Friday, August 19, 2016

Optimize Your Day: Oil Pulling

If you missed the introductory post to my new series, Optimize Your Day, then you’ll want to go back and read it here. Today we’re going to discuss the first step in optimizing our day, and it’s the one that will probably make the least sense to you at first. After all, the entire purpose of optimizing our day is to begin the day with the Lord, so how does oil pulling fit in with that. For that matter, what in the world is oil pulling?

Simply put, oil pulling is the process of placing about a tablespoon of unrefined organic oil (I use coconut oil) in your mouth and swishing it around for 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning. I know it sounds weird, but you wouldn’t believe the benefits that come from this simple morning practice. Allow me to name just a few: improved oral health (including the reduction of plaque and cavities), better breath, the elimination of toxins from the body, reduced headaches and body aches, clearer skin, improved blood pressure, and the list goes on. All of that is possible just from swishing a bit of oil around in your mouth, making sure to keep the oil moving and even pulling it through your teeth.

Before I tell you what this has to do with starting your day off with the Lord, let me explain a couple of things about oil pulling. First off, this should be the first thing you do in the morning. Don’t get a drink of water. Don’t brush your teeth. Don’t put anything else in your mouth until you’ve done your oil pulling. The reason behind this is that oil pulling is a detox. In other words, you’re pulling toxins out of the body, so naturally, you’ll want to get rid of as many toxins as possible before loading the body down with food and drink. Also, you want to be careful not to swallow the oil because you don’t want to ingest the very toxins you’re trying to get rid of. Lastly, when it’s time to spit out the oil, always use a trashcan instead of a sink. As the oil hardens, it can cause serious issues with your plumbing.

Now, let me explain how this impacts our morning and ultimately draws us closer to the Lord. It’s quite simple. The better we feel, the more likely we are to spend time with and serve God. It’s easier to do things for God when we feel good, and oil pulling is a vital—yet simple—step toward reclaiming our health. In just a few minutes each morning, we can rid our bodies of toxins that are slowing us down and wreaking havoc on our health. By eliminating or reducing these health issues, we free up more time and energy to spend doing the Lord’s work. That’s why this is the first step in optimizing your day. That and because you’ll find that you can do almost all of the other steps while you’re swishing that oil in your mouth.

When I first started oil pulling, I didn’t enjoy it. Sticking a tablespoon of oil in my mouth first thing in the morning nearly made me gag, and the process of swishing that stuff for nearly 20 minutes made my jaws hurt. So, I worked and tweaked and finally found a system that works perfect for me, and I’d like to share it with you. For starters, work your way into it. You don’t have to start with an entire tablespoon on your first day. Neither do you have to swish it for 20 minutes on your first time. Start small and work your way up. Maybe try one teaspoon for 5 minutes and build up from there.

The part that helped me the most was making the entire process simpler and less messy. So, I purchased a small paint palette (it cost $1, I think) and made little coconut oil discs. You can do a similar thing with candy molds, just make sure the pieces won’t be too big, especially when you’re just starting. Anyway, the process goes like this: (1) Melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan. (2) Pour the melted oil into the molds. (3) Place in the refrigerator until they harden. (4) Place the discs in a small jar with a lid, and put the jar in the refrigerator. (5) Repeat the process until you’ve used up the oil that you started with or until your jar is full. If you’re an essential oil fan, or you feel that plain coconut oil would be boring, you can always add a drop of your favorite essential oil to the mix before creating your molds. Peppermint, spearmint, orange, and cinnamon are popular oils for this purpose, and each has its own health benefits.

If you choose to use the molding procedure, then your morning optimization would start like this. Rise from bed. Go to the bathroom (I’m sure I’m not the only one, right?). Head to the kitchen and grab one, two or even three (depending on the size and your preference) of your oil pulling discs and pop them in your mouth. Chew up the discs, remembering not to swallow, then proceed to swish the oil around in your mouth while you find a quiet place to complete the next steps in Optimize Your Day. At the appointed time (after at least 5 minutes), spit the oil into a trash can and brush your teeth. Then continue with your optimization. That’s it!

I know it may sound a bit wacky, and you may not think that it could affect your day one way or another, but I’m telling you, it makes a big difference. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also find joy in knowing that you’re doing something to care for your temple. And that, my friend, is an excellent way to begin your day!

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? - I Corinthians 6:19
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