Mindful Monday no. 20 – Self-Massage

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Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic technique for self-massage. There are many benefits for those who practice regularly, such as stress-reduction, better sleep, and loosened muscles. Arguably, the best part about this practice is that it costs nothing and can be done almost anywhere. If you would like to give this ancient practice a try, follow the steps below! Instructions were adapted from Free + Native.

Choose an oil that you enjoy using, such as coconut, jojoba, sesame, or almond. Place your bottle of oil inside a cup 3/4 full of very hot water to warm. Oil should be comfortably warm and not hot. Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room.

HEAD: Apply oil first to the crown of your head and work slowly out from there in circular strokes – spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp.

FACE: Massage in a circular motion on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaw (always moving in an upward movement). Be sure to massage your ears.

ARMS & LEGS: Use long strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and circular strokes on the joints.

BELLY: Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions.

FEET: Finish the massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet.

FINISH: Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes if possible so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body. Enjoy a warm bath or shower. When you get out of the bath, towel dry gently.

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