Abhyanga : Daily Self Massage

AYURVEDIC DAILY SELF-MASSAGE TECHNIQUE

Abhyanga allows toxins to be released from the body or nourishment to be absorbed by the tissues. The Ayurvedic massage is traditionally performed in the morning, before your bath or shower, to facilitate the release of toxins that may have accumulated during the previous night. Pick the oil base for your dosha.

Instructions:
To perform the daily self-massage, warm the massage oil to a comfortable temperature by placing the container under running hot water for a few minutes. Using your fingertips apply the warm oil lightly to the entire body. Wait for 4-5 minutes to let some of the oil be absorbed by your skin. Then massage the entire body, applying even pressure with the whole hand — palm and fingers.
Apply light pressure on sensitive areas such as the abdomen or the heart. Use more oil and spend more time where nerve endings are concentrated, such as the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and along the base of the fingernails. Circular motions over rounded areas such as your head or joints, and straight strokes on straight areas such as your arms and legs, work best.
After you’re done, relax for 10-15 minutes, letting the oil and the massage do their magic. The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates. During this time you can read, meditate, rest, and get ready for the day. Dab excess oil off with paper towels if you like, then follow with a relaxing warm bath or shower. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a daily massage, try and squeeze it in at least three or four times a week. You’ll find it’s worth it!

Vata
Frequency: 3-4 times a week.
Touch: Satvic, or light touch
Benefits of Massage: Stimulates blood and lymph circulation and detoxifies. Moistures the largest organ of the body.

Pitta:
Frequency: weekly
Touch: Rajistic, steady, medium pressure and depth.
Benefits of Massage: Re-centering. Mobilizing of toxins.

Kapha:
Frequency: weekly
Touch: Firm massage
Benefits of Massage: Stimulates organs, reduces fluid retention, encourages breakdown of fat cells to detoxify the body.

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