Got your attention, didn’t I? Do you touch yourself enough? How stressful is your daily life? Did you know one of the best remedies for frazzled nerves is to coat your body with oil?
Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic therapy that entails choosing an oil that’s great for your constitution and lightly rubbing it all over your body. It’s an ancient healing therapy from India that incorporates many healing elements. It’s wonderful for stress, dry skin, rashes, aging, dehydration, insomnia, thin & brittle hair, trauma, inflammation, lymph drainage, and more!
PLUS, when you take a moment to nurture yourself and touch your whole body, it grounds and centers you. It brings you home to you!
Today, I was utterly blessed to be able to receive an abhyanga treatment from the talented Ivy Cannon, a lovely intuitive woman who is finishing up her training at the Ayurvedic Institute here in Nevada City, California. It was so amazing to feel her expert strokes and hear her wisdom sharing the science of Ayurvedic healing. As I luxuriated in the wonderful oil application and light massage, we traded healing notes. I couldn’t help it, there was so much I could learn from this session. I had the chance to go deeper into my own knowledge of self-massage and to learn from the mother country of India.
If you are lucky enough to have Ayurvedic Practitioners around you, ones that do body treatments, I highly suggest receiving Abhyanga. That being said, you can do it at home as well, tuning into your own body and doing what feels right in the moment.
Here’s how to do Self-Abhyanga:
- Assess your constitutions as it is now. Are you more thick, gentle, sweet, slow & water & earth – more of a Kapha? Are you more trim and strong, sharp, passionate, athletic, fire & water – more Pitta? or Are you more thin and willowy, quick-minded, thinking, talkative, fast-paced, air & space – more Vata? Here is a blog with a dosha quiz, to be sure – http://www.earthbody.net/blog/55-news-category/219-the-dosha-quiz
- Choose an oil for your constitution: Kapha – sesame (untoasted), mustard, corn. Pitta – Coconut, or coconut with a little neem oil added. Vata – Sesame (untoasted), Almond
- Warm the oil in some hot water. You can have a small bowl of oil in a larger bowl of hot water, or you can get a small bottle and warm the oil in there. (If it’s coconut oil and started solid, you may need to use the bowl method first, then you can pour it into a bottle for ease of use.)
- Find a peaceful and comfortable spot. You may need to put a towel under you unless you are outside or in your bathtub.
- Start at your extremities and work towards the heart. Use a light stroke. Go nice and slow. Use long strokes on your limbs and circles on your joints. Do everything, including the face, feet, genitals (if you like), and head. If you are more Vata, your strokes should be light, slow, and calming. If you tend more towards Kapha, a more vigorous and faster stroke should be used to be more stimulating. You can experiment with what feels right for your body.
- Really feel your body and send loving thoughts to yourself and your body as you touch yourself. Take this special time to connect with your deeper self and deeper body wisdom.
- Finish by taking a hot shower. This opens the pores and moves toxins out, as well as helps the oils absorb better. You can wash whatever special parts need washing, but try to leave as much of your skin alone as possible.
- For a nice circulatory stimulator and cleanser, finish your hot shower with a cold rinse.
- Gently dry off with a towel that will now be used only after abhyanga. (Towels can get oily after some time.)
- Breathe deeply and enjoy the blissfully relaxed feelings!
Abhyanga is great to do as often as possible. Once a day is wonderful, especially for Vata types. As always, do what you can and don’t stress about it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this soothing info.
Take action now! Please in the comments below tell me which oil you are going to use and any big Ahas or questions you had while reading this. Also, come back after you’ve tried it, and let me know how it goes!
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To your Blessed Wellness,