Sunstone Health & Wellness wants to bring more alternative health to Indianapolis and Greenwood. We use essential oils in many of our practices to offer holistic health to Indiana.
Ayurveda (the science of life that hails from ancient India) encourages us to keep healthy and prevent disease with a daily routine full of self-care. One of the most beneficial practices in this routine is abhyanga; a nourishing oil massage (one of many essential oils). Even if regular professional massages are within your means, self-abhyanga can be done on a daily basis and in the comfort of your own bathroom. Five minutes and basic essential oils are all you need, plus another 15 minutes to let the essential oil soak in (during which you can stretch, do some breathing exercises, or simply relax).
These five minutes can make a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing. When practiced regularly, abhyanga has a myriad of benefits-besides moisturizing skin and making it glow. The therapeutic self-massage tones the skin, muscles, and underlying body tissues. It improves circulation, aiding the body in its removal of toxins and metabolic wastes. The rhythmic motion of the massage lubricates the joints and relieves muscle stiffness. It calms the nervous system, boosts immunity, and helps to promote sound sleep. It can help in chronic fatigue. Abhyanga strengthens, nourishes, improves flexibility, and slows down aging.
Abhyanga is clearly five minutes well spent. The ideal time to give yourself this nourishing massage is before both bathing and breakfast. Alternatively, you can massage yourself in the evening, which helps with a good night's sleep. Note that you should skip this massage on a full stomach, during menstruation, and if you're pregnant.
Here's how to practice self-abhyanga:
- Choose your essential oil. Traditionally, herb-infused medicinal oils are carefully selected according to the individual and their condition. If you're not sure which oil is right for you, use coconut oil in warmer months and sesame oil in cooler months. Use the best quality essential oil you can afford, and make sure it's organic and unrefined. The skin is the largest organ, so feed it the good stuff. Store the oil in a glass bottle.
- Heat the essential oil by placing the bottle in a pot of warm water. Warm essential oil better penetrates the skin.
- Start the massage at your head. Pour a little oil onto the crown of your head and rub. This helps to release negative energy and excess heat. Massage your entire head using small circles. This relaxes the brain, strengthens the sense organs, and calms the mind.
- Massage your face with upward strokes and gentle circles to give a natural face-lift. Gently pinch-press from your inner eyebrows to outer. Massage your neck, ears, earlobes, and the area behind your ears.
- Massage the body from top to bottom. Use circular strokes on the joints-- the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. This helps to release any stuck energy. Use long, linear strokes on the rest of the body from the center outwards, following the direction of hair growth. This encourages the body's energy flow to move in its natural direction. Use both hands to massage the belly in large, clockwise circles. Massage each finger and toe, the palms, and the soles of the feet.
- Let the oil soak in, then wash off. 15 minutes gives the oil time to penetrate the body. Wash it off with a gentle, natural soap. You can even leave a little residue as a moisturizer.
If you don't have enough time for full-body abhyanga, at least massage the soles of your feet. On the other hand, take your time when you can and give yourself a truly nurturing, loving self-massage. Your body and mind will thank you.
To learn more about essential oils in Indiana, please make sure you contact us at Sunstone Health & Wellness. We have many alternative health options available to the Indianapolis, Greenwood, and Indiana neighborhoods.