Ayurvedic Tips For Oil Massage...

  • The effects of massage vary with the time of day. During the day it relaxes and refreshes, giving increased energy. In the evening it is more tranquillising.

  • To be a good masseur, one needs to look at the formation and function of the musculature. One who follows the natural contours and flows of the body ensures the most effective massage.

  • In cold seasons, hot or warm oil should be used and in the hot seasons it is vice­versa. The easiest way is to put the oil into a plastic squeeze bottle and then hold it submerged in hot or cold water until it is pleasantly warm or cool according to the situation.

  • Oil should be applied at the joints or marma points in a circular manner, in a clockwise direction. And, on the other body parts, against the direction of the hair growth. This will direct the lymph towards the heart.

  • Before the massage, just relax. Take some deep breaths, and then rub your palms together until they feel warm. This charges the hands with energy and makes them pleasant to touch.

  • If we take the body to be an inverted tree, the brain is the root, the spine is the trunk, and limbs are the branches. So for maximum benefit, massage should commence from the upper leg. It should be massaged first on the outside and then inside. The lower part of the legs should be massaged followed by a foot massage. After this, the hips and sides should be worked with and the lower back should be massaged, moving upwards, covering the upper back. Then the chest and the arms should be massaged. The head should always be massaged last.

  • If daily massage of the whole body is not possible, at least the feet should be massaged every night before sleeping and the head could be given a massage every third day.

A wide range of oils is available for massage. Simple oils that are advised for general massage are sesame oil and mustard oil. Olive oil is also good. But it is too costly to use in our country.

Sesame oil is hot, heavy and sweet. It works on all the three doshas by removing swellings of all muscles, strengthening the skin texture and preventing premature aging. The shape of breasts can be improved by massaging them regularly with this oil. Oil of black sesame seeds is recommended in Ayurveda to keep the hair in good condition. Sesame oil is usually preferred to mustard oil, which may sometimes irritate tender skin because it is pungent and bitter, while sesame oil is neutral.

Apart from this, there are specific oils for specific conditions. For example, Brahmi oil induces sleep. Mahaanarayana taila can be used to treat muscle pains and arthritic conditions. Aswagandhaadi taila can be used in muscle atrophy. In the same way Mahaamarichyaadi taila can be used specifically for controlling itching. These oils can be used on the advice of an Ayurvedic physician.

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