The last couple of articles we shared were about supporting ourselves during the shifting of the seasons, and through the intense heat. This week we’d like to share some wisdom about the wonderful daily practice of self-massage, or Abhyanga. Have you ever experienced the total body bliss of an Abhyanga massage?
Abhyanga is the loving practice of using warm oil to stimulate lymphatic flow, relieve muscle tension, and to ground the spirit into the body. The word Abhyanga comes from Sanskrit and is composed of abhi meaning “into” or “glow” and anga meaning “limb.” Often translated into “glowing-body” or “massaging the body’s limbs.”
Oil is called sneha in Sanskrit, and is also a word used to mean “affection” or “love.” The oil used in this type of massage is often infused with herbs that add an extra layer of benefit and relaxation to the nervous system. Often Abhyanga focuses on circular strokes around the joints and elongated strokes on the larger muscles of the body.
Obviously it’s wonderful to receive massage from a practitioner, every system of the body including the mind and spirit can benefit from taking the time to receive therapeutic touch from a professional. This can be a valuable way to experience a sense of “community care,” being part of and cared for by your immediate local community. You can support a practitioner and allow them to support you!
It is also vital that we learn to be our own caregivers and to offer ourselves the type of attention we wish to receive from others. That’s why practicing Abhyanga at home can be such a nourishing part of a self-care practice. One of our favorite tutorials for practicing Abhyanga at home can be found here Banyan Botanicals Abhyanga Tutorial.
If you would like some extra nourishment and healing touch, and to get some tips for enhancing your home Abhyanga practice, come see one of our skilled practitioners and let them show your body temple some love!