All right, I refuse to leave on that note. I can't say my mood has changed much from the last post, but I'm trying. I was tempted to completely erase the last post, but I pride myself on honesty, so that's what you get. Warts and all. I've also had some interesting things happen in the last week that I would like to share.
I have spent 3 days this week as a "model" for my Ayurvedic Dr. She is expanding her business and has a new class of therapists in training. (I'm not sure that's the right term for them.) She uses me as a model to demonstrate the treatments to the students, and I get the treatment for free. A win-win all around as far as I'm concerned.
I've actually found the whole process quite fascinating. When I completed the three day panchakarma the beginning of the year, I didn't really understand the reason behind some of the treatments. Since the Dr. explained the treatments to the students as she was performing them, I learned a lot as well. The biggest challenge was staying awake enough to pay attention, as most of the treatments relax me so much I want to go to sleep. Even with four people in the room staring at me. This has also made it easier for me to restart some of the things I was supposed to be doing at home, such as head and feet massage. Now that I understand why I am doing it, it will be easier to continue.
I had one treatment that focused on the heart and digestion, and one that was a foot massage followed by lower back treatment. I also had a treatment called Kanrapurana, which is basically oil in the ears. I swear I could hear better afterwards. The most interesting (ok weird) treatment was also the one I found most beneficial. It is called Netra Basti, or eye rejuvenation therapy.
A dam of dough is placed around the eyes, and liquid ghee (clarified butter, aka the Indian wonder drug) is poured into the dam. After it sits for a while, you actually open your eyes and keep blinking, while the ghee runs off or is absorbed. I know this sounds really strange, and if I had known what was going to happen before hand I might have been a lot more apprehensive. The treatment is purported to ease eye strain, nourish and rejuvenate the eyes. I can't put my finger on what was different afterward, but my vision was definitely different. Clearer maybe, and everything seemed sharper and more in focus. And I didn't wake up with sticky eyes the next morning, which I had been having problems with as it is spring. The sticky eyes were back the second day, but I will definitely try this treatment again.
I have learned from this experience that Ayurveda is not a one time, feel good massage "quick fix", but a lifestyle change and personal commitment to enhance health. Relying on someone else to make us feel better is not really a good idea, as no one knows our body better than ourselves. Lasting change can only be achieved through commitment. Otherwise, the massage, steam, or shirodhara will be incredibly relaxing and stress relieving, but may not promote any long term benefits. Just thinking about my next steam bath makes me feel warm all over, which is a good thing considering it is snowing. Again.