

5 separate treatments for 1.5 hour session was an excellent experience and I definitely am seeing the value for money with the big up-front investment.

I just remember laying on the table during the massage and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude and love. My divine feminine has started to return home after many years of hibernation and operating in Masculine for too long. I am surrendering to receive nourishing care and healing.

Day 3 Saturday, June 25th at 3:00pm

Treatment 1

Kizhi (Herbal Ball Massage)

This is a remedial treatment for relieving pain and recharging the body. It utilizes a compress of warmed herbs, seeds and spices which are applied with gentle pressure over the body. The healing potency of the compress penetrates the tissues, reduces inflammation and swelling, soothes irritation, nourishes muscles and connective tissues and assist your body's restoration.

This is a wonderful massage. I really love the other two but they are flowing massages that don't really get into the tissues. This one was still flowy but deeper and the herbal ball was comfortably hot and felt amazing. It was a head to to massage front and back. I actually fell asleep on the table and I have never done this before during a massage!

Treatment 2

Steam bath.

Another steam cabinet but it was in a different room and didn't have a wooden one this time. It was a fabric tent and my head was still out so I could breathe. Lovely warm cocoon that allows my body to detoxify further.

Treatment 3

Oil Vasti (Ayurvedic enema)

Vastis are often part of a detoxification program as a safe and gentle way to cleanse the colon using specially formulated mixtures of herbs in a base of oil in this case. Ayurvedic vasti not only cleans the colon, it also gets partially absorbed through the tissues and on a cellular level, has a healing effect on the whole body and intestines.

This was only 100ml so it was over really quickly. Within seconds. This one you must hold for 30 minutes and I was able to drive home with no issues.

Day 4, Monday, June 27th

Treatment 1: Reflexology Massage.

They laid a towel along the length of my body and I was face down. They aligned my back with gentle but firm reflexology points, then focused on my calves. My feet got the most attention and it was interesting observing where my thoughts led me, almost into a dreamscape and then it was over. Treatment 2: Shirodhara

Shirodhara is a deeply relaxing and restoring treatment. A stream of warm herb infused oil is slowly poured onto the center of the forehead followed by a gentle scalp massage and reflexology. Shirodhara deeply nourishes the nervous system, relieves stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, hypertension, and many neurological disorders. This treatment is indescribably blissful and restorative.

Ok. Above is the description. I was very excited to experience this as I don't think I would have spent money on this treatment if it was a stand alone, but because it is part of the treatment package, I was excited to try it. At first, the practitioner did some reflexology on my forehead, where my 3rd eye sits. Strangely, I felt a bit of pain there, I didn't realize I was carrying tension there which was interesting to take note and observe. They put a towel over my eyes and I settled in. At first, the oil was lovely. A whole new sensation. It definitely drew my attention to that area of my body and I was envisioning my 3rd eye. Occasionally, the practitioner would move the oil stream so it caressed my temples and forehead which was my favourate part, like a nourishing massage for my 3rd eye. What started to happen though, was this crackly sound and feeling in my head. I can't quite explain it but I will do my best. You know when you have a sinus infection and your ears plug, then you blow your nose and you hear a crackly sound in your head. It was like this, but constant. Interestingly, when the oil was moved to my temples I didn't experience this but as soon as it went overtop of my 3rd eye, the crackly sound and awareness appeared again. It started to become uncomfortable, and it started a restless leg response which I don't often get. My awareness was observing my reactions and my physical manifestations of this treatment. It was also conscious of my thought pattern. Observing, learning, watching. I remember wanting that treatment to be over but also being present in the whole experience. Why is it uncomfortable for me? Why am I getting a physical symptom of crackly head and restless leg, I am literally feeling restless and these physical distractions are becoming reality. Such an interesting observation. I had a chance to sleep on this observation and I have a theory. My gorgeous friend and Sound Healer, Kim Rooney of Pure Presence (shameless business shout out for my dear friend haha) had an experience with sound once that has stuck with me. She said that once sound healing didn't offer harmony or relaxation, instead it was like nails on a chalkboard. It can bring up many things that you are holding in or hiding and help bring awareness of where you are truly at. I had this experience with my first Kundalini Gong sound bath - the first one I was actually scared and fretful - it took me places I wasn't prepared to go. But once I leaned into it, stop resisted even the uncomfortable and observed what was happening in my mental mind and physical body, the 2nd and 3d gong bath's were really exceptional. My theory is the same for Shirodhara. It was clearing something hidden and stagnate within me, which is why I was feeling restless. I did have a really good sleep and feel lighter somehow.

I look forward to the next Shirodhara treatment and see if I have a different experience. Always observing. Always learning. Always experiencing.

Day 5

Tuesday, June 28th

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