An important part of the ancient Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda is the practise of self massage, or Abhyanga. Massage helps tone the muscles, reduces stress, eliminates waste by improving lymphatic drainage from tissues, and improves energy levels. Regular Ayurvedic massage is considered to restore balance in the body, as it tones and nourishes the body, opens the mind and enhances general well-being. Ayurvedic massage focuses on ‘Marma points’ which are the body’s vital energy points, located over lymph nodes, joints and the 7 chakras which are associated with the major endocrine glands. The Marma points are considered important in promoting balance in the body and stimulating the body’s circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems.
We will be focusing on one section at a time, beginning with the face massage, which can be carried out in isolation, or as part of a full body massage. This particular massage takes around 5 minutes to carry out, and acts as a natural face lift, helping to tone the cheeks, reduce facial lines and generally improve the appearance of the skin. Massaging these energy pathways also helps to tone your facial muscles and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines. It is incredibly calming and relaxing.
Essential oil- Sandalwood oil is best to use for marma massage. It is Tri-doshic means it balances all three doshas. Apply to the tip of the fingers for massage.With each direction below, take one or two drops of oil onto the fingers of each hand, or sufficient to achieve a smooth glide of the fingers across the skin.
Using either your index or your middle finger, first massage each point in an anti-clockwise direction to unblock energy and release toxins. Then massage each point in a clockwise direction to nourish and energies the marma points.
The Marma points:
1. Centre of the chin
2. The corners of the mouth
3. Between nose and upper lip
4. The outer corners of the nose
5. Centre of cheekbones
6. Lower lids, just above the cheekbones – this skin is too delicate for massage, just press gently
7. Junction between eyebrows and nose, on the lower part of the eyebrow ridge
9. Third eye (6th chakra)
10. Crown of the head: place hands on crown of head and move back and forth rapidly.