SELF-CARE SUNDAY: This Sunday, take time for self-massage (Abhyanga in Aryuvedic terms) with the use of essential oils! While many of us can’t justify splurging on a massage on a regular basis, it doesn’t mean we should go without!
How to prepare for your self-massage:
1) Research! Not all essential oils were created equal- make sure your are using pure oils that haven’t been cut with other ingredients. Be aware of where your oils come from (they are best when harvested from their indigenous home) and try to buy organic when possible. If the cost of your oils seems too good to be true, it probably is. Those tiny bottles may seem expensive, but a little goes a LONG way! Learn the qualities of each oil in order to choose one that can best help with that your body needs (eucalyptus to soothe, rosemary for fibromyalgia, chamomile to calm…).
2) Set the stage for total relaxation by lighting a candle, turning on your favorite tunes and choosing a scent that speaks to you! Turn off your phone and make space in your schedule to be free of interruptions – this is your time!
3) If you don’t have massage oil and are making your own, use use a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoboa oil, then mix in an essential oil like lavender (around 25 drops per oz. of carrier oil).
4) Starting with the scalp, massage the body from head to toe. Take circular motions over the joints and abdomen, and longer strokes on the limbs to help with lymphatic drainage. Include your face, ears, chest, torso and limbs, then end with the feet. Try to deepen your awareness of how your body feels to make your massage meditative- reducing anxiety while improving circulation.
This article from the Chopra Center recommends sitting with the oil on for up to 15 minutes before bathing, but spending any time giving your body a little TLC is better than no time at all. Self care is all about being able to press “pause” on our busy lives long enough to trigger our ability to relax. Allow the healing powers of aromatherapy to kick your relaxation into gear while reaping the physical and mental effects of self-massage. Once you find a routine you can do your whole body in just ten minutes!