Self body massage with oil

 
Jingna Zhang & Chris Schoonover

Jingna Zhang & Chris Schoonover

 
 

For most people, massages are an indulgent splurge that should be reserved for special occasions, a 2-hour service performed by a professional or a moment you treat yourself with when you’ve ‘really deserved it’. But for the past 5,000 years of Ayurveda, massage has been use as an integral daily, and do-it-yourself practice for optimizing one’s health and wellbeing.


BENEFITS OF DAILY SELF-MASSAGE

Favoring our overall sense of wellbeing, daily self-massaging is, most importantly, paramount to the well-functioning of our body’s systems. If you remember one thing from this article, remember this… we have 2 main circulatory systems in our bodies: the blood vessels which are responsible for circulating the blood to our organs and the lymphatic system which carries our body’s toxins to the lymph nodes that work as filters for harmful substances. While the heart pumps the blood up and down our body, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a ‘pump’ and does NOT circulate on its own. It needs us to stimulate it, daily, with dry brushing and massaging to trigger a drainage of the fat deposits and toxins that have accumulated in the lymph. A daily practice of self-massaging will offer the following noteworthy benefits:

  • It increases proper blood circulation and lymph drainage which encourage the elimination of toxins and cellulite.

  • It balances the nervous system (we have thousands of sensory neurons per every square centimeter of our skin) 

  • It lubricates the body’s skin and reduces facial wrinkles 

  • It promotes flexibility of the muscles, tissues and joints 

  • It encourages regular sleep patterns

  • It helps break down muscle knots and relieve chronic neck & shoulder stiffness and migraines

  • It stimulates hair growth

Providing a sense of nurturing, grounding and nourishment, self-massage is well worth adding 10 minutes to your daily routine. And if you already apply body lotion coming out of the shower, it actually replaces that step so you won’t have to add any time to your daily routine!

HOW TO SELF BODY MASSAGE WITH OIL

Try this on both days of a weekend so come Monday, you’ve got the hang of things and can implement it in your routine quick and easy. Do this before showering in the morning or before bed if you’re having trouble sleeping. And don’t worry: you won’t smell like the oils afterwards because the shower’s water will get rid of all smells.  

1. STAND ON BATH MAT   Stand on a bath mat in your bathroom. You’ll want to be standing on something just in case a few drops of oil fall on the floor.

1. STAND ON BATH MAT

Stand on a bath mat in your bathroom. You’ll want to be standing on something just in case a few drops of oil fall on the floor.

 
2. DRY BRUSHING   Brush your whole body’s skin in circular motions, starting at the tops of the feet and brush upward toward the heart. Spend more time on problem areas. This is an excellent exfoliator that will also even out your skin texture.

2. DRY BRUSHING

Brush your whole body’s skin in circular motions, starting at the tops of the feet and brush upward toward the heart. Spend more time on problem areas. This is an excellent exfoliator that will also even out your skin texture.

3. OIL YOUR HANDS   Rub your oil of choice in your hands until warm.

3. OIL YOUR HANDS

Rub your oil of choice in your hands until warm.

 
4. FEET, LEGS & BUTTOCKS   Beginning at your feet and working toward the middle of your body, use long strokes on the legs and circular strokes on the knees.  Tip 1: We like to place one foot on the rim of the bathtub or sink here.  Tip 2: we take our time massaging the plant of our feet (where loads of nerve endings concentrate), our ankles before moving our way up to the legs.  Tip 3: When getting to the thighs and buttocks, we do our anti-cellulite massage at the same time. Read:  How to say ‘aurevoir’ to your cellulite

4. FEET, LEGS & BUTTOCKS

Beginning at your feet and working toward the middle of your body, use long strokes on the legs and circular strokes on the knees.

Tip 1: We like to place one foot on the rim of the bathtub or sink here.

Tip 2: we take our time massaging the plant of our feet (where loads of nerve endings concentrate), our ankles before moving our way up to the legs.

Tip 3: When getting to the thighs and buttocks, we do our anti-cellulite massage at the same time. Read: How to say ‘aurevoir’ to your cellulite

5. ABDOMEN & CHEST   Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. Don’t be afraid to spend as much time on the abdomen as it feels good, especially if you’re feeling bugged down or constipated. Also, don’t forget to massage your breast as it stimulates circulation to the tissue tomaintain their shape and prevent sagging.

5. ABDOMEN & CHEST

Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. Don’t be afraid to spend as much time on the abdomen as it feels good, especially if you’re feeling bugged down or constipated. Also, don’t forget to massage your breast as it stimulates circulation to the tissue tomaintain their shape and prevent sagging.

 
6. ARMS   In long strokes, rub oil on your arms, spending a little extra time on the elbows.

6. ARMS

In long strokes, rub oil on your arms, spending a little extra time on the elbows.

7. SHOULDERS   Now, place your right hand on your left shoulder at the base of your neck and squeeze the muscles outwards along your shoulder, applying as much pressure as it feels good. Repeat on the second side.

7. SHOULDERS

Now, place your right hand on your left shoulder at the base of your neck and squeeze the muscles outwards along your shoulder, applying as much pressure as it feels good. Repeat on the second side.

 
8. NECK   Using both hands, give yourself a neck massage using both hands on your neck. Look down slightly and massage the back of the neck by squeezing and rolling the muscles. Begin at the top of the neck and work your way down, first with one hand and then with the other hand.

8. NECK

Using both hands, give yourself a neck massage using both hands on your neck. Look down slightly and massage the back of the neck by squeezing and rolling the muscles. Begin at the top of the neck and work your way down, first with one hand and then with the other hand.

Place the thumb of your left hand under the left base of the head and the thumb of your right hand under the opposite right side and relax the tight muscles by using friction or a rubbing movement.

Place the thumb of your left hand under the left base of the head and the thumb of your right hand under the opposite right side and relax the tight muscles by using friction or a rubbing movement.

 
9. FACE   Massaging your face will bring oxygen to the area increasing collagen production and natural glowing complexion as well as depuff a morning face by draining the lymph. Read  Wake up facial massage . Note: Not to worry, applying oil on your face will not have you breakout since you rince it off in the shower.

9. FACE

Massaging your face will bring oxygen to the area increasing collagen production and natural glowing complexion as well as depuff a morning face by draining the lymph. Read Wake up facial massage. Note: Not to worry, applying oil on your face will not have you breakout since you rince it off in the shower.

10. SCALP   On days when you plan to wash your hair, massage your scalp by a) moving the pads of your fingers in a circular motion; b) while keeping your knuckles in contact with your scalp, grab large sections of hair in your hand and then gently pull on the hair, and release - do this over your entire head and; c) lastly, with your fingers, locate the dimples in your skull, just behind the top of your ears, apply pressure to the dimples for a few seconds, then release. Scalp massage increases blood circulation at the root of the hair, promoting healthy hair growth and can also get rid of dandruff.

10. SCALP

On days when you plan to wash your hair, massage your scalp by a) moving the pads of your fingers in a circular motion; b) while keeping your knuckles in contact with your scalp, grab large sections of hair in your hand and then gently pull on the hair, and release - do this over your entire head and; c) lastly, with your fingers, locate the dimples in your skull, just behind the top of your ears, apply pressure to the dimples for a few seconds, then release. Scalp massage increases blood circulation at the root of the hair, promoting healthy hair growth and can also get rid of dandruff.

 
11. RELAX & SHOWER   All in all, this massage should take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. If you can, wait a few minutes before showering… the longer the oil stays on your skin, the longer it has to seep in & you will reap the benefits from it. Enjoy a warm shower where you use soap only in the private areas or where needed - the oil will take care of the rest.        Illustrations by Faustine Badrichani

11. RELAX & SHOWER

All in all, this massage should take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. If you can, wait a few minutes before showering… the longer the oil stays on your skin, the longer it has to seep in & you will reap the benefits from it. Enjoy a warm shower where you use soap only in the private areas or where needed - the oil will take care of the rest.

Illustrations by Faustine Badrichani


Props for body massage

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Natural Body Brush

  • Professional Body Brush for dry skin brushing

  • Medium strength natural bristles, suitable for those with sensitive skin

  • Size: 13 cm x 8 cm

  • Eco-friendly, sustainable product with FSC certified Beechwood

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BODY OILS

You’ll want to use an oil that is nourishing to your specific Mind & Body Type (if you don’t know your type, take the Quiz here). 

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FOR ALL MIND & BODY TYPES

  • Balancing for all Mind & Body Types

  • Good choice when constitution type is unknown

  • Good for complex constitutions and imbalances

  • Rejuvenates the body and calms the mind

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vata oil.jpg

FOR AIR TYPES

  • Adequate for all AIR and AIR combination types (unless you get hot easily)

  • Particularly grounding & calming

  • Warming herbs that nourish and ground air (vata)

  • Supports vitality and vigor

  • Lubricates and supports the system

  • Blend of sesame and sunflower oil

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pitta oil.jpg

FOR FIRE TYPES

  • Adequate for all FIRE and FIRE combination types (Pitta)

  • Cooling herbs that calm and soothe FIRE

  • Relaxes the tension associated with FIRE

  • Softens the skin while providing a buffer from the irritations of daily life

  • Promotes clear, healthy skin

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kapha oil.jpg

FOR EARTH TYPES

  • Adequate for all EARTH and EARTH combination types (Kapha)

  • Invigorating herbs that warm and revitalize EARTH

  • Stimulates the body and sharpens the mind

  • Promotes energy and vitality

  • Renews the spirit and instills lightness of being

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