The skin care industry makes millions each year touting the latest and greatest in skin remedy products. While some of them may very well make a difference, we also have the power simply in our own self-care to solve many of the issues these products are meant to treat. The posts below illustrate how one Axis Yoga Teacher Training student managed to treat seasonal skin issues through dosha-specific diet and lifestyle changes. The Axis YTT students complete an Ayurvedic experiment as part of the in-depth and hands-on approach taken by Axis’ teachers.
Over the years since I have moved to Colorado’s dry climate, I have observed a seasonal rash develop in the spring and early fall seasonal transitions. This rash has typically been isolated to both of my upper and lower limbs and appears to be similar to hives and very itchy .Itching does worsen the rash. Only in rare instances when the rash is severe has it moved to my abdomen, hands, and buttocks. I have always attributed this rash to the arid climate in which we live, and dryness (dehydration) within the body. I have taken an evening primrose and fish oil supplement for years to help balance hormones and help with PMS. It has now occurred to me (with my recent acquisition of Ayurvedic knowledge) that this rash could be attributed to more than just external environment. I now attribute this rash to seasonal changes and also a doshic imbalance. It seems when pitta is high, the rash is worse. I have done extensive research in the past about eczema, and have attempted to utilize some natural cures including; essential oils, different moisturizing lotions, coconut oil, sugar scrubs, coffee scrubs, proper diet, and exercise to help manage stress levels (the rash seems to be worse when intense stress is present).
If I practice dry brushing (pre shower) and utilize medicated oil massage (post shower), I will be able to mitigate the uncomfortable symptoms of a seasonal pitta rash.
- Bamboo dry brush with semi-soft bristles
- Coconut Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
**Note: All oils used in this experiment were organic in order to avoid any chemical residues**
For a period of 21 consecutive days, dry brushing and medicated oil massage were practiced to help minimize the effects of a seasonal pitta rash. Dry brushing techniques were utilized by brushing toward the heart in order to stimulate the lymphatic system, provide light exfoliation to the skin, and aid in excreting toxins. This practice was done on the entire body, not just the affected areas. Immediately following the dry brushing a shower was taken using warm (not hot) water and a mild cleansing soap for sensitive skin. I do not use any shampoos or conditioners that contain harmful phalates, parabens, or sulfate/sulfites because they irritate my skin. After the shower, 3 -4 drops of lavender essential oil was added to a tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil, applied to each limb, and massaged gently for a few minutes. In the first half of the experiment coconut oil was used (10 days). In the second half of the experiment sesame oil was used (11days).
It seems there are many factors influencing the frequency and severity of this seasonal pitta rash. I have been able to control/mitigate it using newly found techniques and knowledge; therefor my results support the original hypothesis. However, throughout the duration of this experiment I tried to focus on eating properly, drinking detox CCF tea, and minimizing the consumption of alcohol. There were a few instances during the experiment where a combination of stress, eating too much meat/gluten containing products, and drinking a few too many glasses of wine or beer caused inflammation of the rash. I know now that this seasonal rash is very influenced by what goes into my body, not just on it. I’ve always presumed this to be true and this experiment has confirmed this to be true. Going forward, I will practice a self-care routine that fits my doshic constitution and addresses any imbalances I may be having at that specific time.
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