Oil Massage is my ultimate favourite self-care habit. I learned this in my Ayurvedic studies and I have to admit I’m now addicted. It feels great and…
• it sets up my day with calm focus when I do it in the morning.
• plus it helps me get a great night’s sleep if I indulge in it in the evening.
Here’s the quick and easy way to get started. When you are short on time or just getting started its super effective to focus your oil massage on the hands and feet. There are so many nerve endings here that it will make a huge impact while giving you a taste for the full practice – which you can experience here.
How long it takes: between 5 – 10 minutes
What you need:
Oil for the massage: All this needs to be is a food grade oil. Anything you put in your body can be applied to your skin. Some easy ones you may have in your cupboard already are coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sesame oil (not the toasted variety unless you want to smell that way…) even olive oil works. Find one that’s easy and doesn’t have a lot of smell.
More exotic oils include jojoba, shea butter, sweet almond oil and apricot kernal oil. These are well worth the investment as they are super nourishing for your skin.
Essential Oils: Add a couple drops of essential oils to your base oil to absorb their therapeutic properties into the skin. In the morning I use a citrus blend to help boost my energy and in the evening I like lavender, frankincense or a tree oil to help me sleep.
Washcloth or Fuzzy Socks (optional): You may find the oils greasy depending on your skin and where you live. So afterwards you may choose to massage the oils off with a washcloth or put big fuzzy socks on your feet while you sleep so you don’t get the oils on your sheets.
• Take some oil (about a teaspoon) in the palm of your hand.
• Add a drop of essential oil.
• Start with one foot and massage the oil into the sole of your foot, around the heel, in between the toes. Massage the tops of the toes, the tops of your feet and just circle around again working the oil in and giving your foot a little TLC.
• Switch to the other foot, add a bit more oil and essential oil and rub the oil in all over the foot.
• Leave the oil on to soak if you can before washing the residue off.
• You can leave the oil on overnight. However – protect your sheets by wearing socks if you are headed directly to bed as the oil will rub off and may discolour the fabric.
• Place about a teaspoon of oil in your palm and add a drop or two of essential oil.
• Massage the oil into the palm and back of your hand, along each finger and thumb and down to the wrist. Gently pulling on each finger and massaging the wrist joint.
• Let the oil just soak into your hands for a few minutes.
• If you used an essential oil you can cup your hands to your face and just take a minute to breathe in and out deeply furthering your response to the oil. Use this as a mini-meditation moment.
Use these moments to reinforce to yourself that you HAVE enough and you ARE enough.
• If you have a busy day ahead just repeat the mantra “I have enough time.”
• If you are facing a new challenge us the mantra “I am enough.”
• Or fill in your own version of “I have enough _____” could be time, energy, support, money. Whatever stress is present in your thoughts.
Once you have had a chance to let the oil seep in and just breathe you may find that the oil has absorbed into your skin without leaving a residue.
If you are headed out for the day you may need to wash the residue off your hands. To do this – don’t use soap or you will take off that protective layer of oil you just applies. Simply rinse your hands vigorously under the tap or use a washcloth to massage the hands again and pat dry on a towel. The oil acts as a cleanser repelling any dirt that gets wiped away but leaves your skin with a protective barrier against germs.
Afterwards, notice your mood.
• Are you smiling more?
• Do you feel calmer, more relaxed and able to cope the stresses of the day?
• Do you feel more grounded and in control again?
• Is your breath calm and even?
Share in the comments below how you liked this oil massage for hands and feet and how you find your day progresses after you do this in the morning. Let me know how your sleep feels when you do this at night…
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