Self massage, or as it is known in Ayurveda, Abhyanga, can be an important part of ones daily routine. Abhyanga is simply the application of oil to the body. Remembering that the skin is one of the largest sense organs of the body and also the largest organ of assimilation- there are numerous benefits both physically and psychologically associated with this practice.
It does not require a great deal of your time but you may feel the benefits throughout your lifetime.
Self-Massage will –
1. Increases the softness and luster of the skin and give it a radiant glow.
2. Decrease dryness and strengthen skin tissue.
3. Increase strength and stamina
4. Promotes better sleep
5. Stimulates circulation
6. Decreases effects of aging.
How to –
Sit or stand on a towel you do not mind getting oily in a comfortably warm room.
Have about a ¼ cup of your oil ready, sesame oil is a nice option, use organic and refined (almond oil and olive oil are also good options).
Apply the oil to the body and then begin massaging into the skin working from the extremities in towards the heart. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular movements on the joints. Use a counter clockwise motion over the abdomen, clockwise motion on the chest.
About once a week spend a little extra time massaging the oil into the scalp or on feet and ears. (If you massage feet be sure to have socks near by to wear after).
Plan to spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes relaxing with the oil on the body in your robe or a towel kept for just this purpose. Then enjoy a warm bath or shower to remove the oil. If you are someone with dryer skin you might not use soap on the skin and all of the oil may be absorbed by now.
This is something I do almost every morning however you might enjoy this ritual in the evening before sleep instead.