During my GAPS practitioner training with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride November 2011, I recall her stating – “You don’t need soap.”
I have heard that the best way to find out what is truly going on with your skin is to stop using all products for two weeks. This will allow you to see your skins true nature.
I believe that your outer skin is a reflection of your inner skin. The radiate glow externally is a factor of the overall health of your digestive track and its ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. Therefore diet is a factor.
The skin is one of the largest detox organs of the body. We do want to allow the excretion of toxins as needed. Therefore we don’t want to block up the pores with lotions and potions. Again a good rule of thumb is Only put on you what you are willing to put in you.
That said, how does one keep skin clean, moist and clear?
I have found the practice of abhyanga beneficial.
The Ayurvedic oil massage is an integral part of the daily routine recommended by this healing system for overall health and well-being. This self-massage is traditionally performed in the morning, before your bath or shower. You can use sesame oil or a blend of vegetable as desired for your dosha. Suggestions may be found at www.banyanbotanicals.com Often there are herbs, or essential oils added which deliver double the benefit – the healing aromas in the massage oil blend are particularly effective in balancing the mind and emotions as well as acting upon physical aspects.
Abhyanga Massage Instructions
Before your shower or bath pour some massage oil in hand, make sure it is pleasantly warm and then start with the extremities and massage inward.
Begin with your feet so be on a towel or rug as they will become slick from the oils. By massaging your feet you may alleviate stiffness, fatigue, strengthen the feet and improve vision. Doing just the feet can be the extent of this practice when following the process listed here http://live.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/health-and-healing/foot-massage
Use long stokes on the limbs and circular motions on the joints. Use clockwise circles on the abdomen and chest following the path of the large intestines.
Massage the body for 5 – 20 minutes with love and patience.
Massage up the neck and rub the ears as well as this may help with a stiff neck and jaw. Massage the scalp and head about once a week.
Enjoy a warm bath or shower. Wash your feet first so you don’t slip.
Towel dry when done. There will be no need for lotions or moisturizers as your skin just received a fabulous nourishing treatment.
Young Living Massage oils blends with essential oils include:
Cel-Lite Magic: improves skin texture, reduces cellulite, detoxifying and cleansing
Dragon Time: delivers natural phytoestrogens to balance an stabilize the body
Ortho Ease: calming blend ideal for strained, swollen or torn muscles or ligaments
Ortho Sport: anti-inflammatory and pain-killing, produces a warming sensation
Relaxation: contains soothing oils for maximum stress relief and relaxation
Sensation: inspires the senses and leaves skin silky smooth and soft
V-6: Vegetable Oil Complex used to dilute certain essential oils and create custom blends.
A few of the essential oils to aid to your fatty oil base include:
Aroma Siez – a blend of anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxing oils that promote circulation and relieve tight inflamed, aching muscles resulting from injury, fatigue or stress
Chamomile – great for skin regeneration and is a relaxant, nerve regenerator
Cypress – increases circulation, reduces edema, water retention and improves lymphatic drainage.
Frankincense – for inflammation and bone spurs,
Harmony – a blend of oils which promotes physical and emotional healing, balances all the energy centers of the body, reduces stress and amplifies well-being
Jasmine – beneficial for dry, oily, irritated or sensitive skin, combats depression, nervous exhaustion and discord.
Lemongrass – will aid with ligament issues, has pain-killing and antifungal actions.
Peppermint – is cooling and invigorating while blocking pain and itching
Yarrow – balances hormones and reduces inflammation
I mix up an 8 oz. blend and change the oils I include based on the season and my focus, mood and issues at the time.
Soap is only used if I am particularly dirty – such as bare feet covered in dirt – otherwise just rinsing with water does the trick. If you have an issue with dry skin even following this practice, you may use many natural skin balms made from tallow, coconut, avocado oils etc.
There are many small lifestyle changes which can be made to support your healing and overall well-being. Choose one thing to shift and stick with it until it becomes an everyday habit. Then move on to another.