Does applying oil to your navel help cure ailments?

What is Nabhi Chikitsa or Navel Oiling

‘Navel therapy’ or ‘Nabhi Chikitsa’ is the practice of oiling your belly button with therapeutic oils. Practitioners of this practice claim that the application of therapeutic oils inside and around your navel can treat many physical ailments in the body, by detoxifying and nurturing the body. There are three methods of doing this.

Nabhi Poorana, in which the navel is filled with medicated oils.

Nabhi Basti, in which a small compound like structure is built around the navel area and medicated oil is poured into it to retain the oil for some time.

Nabhi Lepa, where the paste of herbs is applied on the navel and surrounding areas for 15-20 minutes.

Nabhi chikitsa is based on the belief that the navel tissues that linked mother and child before birth and helped nutrients flow between their bodies, continue the function in adults and the very same navel tissues could also pass the essential oils. The idea is that when oil is inserted into the navel, it is easily absorbed and distributed throughout the body, thanks to through lines formed in its umbilical cord days.

Benefits of oiling your navel

  • Improves skin texture and complexion
  • Gets rid of acne and gives you a glowing skin
  • Gets rid of menstrual cramps
  • Improves fertility
  • Treats joint pains and aches
  • Improves eye health
  • Balances your chakras
  • Helps your brain function better
  • Improves digestion

What is Pechoti Method

The navel is also an important reflexology point which connects to all the parts around the abdomen. There are 72,000 veins in the navel, which get stimulated. It is said that behind the belly button, there is a gland called the Pechoti gland which absorbs all the oil and helps it travel through the blood vessels. The method of absorbing oils through the navel is known as the Pechoti method. However the the existence of this gland is under question as nobody has been able to prove the existence of this gland.

Belly button oiling for good health

What do the believers say?

Traditional healers say that the navel is situated over many vital organs such as the intestines, kidneys, spleen, and more importantly, the gut. The gut is responsible for most of our health issues. This is another reason oiling the navel works, they claim.

The many claims about navel healing are also due to the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve represents the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees many of the crucial bodily functions, including control of mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate. It establishes one of the connections between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract and sends information about the state of the inner organs to the brain. The naval has the thinnest layer of muscle between the vagus nerve and the skin compared to other areas. By activating it, one directly stimulates the vagus nerve, affecting the brain. 

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that the navel plays a significant role in overall health. They believe that the navel is the focal point of all the body’s meridians (network of energy pathways). They believe that stimulation of the naval helps with digestion, blood flow, to clear the meridians and boost immunity. They believe that drugs can be administered through the navel, which helps to quickly spread it to all internal organs.

How to use the oils

Rub a few drops of oil inside and around your belly button every night. Apply a little pressure with your thumb on the navel and hold for a count of 5. Release and repeat. You can do this 4-5 times. Do not apply too much pressure. Keep breathing gently through the procedure. You can also apply oil around your belly button and massage gently in a circular motion for 5-10 minutes.

Which oils do you apply to the navel for some health conditions

  • Almond oil – For a glowing and younger looking skin.
  • Neem oil – For relief from acne
  • Mustard oil – For dry skin and chapped lips and digestion
  • Ghee – to make skin soft and free of blemishes; for joint pain; alleviate pain in the abdomen and improves hair quality
  • Coconut oil – for hair growth and eye health; improves fertility and reproductive health; helps soothe menstrual cramps
  • Castor oil – Joint pain and
  • Olive oil – Relief from back pain, blood pressure, stomach ailments and weight loss; improves fertility and eases menstrual cramps; improves skin texture and treats blemishes.

What do the critics say?

The critics of this method beg to differ. As already mentioned, the scientific coomunity says there is no such gland as the Pechoti gland below the navel. They say that the umbilical cord contains three vessels– two arteries and one vein. These vessels close up once the umbilical cord is severed. All that is left behind on the navel are skin tissues and ligaments and there is no gland there to absorb anything.

Due to the lack of scientific studies and evidence on navel healing, people call it a pseudoscience. They say that there is no scientific reason that connects the intestines, and nearby organs with the navel, and hence there is no reason to believe that pouring oil on the navel would lead to any systemic benefits.

As an aside, the belly button is home to many bacteria. A scientific study found a total of 2,368 different types of germs nestling in the belly button. These bacteria were unique to the person’s belly. There were also many bacteria which had not been identified earlier.

No harm in trying

We all know that the scientific community is reluctant to accept many natural remedies and therapies, that have not been proved or studied. However, that does not mean that they don’t work. There are thousands of anecdotal evidence that natural remedies works.

Since there are no side effects, I think there is no harm in trying out this therapy. I have started using this method of navel healing on myself as I have been suffering from indigestion and acidity lately. If you have tried it and it has worked or not worked for you, please drop me a comment below.

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