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Abhyanga –Ayurvedic Oil Massage, is wonderful for keeping yourself in balance. The skin is a major producer of endocrine hormones and contains thousands of nerves that are connected to every part of the body. This warm oil massage works to sooth both the nervous and endocrine systems. It rejuvenates the skin, tones muscles, eliminates impurities, promotes youthfulness, relaxes you and just feels good. It's pretty wonderful.
Ideally, it is best to give yourself a self-massage every day. There are many types of oils and herbal oils to use for Abhyanga. If you do not know your constitution or imbalance, you can just mix equal parts sunflower and sesame oils together and use that. If you have had a consultation, use the oil I have recommended for you.
Place about ¼ cup oil into a small squirt bottle, and put the bottle into a mug of hot water to warm it. Or you can warm it gently on the stove in a pan of water.
Oil massage can be messy. You will want to keep separate towels for when you give yourself a massage. Put one towel on the floor or chair to sit on, and use the other towel for drying off after bathing. When your towels start to smell like oil, it is time to throw them out.
Starting with your head, massage your scalp with oil. Gently massage your face, temples and backs of the ears. Put a little on your pinkie and dab the oil into your ears. Use a circular motion on your joints and back and forth motions on the long parts. On your trunk, use large, gentle motions, circular and clockwise. Vigorously massage the feet. If you find any sore spots, spend an extra minute massaging that area. After you get oil applied everywhere, sit and relax a few minutes. This is a great time to do a brief meditation. After at least 5 minutes, take an old washcloth and dab at your skin to remove excess oil just prior to getting into the shower. Rub the oil off the bottoms of your feet so that you do not slip. Alternatively, you can take a little chickpea flour and rub it on your skin to absorb the excess oil. Be careful in the shower.
If you do not have time to do a full body massage, you can do a mini massage at bedtime, rubbing oil into the scalp and to the soles of the feet. Wear socks to bed. This will help you sleep like a baby.
Do not give yourself a massage if any of these conditions are present: pregnancy, menstruation, cancer, chronic indigestion, hypoglycemia, obesity, diarrhea, dysentery, blood clots, acute infection, fever, vomiting, epileptic, coma, shock, broken or inflamed skin and AIDS. If you have any medical conditions, consult with your physician before starting a massage routine.
With love and light,
I'm Shivani Chase. I love to help people learn how to live the best life they can using Ayurveda, yoga, compassion and common sense.