When I was a speaker at the Star Health Fair last month, where I launched my inaugural Guided Audio Relaxation CD called “Letting Go”, I had time in between my workshops to explore the diverse plethora of participating health brands. I was literally spoilt for choice but I found myself wandering into the Samkkya Ayurveda booth, where people from all walks of life with concerns ranging from migraine, diabetes, obesity, back pain, skin issues, arthiritis or other ailments were streaming in with their different enquiries.
I have long been fascinated by Ayurveda, which is believed to be the oldest healing system in the world, dating back more than 5000 years. ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘Veda’ means ‘knowledge of’, so Ayurveda is often referred to as the ‘knowledge’ or ‘Science of Life’.
The World Health Organization recognises Ayurveda as a complete natural health care system. In accordance with the laws of nature, it helps to strengthen your body's defenses in order to fight disease naturally so that you can live a longer, healthier, more balanced life.
The interesting thing about Ayurveda is that one size does not fit all. Food should be consumed relevant to your own elemental mind-body type called ‘dosha’. If you were diagnosed as having a dominant Pitta dosha, which is the fire element, you might have issues like high-blood pressure, balding, irritability and low tolerance in the hot sun. Says, Dr. Vats, the Ayurveda physician at the centre, “They would need to drink more water than the average person to cool their system down and too much spicy food can aggravate them. This is in stark contrast to the Vata dosha, which is air. They may have poor circulation, get cold easily, and suffer from bloatedness and digestion issues.”
I was interested in trying out an Ayurvedic detox program. Though I wasn’t trying to lose any weight, the idea of getting rid of toxins appealed to me because detox for the body, is like doing an engine overhaul for your car. No matter how well you think your system is running, at some point all our bad eating habits or indulgences catch up with us, slowing our bodies down and making us feel sluggish. I felt it was the right time for me to go through a detox. Incidentally, I met so many people in the last month who said they were meaning to lose weight, or hit the gym or stop drinking so much but they never got round to changing their lifestyle.
Everyone who continually complains about wanting to change some aspect of their life can only blame themselves, for inaction. The power is always in your own hands. Sometimes, it is as simple as just making a decision to change. And positive change can happen in an instant, once the mind is set on making that change. Beyond that, you just have to follow the neccessary steps and take swift action. It was really empowering just making the decision that I was going to really do this Ayurvedic detox, hard as it might be.
So there I was standing in front of Samkkya’s Ayurveda centre in Bangsar, two weeks later, absolutely determined to complete their 10-day detox program. I wanted to clear out all the toxins in my system and regain my eating equilibrium. The rules were straightforward but you have to be committed.
I was told not to work, if possible (but I broke this particular rule). You should not engage in any hard or physical activity (I promptly cancelled all my tennis games). I had to practice daily breathing exercises (This is a truly fantastic way to start the day.I have always shared various breathing techniques in my own de-stress workshops to relieve stress and calm the mind), and last but not least on the list was a whole host of things to AVOID during the detox.
I could not consume fried food, rice, pasta, meat, milk, cheese, coffee, tea, alcohol, soda, chocolates, desserts, sugar, salt and spice. Incredibly, I stuck to this and I have amazed myself by not being hungry because my body had enough nutrients to get by every day.
I’ve mostly consumed tonnes of various fruits, herbs and gotten creative in the kitchen making every conceivable clear vegetable soup. Even broccoli started to feel like a luxury since it was not actually solid.
Unfortunately for me, I had to go to Penang last weekend, of all places, in the middle of this. While my friends were enjoying Penang’s world famous street food, I was sitting there with my giant bowl of papaya sprinkled with organic walnuts and pumpkin seeds. But despite being surrounded by temptation, I managed to complete the program.
And I feel fantastic! My metabolic rate has gone right up. My skin looks clearer and I have more energy. I lost 2.2kg but it’s made a big difference because I have gotten rid of water retention and all my toxins! 😉
If you're curious about your 'dosha' or feeling brave enough to go for a detox yourself, you can contact Samkkya Ayurveda at +603 2287 2111
) or go for a consultation with the knowledgeable Dr Vats (I've personally never met anyone who hasn't eaten meat from the day he was born! And this caring Doctor also prays for the speedy recovery of all his patients! Yup! He's a really good soul 🙂