Ayurvedic self massage with oils (abhyanga) is recommended daily. It is relaxing, energizing, nurturing. It is nourishing for the body, mind and soul! It can be as short as 5 minutes, but 20-30 minutes is even better. The massage is best done in the morning and will support an even energy level throughout the day.
Some of the benefits of regular self oil massage include:
- Enhances circulation in the body
- Calms the mind and nervous system, promoting better focus and balanced emotions
- Reduced anxiety, spaciness and feelings of being overwhelmed (The soothing touch and warm oil pacifies Vata and promotes restful sleep)
- Radiant skin
- Rejuvenates the body and mind
- Eliminates deep-seated toxins in the skin, joints, and tissues
- Keeps joints nourished and lubricated
- Adds resilience to muscles and slows the aging process.
Choose a body oil that is best for you. Using a base massage oil such as sesame oil, coconut oil, or almond oil is a good place to start. Raw, cold-pressed, organic oils provide maximum benefit. Realize that your skin is “eating” whatever you put on it, so only use body products that would be clean and healthy choices to put in your mouth. The effects are enhanced by using an oil infused with nourishing Ayurvedic herbs and flowers.
I offer clients massage oils from Banyan Botanicals and TriHealth Ayurveda. I have many choices for specific constitutions and imbalances available at discounted prices.
Email for details: info@HalePule.com.
Sesame oil is generally the first choice for calming vata dosha. It is nourishing, purifying, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Coconut oil is cooling and pacifying for pitta (fire/water element).
Sunflower oil is both nourishing and soothing for kapha (earth/water element).
Instructions for warm oil massage:
- Warm the oil in a stainless steel or glass pan.
- Apply using the palms of your hands starting with the sacrum (low back area).
- Down the legs and feet
- Then the back
- Next the belly
- Arms and hands
- Then the shoulders and neck
- Then the face and head
Use a circular motion with the palm of your hands. Enjoy the process and leave on for 20 minutes or more. It is best to shower following oil massage without using soap. The thin layer of oil that remains on the skin after bathing helps keep skin moisturized and protected.
Chick pea flour made into a paste with a little water can be applied to the skin to help to remove the oil in the shower. It helps prevent clogging the drain and makes the skin soft.
If you think this sounds like too much trouble or you “don’t have enough time,” compare it to how much energy and time is spent feeling poorly, visiting doctors and dealing with the results of forgetful or anxious behavior. This is one of those loving, nurturing gifts you can give to yourself! You will reap great benefits in all of your life.
Myra Lewin has consulted, studied, and taught Ayurveda, yoga, nutrition, meditation, and subtle energy management since the late 1980s. Her in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and psychology enables her to approach people at their level to encourage the integration of healthy balanced practices as a foundation for living. Honoring the holistic nature of the human being, she has helped many people move from destructive paths toward fulfillment. Learn practical Ayurveda today with Myra’s Getting Started with Ayurveda program.