Recently, I got a call from a woman on day three of her preparation program for Panchakarma (PK), our detox retreat here at LifeSpa in Boulder. Before folks come for PK, we ask them to do a seven-day detox at home that is much like the main cleanse portion of our Colorado Cleanse. This detox regimen is centered around the Ayurvedic practice of oleation, whereby increasing amounts of ghee are ingested daily to pull fat-soluble toxins from deep within the cells.
When this patient called, she told me she was having severe, deep body pains – pains she had never had before. I asked if she thought she had the flu, and she said no. She had gone to her chiropractor and said it didn’t touch the pain – it was too deep.
I told her that sometimes during Panchakarma, and the pre-cleanse done in preparation for Panchakarma, the body can release deeply stored toxins. This is actually one of the goals of Ayurvedic cleansing—to release old toxins lodged in the fat.
I told her that this kind of very deep and severe pain sounded like the release of heavy metals, which are fat-soluble toxins that are not easy to remove. I asked her if she had been exposed to any heavy metals as far as she could recall. I should mention I have known this person for years and I know for a fact that she lives a very clean, pure, and disciplined lifestyle and only eats the best and healthiest foods.
What she told me next shocked me. She told me she had been eating fish twice a day every day – for two years! She said it was all from the best natural markets, but admitted that she should have known better.
I can totally sympathize with her. For folks who do not thrive on a vegetarian diet, eating healthily without fish in the diet is tough. She had not eaten red meat in 30 years, and eating chicken everyday just seemed unhealthy to her.
Next, we had her blood tested for heavy metals. Her mercury was off the charts!
What was interesting was that she had zero pain before she started the Pre-Panchakarma Detox. Three days into the detox, which is designed put the body into fat-burning and detoxifying mode, she was in severe pain as the mercury was being released out of her cells.
I gave her oral Chelation Support, and told her to continue the Pre-PK preparation she had started. The pain started to subside and by the third day of Panchakarma, her pain was gone.
To me, this is a great example of how effective oleation is for doing what it was intended to do in Ayurveda – pulling the toxins out from deep within the cells. In this patient’s case, we clearly saw how the Pre-PK detox plan released the toxins from her cells, and how the PK itself finished the job by supporting her body in clearing them.
Sadly, in a study cited in a recent report I wrote in our newsletter, hundreds of fish from hundreds of streams, rivers, lakes and oceans were tested for heavy metals. Every fish tested was contaminated and more than half were above the legal limits.
Additionally, coal mine plumes (clouds) that cover most of the USA from electrical power plants drop mercury residues on even the best organic vegetables, and these residues do not wash off. While eating fish should be limited to once or twice a week, we still must rely on the body’s natural ability to digest and detoxify these toxins. Perhaps my greatest appreciation within Ayurveda is the major focus on the body’s digestive and detoxification systems. In a toxic world, we must be able to detox naturally.