Start by warming up your oil. We warm the oil because it cures it, allowing the oil to be more easily absorbed by the skin and tissues. There are a number of ways to cure the oil. The best way is to heat a small amount in a pan on low. You will know that the oil is done by throwing one drop of water on the oil. If it pops, it’s cured. Let it cool a little before applying to body. You can also heat the appropriate oil for your constitution in a double boiler or simply place the glass bottle directly in your bathroom sink. Close the drain and fill with the hottest water possible. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before applying to the body. If you are using essential oils, add them after you remove the oil from the heat, as we don’t want to heat these delicate oils. Remove all clothing and jewelry. Sit on an old towel so as not to make a mess.
For the full bliss treatment, we would start at the top of the head and pour the oil directly onto the crown. If you are doing this before work and do not want an oily head for the rest of the day, you can skip this part and save it for a day when you do not need to be presentable. That said, Ayurvedic tradition places heavy emphasis on massage the head and neck. Of the 107 energetic points of the body (called marmas), 37 are located on the head and neck.
Continue onto the face (gently) and the rest of the body. On the arms and legs, use back- and-forth strokes. On the joints, use circular strokes. On the belly, use circular strokes in a clockwise motion (if you are looking down at your belly) as this is direction in which our long intestine moves and will stimulate proper digestion.
Ideally, you want to spend 15-20 minutes massaging your body. If time is an issue, spend at least five minutes in total communion with your vehicle. And notice the spots of the body you avoid. The thighs? The feet? Spend the most time there, as these are your bits that need the most love.
Sit for some time. I recommend 20 minutes. Why not use this time to do your meditation?
Then, rub off any excess oil with your oil towel, and then take a shower. Showering causes the pores to open, allowing the herbal oil to penetrate even deeper into the skin. You do not need to soap-off the oil. The body will most likely absorb it all, especially if you are quite dry.
Make sure not to leave the oil on for more than 45 minutes as this can actually clog the channels we are trying to cleanse. Also, make sure to use chemical-free, organic, cold-pressed oils. Do not uses any mineral oils, such as baby oils.
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