Let’s face it. Now-a-days, Self Care has fallen to the bottom of our to-do lists, even below wash car and organize garage. Sometimes, it is so absent from our habitual routine it isn’t even in our realm of thinking. Self-Care? What is that? Who in the world has time?
It you were born in India or have studied Eastern philosophy and medicine, it might be a part of your daily ritual. Or maybe you have read the recent scientifically proven research about the body’s innate healing mechanisms, and have learned the importance of caring of your Self.
When the mind and body are relaxed it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing the body to heal… all on it’s own! So shouldn’t Self Care be at the top of our to-do lists, alongside loving our kids, brushing teeth and checking facebook?
Eastern philosophies have known this for thousands of years. We are just catching up. Ayurveda, an ancient system of natural healing originating in India, has finally made it to the West… Google helps! Abyangha is what they call daily self massage.
The great thing about it is you don’t need anybody else! Spouses and partners are off the hook! So take the time to heal, you deserve it.
Benefits of Self-Massage
- Seals and protects the skin from invading bacteria, virus and loss of moisture
- Softens skin, reduces wrinkles
- Calms and tones muscles, lubricates joints, increases circulation, stimulates organs
- Provides a feeling of stability, warmth and Self-Love
- Restores the balance of the doshas (learn your dosha). Grounding and Relaxing for Vatas and Pittas, stimulates Kapha
- Enhances well-being, longevity and decreases effects of aging.
- Calms the mind and provides a barrier to outside stimulus.
- Aides in detoxification, moves the lymph, assists in elimination of impurities from body
- Benefits sleep, enhances vision
- Benefits hair growth (if you do your scalp), and makes hair thick, soft and glossy
Whether we choose to do it before our shower in the morning to stimulate blood cells and rejuvenate us for the day ahead, or before bed to help relax us for a deep nights rest…
Doesn’t this sound like it should be a part of our daily routine?
- Make sure your room or bathroom is heated to a pleasant temperature.
- Warm about ¼ cup of oil (Spoil me Body Oil works great!) in a stainless steel or copper pan. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot!
- Place an old towel (oil stains) on the floor or bathtub floor and sit or stand fully naked.
- Use your palms, not fingertips.
- Head and Hair: Apply oil to crown of your head and in a circular motion move ?outwards. Spend a few minutes massaging scalp.
- Face: In an upward circular movement, massage face and ears.
- Body: Use long strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and circular stokes on the joints (elbows and knees). Always massage towards the direction of your heart.
- Abdomen and chest: Using clockwise circular motions. Follow the path of the large intestine, starting on the lower right, moving up and down the left side.
- Feet: Spend a few minutes massaging your feet, which hold nerve endings of essential organs and vital marma points. (energy pathways)
- Sit with oil for 5-15 minutes, allowing oil to penetrate the skin and deeper parts of the body.
- Enjoy a warm bath or shower. Best to wash with just water to allow oil penetrate skin, but if you prefer to wash it off, make sure to use a natural soap. Wash hair with Shampoo bar.
- Towel dry gently.
- Absorb the love! Enjoy the feeling or self nourishment. You have just balanced your body, mind and spirit!
- Don’t have time or energy for all of this? No problem. Squirt appropriate amount of Spoil me Body Oil into palm and massage whatever area of the body you feel tension. Your body and mind will benefit.
- Foot rub: You can use oil, but I like the Foot Cream. Massage feet and calves using desired pressure. Breathe deeply and relax!