Panchakarma FAQs

Important Notice: As of July 3, 2014 Panchakarma is taking a hiatus.
Go here for the whole story and more details.


Deciding to do Panchakarma at LifeSpa

How many times per year should I do Panchakarma?

Ideally, Ayurveda recommends doing PK seasonally, four times per year.As many of us are not able to do that, I recommend doing PK once per year.Inbetween you can do a cleanse at home.

How do I decide on how many days to do Panchakarma?

Our patients decide on how many days to do based on their health goals, their budget and their schedule.I recommend doing at least 7 days, which will help you deeply unwind your nervous system, quiet your mind, and release toxins buried in your cells.

What’s the difference between doing 3,5, or 7 days of Panchakarma?

In general, the first 3 days we experience more of a physical detox.Our body releases fat-soluble cancer-causing chemicals and toxins.Around days 4 and 5 our body tends to release old emotions, beliefs and patterns – in addition to physical toxins.By days 6 and 7 we drop into our hearts, our minds quiet, and we are at peace.

Oleation:Pre-Panchakarma Cleanse Week

These are answers to common questions patients have during their seven days of Oleation, home prep cleanse, before they come to LifeSpa and begin their Panchakarma.

I feel nauseous taking the ghee – is there anything that I can do?

If you feel nauseous, you can decrease the amount of ghee you take on the following mornings.You can also drink a cup of lemon ginger tea after the ghee.

What foods can I eat during my Oleation (Pre-Panchakarma Cleanse week)?

The most important point is to eat only a non fat diet during your home prep.Preferably, eat only khichadi for all of your meals.If you are having issues with your blood sugar, you can add steamed vegetables, lean meat (such as chicken), or nonfat whey protein in water.Do your best to avoid snacking.For more detailed instructions, please refer to your Welcome Folder, which we will mail to you when you book Panchakarma.

Where can I get the moong dahl beans?

Split yellow moong dahl beans are not easy to find in the states, though they are a very common bean in India.We sell organic moon dal.You can also find it an Indian grocery store.

What happens if I don’t have a bowel movement after I take the castor oil on the last night of my Oleation?

It is completely normal and okay not to have any bowel movements after taking the castor oil.Please mention it to Dr. John during your first consult, as it can sometimes be helpful diagnostic information.

Panchakarma Week

What is a typical daily schedule for me during my Panchakarma week?

Please see A Typical Day During a LifeSpa Panchakarma Retreat.

How do I decide how many times to see Dr. Douillard?

We recommend that you choose a Package which includes the most consults with Dr. Douillard so that you can take full advantage of releasing old emotions, beliefs and habitual patterns that cause you to do the same thing, over and over again.In addition to Ayurvedic self-inquiry, he will also prescribe herbs, lifestyle routines and stress relief protocols do bring your health and joy to the next level.During your consults he can also work on any structural issues with his gentle, effective chiropractic techniques.As he is booked far out, it is not often possible to schedule more time with him at the last minute.

What should I eat during my Panchakarma week?

During your Pancahakarma week we recommend that you eat a detoxifying diet of khichadi (split yellow moong dal beans with rice and mild spices).If your blood sugar needs balancing, you can add steamed vegetables or lean protein.This meal is also very healing and nourishing to your digestive system.

I’m feeling very emotional this week, is that normal?

This is completely normal and a very good sign that you are releasing old emotions, often from many years ago.Simply continue with your yoga, meditation, breathing and journaling to fully release them from your cells.

Can I exercise during my Panchakarma week?

It is good to slow down during Panchakarma.You can do the light yoga that Dr. Douillard will prescribe, or gentle walks.

Do I stay on my herbs during my Panchakarma week?

Dr. Douillard will prescribe which herbs to continue when he sees you during your first consult.He may adjust your herbs and dosage based on howyou are doing after your Oleation (home prep cleanse).

Can my spouse come with me, even though they aren’t doing Panchakarma?

To receive the most value from your Pancahakrma, we have found that people go much deeper when they do not have anyone else to think about, worry about or talk to.To support you inner safari of stillness and deep release, we encourage you to do Panchakarma by yourself.Of course, you can do whatever you wish and couples have done Panchakarma successfully with their significant other.

Can I just commute during my Panchakarma week?

As driving tends to stimulate most people’s nervous system, we recommend staying at the LookOut Inn Guest House & Suites, since it is an easy stroll to our clinic.If you tend to stay calm while driving and have a quick commute to/from our clinic, it should be fine for you.The main concern is that you aren’t too spacey or relaxed to drive safely, or that it doesn’t irritate you so much that you have to spend extra time unwinding once you arrive.If you need to stay at home or somewhere other than the LookOut Inn, we can do our best to schedule your appointment times before or after rush hour.

Should I tip the therapists?

Gratuities are not expected, but are appreciated.

What’s the difference between getting a Royal or a Day Spa Panchakarma treatment?

Royal Panchakarma Treatment:2 hour session with 2 therapists and 2-4 therapies.One of the main benefits of a Royal treatment is that two therapists (thus 4 hands) massage you in a synchronized rhythm that facilitates a deep unwinding of the nervous system and quieting of the mind. An example treatment would be:garshana (massage with raw silk gloves), warm oil abhyanga massage, herbalized swedana (steam), shirodhara (warm oil on the forehead). ($380)

Day Spa Treatment: 1 hour session with 1 therapist and 1-2 therapies.An example treatment would be a warm oil abhyanga massage followed by shirodhara (warm oil on the forehead) or an udvartana paste massage. ($160)

Do I pick my own treatments?

You will choose how many Royals and/or Day Spas you will receive.Within that schedule, Dr. Douillard will prescribe your therapies each day based on which ones will best facilitate your goals.You do not need to worry about picking the appropriate therapies.

Can I start my treatments on any day of the week?

Yes, you can start on any day of the week.In general, we recommend starting on a day when Dr. Douillard is in the office, which is usually a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday.