Discover A Life-Changing Detoxification and Rejuvenation Therapy
Psychiatrist Judith E. Pentz, MD, travels to Nagpur, India, to study 5000-year-old Ayurvedic Panchakarma detoxification and rejuvenation therapy in a quest to provide enhanced holistic wellness treatment for her patients.
A change at the cellular level. Part travel memoir and part spiritual guide, Cleanse Your Body and Reveal Your Soul is one woman’s transformative quest with Ayurvedic Panchakarma (a fivefold detoxification treatment involving massage, herbal therapy, and other procedures) and the profound shifts that led to some sustainable, substantial life changes. Dissatisfied with a mainstream psychiatric practice, Dr. Pentz heads to India, where she undergoes an ancient, rejuvenating cleanse.
The tools and practices of Panchakarma. Dr. Pentz’s narrative offers a compassionate and compelling path for Western audiences and the Ayurveda-curious. Complete with healing oils, Ayurvedic daily rituals, and yoga poses, she supplements her journey with tips about preventive lifestyle changes that promote sustainable well-being.
Inside, find definitions, quizzes and wisdom, as well as chapters like:
- Cellular Shift: the science behind Panchakarma and cellular change
- Food As Medicine: tips about one of the central tenets of Ayurveda, food is healing, and maintaining an Ayurvedic diet
- The Dish on Doshas: facts that illuminate concepts around the three doshasvata, pitta, kaphayour constitutional and functional intelligence
If you have benefited from books like Ayurveda Beginner's Guide, The Ayurvedic Self-Care Handbook, Body Thrive, or Ayurveda and Panchakarma, then Cleanse Your Body and Reveal Your Soul should be your next read.
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About the Author
Judith E. Pentz, MD, has practiced as an integrative psychiatrist for twenty-eight years in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she is an assistant professor and attending child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist at the University of New Mexico. In fall 2015, her essay, “Botanicals for Depression,” was published in the textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression: Redefining Models for Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention.
Read an Excerpt
From the book:
Too many of us have tried just about everything to heal emotional wounds and shift them so they are no longer obstacles to happiness. It’s baffling. If we are actively seeking to change, then why don’t we heal? What if I told you that making a few small changes can make a dramatic, life-altering difference?
What if I told you that you could find healing on the cellular level, so the shifts are long-lasting and transformative?
The magic word: Ayurveda.
It means the knowledge of life. And one little ayurvedic practicepanchakarmahas made all the difference. Let me paint a picture of some of panchakarma’s simple life-giving methods: Imagine massages with warm sesame oil that soothe. Warmed oil gently poured on your forehead, which can bliss you out. Nurturing food served to support your process. These methods have a component beneath them that is reverent of the knowledge of life. The foundation of panchakarma is tender, loving care to our body, mind and soul, something we are short on in these times. Yet the results are not merely temporarily palliative. The methods guide you to find calm so you may come home to your essence. That is what lasts.
All of my life, I have sought a way to return to the soul. I believed this possible for my clients, in my work as an integrative psychiatrist, and I believed this for myself. Yet so often I would see people slip into their old ways of pain, even when they desired to move forward. I’ve always been seeking a way to create change in a sustainable way. I knew there must be a way to unlearn the pain that creates a chronic pattern in the mind and keeps the body a container for the old pain. For a long time, I would see myself and others experience temporary relief or incremental shifts. But I always wondered, is there something deeper, that if I could tap into it, would shift me in such a profound way that I could be changed from the inside out? And from that place, the unfolding would come with ease and joy?
I have found it.
My search has been long, but not without happiness. My search has been difficult, and it took courage. But now I experience a world of greater contentment and infinite possibilities. I feel cleansed and renewed from the inside, in a way that has rejuvenated my spirit and returned me to soul freedom.
Panchakarma touches every cell of your being. Through this book, I weave a narrative of my transformative experience of panchakarma on a trip to India, yet throughout I provide tools and techniques that you can do at home. In each chapter, you will learn more about these tools and how to use them. All of them help support you on your journey to wholeness. They are best done before having panchakarma experience. I did that and I found it to be most helpful. For instance, I know that simply doing shirodhara (slow release of warmed sesame oil on your third eye) once a month creates an incredible sense of calm and bliss that can last for days.
How have I changed, you might ask. I have a deeper awareness of who I am at the essence of my being. Patterns or habits that I once perceived as obstacles or did not even know were part of me have fallen by the wayside. Bringing beauty into my life is most important. Now I walk in the wonder and beauty of life, and I know that at the deepest level, I am changed. I have the capacity to be an observer of the day I am entering so that I am present with the day’s challenges in a more balanced way. When I encounter people who are less than kind, I can now interact and not take their behavior personally. My level of discernment has grown immensely. I know when to separate myself from the toxic space by taking a quick walk outdoors to reconnect with nature. These quick walks aid in my perspective as I hear the birds sing and feel the sun’s warmth on my skin. Then I return. In the past, I found myself triggered in countless ways and found that come evening, I could not recover from the demands of the day. With the aid of my self-care practices and daily ayurvedic rituals, I can maintain my capacity to be present long after these immediate effects from panchakarma.
That’s the power of panchakarma.
Table of Contents
Invitation to the Reader 12
What Is Panchakarma, Exactly? 21
Toxins and Chakras 29
Bouncing Back 34
Who Am I Now? 35
Changing Patterns 36
Eight Days to Soul Freedom 38
The Three Doshas 42
The Journey Begins 43
Chapter 1 The Power to Heal 45
Establishing a Routine 49
Before We Begin 54
A Plan 55
Seeking Calm 56
Oleation (Snehana) 60
"Cooked" and Invigorated 64
Chapter 2 Day of Transition 68
The Tiffins 80
Chapter 3 Roller Coaster 86
Morning Rituals 88
An Assessment 91
Chapter 4 Bliss 96
Chapter 5 Going Within 110
Encountering India 116
Entering the Quiet 119
Chapter 6 Sweet Clarity 127
Savoring the Experience 132
Soothing My Head 135
The Eve of Virechana 137
Chapter 7 Great Expectations 140
Krishna and Radha 150
The Anticipation 151
Chapter 8 Open, Calm, Eager 153
Day of Rest 156
How Did I Do? 159
Chapter 9 Life Ever After 165
Epilogue: Returning to Life 168
Appendix A 173
Blank Ritual Journal 173
Appendix B 196
Reasons to Consider PK 196
Medical Conditions 199
Lung Conditions 199
About the Author 202
What People are Saying About This
“Dr. Pentz, a thought leader in integrative mental health care, makes a compelling case for the relevance of an Ayurvedic practice that cleanses and rejuvenates body and soul. Combining ancient wisdom with stories from her own deeply personal journey toward healing, Dr. Pentz skillfully guides the reader through an immersive eight-day program of cleansing, meditation, and massage that will enhance physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Strongly recommended.”
James Lake, MD, integrative psychiatrist and the author of ten short books on alternative and integrative treatments of mental health problems