Ayurvedic oil massage

During the fall group cleanse one of the topics I had a lot of questions about was giving an oil self-massage.  It was part of the daily recommended routine I encouraged participants to adopt at least during the cleanse if not beyond.  And one that is not only calming and healing but beneficial to our bodies and minds on so many levels.  I previously wrote of the importance of routine especially at this time of year and in Ayurveda massage is considered a critical component to good health as much as diet and lifestyle choices.


Why take the time to oil massage?

o    It improves circulation and body heat.

o    Massage is nourishing to our skin, promotes body awareness and self-confidence.

o    It tones muscles and aids our lymphatic tissue in proper elimination.

o    Massage is calming and soothing to our nervous system.

o    It encourages good sleeping patterns.

o    Massage increases our immunity which I’m sure we all need from time to time.


Okay, so now that I’ve convinced you how great this simple practice can be let me get you started.  Finding the right oil for your body type will be your first step.  So as you know in Ayurveda we are typically a dominant dosha or even two that are fairly close so if you don’t know what dosha you are you can take this quiz or this one.  This will give you an idea of where to start.  There are also seasonal changes that can come into play but for starting out finding the oil to best compliment your dosha is ideal.


Everyone should try to get cold pressed organic oil, our skin is our largest organ and we want to provide it with only the best.  Vata individuals should use a warm oil such as sesame or almond oilPitta individuals typically want to go for a more cooling oil like coconut or sunflower oil and Kapha individuals fare best with energizing oil like jojoba or even olive oil.


How to perform a proper oil massage?

  • Spread a towel on the bathroom floor, one you don’t mind getting oil on.
  • Warm the oil so it is comfortable to the touch.  I have mine in a spray bottle so it is easy to control but the travel size squeeze bottles will work as well.  Put the bottle of oil in a glass of hot water for a few minutes until it is warm enough.
  • Work from the top down or the bottom up whichever you choose, using clockwise circular motions (which are the most relaxing to our bodies).  A lot of pressure isn’t needed, especially over the heart and abdomen area.  Go lightly.
  • Use circular motions over the joints like your knees, elbows and shoulders and long sweeping motions over the arms and legs.
  • Think of moving upward on the back of your body and downward on the front of your body for balance.
  • Spend a few minutes relaxing before getting into the shower or bath.  And don’t concern yourself with washing off the oil, leaving it to continue soaking in is great.

There now that you know how easy it is, go ahead.  Try it a couple of times a week and go from there, I bet you’ll find it luxurious and relaxing.  You deserve it.

Let me know if you have any questions !


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