By Amy Dharmani, Founder of Noble Therapies
Abhyanga (massage) has been a part of the Ayurvedic tradition for centuries. Abhyanga is not just seen as a treatment for relaxation, but as an integral part of healing therapies. It can heal and stimulate the skin, muscles, circulatory and nervous systems. Practicing abhyanga is a natural way to relieve pain and inflammation. It can also regulate the digestive system, help remove toxins from the body, increase vitality and concentration- and this is just the short list! With all of these incredible mind and body benefits, we can all use more abhyanga in our lives. The best part is that you do not have to wait for your next spa appointment to get started. Here are a few Noble tips on how to easily incorporate the Ayurvedic concept of massage into your daily life:
1) Practice Padabhyanga (foot massage). Many of the pressure points for the body’s vital and sensory organs are in the feet. Take a few moments in the morning or before bed to give them some love. Grab your favorite oil and a towel. Sit comfortably and place the right foot on your left knee. While applying a small amount of oil work your way from the bottom of the foot towards the middle toe, pressing with the thumbs. Then press the toes on each side of the nail, one by one. Give each toe a gentle pull. Repeat all steps with other foot.
Key Benefits: promotes a more restful sleep and ideal for those with insomnia, relieves nervous tension and strengthens vision.
2) Give yourself an Ayurvedic mini-facial. Applying a small amount of oil, massage each point clockwise with the middle finger for less than a minute each.
- Start with the center of the chin
- Both corners of the mouth
- Center of bone between the nose and upper lip
- Outside corner of the nose
- Center of cheekbones
- Under the eyes (press gently instead of massaging)
- Brows (use thumbs and work gently from the inside towards the outside)
- Third Eye (slightly above the level of your brows, in line with your nose)
Key Benefits: relief for colds and headaches. Strengthens small intestine.
3) Revitalize your mind and body with a scalp massage. Apply a more generous amount of oil onto both sides of the head then firmly spread the oil from the front to the middle of the head using both hands. Move on to the top of the head or crown chakra. It is eight finger widths from where the skull meets the neck. Rub oil from this point moving towards the back of the head. Lastly, apply oil to the base of the skull. Using both hands move firmly towards your neck. Finish by pressing both thumbs into the skull base for a few moments then release.
Key Benefits: Relieves stress, pressure and tension headaches and hypertension. Strengthens vision and improves memory and concentration.
4) Next time you have a mild to moderate stomach pain or discomfort, try massage. Lay down on your back and apply a small amount of warmed oil into and around your bellybutton. Make gentle circular clockwise motions, going from smaller to larger as you work away from the navel.
Key Benefits: relieves digestive issues, tones the stomach muscles and helps flush toxins from the body. Promotes a general sense of wellbeing and helps move stagnant energy.
Note: If you are pregnant or have any severe medical conditions please consult your physician before proceeding with massage.