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Castor Oil Packs: What are they and why use them?

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Edgar Cayce Wellness Spa in Virginia Beach, VA. Established in 1931 by Edgar Cayce. He has been called the father of the modern-day holistic moment.

I had a 90 minute body service which included an Abdominal Castor Oil Pack, massage and foot reflexology. It was a extremely relaxing service. The atmosphere is serene and the grounds are beautiful to meditate in the garden and walk the labyrinth. The beach is across the street, to take a stroll on the seashore.

What is a Castor Oil Pack

A castor oil pack is an external application of castor oil which has been poured onto a piece of wool (or cotton) flannel and saturated with castor oil. Edgar Cayce recommended Castor Oil Packs to improve assimilations, eliminations, circulation (especially of the lymphatic system) and breaking down scar tissue.

How to Make a Castor Oil Pack

It is important to heat the pack before placing it on the body. The easiest way to do this is to use an organic, non-bleached flannel on top of the heating pad (the heating pad is first covered by one of the pieces of the 13-gallon trash bag) and turn the heat on. Saturate the flannel with castor oil (the first time the flannel is used, it will require a large amount of castor oil to saturate it.) This will warm up in about 15 minutes. Additional amounts of castor oil will need to be added to the pack before each use. Note, Heat is not recommended with active infections, bleeding, excessive gas or a recent injury (less than 48 hours old). Do not heat the pack in a microwave oven.

Contraindications: during times of heavy bleeding, gaseous stomach, intestinal conditions, during pregnancy or post ovulation if actively trying to conceive.

The pack's placement depends on the issue being addressed. For general use, it should be placed over the liver on the right side of the body, extending, top to bottom, from about the sternum (breastbone) to about 4 inches below the navel or to the groin or pubic bone. From left to right, it extends at least from the navel, around the body as far as it will go, covering as much of the right side as possible. A larger pack, consisting of a king-size heating pad (12" x 24") and matching sized flannel, will cover the liver and abdominal area more easily and is highly recommended.

Here are the steps for a mess-free pack:

  1. Place the large piece of plastic over the area where you will be laying.

  2. Place an old sheet over the plastic.

  3. Take the second piece of the 13-gallon trash bag and position it across the sheet, under your lower back and beneath the area of your abdomen.

  4. Lie down on your back on the plastic bag.

  5. Place the saturated pack on your abdomen, with the oiled flannel against your skin and the plastic-covered heating pad on top.

  6. Adjust the heating pad control to the warmest setting you can tolerate comfortably.

Turn off the heating pad and put it aside. Take-off the pack with the trash bag and fold it in on itself and store it in a leak-proof container. Wipe off excess oil (keep paper towels near). Cleanse the skin with a solution containing a pint of warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda. Follow up with an abdominal and full body massage or a lymphatic facial.

Castor self-care pack regime

Use the pack in the evening, as you are resting before bed or when you have

quiet time, use music/candles/switch off devices to enhance the experience.

Spread out a large old towel on the bed so that the castor oil won't leak onto the bed.

Warm the heat pack/hot water bottle.

Lie down on your back on the towel. Place the pack on your abdomen (womb

and or liver), cover with an old towel, place on the heating pad/hot water bottle and then finish with another layer of towel. It should be very warm, but not so hot it burns you.

Ideally, keep the pack on for 40 to 60 minutes, although anything from 20 minutes onwards is beneficial

Have a paper towel handy to wipe the oil off when you get up or use a water/ bicarbonate of soda to cleanse the area.

A Castor Oil Pack is great add on service. Just place on the client and proceed with a facial, pedicure, massage or other body therapies. Give the used castor pack to the client and let them know they can store the castor pack in a zip lock plastic /air tight bag in the refrigerator or cool place. It can be stored for up to 6 months and used on themselves for at home use.

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