Why Self Massage is Important
Holiday Tip #4 Do Self Massage
Today I am going to teach you about self-massage, or as they call it in India, Abhyanga, which is Sanskrit for oil massage. There are so many benefits to this incredibly simple practice. It calms the nerves, it lubricates the joints + muscles, it boosts your immunity, gives you a great feeling of stability + warmth, promotes deeper sleep, detoxifies the body of impurities and is one of the greatest expressions of self-love, to name just a few. Self-massage can restore balance in the body and only takes about 15 minutes to complete the entire process. You can even practice this on the go. Bring a small bottle of oil in your purse and when you are stuck in holiday traffic put on some soothing music and start massaging yourself. Let your body know you care and you will radiate that love.
In Ayurveda our body is comprised of three different body types or “doshas”. There is pitta (fire+water), vata (air+ether) and kapha (water+earth). Depending on which dosha you are dominant in, there are recommended oils to use for your body. One oil that is good for all body types is Jojoba Oil. We will use this oil today and you will know what to do when you get home. At home you will massage the warm oil onto your body from head to toe and then shower after. Today we will just practice on exposed parts of the body, especially the feet.
1. Using a double boiler system place your oil into a glass bowl and melt as it sits in a pot of boiling water.
2. Sit or stand in a comfortable room.
3. Lay out a towel (sit or stand) and using your hands rub some oil onto them.
4. Begin by applying the oil at the top of your head and into your hair if you choose (oil is great for hair health). Begin massaging it into your scalp in a circular motion.
5. Massage your face, your temples, cheeks, neck and jaw.
6. Use long strokes on the limbs (arms + legs) and circular strokes on the joint (elbows, wrists + knees).
7. Massage towards the direction of your heart
8. Massage the stomach and chest in a long clockwise motion. Move up and down both the right and left side of the abdomen.
9. Finish with a foot massage. The feet are believed to have nerves connected to the rest of your body. You can spend several minutes here.
10. Sit with the oil on you for 5-15 minutes so it has time to absorb into your body.
11. Take a warm bath or shower.
12. When you get out dry yourself gently.
* Avoid rigorous scrubbing or drying
(photo above features Kiran, the designer of Wolven Threads. Her swimsuits are perfect to wear for your self-massage party with friends. Today she is sitting on the "i radiate love" affirmat.)