Cold winter days keep us inside more often than not and the dry air we’re blasted with from heaters can quickly dry out your skin. It’s the perfect time of year to pamper yourself with your favorite moisturizer. At Bradbury Clinic we love to take time for self-massage for skin care, joint care and well-being. Self-Massage with oil is an Ayurvedic practice, known as Abhyanga, used for relaxation, hydration, longevity and renewal. We recommend using jojoba, sesame or coconut oil. You can find these oils used for skin care at the co-op or check out one of our favorite companies: www.Lifespa.com. Abhyanga practice lubricates the joints, moves the lymph, eliminates impurities from the body, calms the nerves, aids in deeper sleep, increases circulation, and softens, smoothes and nourishes the skin, reducing wrinkles.
Abhyanga is easy to practice in a warm bathroom in the morning or evening. We like to warm about a quarter cup of oil until it is comfortably warm, but not too hot. Apply oil first to the crown of your head and work slowly out from there in circular strokes. Take the time to spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp. Massage in circular motion with an upward movement on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaw. Give special attention to massaging your ears, especially your ear-lobes which have so many nerve endings. You can use long strokes on the arms and legs and circular strokes on the elbows and knee joints. Always massage toward the direction of your heart. Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side which follows the path of the large intestine. Finish the self-massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet. Feet are a very important part of the body with the nerve endings of essential organs and pressure points. It is nice to sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body. Enjoy a warm bath or shower using a mild soap--on the ‘necessary parts’--avoid vigorously soaping and rubbing the body. When you get out of the bath, towel dry gently instead of rubbing vigorously. Enjoy soft, supple skin and the relaxing after effect of Abhyanga, self-massage. Our bodies need the same amount of water all year, so don’t forget to drink plenty of water, especially to support the release of toxins when practicing Abhyanga.
At Bradbury Clinic we provide chiropractic care and acupuncture, as well as herbal medicines used in Chinese Medicine to support the body. Come and meet us at our clinic Saturdays 10:30 - 6:00, Mondays and Tuesdays 10:00 - 6:00: www.bradburyclinic.com