Many women feel they don't have time for a daily self-care practice. We often find ourselves running from one task/commitment to another, barely having time to sit down to a healthy meal let alone anything more involved. Many of us feel guilty for taking 'too' much time to nurture ourselves. Disregarding our own care (self-nurturing) can actually have sever consequences.
In my case my demanding life, combined with the onset of menopause left me desperately sleep deprived, to the point where my quality of life and my health was compromised. Desperate to feel good again I decided to commit to a panchakarma cleanse. This was one of the greatest gifts I've ever given myself.
The best part of my recent panchakarma experience was without a doubt, the daily abhyanga massage. Abhyanga is two-person, full body massage with specially formulated warm oil, and it lasts for over an hour. Pure bliss. Abhyanga means loving hands in Sanskrit and what better way to show yourself a little love.
Give yourself the gift of a daily self-massage (abhyanga) with sesame oil. Just a few minutes a day has a multitude of benefits.
Sesame Seed Oil has been used as a healing oil for thousands of years. Sesame oil is mentioned in the Vedas, (the Vedas is a large body of texts originating in ancient India) as excellent for humans.
The benefits of Sesame oil:
Sesame oil is high in copper, manganese, calcium, zinc and magnesium. It boosts bone mineral density and bone health.
Sesame oil is loaded with antioxidant, vitamin E and Sesamol, this delays the aging process for regular massage can make us look years younger. It can help reduce the appearance of age spots, is a natural moisturizer and natural sunscreen.
Sesame oil gets deeper into our skin thanks to its high viscosity. This helps to nourish the skin from within, repairs damaged skin cells and gives it a healthy glow.
Sesame oil is rich in fatty acids making it highly beneficial to repair dry skin, cracked heals, dry knees and elbows. It turns dry and dull skin into soft and smooth.
Fights and prevents bacterial infections (including acne)
Soothes eczema and psoriasis
How to give yourself an abhyanga massage:
Start with organic sesame oil, you can buy it at your local grocery store. I like to add a few drops of sage essential oil. A) it smells really good, and B) sage is cooling, which is very good for a hot menopausal goddess such as myself.
Begin your self-massage with a generous (but no need to go crazy) amount of oil, rubbing your hands together to warm it. Start at your feet rubbing the soles, top, toes and between the toes. Whatever feels good. Then as you move up the leg rub in circular motions over the joints and up and down motions over the muscles. Work your way up your legs, rub your hips and glutes. Next do your arms starting at the hands and moving towards your shoulders. Then your abdomen in clockwise circular motion. Be sure to massage your lymph areas, the groin, underarms and sides of the neck to stimulate healthy lymphatic flow. Finish with your face.
This whole process can take as little as 5 minutes and up to however long you want.
My abhyanga instructions are meant for the busy woman on the go who may struggle to make the time for self-care. You can of course go much deeper and if you have the time by all means, dive deep. Here’s a video about abhyanga if a deeper dive sounds good to you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HQLsfZh5js