What it is:
This self oil massage is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine. Used for times in order to better assist detoxification, circulation, and a deeper connection to the self.
As with much of medicines, we are returning to some of these invaluable practices, and this one in particular is so favourable in the experience of Body Image difficulties, as it allows for us to connect with our bodies in different ways that perhaps typically some might on the daily.
This may bring up emotion for you, and so I recommend taking your time, maybe even trying it in stages and coming back.
Below are the steps you might take to try this out for yourself. Beyond the technique of the application, find other ways to nurture this connection so that its supportive to you. Some of my suggestions:
- set the mood with music or binaural beats
- keep the light dim, maybe even candle lit
- do not rush, take the time when you have the time
but most of all…. Be with the sensation of the experience and not the story attached to your body. Believe me, I know, it will chime in.
attune to the details and senses to ground you in the present moment.
The right oil for you:
You may want to check what your constitution is in Ayurvedic medicine. If you are unsure, choose Sesame.
- Vata Dosha: sesame, almond
- Pitta Dosha: a coconut, sunflower, or a Pitta-balancing oi
- Kapha Dosha: safflower or a Kapha-balancing oil,
- Good for all Three Doshas: Jojoba oil
Benefits of Abhyanga via Chopra Centre
- Nourishes the entire body—decreases the effects of aging
- Imparts muscle tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
- Imparts a firmness to the limbs
- Lubricates the joints
- Increases circulation
- Stimulates the internal organs of the body
- Assists in elimination of impurities from the body
- Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification
- Increases stamina
- Calms the nerves
- Benefits sleep—better, deeper sleep
- Enhances vision
- Makes hair (scalp) grow luxuriantly, thick, soft and glossy
- Softens and smoothens skin; wrinkles are reduced and disappear
- Pacifies Vata and Pitta and stimulates Kapha—to learn more about Doshas.
Steps to Follow for Self-Massage:
- Warm the oil (pour approximately ¼ cup into a mug and warm using a coffee-cup warmer.) Test the temperature by putting a drop on your inner wrist, oil should be comfortably warm and not hot
- Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room
- Apply oil first to the crown of your head (adhipati marma) and work slowly out from there in circular strokes—spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp (home to many other important marma points—points of concentrated vital energy)
- Face: Massage in circular motion on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaws (always moving in a upward movement). Be sure to massage your ears, especially your ear-lobes—home to essential marma points and nerve endings
- Use long strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and circular strokes on the joints (elbows and knees). Always massage toward the direction of your heart
- Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side
- Finish the massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet. Feet are a very important part of the body with the nerve endings of essential organs and vital marma points
- Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes if possible so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body
- Enjoy a warm bath or shower. You can use a mild soap on the “strategic” areas, avoid vigorously soaping and rubbing the body
- When you get out of the bath, towel dry gently. Blot the towel on your body instead of rubbing vigorously
Perhaps rest into a sleep at this point, and wind down for the day. This is love for the self and the skin… 2.0