Self- Oil Massage or Abhyanga

Self-Oil Massage has become my favorite part of my self-care. For starters, I love oil, all oil, in my belly, on my skin, in my hair. For the past six months, my relationship with oil came in the form of washing with it in shower with the goal of phasing out traditional soaps and cooking with lots of butter because why not?

Studying Ayurveda on my own, I realized I needed to cut back on butter and there are different ways to apply oils (and powders) to the body and the type of oils matter too.

The old way I used oil on my body was mixing pink Himalayan sea salt with coconut oil and some drops of essential oil (lavender, ylang ylang, eucalyptus, lime, or rosemary), applying it all over my body under a running shower, and rinsing it off, leaving a slight residue.

What I loved about this was that I could exfoliate on a daily basis and I had removed the extra step of applying a lotion/moisturizer after showering.

The new way is to warm sesame oil (sometimes adding grapeseed oil) in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, add some drops of eucalyptus essential oil, massage into my dry skin starting at the toes and working up towards the heart, let it soak in for 5-10 minutes, then rinsing.

I am a very go go go person by nature and it can be a challenge to slow down and take care of myself. The most important part of this is the massage. Touching ones own body with love, care, intention, and calm. This is not a time to rush. I like to listen to a podcast or confidence-boosting music while I do it. Sometimes, I even do it in the evening before bed to relax and wind down. It only takes 5-10 minutes and making this time for myself makes my whole day better. Afterwards, I feel loved, beautiful, peaceful, and reflective. Once you find time for one thing, other things find space too, like meditation and writing. This act has made space for me to develop a morning routine with other self-care acts. At the surface, self-oil massage is a self-care technique but its also an opportunity to listen to our bodies and discover what else it needs.

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