Guiding Light of The Month

THERE is a great difference between being in the midst of active work, of external action, while keeping one’s thought constantly fixed on Thee, and entering into that perfect union with Thee which leads to what I have called “absolute Consciousness, true Omniscience, Knowledge”. - The Mother

My Panchakarma Experience

I have been working in the Information Technology (“IT”) field for the last eighteen years, it mostly requires one to be seated for long hours in front of the computer and also leads to a lot of stress due to extremely tight project timelines and ever changing environments. This took a toll on my health for the past few years resulting in insomnia and stiff neck and upper-back. I tried meditation, taking walks and doing some basic exercises, which gave some temporary relief, but the ailments would return back and it almost became a chronic condition. I had then consulted the doctor and took some pain killers went and for physiotherapy, which were again temporary measures only.

A few years ago, some of our society members had suggested taking Ayurveda* treatment named Panchakarma, which usually is for a minimum period of fourteen days, but could not consider it until recently. Panchakarma, as the name suggests is a fivefold detoxification treatment involving massage, herbal therapy, and other procedures, not only to detox the body but also to strengthen the immune system and restore balance and well-being. Last month (May 2016) I decided to try it out as the stress level was at its peak and the stiff neck became more severe. I was advised that I be prepared not to expect any magical cure in a short time as the Ayurveda treatment uses natural herbs and prepares that body for healing; it actually leads to a change in life-style. This helped me to set my expectations right before the treatment started.

I chose to stay and receive the Panchakarma treatment for a period of fifteen days at an Ayurveda Hospital in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), India where some of our society members have previously taken the treatment and provided good feedback about the hospital. The duration of the treatment was based on the suggestion given by the doctor of the hospital after he had seen my medical reports which I shared though email. The hospital was in the outskirts of the city surrounded by beautiful forest area with beautiful sounds of nature such as trees waving in the wind and chirping of birds and very minimum traffic noise. The hospital surroundings was full of beautiful flowers and medicinal plants and trees used in traditional Indian medicine and had a very lovely walking path as well. The environment helped to calm the mind and experience the treatment more enjoyably. Diet that suits the treatment was also provided based on individual needs in the hospital itself.

As mentioned earlier, I went with an open mind not expecting any fast improvements to my health condition; however, I started to feel better within a couple of days since treatment started. The ambience, food and treatment procedures helped to relax both the body and mind. I was able to sleep better and the neck and upper-back stiffness has reduced to a great extent by the time the treatment was completed. I was also taught breathing exercises (Pranayama) and other exercises specific for the neck and upper-back. It has been around two weeks since I came back to Singapore now, and by continuing a proper diet, appropriate lifestyle, habits and exercise, I am confident that I would be able to fully recover and lead a healthy life.
- Dhanalakshmi

*Ayurveda is one of the world's oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. 

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