After doing even just a little research on the expected outcome of traditional Western medicine treatment for hyperthyroid I was pretty motivated not to go down that path! I went instead to my Ayurvedic practitioner, Kester Marshall, from Mudita Institute in Mullumbimby. We both agreed that the best thing for me to do was as deep a cleanse as possible. Whilst I could have travelled to India to do a one month Panchakarma, I honestly felt that having the opportunity to stay at home and participate in a similar cleansing routine was less stressful and more beneficial for me at that time. Mudita offer the opportunity for a non-residential cleanse-coming in for daily treatments and sessions. I took three weeks off work and did the three week cleanse package-which included 2 weeks of prior preparation diet, cutting out things like alcohol, coffee, raw and processed foods immediately, and gradually reducing things like wheat, sugar, most forms of dairy, sours, and fermented foods like tamari and miso. During the two week ‘cleanse’ phase I had specially designed treatments which included steam baths, pindaswed massages (in which a warm bolus of herbs is infused in milk, which is used to rub all over the body, to help draw out toxins) and shirodhara (warm oil continuously poured on the eyebrow centre, to aid in mental calm and stress release.) I had a regimen of herbs to take plus a super easy-to-digest but nourishing diet of mainly moong dahl, veggies and rice. In the second week of the cleanse, I also had oil enemas to help draw toxins from the GI tract. Every few days, I had a consult with Kester, who took my pulse, asked me questions about how I was going, and made subtle changes to my herb prescriptions and treatments. I also had a ‘techno-fast’; ie minimal contact via email, social media, telephone etc-and minimal TV-with nothing disturbing on the viewing menu! After the two week cleanse period, there was another few weeks of ‘re-juvination’ period, during which I gradually re-introduced foods, work and screen time. I was fortunate to be supported by my partner, mother, and support teachers during the cleanse, which allowed me to get the best effects. During the whole process, I practiced a very minimal asana practice with lots of passive and supported forward bends, supine postures and inversions, plus left nostril breathing and lengthened out breath (as per the hyperthyroid practice suggested.)
I had a repeat blood test a week after the cleanse ended-and my thyroid results showed a slight improvement-which after three months of no change was great! The next test a month later showed a little more improvement. The third blood test after the cleanse, two months after it had ended, showed my thyroid was again completely within normal range-a big jump in improvement, that my doctor called a miracle of science?! I have since had three more tests at one month intervals-with the same completely normal result at each. The medical specialist I had been sent to had a very strong belief that there was nothing I could do to alter the condition, and when I asked him about diet changes, told me the condition is non diet related. If I had not questioned this, I could be in a very different position right now. Thankfully, my faith in yoga practice and ayurvedic treatment and lifestyle have proven justified. The feeling I have is one of extreme relief, and gratitude to my support system, to Mudita, and to the ancient science of yoga.