Self-massage can be done on a daily basis by almost anyone, in order to maintain good health and practise on-going prevention. The massage should be done with the oil that is appropriate for one’s constitution.
Massage oil, Hair oil, Hot water bath, Cleansing powder. Procedure
1. (a) Warm the oil in a water bath to 39°C. Sit on a stool or chair in a warm bathroom or any other comfortable room.
(b) Usually different oils are used for the head and the body. Oils, which are cool in potency, should be used for applying on the head, while those that are warm in nature, should be used for general body massage.
(c) The Massage is done with gentle strokes of the fingers, thumbs and palms. Skill is more important than power in this case. Patting, gentle rubbing, soft squeezing and vibrations are to be used.
2. First, apply the oil on top of the head and massage it in for a minute. For massaging the scalp use the fingertips. Then, massage the face, front and back of the neck and head with the palm.
3. Then take an oil suitable for body massage and start massaging the external ear by holding the right ear lobe in the thumb and index finger. Use the tip of the index finger to massage the innermost part of the ear. Repeat the same procedure for the left ear.
4. Then, start massaging the arms with back and forth movements and circular movements over the joints.
5. Now apply the oil to the chest and abdomen. Pour little oil in nabhi marma (navel). Use gentle circular movements on the abdomen to rub the oil in.
6. The last step is to apply the oil to the soles of the feet and then carry out the massage to the lower limbs. It is better to leave the oil on the body at least for 15 to 30 minutes. Then take a warm bath or shower. Use cleansing powders of vacha- calamus or powders of lentils to soak out the excess oil from the skin.
Benefits of Self Massage
1. Nourishes the Body (Pushtikara) : The massage increases the muscle tone and improves stamina, vitality, and virility. It also helps activate digestion and eliminate body’s wastes like sweat, urine, stool etc.
2. Promotes Longevity (Ayu Kara) : The function of vital organs and tissues, as well as the life span can be enhanced.
3. Induces Proper Sleep (Anidra Hara) : Physical and mental well-being, nourishment, strength, sexual ability, capacity to perceive knowledge depend upon proper sleep. Massage is a powerful agent, which induces sound sleep.
4. Increases Strength of the Skin (Klesha Sahatwa) : The massage increases the resisting power against physical and mental pressure, stress and strain, agonies, sorrows and anxiety. Improves general tolerance and patience.
5. Removes Fatigue (Shrama Hara) : Overcomes fatigue. Fatigue which occurs due to routine work, mental stress, strain can be corrected by regular massage.