Ayurvedic Oil Massage
Ayurvedic oil massage helps strengthen and balance your whole body, improves circulation and vitality, and rejuvenates your skin.
This massage uses sesame oil, and it is recommended as part of any daily routine because it rejuvenates and revitalizes the physiology.
It produces a youthful influence for the skin and helps to balance.
1. Start with cold-pressed sesame oil, available from your health food store. Ideally, the oil should be “cured” before using (by heating slowly to the boiling temperature of water, 212 degrees F, and cooling). The oil should be warmed each time you use it.
2. Use the open part of your hand (rather than your fingertips) to massage your entire body. In general, use circular motions over rounded areas (joints, head) and straight strokes over straight areas (neck, long bones). Apply moderate pressure over most of your body and light pressure over your abdomen and heart.
3. Start with your head. Pour a small amount of oil on your hands and vigorously massage it into your scalp. With the flat part of your hands, use circular strokes to cover your whole head. Spend more time massaging your head than other parts of your body.
4. Next, massage your face and outer ears, remembering to apply a small amount of oil as you move from one part of your body to the next. Massage this area more gently.
5. Massage the front and back of your neck and the upper part of your spine. At this point you may want to cover the rest of your body with a thin layer of oil to give maximum time for the oil to soak in.
6. Vigorously massage your arms, using a circular motion on your shoulders and elbows and long, back-and-forth strokes on your upper arms and forearms.
7. Now massage your chest and stomach. Use a very gentle, circular motion over your heart and abdomen. You can start in the lower right part of your abdomen and move clockwise, ending up at the lower left part. This gently massages your intestines.
8. Massage your back and spine. You may have trouble reaching your entire back.
9. Massage your legs, vigorously, making circular motions over your hips, knees, and ankles. Use long, straight strokes over your thighs and calves.
10. Finally, massage the bottoms of your feet. As with your head, this important area of your body deserves more time. Use the palm of your hand to massage your soles vigorously.
11. Follow your oil massage with a warm bath or shower, using a mild soap.
Adapted from Perfect Weight by Deepak Chopra, M.D. (Three Rivers Press, 1994).