Happy Monday! I'm fresh off of a long gorgeous weekend celebrating family love and the amazing nuptials of our brother and sister-in-law. As always, after a few days of decadence and late nights, I'm keen to immediately restore my balance with good detoxifying foods, an increased intake of liquids and the reintroduction of slow and luxurious self-care rituals that were passed over in lieu of dancing and extra hours of sleep.
Self-massage is one of the most beloved parts of my daily routine. It is so simple, yet invigorates the skin, encourages blood flow, and helps open the door to relaxation. I find it to be a wonderful way to really get in tune with your body and calm the mind by inserting a mindful pause into your day. There is even an ayurverdic practice called Abhyanga which is daily oil massage that promotes overall wellbeing. Below are a few basics when introducing self-massage to your self-care routine:
- Use a good oil or butter. For the past few weeks, I've been loving on Sun Potion's Wildcrafted Shea Butter, which is a heavenly skin food. It's solid in the jar, but becomes soft and heated when rubbed between two palms and massaged into skin. Other favorites include Coconut or Jojoba Oil.
- Warm the oil, either in your hands, or by heating it slightly in a microwave safe cup or immersing a 1/2 cup of the oil in another cup of hot water briefly.
- Start from the top. A gentle scalp massage followed by a facial massage relaxes the muscles, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and drains any puffiness from bloating or allergies.
- Flow downwards. Use broad strokes and work from the neck, to the arms and legs, to the abdomen. Finish with the feet to help re-balance and ground.
- Consider timing. Self-massage is wonderful pre-shower (to allow the oils to penetrate before taking a warm - not hot! - rinse), post-shower (to moisturize and luxuriate) and before bed (to calm the mind and prepare for rest).