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?
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.
Apply an oil directly on skin that is still damp.
Self massage 30-60minutes before bath or shower.
Keep room temperature low. Humidity should be kept as high as possible without causing damage.
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.
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.
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.
“My elders have said to me
that the trees are the teachers of the law.
As I grow less ignorant
I begin to understand what they mean”
– Brooke Medicine Eagle
From the beginning we have been surrounded by the presence of plants. Plants, animals and people have coevolved over a long period of time. Their relationship reflect matualistic interdependencies that cannot be viewed in isolation from one another.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is an Art of using naturally extracted aromatic essence from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to balance, harmonise and promote the heath of the BODY, MIND and SOUL. It enhances psychological and physical well-being.
The inhaled aroma from these essential oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing.
Benefits of aromatherapy and massage
Aromatherapy can help people in many ways. It is a natural way to improve your health and
calm your mind. Aromatherapy can:
Enhance mood and general feeling of well-being.
Improve blood and lymphatic circulation.
Strengthen the immune system, resistance to disease and combat infections.
Promote deeper and easier breathing.
Help to deal with different emotions, such as anxiety, depression and grief.
Promote healthy skin care.
Stimulate all the senses to help increase sensory awareness through touch, music and smell experiences.
Soothe the tension and pain of the muscles, improve flexibility, mobility and co-ordination.
Encourage restful sleep.
Improvedigestion – massage to the lower back and abdomen can help the colon work more comfortably and naturally.
Aromatherapy is a continuous exchange, process of giving and receiving. Aromatherapy allows individual to find his/her inner harmony and peace.
Depression, which literally means ‘a lowering’, occurs when person’s energy becomes depleted, blocked, and pulled down. Wide range of psychological issues and pressures can lead to feelings of depression. Its primary source is an unresolved, repressed, or forgotten emotions and thoughts such as grief, trauma, crisis, conflict or loss, lack of harmony with Nature, damaging relationships, lack of life purpose, meaninglessness among others. From a soul-centred perspective, depression is a natural human response to an endless variety of circumstances and states of unresolved suffering, or tension within the psyche. Continue Reading…