Holistic Ayurveda Institute & Wellness Centre

Call: +1 613 422 0936
Email: info@holisticayurveda.ca

Self oil massage for healthy radiant skin

Sometimes, simply showering ourselves with love is one of the most deeply healing gifts we can offer. Renowned for its practical elegance in balancing the body, mind, and spirit, Ayurveda often emphasizes healing from the inside out, but the Ayurvedic tradition is also rich with beauty rituals and other self-nurturing practices that focus more on the exterior of the body. Here, we offer you some of Ayurveda’s broad collection of indulgent and nourishing self-care practices in the interest of promoting health and beauty from the outside in.

The ancient practice of self-massage with oil is a staple of the Ayurvedic lifestyle, and it makes for luxuriously soft, elastic, and hydrated skin. In fact, according to Ayurveda, oil is the primary remedy for excess dryness; so if you have never indulged in a full-bodied oil massage, prepare to be wonder struck. This treatment will leave your skin feeling silky smooth, deeply loved, and powerfully revitalized, and the benefits reach well beneath the surface of the skin. Self-massage with oil supports the pathways of detoxification to help keep the skin healthy and clear. It also promotes inner radiance by calming the nervous system, lubricating and rejuvenating the deeper tissues of the body, and encouraging healthy circulation. Then there’s this: sneha, the Sanskrit word for oil, also means “love.” There’s no question that anointing the body with oil is a profound act of loving self-care that benefits both the physical body and the more subtle realms of consciousness. It can even help to buffer the nervous system against stress. Ayurvedic self-massage can be practiced either occasionally or daily, so embrace a frequency that works for you and your schedule.

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

There is no greater expression of self-love than lovingly anointing ourselves from head to toe with warm oil—this practice is called Abyanga. The Sanskrit word Sneha can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love. Like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth.


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