2013 Wellness Challenge Week 37: Oil Self Massage
There is nothing more soothing than a heartfelt touch of the palm to skin. Our hands are one of the places on the body with the most nerve endings; our touch literally has the ability to heal/feel. So often, we forget that this built-in ability to heal can be used for ourselves as well.
In Ayurveda, an ancient system of healing created in India 5,000 years ago, oil self massage is a popular way to start the day. Nourishing the skin with a body oil not only helps us stay moisturized, but it also calm the nerves and releases tension from our muscles.
Best of all, it’s simple and quick. Sit down on the edge of your bed or on a stool in the bathroom and liberally apply your favorite body oil to your feet, legs, abdomen, chest and arms. You may even apply a little oil to your scalp if you feel comfortable doing so. If you’re using an oil with aromatherapeutic qualities, make sure you take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves.
Abhyanga, the Sanskrit word for an oil self massage, is a rich ritual and not so far off from a daily routine many of us already keep. If you lather on lotion after your shower each morning, Abhyanga is a similar practice. Rather than lotion, or in addition to your favorite creamy concoction, add in a squirt or two of oil.
Rubbing ourselves down not only purifies and nourishes the body and mind, but it also helps us get reacquainted with ourselves just as we are. The practice is one of self-knowledge, self-appreciation and self-love. If you struggle with body image, consider adding in an affirmation to remind yourself how powerful and strong you are, even if you don’t feel it. As you rub over those parts of your body you disklike the most, repeat to yourself silently or out loud, “I am beautiful” or “I am strong.” The more we love our body, the more confident we’ll feel throughout our day in all other areas of our life.
If you’re in need of a body oil to start your self massage, consider investing in a high quality oil. High quality doesn’t have to mean high prices either. An organic, cold-pressed sesame, almond, olive or coconut oil will work just fine. If you’d rather add in the aroma-therapeutic benefits, use Pangea Organics body oil in Pyrenees lavender & cardamom to soothe the skin and invigorate the mind or Italian white sage & geranium to restore the skin and rejuvenate the senses.
Daily Recipe for Less Stress
1. Choose an oil.
2. Squirt some oil in the palm of your hand, rub your plans together and apply liberally in the following order: feet, legs, abdomen, chest, arms, hands, face and scalp (optional).
3. Repeat an empowering mantra as you rub the oil over those parts of the body you dislike the most. Consider using “I am strong” or “I am beautiful.”
4. Take 3 deep, grounding and centering breaths before you move on to the rest of your day.
**Note: The link above for Pangea Organics body oil is a link to my online Pangea Organics store. If you decide to invest in Pangea Organics body oil, I will receive a small commission. If you have questions about other Pangea Organics products or would like to schedule a Pangea Organics consultation, please reach out to me via the contact form on my site.
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