Self Oil Massage
Self massage sounds a little weird, I know. However, the benefits of oil massage are so vast that you don’t want to miss out on this extremely nourishing treatment. Give it a try for at least one week and then decide for yourself. Here’s a little guide to get you started.
You’ll need :
- Organic cold pressed (not toasted!) sesame or coconut oil. In general use sesame during the cold months and coconut oil during the summer months. Banyan Botanicals has amazing massage oils, or just visit your local health food store’s cooking oil section. Remember, in Ayurveda, we don’t put anything on our skin which we wouldn’t put in our mouths.
- At least one old bath towel.
- A warm quiet place. In or near the bathroom is best.
- Easy access to a shower.
- A way to warm your oil. Start with a double boiler situation where you fill a coffee mug with 2-4 ounces of oil and place it in a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil to warm the oil.
Directions & Tips:
- Choose a time for your oil massage. Early morning just after waking or evening time before bed is best. Allow 20-40 minutes for the complete process.
- Prepare your chosen location with a bath towel on the floor where you will sit. A relaxing mood will help you de-stress. Light a candle or play some ambient or classical music.
- Warm your oil. Use 2-4 ounces with each self massage. Be sure to test that the oil is not too hot before you begin.
- Oils will damage the clothing, so it is best be completely naked.
- Start with the feet. Squeeze each foot like you were squeezing juice out of a lemon. Pull on each toe. Rotate the ankles.
- If you are going to massage the scalp, then do the scalp next. I recommend doing scalp massage only once per week when you have time to let it marinate for a few hours. A scalp massage should be vigorous and bring oxygen into the hair follicles. Use the flat part of your fingertips.
- Continue to cover the entire body in oil. Do long full handed strokes over the muscles and circular motions over the joints. Use a moderate pressure. Squeeze the muscles with your full hand.
- For women, spend a little extra time on the breasts if you have painful or tender breasts or if you have a family history of breast cancer. This is your chance to really become familiar with the mastic tissue and tune into any changes or irregularities.
- Use your fists to massage the neck and trapezius muscles.
- Around the belly and navel, always use a clockwise motion to move with the natural digestive flow. Downward strokes below the bellybutton will help to push apana vayu down and assist in healthy bowel movements.
- Remember any massage moves you particularly like and try to imitate them.
- Allow 20-40 minutes from start to finish for the oils to “marinate” into the skin.
- Have a warm shower. Rinse the oil from your skin with water using very little or no soap only where you absolutely need it. A very light coating of oil should remain on the skin after the massage. It will absorb naturally.
Indications for Self Oil Massage :
Generalized body ache