Self-massage is one of the best way to get back in tune with your body and to settle your mind.
A quiet, early morning or late evening self-massage with warm oil, incense, candles and music - what’s not to love? It brings about healing, warmth, acceptance and self-love. It can also transform aspects of your body you find harder to appreciate, like scar tissue, excess fat or other unique blemishes into areas of beauty.
Appreciating our own body is so important for a positive self-image and for developing healthy relationships with our other people too.
The practice of self-massage can be adopted as a daily routine or just on the days you fancy or feel you need it. You can practice first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, it’s entirely up to you.
All you need to do is warm the oil and massage it into your head and body. Warming the oil is important to open the pores of the skin and absorb the oil.
There’s any number of oils to choose from, just choose an appropriate one for your body type. As a Pitta/kapha I love to use mustard oil in the colder months but I would need to choose coconut or olive oil in the summer.
What I do…
I personally find self-massage a really helpful way to start my day, it gently wakens me up for the day ahead, soothes my skin and creates a positive frame of mind. As a busy Mum it also gives me the time I need for myself before everyone else is even up.
What I use:
A massage rug and a towel, laid on top of my Yoga mat
Massage oil (sometimes combined with essential oils),
A pan of hot water to place my massage oil container into - to warm the oil.
When I get up I take a few minute to boil the kettle providing me with a warm drink and warmed oil. I start with my knees - creating small firm circular motions - and move down to my ankles and feet. Then back up my legs. Next I move onto my elbows, circulating down to my wrists and hands then all the way back up to my upper arms. From there I take time to create circular motions to oil my lower back, before laying down and massaging the front of my torso, face and hair line - or if I can get away with oily hair for the day, my head too.
I often find my simple Ayurvedic self-massage practice often develops into a gentle Yoga practice or gentle exercise before I take my morning shower. This massage can be repeated before bed.
The benefits are far reaching, including anti-aging, softness of skin, hydration, nourishment, calming effect, mind-body connection, grounding, focus, spiritual uplift, improved circulation, removed stagnation, toning, invigoration, comfort and more.