I am often asked about weight loss and I'll wrap it up as follows: We tend to try a number of ways to lose weight today. In my own wellness boutiques, we offer specific weightloss ayurvedic massage known as Utwartana, a number of yoga asanas to target localised fats and out there, there are a number of different types of diets like those recommending heavy protein, vegetarian, vegan or selective food diets and then there are artificial ones like pills for losing weight or the most cruel that I've heard, is stapling of the stomach. We all jump on the bandwagon or the latest fad diet in the desperate hope of losing weight.
In my most recent observations based on our specialist detox programmes and workshops, I've found that if we have accumulated a high level of toxins in the body over time, then we best sort out this particular problem first. Trying to lose weight, on top of layers of accumulated toxins in the body, is a huge struggle and often brings disappointment and frustration.
Our bodies are miraculous entities - 60,000 miles of blood vessels, over 50 Trillion of cells with 300 Billions of new cells replaced every day, new stomach lining every 3-4 days, nerve impulses traveling at speed of 170 mph and my most favourite organ, the liver - with over 500 different functions, can literally regrow into its full size from as little as 25% of it left.
However, unknowingly, we tend to abuse our bodies everyday by particularly fast life styles, poor diets, wrong eating habits, overeating, drinking and smoking. But strong as the body is, it may take more than 40 years plus of consistent abuses before developing into chronic diseases. This explains why many of the diseases like diabetes, high BP, high cholesterol, constipation, arthritis surface around our 40s and onwards.
In Ayurveda, this is much more beautifully explained by the concept of Ama. Without going into too much details, Ama simply refers to the level of toxins in Ayurveda and it goes through six different stages before manifesting into chronic diseases. I'll explain this in a whole different topic another time, but for now, I will use a very good analogy which I used a lot with my detox patients. Think of a coffee/tea filter. When used over time, it gets naturally clogged by bits or wastes. In a very similar manner, our body accumulates toxins as a result of irregular and bad food habits and fast lifestyles. And just like it is harder for the coffee to pass through a clogged filter, it becomes difficult and slow for our digestive system to deal with food. Our metabolism becomes slow, our organs take longer to assimilate food and as a result, we start gaining weight. Exactly the same concept with cars as well. We drive them for miles but if we don't take them for a regular service, they will obviously start breaking down.
We may have learnt to maintain our cars and coffee machines very well but not ourselves so much :-(. Our digestive and respiratory systems need cleansing too. We wash, clean and flush the coffee filters every time it's clogged and we then watch the coffee flows consistently once again. This is about exactly what we should do with our body - reset it up to its innate abilities to assimilate nutrients and eliminate wastes. This function in itself, will prevent unnecessary weight gain. For those of you who are keen on more details, please google on Panchkarma detox, the Ama theory and most importantly the Tridosha concept. Unlike other detox programmes, Panchkarma detox is a totally unique treatment tailored to the individual's dosha and has a very comprehensive vegetarian diet throughout the programme. Nothing to do with juicing or drug regimes.
I remember my first Panchkarma detox very well. I lost an astounding 3.5 kgs in literally 2 hours of the first enema session and an overall 7.5 kgs across a 10 days programme. I was at the time, furthering my Ayurveda knowledge as a student and was merely experiencing the Panchkarma detox on myself at the Ayurveda Clinic. I was not overweight or anything but I'm just so glad I did it. I got rid of unnecessary toxic wastes that I'd been carrying around unknowingly. It's a bit difficult to fully describe the full Panchkarma detox benefits. As mentioned earlier, it resets the body to its innate abilities or if I were to put it bluntly, it brings a feeling of being reborn, a feeling of being pure like a newborn baby. It goes beyond cleansing just the body. I originally didn't quite pay much attention to the mental and emotional detox parts of the Panchkarma treatment. I went through a series of emotions during the treatment like unexplained sadness, joy, anger, extreme fatigue and tiredness. All of these were nicely unraveled at the end. I not only lost the excess weight I was carrying. I am now full of energy, vigor, creativity and genuinely feel physically, mentally and emotionally in balance and my hair and skin glow :-). Panchkarma Detox is a real lasting experience of transformation and it is still unfolding within me. I get to do it once a year in my own Ayurveda boutique, not because I can :-) but also because I want this feeling to last.
I will strongly recommend Panchkarma detox if you are struggling to lose weight, if you are constantly feeling fatigue and tiredness (think of the car here that badly needs a service) and especially if you are in your mid or late thirties and would like to avoid any chronic diseases. Know that once you develop something like diabetes, you have to live with it and be on medication for the rest of your life. This is the great benefit of Panchkarma detox. It cures those who are sick, it maintains health for those who are not sick and it cures those who do not know they are sick.
There are quite a few Ayurveda clinic around offering Panchkarma detox. It's good to see that there is a growing awareness on using these ancient forms of therapies, but please make sure that they check your dosha before any treatment - this is known as Prakriti Analysis as it will form the basis of your tailored Panchkarma Detox treatment. Please also ensure that you are supervised throughout the treatment by an experienced Ayurveda Practitioner. As mentioned earlier, there may be periods of extreme tiredness, lethargy, bloating, rollercoaster of emotions, old memories or traumas resurfacing, etc. And for ladies, please do not perform Panchkarma Detox, if you are menstruating.
Happy to help anyone looking for more details on Panchkarma detox. Google also has tons of info on it. Just a final note on weight loss. Please check your BMI before thinking of losing weight. Some of us are totally healthy in weight but somehow still go to extreme weightloss programs. A normal BMI reading should be between 18 and 24.
All my best and blessings,