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ayurveda

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Massage with oils – the importance of external oleation.

The word for oil in Sanskrit, sneha, is also the word for love. So massage ritual is essentially spreading love and nourishment to all of the tissues in the body, as well as to the mind and senses.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89
(One of the Great ancient texts of Ayurveda)

External oleation of the skin is becoming more important as our population ages.

The main reason to massage the body with the oil is to remove toxins from the deep tissues. It also works to purify, nourish, and tone the body on a deep cellular level.

How should we use this information to achieve our aims?

  1. Reduce the frequency of bathing, showering, and cleansing. The water should be kept at the coolest temperature practical, and one should get out as soon as possible. Sponge bathing should be encouraged.
  2. Apply an oil directly on skin that is still damp. 
  3. Self massage 30-60minutes before bath or shower.
  4. Keep room temperature low. Humidity should be kept as high as possible without causing damage.
  5. Limit the exposure to soaps, detergents, solvents, and water. Such products dry the skin and alter its pH balance. Overdrying should be avoided. In addition, friction from washcloths, rough clothing, and abrasives should be avoided.
  6. Use natural, pure, cold pressed, unrefined oils frequently. Use best quality oils that you can find.  Your skin is your biggest organ, and everything you put on it absorbs directly into your bloodstream.
    Dry skin – use carrier oils as often as possible 4-5 times a day.
    Oily skin – once a day.
  7. Use oils according to your skin type and needs. 
    Dry/Mature Skin Avocado, Jojoba, Kukui Nut, Olive, Rosehip Seed, Sweet Almond, Evening Primrose, Calendula, Camellia Seed, Olive, Sesame, Macademia, Argan, Tamanu

     

    Normal Skin Apricot Kernel, Peach Kernel, Jojoba, Sunflower, Sweet Almond, Sesame, Hazelnut, Pomegranate

     

    Oily/Acne Prone Skin Jojoba, Neem, Apricot Kernel, Coconut, Tamanu, Sesame, Hemp Seed, Black Cumin Seed, Rosehip Seed, Pumpkin Seed

     

  8. Avoid synthetic products. Synthetic moisturizing creams can be too dense on the molecular level to permeate the tissue adequately.

Benefits of applying oil to the body:

  • Improves softness, strength and color to the bodymassage with oil - external oleation
  • Helps in removal of waste products/toxins
  • Decreases the effects of aging
  • Improves sense organs
  • Nourishes the body
  • Increases longevity
  • Benefits sleep patterns
  • Benefits skin
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Imparts a firmness to the limbs
  • Imparts tone and vigor to the tissues of the body
  • Stimulates the internal organs of the body
  • Increases circulation
  • Pacifies dry, sensitive skin.

A full body oil massage, calms the mind, leaving you feeling grounded yet focused and alert, and balances emotions.

If you live in York and are looking for massage: Aromatherapy and Ayurveda – contact me on (+44) 7908352770 or shamamatherapy@gmail.com

When I was in India, studying Ayurveda, I also learnt how important it is to massage a baby from its early days.

What is baby massage?

Baby massage is gentle, rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body with your hands. Use pure, unrefines, cold-pressed oils only on your baby’s skin. As part of your massage routine, you can gently manipulate your baby’s ankles, wrists and fingers. You can talk softly, hum or sing to your baby while you are massaging.

Benefits of baby massage:

Massage may help your baby to:

  • develop mentally, socially and physically
  • stay relaxed
  • cry less
  • sleep better
  • improve weight gain
  • aid digestion
  • improve circulation
  • ease teething pain

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Ayurveda

ayurveda

Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.

Ayurveda is based on Pancha-mahabhutha theory and Tridosha theory. Ayurveda considers that everything in this universe is made up of five basic elements. These five elements are earth, water, fire, air and ether or space and collectively termed as Pancha-mahabhutha. Ayurveda believes that every living creature in the universe is made up of these five elements, which serve as the building blocks of life and that life does not exist without them. The change and the combination of these elements and its quantity in a given matter determine its properties.

The Tridosha; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are biological derivatives of the five basic elements present in the Universe.ayurveda

Ayurveda embraces all aspects of well-being of leaving creatures – physically, mentally and spirtually.

Ayurveda offers treatment for routine ailments as well as chronic diseases. Ayurveda recommends therapeutic medication programs to cure, not just for the symptoms of the disease, but to the root cause of the health problems or imbalances. These recommended treatments primarily help to eliminate the excessively accumulated toxins which are the root cause of various disorders and ailments afflicting the human body and also boost the body‘s immune system to fight such build up. These treatments are generally extended for duration of 7 – 14 – 21 days but can be vary according to the specific requirements of an individual.

The Vata Dosha is a mixture of space and air. It controls movement and is responsibayurvedale for basic body processes such as breathing, cell division and circulation. Vata body areas are the large intestine, pelvis, bones, skin, ears, and thighs. People with vata as their main Dosha are believed to be quick-thinking, thin, and fast, and are prone to anxiety, dry skin, and constipation.

The Kapha Dosha represents the elements of water and earth. Kapha is believed to be responsible for strength, immunity, and growth. Kapha body areas are the chest, lungs, and spinal fluid. People with Kapha as their main Dosha are thought to be calm, have a solid body frame, and are susceptible to diabetes, obesity, sinus congestion, and gallbladder problems.

The Pitta Dosha combines fire and water. It is thought to control hormones and the digestive system. Pitta body areas are the small intestines, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood, and eyes. People with pitta as their primary Dosha are thought to have a fiery personality, oily skin, and are prone to heart disease, stomach ulcers, inflammation, heartburn, and arthritis.

Imbalanced Doshas are believed to interrupt the natural flow of prana, or the vital energy. The disrupted energy flow is then thought to impair digestion and allow the build up of body waste, which further impairs energy and digestion.

The ancient science of Ayurveda recommends periodic internal cleansing or body detoxification and purification as the best way to maintain good health and prevent physical disorders. It is necessary to help your body flush out the toxins periodically to maintain and enhance the efficiency of organs in your body.

Ayurveda helps in nourishing the body, revitalizing the nervous system, overcoming fatigue, promoting sound sleep, improving the sense of well being and increasing work efficiency. These programs take care of the problems like spondilitis, lower back pain, stress, insomnia, digestive problems etc.

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Turmeric Mask: Ayurveda’s Skin Exfoliant

Turmeric Mask: Ayurveda’s Skin Exfoliant

Turmeric is an age old remedy for a wide range of skin problems. Ayurveda recommends turmeric to be used regularly for glowing, blemish free complexion. Turmeric does wonders to the skin as an exfoliant. Apart from removing dead skin and impurities, the turmeric mask also maintains the natural pH balance of the skin and imparts a healthy glow to it.
Any pack we put on the skin gets absorbed into the blood stream. So what better option than the `yellow gold’, as Indians refer to turmeric to enhance beauty?

Make Your Own Turmeric Skin Exfoliantturmeric mask

Here is a simple turmeric mask recipe for different skin types. Follow the below instructions.

  • Turmeric 1 tbsp.
  • 2 tbsp. flour: for vata dosha (dry skin type) use oatmeal, for pitta dosha (sensitive skin type) use chickpea and kapha dosha (oily skin type) use barley flour.
  • Make it into a paste by adding a little water and massage into face and neck.  Leave it on for 5 min. Then wash it off with warm water.

Turmeric can leave heavier stains on your skin if you mix it with plain water. Instead, you can try raw honey or milk to cancel out the staining.

How to remove turmeric stains from your skin

Anyway, do not fear of looking like a character out of The Simpsons. Scientists have discovered that curcumin is 2000 times more soluble in vegetable oil than it is in water. So, gently warm a bit of olive or sesame oil and massage it into your face for about a minute, then wipe away with a cotton pad.

TIP! It is important to note that Curcuma aromatica, and not Curcuma longa, must be used in skin care. Curcuma aromatica, also called “Wild Turmeric” has been used as an herbal cosmetic in South Asia and India for centuries. This traditional herb is used as a skin rejuvenative and to enhance skin health. It is less pungent in property than Curcuma Longa (used in cooking) which makes it ideal to use on sensitive skin. Use Curcuma Aromatica to address a variety of skin conditions: acne, scars, pigmentation, cellulite, inflammatory conditions of the skin and stretch marks among many other conditions. However, it is not edible and should only be used externally.

Curcuma aromatica is a medicinal plant with a wide range of biological activities which can be used for the preparation of various formulations for the treatment of inflammation, wound and microbial infections.

Turmeric as scalp saviour

Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric to a cup of jojoba, olive or coconut oil. Massage this mixture into your scalp and leave on for 15 minutes, then shampoo as usual. This is a great deterrent for dandruff and improves the scalp’s overall condition.

Turmeric as a skin brightener

Mix 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder, a pinch of turmeric powder and a few drops of lemon juice. Add enough milk or water to make a paste. Apply this mask on your face and neck; wash off with warm water once dry.

Turmeric Mask: Ayurveda’s Skin Exfoliant