According to the traditional system of medicine in India known as Ayurveda, massaging your body with warm, pure oils moisturizes skin, promotes detoxification, stimulates circulation, and calms the nervous system. As the seasons change and the temperatures drop, it is essential to give your skin the extra moisture it needs.
In addition to hydrating your skin, oil massage is an excellent way to help prevent or treat the symptoms that come with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs in relation to the change of seasons.
Follow these simple steps to help keep your mood and motivation steady and fight away the winter blues:
- Stand on a towel in your bathroom with warmed, organic, cold-pressed sesame seed oil at the ready. Beginning with your scalp, use gentle circular strokes to massage, moving from head, to face, to neck.
- Work your way down one shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand, using long up-and-down strokes on your limbs and circular strokes on your joints. Repeat on the other side, applying more oil to your palms as necessary.
- Massage your chest with circular strokes, and your back with a combination of circular and long strokes.
- Gently massage your stomach in a clockwise direction.
- Massage your hips in a circular motion, and move down one leg at a time using long strokes on your legs and circular strokes on joints.
- Finish the massage with your feet. If desired, let the oil soak into your skin for 10-20 minutes (this is an excellent time to relax and unwind).
- Gently scrub off oil in the shower with a mild cleanser. You may want to stand on a wet towel to prevent slipping.