On my way home from the gym one day, I looked at myself in the rearview mirror and thought about possible exercises for my facial muscles. I began imagining a gym with treadmills for your face. I seem to have forgotten what that million-dollar piece of equipment could have looked like, but there definitely seem to have been detachable tiny legs involved. How incredible would it be to have cardio sessions dedicated to your face specifically? Do not fret, for I am about to let you in on an ancient piece of wisdom that I have recently been fortunate enough to engage in.
My homeopath, my grandmother and a beautiful dancer all whispered to me, as if their words were laced with magic, ‘oil pulling’. It was an answer I got multiple times when I asked older generations what their beauty secrets were. My first thought involved a bucket, a can of oil and a rope; I couldn’t possibly come up with anything related to beauty specifically. So I drenched my imagination with the excitement of surprise and went on over to knock on the doors of the World Wide Web.
Oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic technique, is simply swishing oil in your mouth on an empty stomach. The key here is consistency. I did it everyday, 20 minutes each day, for 2 weeks, and was really happy with the difference I experienced with my overall health. I am currently on holiday, but once I return home I plan on continuing my oil pulling routine, as it is an effective daily detox that also doubles as facial cardio.
The benefits of oil pulling include:
- Lesser wrinkles and a tighter jaw line resulting from the exercising your facial muscles
- Whiter teeth, prevention against cavities, better smelling breath and stronger gums. (Essentially everything that your best toothpaste claims to do)
- Improved sleep
- Clearer sinuses
- Relieves headaches
- Clearer skin (the increased blood flow and removal of toxins from the face aids with acne and eczema)
- De-puffs your face
- Prevents allergies
The process of oil pulling:
- Begin on an empty stomach (do not eat or drink anything, except water, for 20 minutes before and after oil pulling)
- Take a tablespoon of Cold Pressed Sesame oil (or Cold Pressed Coconut oil) and swish it in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. You can start with 5 minutes and build your way up every day. Do not swish too hard as your jaw can begin to tire, and the idea is to swish for as long as possible.
- Do not gargle or swallow the oil, just swish. It was initially hard for me to swish without spitting or swallowing, but I began imagining pushing and pulling the oil through my teeth, allowing the oil to touch all corners of my mouth by pretending to chew and rolling my tongue.
- You can dance (do not sing), shower, go for a walk or read a book, to pass away the 20 minutes. I usually walk my dog or sit in the balcony and do nothing cause most often it’s the only time in the day that I am alone with my thoughts. If you are a badass maybe you could actually meditate to the thought of the swishing oil sucking out all the toxins from your blood.
- After 20 minutes, spit out the oil into the trash or the sink. The liquid that you spit out should now be a milky white and should have doubled in size with the saliva and toxins.
- Gargle with warm water and you’re done.
My experience with oil pulling has been gratifying. Before I began doing oil pulling, I used to wake up with a puffy face every morning that reminded me of chicken puffs from my high school canteen. Since starting oil pulling, my skin looks happier, my gums are less sensitive to cold drinks, my neck and shoulder pain has significantly reduced and I don’t wake up looking like a puffy food item anymore. In those 20 minutes I am able to improve my oral health and regain a sense of control over my body that I sometimes tend to lose. Also it is a great way of feeling better about yourself after you’ve indulged in your favourite cookie. I recommend oil pulling at least once a day, everyday. If you are unwell, you can do it up to three times a day to fasten the body’s healing process.
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– Video by Nithin Barath and BV Vishnu