Ayurveda Daily Journal – Day 4

Feb. 6 (Day 4):
I made a new friend here; his name is Emil. What a sweetheart! He is always smiling. I’m guessing he’s about 70, with curly, white hair, and kind, blue eyes that peek out at you from behind his glasses. We started chatting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office and hit it off immediately. Emil asked me why I was here, and when I said I was trying to reboot my immune system, he told me his story. He’s flew here from Zurich. He was married for forty five years until six months ago, when the love of his life died from a long illness. From what he’s told me, his wife, Maria, was a very talented woman. She had been an Expressionist painter, a singer, even a lawyer. The joy it brings him to talk about her is beautiful to see. Once though, for just a moment, the corners of his mouth fell a bit. There was a pause, and he whispered “It’s harder than you think.” Then, he flashed that big smile again and said, “So, I guess I’m here for a heart reboot!”  I love Emil. He’s a keeper.

I have two new treatments to tell you about today. The first one is called Lekhaneeyam (meaning scrubbing). I really like this treatment because it makes me feel so light and clean when it’s over. They take this herbal paste (like warm mud) and scrub it into your legs, tush and stomach until the paste is really embedded in your tissues. Then they give you a muslin cloth to cover you (Hallelujah!) while the mud-paste dries. As it does, it feels like all the toxins are getting sucked right out of your body. (I love it!) I have to admit…THIS is when I feel the most like Cleopatra.

Sirodhara (siras means “head” and dhara means “continuous flow”). This treatment is done in conjunction with Lekhaneeyam. They say it is used to relieve mental tension among other things, but it had the opposite effect on me. It was literally ALL I could do to stay on the table. They lay you face up with a strip of muslin tied around your eyebrows to protect your eyes. Then for an hour, they slowly pour warm oil all over your forehead and scalp. (I have to concentrate on my breathing the entire time just to get through it.) You are supposed to leave this thick oil on your hair for at least three hours afterwards, so they wrap your head in a turban, and you walk around all afternoon that way — like Professor Quirrell from the second Harry Potter book. Every time I see someone in that turban, I laugh.  In all fairness though, I will say that after only two of these treatments, my hair feels soft and gorgeous as a result. Maybe it’s not so bad after all?

The doctor ramped up the medications again…They are getting more frequent, more bitter and more disgusting. The doctor’s goal with all of these bitter drinks, pastes and pills is to clean out my body’s entire system and strengthen my stomach for the next phase of treatment. Once that’s done, we can begin rebuilding my health from the ground up. I have been assured on multiple occasions, this entire process is very challenging, and will get much worse as we go along. (Silver lining: I’m guessing that will make for some pretty funny articles in the future.)

“Anything that happens, positive or negative, is designed to help you move forward.” — Dr. Sreelal Sankar

In case you’re interested in learning more about where I’m staying, here’s the link for Kalari Rasayana, my temporary home away from home: http://www.cghearth.com/kalari-rasayana

Here’s my friend Emil’s late wife’s website. It still displays her Expressionist paintings. The link is http://www.mariakern.com


Add Yours
  1. Suzann

    Oil, Scrub, Heal!! The quasi mud bath sounds like heaven.. Glad you had the chance to interact with another patient. I know you must miss Leon and he, you.. Silence can be calming, but “too much of a good thing!!” I can’t imagine how you transition out.. Do you go back to see the doctor after you leave? Can you get the treatments later?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grace Birdsong

      The mud scrub IS heaven…at least to me! As for the transition, the doctor really discourages thinking ahead. He wants me to focus on the moment at hand, so I’m not sure what will happen when I leave!


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