Soothe Your Nerves with Daily Oil MassageKeep your skin soft, calm your mind, and warm up your body in the fall with an early morning oil massage. The practice of oil massage is called abhyanga in Ayurveda. The sensation of abhyanga is so deeply nourishing to your nervous system, mind, skin, muscles, and joints that it is like being wrapped up in loving arms. It emulates the warmth and support of the tropical rainforests of lush Hawaii with its sweet, sensual, soothing effects.
Try to work abhyanga into your schedule once a week and see how that small but powerful change makes a difference in how you feel. For a stronger effect, commit to doing abhyanga every day for just one week. The physical and mental changes you feel can be quite dramatic.
Why Not Just Use Lotion?Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It absorbs the elements, qualities (gunas), and chemicals of every product you apply to your body. That's why it's so important to use pure oils instead of lotions that contain parabens and other chemicals. But that's not the only reason to use oil! While lotions remain on the surface of your skin, creating the illusion of moisture, oils sink down through the layers to truly hydrate and nourish your skin on a deeper level.
Improved Circulation and Added WarmthOne benefit of summer heat is that is causes you to sweat. Fluids and blood naturally circulate to the surface of your skin to release heat. The added benefit of sweating is that it hydrates and lubricates your skin. A protective layer of dense, insulating fats keeps your core body temperature and extremities warm. As the temperature drops and you sweat less, your body pulls blood and fluids into your core in order to preserve heat and your skin dries out. The coloring in your skin fades and it takes on a dry, aged appearance. Oil restores softness to your skin by rehydrating it and protecting it from the wind.
Soft, Supple, Wrinkle-Free SkinThe beautiful fall season brings with it gusts of drying wind. Do you have lush, soft skin all summer and suddenly notice that around mid-September your cuticles started cracking and heels became thick and scaly? This sensation of dryness is your first indication that it's time to nourish your skin with oil. A self-massage with oil creates a buffer between your skin and the harsh fall winds. Daily application of oil makes your skin soft and supple. Thanks to this added hydration and lubrication of your skin, you may notice increased resistance to dryness, cracking, and even bruising. Self oil massage is a powerful anti-aging practice that increases the strength of the fragile skin of the elderly and helps younger skin adapt to the aging process more gracefully. The main cause of wrinkles is the diminishing layer of subcutaneous fat that creates lustrous skin with a healthy sheen. Replenish these oils to retain - and even increase - your skin's natural vibrant beauty!
Calm Your AnxietiesAs you become more consistent with your daily oil massage, you may notice not only benefits in your skin, but a subtle change in the way you feel. Anxieties will be replaced as a sense of calm steadily seeps into your life. You begin to feel content and confident. This is because the oil seeps into your skin all the way to your nerve endings, delivering the message of stability, warmth, and calm to your mind and heart. In Sanskrit, the word for oil, sneha, is also the word for love. After offering the loving practice of oil massage to yourself for a few days in a row, you may find it easier to accept yourself just as you are.
Improved SleepSleep deeply as you calm your nervous system with abhyanga. Oil massage is heavy, stable, warm, calm, and grounding - all the qualities of sound sleep! After only a day or two of self oil massage, you will be sleeping better. Do you find yourself lying in bed consumed by churning thoughts, just hoping for sleep to overtake you? Evening oil massage can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep all night long.
Pain Relief in Your Muscles and JointsDryness and cold create tight, painful muscles and joints. Oil massage softens your tight muscles and even nourishes dried-out joints. Massaging your muscles unblocks stagnation, allowing important circulation of nutrients and oxygen to reach painful places in your body. Oil seeps in and lubricates dry, painful joints so that they can move freely.
Relief from Gas and ConstipationConstipation, especially during times of stress, can be due to a contraction of your abdomen, low belly, and even as deep as the smooth muscle that lines your small and large intestines. Daily oil massage encourages the soft release of these muscles, bringing ease back to your bowel movements. If you suffer from constipation, spending extra time on your abdomen during your self massage practice will encourage regular elimination of stools.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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Questions, Comments & Impressions of 'abhyanga: oil massage to soothe your nerves'?Is there something you'd like to know about 'abhyanga: oil massage to soothe your nerves'?
Sunflower oil and coconut oil are both good for pitta! Great question.
what about Kapha? which oil is good?
Plain sesame oil is good for kapha, but we also special Kapha Oil blend that you could try - https://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/product/Kapha-Oil-pint/41
If i had sesamoil in my head/hair,how to wash it off? I dont want my hair to be greasy and oily..