Natural tooth whitening. Does oil pulling work?

I was delighted to read a recent article about Alicia Keys and her #nomakeup position. As someone who is a belly dancer that wears make up and blogs about make up that may seem strange. I love make up but there is a time and place for it. The thing is, there is a lot of pressure on women to be something else, not just on stage, but all the time. I can relate to her comments about wearing masks and hiding. There was a time in my life when my skin was often red and angry and I never left the house without a full face of make-up. Thankfully after many years of work with natural therapies and deeper self-development that problem  passed. I now feel I have a healthier relationship to myself. I can accept and love how I look without make up and do the same with it.  So despite me vowing to publish all the half written make up reviews I have been accumulating on my computer I will jump this piece forward. This is about trialling oil pulling as a tooth whitener – something natural, easy to do, cheap and looks good, with or without make up.

When I first heard about oil pulling, I was like “Yuck, seriously?”.

Purple veil eye close up

One way to pose if you want to draw attention away from your teeth!

After I heard it mentioned many times, I decided to look into it a bit. From the numerous websites and forums I looked at, oil pulling has been claimed to cure everything from ingrown hairs to arthritis. I can’t attest to its curative abilities but the one thing everyone agreed on was it does make your teeth whiter so I decided to try it. It was super cheap compared with the $400 chemical shit storm the dentist offered to whiten my teeth.

So what is OIL PULLING?

It is putting a spoonful of oil in your mouth and swishing it for about 20mins or so and spitting it out.

It is said to draw out toxins (hence its claimed healing benefits). It may or may not help with health issues but in accordance with what every one else said online, it did make my teeth whiter. You do this on a daily basis for 2 weeks. I was a bit sporadic with it so my results were not as strong as my son’s. He tried it and was much more disciplined and his teeth became super white, my daughter tried it too and it temporary fixed an enamel discolouration she has on one tooth (it stayed white for many months and goes white again when she does the oil pulling, her dentist was impressed with the results).

What oil do you use?

Well the first articles I read about it in years ago recommended organic sunflower oil which I tried and did not really like. The next site said sesame oil was the ancient way, so I tried that too. I preferred the taste but it was strong. The oil of choice for most modern oil pullers is organic coconut oil. This was the best flavour in my opinion. If yours is solid just scrape out a spoonful, it melts really quickly in your mouth.

original

What is it like?

I won’t lie to you, I don’t like the texture of that oil in my mouth. It took me many attempts before I could tolerate it for the full-time frame but you do get used to it and some people don’t mind it at all.

macro_coconut_oil

Results

Whiter teeth! It really worked for me, my friends and family. Some people do it in the shower (just remember to not spit it into your drains), some while reading, doing yoga or meditating.

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My summary: 5/5

Product: Organic Coconut oil (various brands)
Effectiveness: 5
Packaging: n/a
Safety: 5
(Effect) Suitable for day wear: Yes
(Effect) Suitable for stage: Yes
Price: varies but you can get start for less than $10 and that jar should last you for a long time!

Where to get it

Everyone is crazy about coconut oil in Australia these days and you can buy this stuff at woolworths, coles, go-vita and probably any health food shop you go to. For locals – it is also stocked in Kombu in Bellingen.

I would love to hear form my overseas readers if organic coconut oil is easily available where you live too.

Have you tried it? How did it go for you? Comment below.

 

 

Disclaimer:

The information contained here is for information purposes only. You should always seek advice from a qualified health care professional before you change, start or stop any part of your healthcare plan including physical activity and exercise.

Do certain instruments encourage the same belly dance moves in all dancers?

As a scientist and a belly dancer I am always interested in the latest dance related studies and surveys.

Have you ever wondered if certain sounds illicit the same motivations to move for all dancers? I am sure you have noticed that big, deep drum beats tend to get big, juicy, earthy moves from most people. I guess Keti Sharif was wondering this too as she recently added a pdf on her survey on this very topic. She had the aim

 “to observe any recurring patterns of natural movement response to each instrument, to establish predominant music-movement relationships and characteristics of movement value”.

To read the complete findings, you can easily obtain a copy through the lovely Keti Sharif’s website.does the music effect the dance?

But here is a little taste of what was discovered from the 836 participants:-

Ney elicited an overwhelming preference for upper body movement and arms at shoulder level or above head.

Oud tended to elicit lower body responses  with rolling and vibrating movements interspersed, and the arms were moving between chest and hip level – possibly as a response to scale.

“The survey demonstrates that in many cases, the area of the body and movement of the musician to hold instrument and create sound (eg: strumming, stroking, wavering or plucking types of movement), is often reflected intuitively through dance, in the same, or at least a close or nearby area of the dancer’s body.”

This is a very cool bit of insight into human nature and sound. I thank all participants and the Keti for putting this together. It is worth a look for all sorts of reasons but could be particularly valuable to teachers, those interested in dancing to live music or those that have trouble with improvisation.

Do you know of any other studies on dance or belly dance that you have found useful? Please share the links below.

How to flip videos to make learning dance choreography easier.

As some of my belly dancers may know, I am currently cast to perform in the Perth version of Bellyqueen’s ‘Journey along the silk road’ production. 🙂 I am super excited!

As I live in a regional area, most of my learning of choreographies for the shows comes from watching videos posted on youtube. Some of the clips are in front of mirrors and shot from behind which makes it easier, but some are not. Flipping the video footage of dances shot face on makes it much easier to get left from right as you can just mirror the dancers in the clip.
It is not only big shows that flipping a movie clip is useful, if you are collaborating with anyone online, this simple trick can be useful. I realised from comments on the shows forums that not everyone knows how to this, so I thought I would share the quick method I use. You can also use video editing programs such as iMovie but it is a bit more fiddly – this way is fast and easy.

STEP 1

  • Go to youtube (or whatever platform you are sharing video clips from) and find the clip, copy the URL.
  • Open another tab and load “youtubeinmp4.com” (if you don’t like this one just do a search for ‘youtube to mp4’, there are several websites that do this – beware of ads, etc when using these sites) belly dance video help
  • Paste the URL into the field and hit ‘download mp4’ , in the case of this program it takes you to another page where you can select other formats you  may want it in. I always use mp4.

Now you have a copy of the clip on your own computer.

 

STEP 2

  • Open QuickTime player (this is available for both Mac and PC) and open the clip (if it didn’t automatically open for you on download of above clip).
  • Go to ‘File’ and ‘Duplicate’ if you want to keep the original view as well. OR skip this and go straight to
  • ‘Edit’ and ‘Flip Horizontal’
    belly dance video turning
  • Next save the clip. This was a bit tricky for me as the name field kept being greyed out BUT if you try and close the clip it offers you the chance to save and re-name it.

And that’s it – your clip is now flipped and you can mirror the moves – just be aware that if the dancers turn around at any time in the clip then following can get confusing 🙂 Happy dancing!Belly dance show in Australia

If you are in Western Australia at the end of the month be sure to catch the fantastic show!

 

Do you have another method of flipping videos for dance? Please comment below.

 

 

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