The traditional Hindu system of medicine (incorporated in Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas), which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.
Oil PullingAn ancient Ayurvedic ritual, it was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach, MD. He said that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses from heart disease, digestive trouble and hormonal disorders. You've probably seen oil pulling sponsored ads on social media which has raised more awareness over the past few years but it's been around for centuries. The idea behind it is to swish an oil around in your mouth for about 20 mins and while you're doing this, it 'pulls' out bacteria & toxins. Some may experience headaches while doing this which are referred to as detox headaches.
How To – On an empty stomach first thing in the morning, take a teaspoon or tablespoon (depending how much you can manage at first then work your way up) of cold pressed organic oil, melted if prefered, most favour coconut oil for its properties but you can use any vegetable based oil. Gently swish it in the mouth, similar to mouthwash but not as aggressive because you've got to do this for 20 minutes so you don't want to tire out your jaw. If you get into a routine such as get the oil in your mouth, dry body brush, shower - you've used a lot of time. The oil will get thicker as your saliva & toxins builds up with it but try not to swallow any as it's defeating the purpose, you're swallowing the toxins back into the body & we don't want that. Oil pulling helps to expel diseases causing toxins, allowing the body to heal.
Oil Pulling is said to have the following benefits:Prevents bad breath
Improved PMS symptoms
Improved lymphatic system
Brighter, whiter teeth
Regulated menstrual cycles
Tongue ScrapingI use to just scrap with my toothbrush but since looking in Ayurvedic rituals, I decided to get a copper tongue scraper instead of gold or silver because they say it's a bacteria-resistant metal, copper seems to be toxic to bad bacteria and provides the positive enzymes that are needed within the mouth.
How To – Rinse your scraper before use. With a relaxed tongue, using a u-shaped tongue scraper, gently starting at the back of the tongue as far as you can go, bring the white gunk forward, rinsing the scraper after each pass, as you're taking off bacteria. Some sites say a little gag is okay as it brings up mucus and ama (accumulated toxins from diet, lifestyle and the environment.) from the back of the throat - trust me, it really does. Follow up by brushing, flossing and rinsing with water.
Some like to scrap their tongue after brushing & flossing but before rinsing their mouth. I've tried it before and after brushing my teeth - still not sure as to which way I prefer.
Tongue Scraping is said to have the following benefits:
Clears & balances taste buds
Clears toxins & bacteria from the tongue
Improves overall oral hygiene
Dry BrushingDry Brushing is something I've written about on Dolce Vanity before, which you can read here. You don't necessarily see the benefits but you feel it. Drush brushing is amazing for stimulating the circulatory system, it stimulates the connective tissue attached to capillaries sitting under our skin, improving circulation to the heart, this is why we brush towards our heart. It helps stimulate your lymphatic systems - this acts like the body's filtration system. Lymph nodes act as filters to help rid our bodies of toxins and harmful organisms. While our blood has our heart to help pump blood around the body, our lymph system relies on external stimulations such as muscle movement & also dry brushing meaning if you're not that active it's beneficial to help you remove toxins and body waste daily.
How To – Using a natural bristle body brush (you can get these from most health/organic stores) as they give the best results for exfoliation & stimulation. Making sure your skin & brush are dry, the best time to do this would be first thing in the morning before a bath or shower as you need to give the body a hydrotherapy. Starting on the left side of your body from your soles up your legs, arms back and torso stroke the brush towards the heart (on your fingers and feet you can stroke backwards and forwards working in between the separation) before working on the right side.
Dry Brushing is said to have the following benefits:
Aids in detoxification through the skin
Removes dead skin cells
AbhyangaSpending time to give yourself a self massage is an act of self love. Abhyanga is form of Ayurvedic massage using oils, nuturing your body and the therapeutic benefits of healing regularly. This could be done after dry brushing and while oil pulling.
How To – Using a cold pressed organic oil with drops of an essential oil and combine them into a dish. Fill a basin with some warm water just enough to submerge the dish into, to warm up the oils. Already naked from dry brushing I begin with the crown of my head, it's a good opportunity to take time to massage the scalp, onto the face and circular motion on the forehead, temples, cheeks and jaw - always moving in an upward motion. Don't forget your ears and ear lobes - ah heavenly. Use long motions on the arms and legs, just like you did dry brushing towards the heart. Massage the torso & chest in wide, clockwise circular motions. Spend a few moments massaging your feet, fee being an important part of the body with nerve endings of essential organs. Let the oil absorb into the skin - this is why it's important to use an oil that your skin enjoys, prone to spots, use a non condegemic oil.
Abhyanga is said to have the following benefits:
Toning of the muscles and the whole physiology
Calming for the nerves
Lubrication of the joints
Increased mental alertness
Improved elimination of impurities from the body
Softer, smoother skin
Increased levels of stamina through the day
Better, deeper sleep at night