Tag Archives: oil pulling

It’s Been A While.


I had to stop the oil pulling. I was starting to itch at night in my sleep, whenever I got into the hot tub, or in the sunlight. Basically: whenever I was near heat or warm. I suspected that I must’ve had an allergy to coconut or coconut oil. Once I stopped swishing, the itching went away. I’m a little bummed about it because I was hopeful that I would clear my body of all the toxins and sarcasm but then I realized that my liver’s been doing a pretty good job of that, the toxins anyway. But then I got norovirus, so maybe that was what caused the itching. It was bad here for a few days. First Thing 2 on a Tuesday, then me on Thursday, then Thing 3 last Friday. We were a mess. But I’m not really ready to start itching and swishing again, so… I’m out.

That conversation I had with myself about my liver reminded me about the lecture we heard on the yoga retreat by the lymphatic and myofascia massage consultant who spoke to us about the chakras and energy systems in our bodies. During that discussion, she all but said, “Don’t sweat bug sprays and environmental toxins and using real toothpaste with fluoride in it because your liver has been protecting your body all along and it’s doing a fine job already…” and while I agreed with that notion, largely, I also found myself shaking my head because … well: cancer. I mean… that’s where liver’s been beaten rather handily. It was sort of irresponsible. She said that the anxiety from worrying about all the exposures is more harmful than the exposure and the liver is doing just fine. She had a point: anxiety can kill.

Then that lecture got me thinking about my yoga certification and that I haven’t updated any of you about it.

I’m certified!! I’m done! I have paid my funds to the Yoga Alliance to have them put me in a registry and I’m already lined up to teach two separate classes near my home in a pretty coveted location. I’m taking over the slots from a beloved instructor, so while I’m excited for the opportunity, I’m also a little freaked out about it because … well: attrition. People love and become attached to their instructors. This is life and I’m no slouch; I’m just not this person, so we will have to see how it goes. I’m pretty pumped about it though.

I do plan to write a review / follow-up about my yoga retreat. People should know what they’re getting into when they register for a 16-day teacher training retreat. Looking back on it now, I’d still go on the retreat because it prepared me emotionally for losing my mother, but tactically: it did not prepare me entirely for teaching hatha yoga, especially from an anatomy standpoint. If it weren’t for my 15 years of practicing yoga, it would be hard to teach yoga based on that teacher training.

What it did do is prepared me for teaching children’s yoga, but … that’s not an RYT-200; children’s yoga is an entirely different kind of discipline and I suppose it’s probably harder, but it’s also easier too — they’re two different animals and well, I don’t think they should be combined. Shakta, the head trainer and creator of Radiant Child yoga is awesome; but she’s not hatha yoga inspired or educated. So…  well… there is no governing body like the Yoga Alliance that discerns the training for teaching children yoga — but there should be, because kids are awesome and they need to be protected. I should stop talking. The last thing the world needs is more red tape. Nevermind.

Let’s see… our puppy Charlie is 33# now. He has lost about six teeth and he looks really goofy. His adult teeth are coming in though so I hope his incessant chewing will eventually slow down. Today, he chewed through the eco-friendly (paper) DVD case of a chakra and meditation DVD I just got to help me develop my yin practice both here and I hope at one of the classes I will be teaching. What’s yin yoga? Oh: awesome. Yin is really deep and slow yoga. It’s a practice of yoga that breaks down the poses inch by inch where you can build strength and really get into the pose and release and stretch. Ironically, you have warm up with some flow yoga to do it, but once you are warm, then you get to really slow down and hold the poses. I love yin practices and I believe the world is starving for some quieter, slower paced and more mindful work.

Spring begins today. Like right now. Like balance an egg on its end and see if it stays up. I can’t believe it. It’s finally here. Winter is officially unwelcome until December 20. I love snow. I’m totally good with it. I love how it tells us all to slow down and bundle up and read a book or cuddle with our pets and family. But … I’m over it. My kids have had only two full weeks of school since Christmas break. But I’ve had only one full week without them because we’ve all been sick in one fashion or another. I’m not going to add myself to the litany of ranting mothers who hate snow because I don’t hate snow. I just want my kids to get back to a program of learning. The snow days were totally disruptive.

I haven’t been writing at all much. Clearly not here on the blog and not personally or privately. I think I’m suffering a little emotionally because of it, too.

I’m battling a fair amount of external energy which is a remnant of old energies I picked up as a child. Lots of shame and fear: I feel like I shouldn’t at all be writing about my life and my challenges and triumphs and so even writing right now, about what I’m going through and the yoga and the dogs and the abundance of snow is even something I shouldn’t do. I’m not sure where that’s coming from. I know that it’s irrational and that it’s not mine. It’s a vestige of my youth, when I could be controlled by external influences and so I’m trying to let it all go.

It’s like I have an angel on one shoulder saying, “go for it! you can help people! you can tell your story in a true and authentic and giving way which will spread hope and light…” And then there’s a devil on the other shoulder saying, “dish it out. dish all the dirt. smear everyone. tell all the stories because that’s only the stuff that people want to hear about. they want the dirt. smear sells…” And then there’s me saying, “it doesn’t have to be like that: it doesn’t have to be smear and it doesn’t have to be saintly. i’ve read so many memoirs — i’m fascinated by them… but maybe people don’t care anymore. maybe they’re blasé now? and then what about the memoirs i’ve read by the adult kids of writers? crap! i don’t want my kids writing that or feeling that way about me… saul bellow’s kid’s memoir was PATHETIC!” so here we are.


I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’ll do another challenge. Maybe I’ll write some fiction based on some cool quotes by great writers. Maybe I’ll do a fiction challenge based on quotes I get from Gratefulness.org. I need to do something. I started to write some fiction the other day, but then my son took my computer and I don’t know what happened to it. That’s another part about all this: GET OFF MY COMPUTER. But I can’t say that because he used it for school.

School. It’s not good. We will be in school here until June 24. I said I wasn’t going to talk about this. Now I am. I’m talking about it.

Lalalalaaaa. Maybe I will do one of those WordPress prompts. Prompts for the promptless. I need to do something. I hope you all are doing well.

Well, this post reads more like a letter home from a homesick camper. I suppose that’s what I will consider it and move on. I’ll be back. I really miss this place. 🙂

Thank you.

Health: Oil Pulling. I’m Swishing. It’s Bizarre.


I found this wonderful blog post last week about Oil Pulling written by the amazingly patient Erica Stolling.

What is oil pulling? In a nutshell it’s a multi-thousand-year cleansing ritual with Ayurvedic origins which combines the antibacterial properties of your own saliva and salivary glands with the antimicrobial, anti fungal and anti-inflammatory properties (and other benefits) of unrefined coconut oil to correct numerous health concerns.

Ayurvedic health is: – (ayurveda) (Sanskrit) an ancient medical treatise summarizing the Hindu art of healing and prolonging life; sometimes regarded as a 5th Veda.

Because many toxins posses oil-linking properties, they attach to the oil which is being swished in your mouth for just 20 minutes daily and are excreted when you spit out the oil. The claimed benefits associated with oil pulling are myriad:

  • whiter teeth
  • better sleep
  • healthier gums
  • healthier teeth
  • addresses hormonal imbalances
  • helps with pain
  • helps with psoriasis
  • reduces or eliminates pain from TMJ
  • helps with acne
  • reverses cavities
  • cures / aids a hangover (what?!)
  • aids with migraines
  • reduced allergies or better tolerance

Here’s another blog post about the benefits of oil pulling which does a better job of explaining the hows than I do. I can’t be bothered with details right now; I just want to try it:

What makes oil pulling effective? According to its advocates, swishing the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes eventually gets bacteria to cling to the oil. When the oil is spit out, so too are the toxins that are harmful to your body.

The reason I did it is because I wanted whiter teeth and healthier gums and let’s face it: I’m beginning my womanly eventide and if this can help balance out the hormones… I am IN.

Erica has entertained numerous repeated questions on her own blog and so I’m going to distill them down to the common denominators:

  • The best time to oil pull is in the morning with a clean palette.
  • DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL in your mouth. Spit it out.
  • Use between just about a teaspoon to a tablespoon. I’m using a teaspoon. What you put in will double in volume in your mouth because of your saliva.
  • You can use oils other than coconut due to allergies or taste preferences; suggested oils are sesame or almond and sunflower oils.
  • Unrefined coconut oil is the best to use; I bought mine at Costco months ago after my yoga retreat and have been using it for cooking and skin and hair care.
  • Coconut oil will melt to liquid when exposed to temperatures above 78˚f. If you have issues with texture, place it under your tongue and let it melt; I wouldn’t dare expose it to a microwave. You can also run the oil container under warm water to melt it; but I don’t know if that’s good for the oil that’s left over or if it would speed up its aging.
  • If you can’t do 20 minutes, try to do 10 minutes twice a day.
  • 20 minutes is the magic number.
  • RINSE!! Swish more with JUST plain water in your mouth for 10 seconds and spit. Three times, just to get all the residue out.  

Here is the tub of unrefined Coconut oil that I bought at Costco:

it's massive. i think it won't run out until 2020. but it expires in 2015. i better get a move on.

it’s massive. i think it won’t run out until 2020. but it expires in 2015. i better get a move on.

Remembering to swish is hard for me. Yesterday I worked harder to swish and my cheeks tired out; today was easier because I took it easier. Look, anything new and funky will throw you off a bit, so go into it all gradually.

I take a teaspoon. It’s all I can muster. The funny thing is, after the initial intake, it doesn’t feel oily; it’s rather fluid, almost watery.

I find myself fighting a gag reflex; I know I’m not swallowing the oil, but I have to calm myself down a little, center and count a smidge. I know it’s a matter of habituating the experience.

I do it after I have something to eat. Sorry. Maybe once I get more used to this I’ll do it first thing in the morning.

Today is day two. This is is a pic of my teeth today:

my teeth. look only at my teeth. ok... look at my bookshelf. it's like my intellectual medicine cabinet.

my teeth. look only at my teeth. ok… look at my bookshelf. it’s like my intellectual medicine cabinet.

I will also update this as I go along.

So far:

I slept beautifully last night.

My teeth were squeaky clean after I spat it out. I drink coffee or tea every day, so this is impressive already.

I spat it into a baggie. Then I trashed the baggie. To be more environmentally conscious, I will try to spit it directly into the trash next time… baby steps.

I didn’t have any yucky feeling or taste in my mouth afterward.

I hope it helps my teeth; my parents had teeth trouble, but a lot of that could be chalked up to lifestyle.

I’m in. I’ll update this every once in a while after the first week.

(Day 3: it’s getting less gross-seeming; it’s definitely a psychological hump to overcome.)

If you do this, tell me how you’re doing! Ask me any questions!

Thank you.

Ps — here’s a nice post about the benefits of coconut oil… on Dr. Oz’s website. 

Here’s another great post: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

Just in case you’re stuck in carpool and want to read 333 reasons why coconut oil is beneficial: http://www.endalldisease.com/333-uses-for-coconut-oil/

Here’s another post, The Edible Beauty Routine” written by the lovely and dazzling Lillian Connelly: http://www.makesfunofstuff.com/2012/10/coconut-oil-the-edible-beauty-routine/