Abhyanga or ayurvedic self massage is one of the best beauty secrets in self care, it is the practice of self-massage with therapeutic, herb infused oils. The relaxing combination of gentle motions with the healing powers of herb infused natural oils stimulate the dosha energies, circulate blood and relax tense muscles to restore healing and balance. Natural oils and self massage help remove toxic build up, improve skin tone and texture and help tone underlying muscles and tissues. In addition, self massage lowers anxiety, lifts your mood and eases your mind.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Self Massage Abhyanga:
Decreases the effects of aging
Eliminates impurities and toxins
Increase stamina and energy
Stimulates internal organs
Improves overall skin tone, texture and reduces wrinkles
Helps stimulate hair growth
How to perform Abhyanga, a daily Ayurvedic Self Massage
Perform your daily or as often as possible Abhyanga before showering or bathing, ideally in the morning so that it can set the tone for the rest of your day.
1) Warm up your oil (see below for recommendations on oils to use for your dosha type and benefits of those oils.) You can warm up your oil by placing the amount you will use in a squeeze bottle and then setting that squeeze bottle in some hot water in the bath tub or sink or in a bowl. Once your oil is warm, you are ready to start your massage.
2) Set a towel in the middle of your bathroom floor or you can use your bathtub, but be sure to put a towel down as to not get any oil on your bathroom surfaces (we don't want you to slip!)
3) Sit on your towel and pour about 1-2 teaspoons of your warm oil into the palms of your hand.
4) Rub your hands together and start your massage with your scalp. For your entire massage, use the flats of your hands and not just the fingertips, although for the scalp, you might use more of your fingers more. You can skip your scalp on days you are not washing your hair. Also, for this particular step, using an all natural hair growth stimulating oil is an excellent choice!
5) Face - massage your face with circular motions. Start at your jaw and move upwards to your foreheads, always massage face. Massage you ears and your ear lobes as they contain vital energy and nerve endings.
6) Gradually, work your way downwards, massaging your neck, shoulders, arms, abdomen, breasts and/or chest, back, legs and feet - do one side and then the other for each area. Use long strokes over long limbs like your arms and legs. Use circular strokes over breasts and joints. Massage abdomen in clockwise motion and follow the path of your large intestines (move up on the right side of the abdomen, then across and then down on the left side).
7) Finally, massage your feet! This is a very important part of your body to massage - a lot of important nerve endings are in your feet. So spend a couple of minutes paying close attention to massaging these babies!
Ahhh! And that's it! Your guide to an Ayurvedic Self Massage (Abhyanga) - The whole thing should take about 15-20 mins. But, it's better to spend even 5 mins if that's all you have than not doing this at all. Your skin, you mind and your body will thank you for it!
Talk to me! Have you tried an Ayurvedic Self Massage or do you plan on trying it? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
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