If you were in one of my classes, you know I oil my belly button with Eucalyptus oil, and sometimes I also use other types of oil. But, why?
Massaging our head and body is an ancient practice and a traditional remedy for our well being especially in Asia. It has so many benefits that our mothers would make it a point to massage us since the time we were born. One part of our body that rarely gets attention is our belly button. Surprisingly, there are many reasons why we should be massaging our belly buttons every night before sleeping. As per traditional science, applying oil in our belly buttons heals, corrects and balances our nervous connections in the body. Reason being that it is connected to a "pechoti" gland. Navel therapy, also known as Pechoti method, is an age-old ayurvedic practice that involves pooling warm oil in the navel cavity for nurturing, detoxifying, and treating various ailments in the body. Belly button or the navel is where we have the cord connected to our mother when we were growing inside her belly. It is the key supply center. From the yogic point of view, just below the navel sits an important energy point Manipura. This is the maintenance center of the human body. It is also the only point where all 72,000 energy points meet and connect. It's a fundamental point for regeneration.
Apply oil at the belly button and gently rub it about 4cm around it, which covers Manipura. Some oil will be absorbed inside the navel, then massage the remaining oil with light hands and spread it around the navel.
The center of the belly button, Manipura Chakra, is connected to the central nervous system, thus massaging oil can help to promote clarity of mind, reduces mental pressure, and builds confidence, strength, and compassion. According to the traditional system of Indian medicine, nabhi (navel) is the origin of life, connecting the child to the mother before birth and acting as a link to facilitate nutrient flow between their bodies. Since the belly button is the pathway to the body’s extremities, the absorption of oils in the region can reinvigorate skin, balances the digestive system, replenish cells, and renew energy sources, all of which make navel therapy a powerful act of self-care. With the daily practice of navel therapy at night before sleeping, one can achieve plenty of health benefits.
What Oils Can We Use?
People use a wide variety of oils when practicing the Pechoti Method. Each of the oils offers its own potential benefits for the user.
Almond Oil: Because it has anti-inflammatory and emollient properties, as well as a high nutrient content, almond oil has been used to soften, soothe, and repair the skin for thousands of years.
Neem Oil: This oil is considered a more potent remedy for acne when it's administered through the belly button rather than via topical application.
Coconut Oil: A naturally occurring carotenoid in coconut oil is lutein, which the body uses as an antioxidant and collects in the retina. It is used to protect the eyes against blue light absorption. You can also use coconut oil as a Pechoti method to reduce dryness in your skin and to improve fertility in both men and women.
Castor Oil: When castor oil is absorbed through the belly button, it can reduce the signs of aging by smoothing the appearance of wrinkles and relieving dark circles under the eyes. Castor oil, also known as the wonder oil, can also help to get rid of knee pain.
Ginger and Peppermint: These oils are used to help relax abdominal muscles and soothe the discomfort that accompanies uterine contractions, thus relieving menstrual cramps and pain. Massaging the navel helps to regulate agni (digestive fire) for enhancing digestive abilities, improve regular elimination of waste from the bowel, and relieve uneasiness and digestive troubles associated with gas and bloating.
Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil: The belly button is a favorite place for bacteria and fungi to accumulate. Oiling the belly button can help relieve these conditions. Oils with antibacterial and antiviral properties are tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and coconut oil.
There are so many types of oil to use that give different benefits. Of course, oiling your belly button does not give an overnight result, but instead this should be part of your daily sadhana. Small steps go a long way.