December 18, Rasayanam (Rejuvenation)!

Dr. Abhijit approved my starting the “rejuvenation” phase of Panchakarma yesterday so  today, I am officially renewing, recovering, and rebuilding from the previous three weeks of detoxification.  During my consultation he gave me a brief lesson on Ayurveda and what Rasayanam (rejuvenation) means.  “Rasa” represents the “Dhatus” and “Ayanam” means to increase.  In Ayurveda there are three Doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) and seven Dhatus.  The Dhatus are Rasa (plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (flesh), Medha (fat), Asthi (bones), Magja (bone marrow), and Shukra (enzymes).  He said that the rejuvenation process starts from Rasa then to Rakta to Mamsa, and so on.  The benefits of Rasayanam are: longevity, memory, health, complexion, slow aging, strengthening of the body and sense organs, reasoning, and pleasant voice.  Yes, it even improves one’s voice to be more pleasing.  With my staying here for 28 days I was hoping for a full week of rejuvenation but four days will have to suffice this time.

In practical terms, rejuvenation translates to new treatments (I am getting Shirovasti, an elaborate head thing that I will describe later, and a warm oil bath), a rejuvenation diet (fruit or porridge in the morning, normal lunch, and dinner that contains ingredients like honey and milk, etc, to encourage cell and tissue regeneration), all white linens (I am supposed to wear white clothing to signify this renewal of self), daily cleaning of my cottage (I’ve been requesting it to be cleaned every third day), and a designated Rasayanam/Rejuvenation table in the dining room with flowers and lights.  I will dine with everyone else though, since almost a third of the guests are now in the rejuvenation phase anyway.

My new cottage all set up for rejuvenation; my rejuvenation diet.

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Those with serious ailments are prescribed additional medicine and instructions on how to continue the rejuvenation process for three weeks up to three months after they return home.  The Indian doctors look puzzled when I tell them I don’t have a home so I’m not sure what I’ll be getting.  Dr. Abhijith did promise to give me a full analysis of my Dosha and all the foods I need to avoid.  My last Ayurvedic doctor warned me against all tubers (no problem living without potatoes), acidic foods (including wine!), and diary (um, no cheese!?).  I’m curious to see what’ll be on my chart this time.  What I do know is that our Ayurvedic diet here has been vegetarian (no eggs, garlic, or onions) and extremely low in fat/oil.  My favorite Panamanian-New Yorker S has been off of his diabetic medicine since arriving here and in three weeks his glucose level has come down to its all time low/normal when checked yesterday morning.  Surely something is working for him.

Part of my daily new treatment.

P1110845 P1110846Maintaining this clean, healthy lifestyle will be more difficult in the real world but it’s not impossible.  I know that I will sometimes indulge on foods that I am supposed to avoid because my life will be filled with friends, joy, celebrations, and happiness.  With Christmas in Tasmania literally just around the corner and the feasts I’m sure that await me, my extended rejuvenation regiment will be an exercise in moderation.

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