Shatkarma – Water Pulling

The Organic Art of Healthy Strong Teeth

Essentially the traditional Shatkarmas were six practices or actions – this is in fact what the literal translation of Shat (six) Karma (action) means.

These actions or practices were part of the Purification Processes which is the fundamental purpose of Hatha (physical) Yoga.

The six traditional purification processes included:

  1. Neti – Cleansing and purifying the nasal passages
  2. Dhauti – Internal Cleansing, Head Cleansing and Thoracic Cleansing ideally cleansing the entire alimentary system starting with the mouth and ending with the anus
  3. Nauli – Massaging and strengthening the abdomen
  4. Basti – Washing and toning the large intestines
  5. Kapalbhati – Breathing to cleanse the front of the brain
  6. Trataka – Intense gazing to develop the power of focus and concentration

Water Pulling – is part of the Dhauti Cleansing.

I was talking with a friend who recently visited her dentist. Whilst not adhering to a ‘diet’ such as vegetariams, or veganism, or keto or palio etc; she is a conscious eater and chooses her foods very specifically to meet her dietry requirements.

Now in her mid-life she is a beginning yogi keen to live a healthier life style and has adopted a number of yogic lifestyle practices.

She shops at farmers markets and the best whole food stores – choosing nuts, seeds and dried fruits for energy boosters, she opts for these natural energy  

bombs over commercially processed or refined white sugar snacks such as candy and nougat and milk chocolate (low cacao content) or biscuits and cakes.

When she mentioned this to her dentist he cautioned her on eating snacks such as dried fruits especially but also nuts and seeds and in fact suggested white sugar boiled candies were a ‘better’ alternative!

From a dietary perspective there is no way that highly processed sugar candies are nutritionally better substitute for dried fruits, nuts and seeds etc.

Dried fruits or fresh and nuts and seeds, contain vitamins, mineral, trace elements and oils not found in other foods s well as a lot of fibre and ‘natural’ uprocessed sugars – they are a great energy booster.

His rationale was that candy is a pure sugar that disolves into a liquid form – and whilst it coats the teeth it does not get lodged between the teeth where it can

cause damage due to the length of time the sugars are seeping into the surrounding teeth – whereas the pure sugar is ‘washed’ away more quickly by the actions of saliva.

Point taken!

That is true – we who eat these natural dried fruits and even fresh fruits, nuts and seeds will know they do lodge in the teeth.

However, whether out of ignorance or who-knows…. the Dentist neglected to suggest (without brushing after every snack) how she could enjoy the distinct benefits of natural energy bombs over processed white sugar bombs.

And there is a way…

…Water Pulling.

If you have ever looked at the skull of ancient mankind you will notice in most cases unless they were broken the teeth are still strong and have suffered little or no decay.

Ancient humans had no dentists, tooth brushes, tooth paste or oral care regime; and they lived off unprocess nuts, seeds, fruits fresh and dried!

And the only thing they had to drink was ‘water’.

No juice, no softdrinks, no flavoured waters! Very little of anything else except maybe later on in time teas and wines and other fermented drinks. (Fermented drinks were a way of storing harvested fruits and were nothinh like what we consider wine or alcohol).

Animals too – grass and grain fed animals have great teeth! And they too only drink water.

Lots of water.

Copious amounts of water!

So you can indulge in healthy snacks – and use water to wash around your teeth, dissolving any residual sugars and through ‘pulling’ you can dislodge fibres that have become stuck between teeth.

Water Pulling how to –

  • Take a tablespoon or so of water – you do not want your mouth too full as the water can not be moved.
  • Swish it around the mouth and push it betwen the teeth.
  • Do this for 5 mins.
  • Spit the water out.
  • Repeat twice more.
  • This is a simple enough habit to cleanse the mouth after snacks or meals at home or on the go.
  • And it is cheap!

Oil Pulling

You may have heard of oil pulling which is similar and it is believed that certain oils have antibacterial properties which decrease or make the mouth undesirable for bacteria to grow, the science is out on this however pulling with oils and water does increase blood circulation to the tooth roots and gums and wil dislodge trapped food debris.

If you wish to include oil pulling in your oral care regime, floss first, pull with the organic plant oil of your choice – usually coconut, sesame or sunflower are the prefered oils, then brush.

Someone needs to tell that dentist!

Refs:
Cure Tooth Decay – Ramiel Nagel
Yoga Therapy – Krishan Kumar Suman
Water – F. Batmanghelidj
Asana, Pranyama, Mudra, Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5654187/
https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2018.281
http://www.dentalhypotheses.com/article.asp?issn=2155-8213;year=2017;volume=8;issue=3;spage=57;epage=60;aulast=Mythri
www.globalgrains.co.uk/nutsdriedfruits/dried-fruit/raisins/
http://nuts.com/healthy-eating/vitamins-minerals-nutrients
www.algaecal.com/algaecal-ingredients/boron/boron-sources/

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