These simple self care practices are ways that the warriors used to manage and optimize their health so that they would always be well conditioned and de-stressed before and after battle. Living in the modern world, we all go through our own battles every day, so using these same self care routines can help us show up for life with less stress and happier bodies.
“Abhyanga” or self oil massage is a great technique to balance the body and nervous system. Simply warm up your body oil of choice (coconut, jojoba, sesame etc), add a few drops of an essential oil and then massage your entire body. Using long linear strokes along your muscles and circular motions around your joints. The skin is our largest organ so using cold pressed high quality oils is ideal and an opportunity to nourish the body via the skin. I love adding a little vetiver essential oil as Vetiver is known to calm the nervous system.
Sugar Scrubs are incredible to gently stimulate the lymphatic system and if you are feeling a bit lazy, you can accomplish your self oil massage while exfoliating by doing the sugar scrub. Mix organic sugar with cold pressed oil of choice (coconut is my favorite), and I like to add some rose water to enhance this ritual with some extra self love. Gently scrub and exfoliate your body (not your face!) with this mixture and then get into a warm bath or hot shower.
Speaking of warm baths, this is one of the simplest ways to release toxins and receive circulation in a passive way. When we take hot baths we allow for external heat to do the work and give the body a break from having to produce its own heat (which uses up our precious hormonal resources). Think of the hot bath like it is a cup of hot water but instead of digesting it, you are wading in it. Again, like a cup of hot water that we might drink, we may add tea or herbs, using the bath as another way to absorb these medicines transdermally. I opt for epson salts, sea minerals, essential oils, dried herbs, and baking soda. The heat of the bath opens up the pores of the skin so we can absorb all the good stuff and release all the toxins.
Steam, sauna and laying on infrared heating pads are all other great forms of using heat to passively assist in releasing the body's built up toxins.
Using cold compresses is a helpful technique to reducing inflammation. Check out this post to learn more.