Your belly button holds mysteries of your birth, the vitality of your emotions and the force that organize and manage your life. It is also the center of inner fire, of your will and the transformation of matter. Yoga is relating this center to the 3rd chakra, and it is also called the seat of 1000 jewels. Marma chikitsa named this point; Nabhi.
The belly button is a vital marma point, according to Ayurveda, for several reasons. The most important is that the belly button is the first contact from the mother to the baby, provides the fetus with all necessary nutrients for healthy growth, and is responsible for ancestors’ emotional and mental information. When the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut off, resulting in the knobby belly button. However, this point is still one of the most vital points which possess great significance in helping maintain health.
FACTS ABOUT THE NABHI
- The nabhi or belly button has the thinnest layer of muscle between the inner vagus nerve and the outer layer of skin. It is the inferior epigastric artery and vein. As an anatomical structure, it is also composed of the inferior vena cava, the abdominal aorta, the solar plexus of nerves and the external and internal oblique muscles. Skin is extremely thin here, meaning any stimulation directly reaches the brain.
- The navel is a ‘power hub’ of nerves with over 72,000 nerve endings which makes it vital to look after it.
- The belly button is the location of agni, according to Ayurveda. This controls digestion, urination, and formation processes. It holds agni ( digestive fire), pachaka Pitta ( digestive juices), ranjaka pitta (colouring of blood and bile), Samana Vayu ( Balancing energy), pitta dosha and the fire element in the body as a whole. Therefore, therapy for the navel helps regulate these bodily functions as well.
- There is a flourishing microbiome within the navel, which is often home to several good bacteria and is an indicator of health and immunity.
- The nabhi is one of the three most vital points of marma, which has an abundance of nerve endings and can help promote better digestion, circulation, mental stimulation and, even improve vision.
- Nabhi controls the third chakra ( Manipura) It is the main pranic center for digestion and exertion,
CARE FOR THE NAVEL
Due to the importance of the navel in boosting health, it is important to take good care of it.
- Wash your belly button thoroughly with mild soap and water daily when you shower.
- Sandalwood paste is good for alleviating pitta ( acidity) in the small intestine. A paste of hing ( asafoetida) is good for dispeling gas and distention ( vatta)
- Monthly purgation or the use of purgative herbs like senna, rhubarb root or Triphala ( in large doses) is used to remove pitta from the navel region. It is part of panchakarma therapy and used only under supervision.
- Since the nabhi is the point of the solar plexus, regular Yoga, pranayama can help increase the size of the solar plexus, which promotes better health. Yoga poses that involve the twisting, contraction or extension of this center aid the wellness of pitta dosha.
- Gently massaging the belly button is another great way to stimulate all the nerves in the region. Using your thumb, apply a little pressure on the nabhi, hold for 5 seconds and release. Breathe slowly as you do this. Repeat this a few times every day.
- Meditating in this center helps to balance all the pranas, strengthen digestion and improve physical strength. The mantra KRIM can be used here to develop energy and power of action. Meditation on the third chakra strength the fire element, the sense of sight, and the feet as a motor organ. For this purpose, you can use the seed mantra RAM for the cosmic fire element.
- If injured, this marma can produce pain. To relieve pain, pour a continuous drip of ghee and oil mixture over the marma area for thirty minutes.
OILING AND MASSAGING THE NAVEL
Applying a few drops of oil and massaging it into and around the navel every night before you sleep is a great way to attain outstanding results. Depending on the results you wish to see, you can use different oils. This is a natural way to heal the body without any side effects. However, it is essential to be consistent and patient to see results. Below is a list of a few oils and the ways they can help.
Apply marma massage to the area, using a circular motion around the navel for about 5 minutes. Acupressure is done either deep and short or gently since it is a sensitive place. Simply laying on of the hands along with a gentle massage is often enough—a prime area for reducing pitta and stopping its accumulation in the small intestine.
- Almond oil – helps attain glowing skin.
- Use Dashamula oil, sesame oil or almond oil to relieve stress, nervous tension and counter nervous indigestion ( vatta).
- For pitta-caused heat and stress in the navel, use Brahmi or coconut oil.
- Increasing Agni ( digestive power) uses aromatic oils that stimulated digestion like bay, ginger, fennel, and cardamon.
- For hyperactivity and high pitta, massage with cooling aromatic oils like jasmine, rose, or sandalwood. Clove oil is good for increasing digestive power in pitta-type people.
- Mustard oil – helps cure chapped lips, relieves headaches and improves vision.
- Ghee/ Butter – helps to make skin soft, supple and well-hydrated
- Neem oil – helps cure acne and rashes of the skin.
- Olive oil – helps relieve backaches, stomach aches and improves digestion.
- sherabala oil is a miracle oil when applying to this marma point. It nourishes the depleted pitta deeply and gives vitality to the internal organs. Also, if you use it before the bead time, you will sleep soundly.
These practices and care in the Nabhi marma produce miraculous results when done regularly. Consult an ayurvedic practitioner to get advice on the best way to do nabhi chikitsa according to your body type and ailment.
YOGA TO KEEP NABHI MARMA HAPPY
References: Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Subbash Ranade and Dr. Avinash Lele.