I was thinking about how dry my skin is right now (a natural consequence of winter). From there, I started thinking about how wonderful my skin feels after a massage. From there, I remembered how awesome my ayurvedic self-massage or Abhyanga was.
I used to include this as part of my morning routine, I no longer do that. But I started thinking, this would be a cool thing to do on my famous “Pamper Me” days, or to start up again as a weekly ritual. I am going to have a detox soaking bath and follow it with an Ayurveda self-massage. I currently have a detox soaking bath at least once a week. I will add this to my weekly practice.
Self-massage is an amazing treat to start your day. This present to yourself helps calm the mind and the nervous system. This can be performed at any time of day. The full process usually takes about 20 minutes but even if you only have 5 minutes for your self-massage you will benefit from your practice. Not only will your skin love the moisturizing but the healing qualities of increased circulation, toxin release and stimulation of nerve endings. I think you will enjoy it!
The first step is to choose an oil for your massage and warm it to a comfortable temperature. Generally different oils with Dosha balancing properties are recommended for each of the Doshas. Jojoba oil is suitable for all Doshas. If you do not know your Dosha you can choose an oil that you like. We are going for nourishing and pleasant.
What is a Dosha you ask? Doshas are energetic energies that define every person’s makeup and tendencies. Although there are three doshas, we all contain elements of each of the doshas depending on the situation. Your assigned dosha is an indicator of which of the three doshas is predominant in your personality. I could present an entire class on doshas, and we will not go there today. However, if you are curious, take this Dosha Quiz that will help you determine your Dosha.
Below are the instructions on how to perform self-massage. You can also watch this short video demonstration from Banyan Botanicals.
How To Practice Self Massage
- Place a towel or a mat on the floor to protect the floor from oil spills and to protect yourself from slipping.
- Place a small amount of oil in the palm of your hand for each of the areas of massage.
- Start with massaging the face and the outer part of the ears. You can also include your scalp when convenient.
- Massages the front and back of the neck with long smooth strokes.
- Massage the arms using long strokes up and down the arms and a circular motion at the joints.
- Massage over your heart in a circular motion.
- Massage over the abdomen in a clockwise motion.
- Massage your legs by using the same long strokes you used for arms.
- Massage your feet top and bottom using long smooth circular motions.