SELF MASSAGE GUIDE

Self Massage or as it is known in Ayurveda self-Abhyanga is about moving your lymph, increasing blood circulation, pacifying your nervous system and loving and respecting your body. The main purpose of the strokes are to soothe and stimulate the tissues gently and pacify the nervous system via the connections the skin has to all the inner organs and systems.

It is important you complete this massage ritual using warmed black sesame oil or coconut oil. These are best for nourishing all your tissues and balacing the energies of your body.

METHOD

STEP 1: THE HEAD

The head is the most important part of the massage.

First, pour a generous amount of oil on the crown of head.

If you don’t want to get your hair too oily, just applying a few drops on the crown of head is ok. Massage the whole scalp from the centre and towards the ears, just like washing your hair. Be vigorous and adjust to your comfort level. During the massage give a gentle pull to the roots of the hair.

Massage with your whole hands whenever you can, or using flat finger pads (rather than tips) in smaller areas. Your strokes can be circular or straight (back and forth), or both ways.

 

STEP 2: THE FACE

Lightly massage your third eye (between your eyebrows), clockwise if someone was facing you (so

if you look at it ‘through your body’, it will look anticlockwise). Massage your forehead sideways

with whole hand. With palm of hands, massage

cheeks and temples in circles and up and down. Dip one finger of each hand in oil and stick inside your ears. Massage your ear lobes and behind ears, the home to essential marma (energy) points and nerve endings.

 

STEP 3: THE NECK

Massage in an upward direction on all surfaces of neck and throat. With finger pads, massage your cervical spine

up and down.

 

STEP 4: THE UPPER CHEST AREA

Use circular motions on the chest. Using circular motions around the sternum (heart space), and then massage your whole chest sideways with your palm. Massage the solar plexus in clockwise circles.

 

STEP 5: THE ABDOMEN

Pour/insert massage oil directly into belly button. With your fingers, gently massage the area clockwise. Then using your palms make the circles slowly bigger until you have massaged the entire abdominal area . Then reverse the whole process (maintaining a clockwise direction) back to belly. Gently push your relaxed abdomen in with your hands.

STEP 6: THE BACK

Massage up and down your spine as best as you can and as far as you can reach without straining. Use circular motions to massage your lower back and hips with both your palms. Also massage the shoulders and the upper back as much as you can reach comfortably.

 

STEP 7: THE ARMS AND HANDS

 

SHOULDERS: Massage your shoulder joint in circular motions. Then massage in and around arm pit (a key lymphatic site).

 

ARMS: Use long strokes to massage up & down your upper arm, with stronger pressure on the downward strokes. Massage in circles around your elbow joint, long strokes up & down your forearm with stronger pressure on the downward strokes, and then circles on your wrist joint (with thumb and index/middle finger).

 

HANDS: Massage in circles on your palms and the back of your hands with your thumb. Massage inside your finger webs and down in between the top of your hand bones (metacarpals). Finish with gently pulling your fingers (from base to tip), and repeat the sequence for the other arm and hand.

 

STEP 8: THE LEGS AND FEET

 

HIPS: Massage around your hip joint and groin with both hands.

 

THIGHS: Use long strokes up and down the thigh, again with stronger pressure on downward strokes. Use circles to massage around the whole kneecap.

 

KNEES: Use firm strokes with your finger pads around the circumference of the knee joint. Gently massage behind the knee joint.

CALVES: Use long strokes up & down on lower leg (calf) with emphasis on the downward strokes.

 

ANKLES: Massage with circular motions on the ankle joint with both palms and fingertips.

 

FEET: Massage in-between your toe bones (metatarsals) on top of the foot. Massage the sole of foot with more pressure, making sure to reach the heel, sides of the foot, ball of the foot, under the toes, and in between the webs of the toes. Pull each toe from base to tip. Repeat the sequence for the other leg and foot. And then you’re done!

This should take approximately 15-20 mins daily. If you don't have the time to complete the whole sequence the head, feet and abdomen are the best areas to prioritise. Remember you can also add the self massage kit to your weekly sauna appointment and use that time to get it done.