Castor Oil Soaks

I don’t know about you but finding a good massage therapist has been difficult for me.  What I have struggled with is finding someone who is not interested in lathering on a bunch of oil and quickly with firm pressure and grip diving into my body with the intensity of trying to whip my body into a state of tranquility, but rather focused on giving me a relaxing soothing massage.

It seems that each time I have tried to get a massage the intent of the therapist and my needs conflict and I end up feeling as if I just did a workout, sore and fatigued rather than comfortably numb.  I would like to relax; they seem to want to apply their techniques with rigor and though filled with good intention, their efforts end up wasted on me as I leave disgruntled and unhappy.

I have gone to get massages for various conditions related to UC such as to promote lymphatic drainage for my over-sized swollen feet and ankles or to address the lack of circulation throughout my body I have from being sedentary.  What I have realized from trial and error is however that when I go to address these issues it is better to ask the therapist to focus on a specific area for which you would like them to work on in relationship to the issue you are trying to address, that way the intensity of the massage can be controlled and managed.

Well this past week I did just that and had wonderful results that lead me to not only feel relaxed and taken care of but I also left learning a new technique I have applied to comfort my belly.  While massaging my feet to loosen up the scar tissue I have from growths that developed there and on other parts of my body during a UC flare, the massage therapist focused on the reflexology points associated with the colon.  Unknown to her she commented that she noticed some inflammation on the left side of my colon, which is where my UC lies.  She suggested I try using a castor oil pack and gave me the instructions.  I was familiar with castor oil packs for releasing toxins from the liver but I didn’t know it could be applied to the colon as well.  I have used it now twice and found it to be helpful.  As I am not a doctor, I can only comment on what relief it brings to me via my physical sensations.  I usually do it right before bed as it relaxes me.  I also don’t recommend doing it on a full stomach or after having had a big meal as the warmth and pressure from the pack is significant.  While administering the castor oil pack I feel the warmth penetrating through my skin to my belly and circulating throughout.  The heat is consistent and soothes my belly while allowing the muscles to release and contract easily.

When I am done using the castor oil pack, the muscles in my belly seem relaxed and I can breathe more deeply.  I have also found that I sleep deeper, more restful on the nights I use it.  It was recommended that I use it 1-2per week.

Here is a list of supplies you will need:

– Castor oil
– Plastic wrap
– Wool flannel
- Heating pad or hot water bottle
– Old sheets or some kind of cover for the bed

(Note that castor oil may stain your clothes and bedding.)

I administered my castor pack using supplies by Heritage Store which I found at Whole Foods.  You can go to their online website at and click on Castor oil Therapy. I noticed a list of instructions for administering a pack which is handy too.  They even sell a whole kit with everything included which includes a castor oil cleaning solution.  I am not sure what that is for exactly, to clean my belly of the castor oil I dilute baking soda in water and it works fine.

So accompany a Sunday movie night with a castor oil pack, relax and sooth your belly.  Enjoy in good spirit and with healthy intention.  Let me know how it works for you.

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