Self Massage: Swa Abhyanga

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self-massage abhyanga

Introduction

 

Abhyanga means applying and massaging warm, often herb infused oil, to the body. Traditionally, this is done on an everyday basis before bathing. The skin absorbs the nutrition from the oil and transports it into our blood circulation which in turn helps in maintaining good health by providing a boost to our immune system.

Abhyanga is also called ‘Snehana’ where the word Sneha means ‘love’ or ‘oil’. Thus this routine helps the body feel loved and taken well care of. Imparting stability, comfort and warmth is its main motive, hence helping the body and mind grow.

 

It is divided into 3 sub secctions-

I. Full body massage

II. Head massage

III. Feet massage.

In this blog post we will be discussing in detail talking about Full body massage.

 

What are the Benefits of Self Massage ?

1. Massage imparts stability to the body and nourishes the bones and muscles

2. It makes the skin soft and glowing

3. It also helps tissue regeneration, delaying the process of aging

4. Massage strengthens musculature and increases body’s tolerance

5. It imparts good tone and vigor to the body

6. There is increase in circulation and it pacifies Vata and Pitta

7. Massaging stimulates the internal organs of the body

 

 

What is the ideal technique ?

1) Fill an 8 oz. squeeze bottle with ¼ – ½ cup of oil. Make sure that oil is good and fresh.

2) You can decide the oil based on either the season or your Mind-Body-Skin type.

3) Place the bottle of oil in a warm water pan till the oil is pleasantly warm.

4) Go to a non-airy room, and make yourself comfortable by sitting/ standing on a towel which is all right if dirtied with oil.

5) Squeeze out some oil in the palm of your one hand and start applying it to your body.

6) Start massaging the oil beginning from the extremities and working toward the middle of your body. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints.

7) Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, massage in a clock-wise direction.

8) Massage the body for 10 to 20 minutes, with love and patience.

9) Apply oil to the feet but skip the soles, so that you don’t slip in the shower.

10) Take a warm water bath.

11) When you get out of the bath, towel dry. Keep a special towel for drying off after your Abhyanga because it will eventually get ruined, due to the accumulation of oil.

12) Put on a pair of cotton socks (organic, if you can find them) to protect your environment from the residual oil on your feet and vice-versa.

13) Enjoy this wonderful feeling!

14) Practice daily or at least thrice a week for best results.

 

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