Our skin is not merely an envelope, or a membrane allowing exchange between the exterior and interior of the body. It also serves as a mingling point between the outer world and inner self, and between body and soul. Miru Kim
Nourishing my skin and hair with food-grade oil and fat feels amazing. I use oil on my skin before a bath or a shower to moisturize my body and hair. I noticed as a result that this daily ritual of oelation has a secondary effect on my overall sense of well-being.
I feel great when I apply oil daily, and I do not feel so great if I let my skin dry out.
About a year ago, I started wondering why oil had this effect on my mood and sense of well-being. Looking to Ayurveda for the answers, I came across some interesting information published by Dr John Douillard.
Dr. Douillard states that the skin is estimated to house innumerable microscopic microbia per square centimeter. He goes on to note that these microbia help strengthen our immune systems. The oil we rub on our skin feeds the important microbe population that keeps the immune system strong.
But what about the surge of positive energy that comes from my daily routine of oiling my skin?
The great feeling is not accidental. According to Dr. Douillard, rubbing oil on the skin calms the nerves and soothes muscle tissue. The result is an easing of nervous tension. The doctor adds that the rubbing of oil on the skin helps stimulate oxytocin. This hormone helps elevate feelings of joy and peace.
So now, my daily ritual makes sense. It is not simply cosmetic, but rather a practice of self-abhyanga, anointing, that elevates my spirit while nourishing and softening my skin.
For my daily regime, I use sunflower oil. But you can use jojoba, sesame, coconut or anything that feels appealing to your body.
I love to apply my oils prior to a hot shower or bath. I have found that pre-shower application enhances the effect on skin and mood. The heat and open the pores, allowing the oil to soak in.
For a more intense sensation, and I mean intense, once a week I take a hot bath in as much oil as I can stand.
Here’s how I go about it. For deep–once- a week- oelation:
Fill a bath with the warm water, hot as you can stand it.
While the water is still warm, immerse your hair and head and rinse the warm water infused with fats and essential oil over your body.
Rub the oil all over the surface of your body.
Soak as long as you can.
Scrub your scalp and let the warm water, the scents, and fats penetrate your skin and hair.
Step out of the bath, and towel dry excess oils off body. Do not wash the oil off.
For my hair
I take generous amounts of ghee butter and scrub into strands of hair. I comb through my hair then braid it, creating a mask. Personally, I love to leave the ghee on my hair overnight then shampoo it off in the morning for extra deep moisture.
(One thing: remember to scrub that tub clean afterwards so you do not leave a slick surface)
Steps to follow for your deep oelation:
Take chickpea flour and clean the surface of your skin by rubbing the powder all over your body. Rinse flour-scrub off your body.
Pour all your fat, and essential oils into your hot water.
Soak in tub for as long s you can stand it.
Rub oil into skin and hair
Towel-dry your body, and leave your healing oils on overnight to do their job.
Make a ghee butter mask for hair and leave in overnight
Half a jar of coconut oil
Essential camphor or mint leaves will do
Essential orange blossom or the peels of oranges
Try sweet smoky scent of khus, balsam, sandalwood, or jasmine.
Sesame Oil Bath
4 or more cups of Sesame oil
A generous serving of Shea butter is a must!
Essential rose or rose petals
Essential basil or basil leaves for the aroma
Hina, sandalwood or amber.
Sunflower Oil Bath
4 cups of Sunflower oil
Bergamot is a nice citrusy scent if the minty herbs are too much
Try amber or musk if the other oils are not available