As many of my readers know, I always love alternative forms of healing and use them in my daily life. I appreciate the power of natural medicine and its incredible abilities to prevent and heal the body in many ways. Some of the simplest forms of plant medicine can have a profound affect on our body's innate ability to heal and preserve wellness.
Today we chat about the belly button! Our Navi or navel is our unique symbol of life, of connection, each differing in shape, size and depth. This circle on the middle of our tummies actually has many healing abilities. The umbilical cord and the resulting navel formed from the attachment to our mother's womb is the center of the life source. We tend to disregard its natural ability to connect to the rest of our body and therefore its innate potential to to be our healing 'center'. The navel connects the quadrants of the body at their center and contains the communication of all of our nerves. The Pechoti method is used in many traditions. Healing from our center has been recognized in many cultures and Eastern medicines as the epicenter for our energy patterns that communicate to other parts of the body. When we really think about the navel it is extraordinary that the little circle on our belly is where our life really began, and as women, where we give life to our own. It is a beautiful thing to consider the power contained in the navel, and therefore we can expand our healing potential to it.
In Oriental Medicine the navel is called the Hara, or the source of life. It is also referred to as the Dan Tian. This is a main area that practitioners treat in acupuncture therapy as our most important organs reside just beneath it. They stimulate this area to connect the [energy] of the body or Qi, to stimulate healing for many disorders and disease. Qi is our energy and in our esoteric body, the energy that connects each of our Chakra systems together. If one area of the body is stagnant, dis-functioned or ill, we can stimulate the Qi in another area of the body to help heal that disorder. There are many ways to treat the area in Oriental medicine like acupuncture needling, moxibustion, and hand palpitation.
Japanese medicine sees the navel as the center and where the myriad of disease have their root. "the classics remind us of a very basic and perhaps understated treatment strategy - when an element or an organ is deficient, tonify the mother."(Southwest Acupuncture College)
The center of the body is also recognized in modern medicine for its connection to the other bodily systems through the neurological connections. Any disorder from allergies, musculoskeletal disorders, inflammatory conditions, stagnation, emotional and mental conditions can be treated using the belly button.
- The navel is our mother, and was the connection to our mother and our Mother's Mother. To heal it, is to heal ourselves.
The naval has the power to treat many ailments regardless of the origin of belief. As a natural alternative, oils in the belly button can be very powerful and come with less risk than other forms of therapies.
Some essential oils can can cause irritation when applied directly to the skin so a carrier oil is usually recommended for topical application. A carrier oil can be used in 2:1 ratio with the essential oil. Carrier oils are coconut, almond, grapeseed, etc. The quality of essential oils is also important to research before purchasing. The market of essential oils have many products out there that are diluted or adulterated. Look for labels that have "therapeutic" on the bottle.
Many common uses:
Lavender, one of the most calming and relaxing oils, is great to place in the belly button to promote sleep or relaxation.
Coconut oil is a wonderful tool for re hydrating and can be placed in the navel to help with dry skin or dry eye and lips. It has also been used in traditions to help fertility. Coconut oil is also a powerful antiviral and is useful to help with viral infections like a common cold and runny nose.
Almond oil can help the skin soften and have a brighter glow from its powerful hydration and acting as a humectant.
Neem oil comes from the neem tree. It has insecticide properties and has been used as a natural form of pest control. It can be used in the same way on the body to help with skin mites that can cause chronic inflammation like sensitive skin or rosacea. It can also help to treat bacteria which helps with acne or acne rosacea.
Ginger and mustard oil, both helpful in digestion properties and anti-inflammatory use, can help to relieve gas or bloating or digestive issues.
Thyme oil has many health benefits. It can be an antispasmodic, lowers blood pressure by removing excess water and salt. It can be a useful expectorant and natural remedy for congestion and mucus. Thyme oil must be used with a carrier oil.
Tea Tree oil is a powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial. Tea tree can be used on the bottom of the feet to help the body's process of eliminating toxins through the pores of the feet. Also must be used with a carrier oil.
*Many traditions use alcohol like brandy soaked in a cotton round to help with teething. Also helpful to relieve cramping from menstruation.
Orange essential oil is a great oil for promoting over all feelings of happiness and joy. Known as the "child like oil", orange is fresh and stimulating bringing general well being.
*Keep in mind, alternative choices always can be done in excess, just like other forms of medicine. Always consult your physician if you have underlying health problems or are using prescription medications. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult with your doctor before trying new methods. Additionally, consider caution with certain essential oils when used with infants or young children under two years old.*
Reference: The Hara, the Source of Life and the Navel, the Gate of the Spirit | Southwest Acupuncture College
Instructor at Light On Yoga Fitness
Health and Wellness Advocate