No doubt, treating yourself to a massage is one of the juiciest ways to relax and rehab sore muscles or a stressed mind. But finding the time (and money!) for regular massages is a luxury for most. The good news? Practicing self-massage for just 15 minutes per day can work wonders in your beauty routine, promoting a natural glow from the inside out.
The ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda teaches a technique called Abhyanga (pronounced AH-bee-on-gah) , which targets the layers of tissue by covering the body head-to-toe in warm oil. According to Katie Silcox, Ayurvedic expert and author of Healthy, Happy, Sexy — Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women, a regular Abhyanga practice nourishes and soothes your nervous system, improves circulation, hydrates your skin, boosts lymphatic detoxification and promotes overall mind-body balance. What more could you want, right?
While Abhyanga can come off as complicated (think: using certain oils for certain seasons, or kneading muscles in a specific, methodical way), adding Abhyanga-inspired massage to your self-care routine is easy. Here’s how.
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- Take a hot shower or epsom salt bath to warm up your muscles and wind down. When you’re finished, gently dry off and make sure you have at least 15 minutes free from interruption so you can max the relaxing benefits.
- Light a candle to help seal your intention of self-care. Even this simple action can promote awareness and bring you back into your body and the present moment helping to let go of thoughts or worries from the day.
- Grab your favorite Almond Glow Body Lotion, the all-naturally sourced, vegetarian blend of pure peanut, olive and lanolin oils to soften and condition skin. (Bonus: it’s rich in vitamin E and boasts antioxidant benefits, too.) The Almond Glow Body Lotion locks in moisture and slides over your skin without tension as you work your tissues during your massage. Try the Almond Glow Body Lotion in rose or jasmine to kickstart your day, and Almond Glow Body Lotion in lavender to wind down at night.
- Take a comfortable seat on a fluffy towel. You get more from your massage when your leg muscles can truly relax and they’re not firing in a standing position.
How To: Abhyanga-Inspired Self-Massage Technique for Your Daily Routine
Applying even pressure with your whole hand, including your palms and fingers, massage the lotion into your entire body, pumping more lotion into the center of your palm when you need it. Work on your limbs first and massage toward the middle of the body.
Begin massaging around your neck, your earlobes, jaw, and down your shoulders. Work down each arm all the way to your fingertips and under your armpits, then down your buttocks and legs, knees, calves, ankles, and each foot. Then focus on your torso and chest last.
Remember this simple rule of thumb: Use longer, steady strokes up and down big muscles and limbs, and use circular massage strokes on your joints, abdomen and chest. Breathe. Enjoy. Repeat tomorrow.