This five part series explores a ‘Guided Home Cleanse’ with Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor and Panchakarma Specialist, Allison Bransfield Morse. Allison runs The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont just outside of Burlington, and offers traditional Panchakarma (PK) on site as well as at a distance. This series explores what’s involved with a home PK, why the guidance of a practitioner is needed, and what the benefits may be. Enjoy, and feel free to join in on the conversation.
In part three of this series, we look at the benefits and challenges of an at-home cleanse compared to a cleanse in a clinic. Some benefits may be obvious to you, others may not. Read on to learn exactly what’s involved and why you may consider one environment over another.
The cost for performing a cleanse at home is minimal. Food cost will surely be lower than your average grocery bill, as rice, beans, butter or ghee, spices and vegetables will be the primary ingredients on your shopping list. Expect to also pay for supplements and supplies including but not limited to oils and herbs.
Are you working with a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner? Practitioners such as Allison Bransfield Morse are offering affordable programs in which you are walked through a home-based cleanse, given all the information you’ll need as well as access to the guidance and support of an experienced professional. Well worth the minimal investment to ensure you are in fact on the right tract through the process. Read Part One of this series for all the reasons WHY this cleanse should be guided by a pracitioner.
To Cook or Not to Cook There is some effort required to cook kitchari on a daily basis. You may get a step ahead by making a large batch that lasts a day and a half or so. But know that you’ll need to be giving some time to cooking on a daily basis throughout your at-home cleanse. You’ll also need to have ghee available, and this can easily be made or purchased online or at your local health food store.
If you’re not yet into cooking, consider the following. Cooking, though time consuming, can be a meditative and centering process. It’s an important life skill that’s a necessity for good health. Even if you’re blessed with an incredible health-conscious cook for a partner, crafting one’s own food is a good way of developing a relationship with one’s self.
Please also consider your own strength in the cleansing process. It may be that going to a clinic and leaving the cooking to someone else will reduce any stress or burden on oneself, allowing for a different level of cleansing to occur.
Body Treatments A clinic will offer an array of daily body treatments from massage and other external ‘oiling’ processes to the heavenly shirodhara ‘third-eye’ treatment (pictured) as well as steaming in a canopy. All of these processes are implemented to encourage the loosening and release of toxins stored in the tissues, an important part of the process.
At home, one can choose to incorporate these treatments into the process or not. Beginners may like to stick to a dietary cleanse. More experienced cleansers may do self-massage, the application of oil to the body, followed by a hot shower. It is not necessary that one be skilled in any massage techniques to do self-massage. The benefit of the process is actually very much reliant upon the oil itself, which has a profound effect on the doshas, encouraging them to return to their home sites.
Purchasing a few treatments from your local licensed massage therapist or Ayurvedic practitioner may be another avenue of support for you during your home cleanse.
Again, however you decide to go about your cleanse is a personal and individual choice. Any step, however small, will return some benefit to you.
Support It’s important to consider the environment you may need to support you during your cleanse. That may mean communicating with your loved ones about your intentions and scheduling your work around the toughest days of your cleanse (generally the last). That may also mean choosing the solace of a clinic.
Emotions will surely surface during the PK process. Checking in with your practitioner will be a huge support to you. According to Allison, cleanses should become easier over time. Consider what your needs may be and create the experience with the necessary support in mind.
Time Commitment Regardless of one’s life circumstances and surroundings, cleansing will surely bring benefits if done properly. Wherever you are in life, you can benefit from this process. PK is tailored to each individual, and working with a qualified practitioner like Allison will further serve to tailor your program so it meets all of your needs – physical, spiritual, and emotional. Whatever time you can commit to this is up to you. Schedule your at-home cleanse for a brief three days or take the time to do an extended five, seven or ten-day cleanse.
With any at-home process, making a commitment and following through is all up to you. Decide for yourself to do a cleanse and take the time, however brief or long, to bring a balance to your system and rid yourself of the unnecessary accumulations that diet, lifestyle, and environment undoubtedly gather.
Image Courtesy of The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont.
Basic Kitchari Part One: Why the Guidance of a Practitioner is Needed Part Two: The Process of Panchakarma