The second part of our stay-at-home organic spa treatment is based on the Ayurvedic method of self-massage, known as 'abhyanga'. In the Ayurvedic tradition, abhyanga is carried out as a health-giving daily ritual. It is known to alleviate stress, improve immune function, and revitalise and rejuvenate the body.
In fact, an ancient Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, which dates back to 400-200 BCE states:
“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”
We recommend using our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil for this massage, but if you don't have it on hand, you can use any nourishing oil - organic sesame oil (not the sesame oil used for cooking), avocado, almond or jojoba oil. Our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil is fragranced with the exotic combination of frankincense and rose geranium essential oils, and is like a superfood for your skin. It's packed with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamins, and will leave your skin feeling super soft and nourished. Scroll down for full instructions.
Preparing for the Massage
The recommended time for massage is first thing in the morning before bathing, or at night before bed to promote a deep relaxing sleep. It's helpful to allow the oil to sit on the skin for 15 minutes or so after the massage to allow it to skin into the skin more fully. Many people avoid using oil on the scalp (see step 1) if they do not follow with a hair wash. Once you have given time for the oil to sink in, take a relaxing bath or shower to remove the excess oil - but take care as your oily feet may be slippery!
How to Perform Abhyanga
1. Start by locating the three marma points on the scalp. These are massaged clockwise with a dab of oil using the middle finger. After massaging, firmly pull the hair over the point to stimulate it.
- the point in the middle of the scalp where the skull bones fuse during infancy (1), 7th chakra
- further back, the crown, directly above the ears (2)
- the deep indentation at the back of the skull where it meets the neck, generally just above the hairline (3)
2. Now move on to your feet. You will massage the right foot and right leg in total as follows, then repeat on the left.
- using the thumb, massage the sole of the foot in the middle of the arch (4)
- using the thumb, massage the middle of the fleshy part of the underside of the big toe
- massage the underside of the first joint of each toe, then pull from base to tip of each toe
- massage the top of the foot in the groove between the big and second toes, using both thumbs, working from the base of the toes towards the ankle (5)
- using both hands, massage from toes to ankle, top and bottom of foot
- using both hands massage the ankle joint clockwise, front and back.
- massage up and down from ankle to knee on both sides
- massage front and back of knee joint in clockwise direction
- massage up and down thighs on all sides
- with the middle finger, massage clockwise the point mid way between hip and groin in line with the hip crease (6)
3. Now move onto your arms. Once again you will massage the right hand and arm completely, then repeat on the left.
- massage the point in the middle of the palm (7)
- massage the base of each finger, starting with the thumb, then pull each finger from the base to the tip
- massage the top of the hand from fingers to wrist
- massage the front and back of the wrist clockwise
- massage the forearm up and down on all sides
- massage the front and back of the elbow clockwise
- massage up and down the upper arm on all sides
- massage all around the shoulder joint clockwise
- raise the arm and using the middle finger massage the centre of the underarm (8)
4. Massage as much of the back as possible without straining
- massage the buttocks clockwise
- with the palms, massage up and down the lower back and up the back as far as possible. Then massage shoulders and upper back as far down as possible.
5. The abdomen should not be massaged if pregnant, or when there are heart or intestinal problems
- massage the navel area clockwise with the fingers (9), 2nd chakra, then using the palm make gradually larger circles until the whole abdomen is covered. Then reverse the direction, making gradually smaller circles towards the navel
- massage the solar plexus area in a clockwise direction (10), 3rd chakra
- massage over the heart – directly between the nipples slightly to left of centre, massage very gently using the palm in a clockwise direction (11), 4th chakra
- massage the right and left upper chest area below the collarbone, using one hand on each side
- using the middle finger, massage the notch just above the sternum (12) 5th chakra
6. The neck and face should be massaged with a lighter face oil, rather than a body massage oil. Our Elderberry & Chia Seed Beauty Serum or Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum are ideal.
- with both palms gently massage the neck upwards from base of neck to chin
- place the index finger on the top of the chin (13) and the middle finger below the chin, massaging the jawline from the midline to the ear. Repeat on both sides
- using the index fingers, massage the laugh lines from the chin to the base of the nose in an upward direction, then using the palm from the base of the nose across the cheeks to the temples
- using the ringfinger, massage under the eyebrow from the centre outwards, then under the lower lid inwards, and back to the nose
- using the middle finger, massage upwards from the base of the nose to the point in the centre of the forehead (14), 6th chakra
- use all four fingers of the right hand on the left temple, and stroke across the forehead from left to right, and do the reverse with the left hand. Repeat 5 or 6 times.
- Wait around 15 minutes or more before take a relaxing bath or shower. Pat your skin dry, put on some soft, cotton clothes and enjoy the wonderful feeling of beautifully soft, pampered skin. And best of all, bask in the knowledge that you have set aside time to take care of your precious self time that is truly well spent!