Have you ever experienced a blissful massage where all your worries and responsibilities melt away? Modern culture inspires lot’s of activity and stimulation which keeps us in constant motion, especially in our minds. This level of high paced activity is a relatively new phenomenon in terms of our time on this planet. The ancient medical science of Ayurveda developed a strategy thousands of years ago to help balance activity with relaxation and ensure longevity. The benefits of this simple practice can have profoundly positive effects on our current lifestyle. The practice is called abhyanga and is often translated as warm oil massage.
All of us deserve to feel nourished and satisfied. Sometimes in the busy pace of our lives and the striving towards success the feeling of contentment and satisfaction feels far away. Abhyanga (ayurvedic self massage) while simple can be a remarkable help in this regard. How is this possible you may ask? The answer is twofold. Abhyanga puts us in touch with our body and helps us to integrate body and mind. By doing this it facilitates self confidence and breeds self awareness. As this daily ritual becomes a steady part of our lives we can anticipate some of the following benefits.
Sesame oil used for warm oil massage has been shown to have anti carcinogenic, anti-melanomic and anti colon cancer effects (Salerna and Smith 1991 1992). That is why the base of most Ayurvedic oils is sesame. Oil massage has shown to have pervasive antioxidant effects and to reduce oxidative stress that accompanies arthritis (Kang et al 1998) (Sotnikova et al 2009) as well. Most of the research on warm oil massage has been done on infants, but the benefits still apply to the adult body.
These benefits are able to accrue within the physiology because the skin is the largest organ in the body and the trans-dermal absorption of the medicinal compounds in the oil are brought directly into the bloodstream where they create positive systemic changes.
There are a multitude of high quality herbalized oils on the market. My favorite companies are:
Banyan Botanicals – If you order from Banyan use promotional code NVSC13 for 15% off all products
MAPI – If you order from MAPI use promotional code noahvolz10 to receive 10% off
TriHealth- High quality traditionally made oils
Please integrate a warm oil self massage into your daily routine and experience the benefits of this time honored tradition.