7 Benefits of Daily Self Massage (and an essential oil blend to do it)

Massage

perfume-1If you have anxiety, there is no panacea for you. Everyone’s anxiety is their own, your own personal chatty Cathy sitting on top of you in a plane that’s going down.

But I feel compelled to share one of my tips for anxiety self-care: Self-massage.  It’s such a small but important addition to a self-care routine,  and one with enormous benefits for the body and soul.

I’ve been doing self massage for a few years now after reading Aveda Rituals : A Daily Guide to Natural Health and Beauty. Now, I can’t stop talking about it.

The benefits of self-massage are many:

7 Benefits of Self-Massage

1. Massage is said to reduce toxins in the skin
2. Lustrous skin from all of the oils
3. Deep relaxation from the massage; increased circulation to nerve endings
5. Deeper nighttime sleep (really)
6. Almost immediate relaxation response
7. Boosted immune system response

How to Do Self-Massage

If you’ve never done self-massage before, it would be helpful to watch this video, which walks you through an entire full-body massage. Note that the video is only about six minutes long. A good self-massage, done completely, should only take you about 10 minutes a day.

The Scent Connection

While you’ll find a lot of naysayers out there on the benefits of aromatherapy, studies have shown it to have great effects on one malady in particular:

Anxiety.

I have my own theory of why this may work. For one, researchers recently discovered that you have olfactory cells all over your body.  So it follows that if you use a scented oil, you are harnessing the scent power of the oil and delivering it to your entire body.

Scented oils also work for anxiety because:

1.) You receive the benefits of massage, even if you are doing it yourself

2.) Paying attention to what you are doing feels like a meditation

3.) Smelling essential oils during the process works a little like it does for a monk smelling sandalwood or a Christian smelling incense while praying

4.) Scent has a way of establishing you in the moment when you focus on it

 
MassageOilRecipe: Citrus Blend

This recipe I have been using is the one below I modified from www.naturallivingideas.com, which also guides you through a wonderful how-to on mixing oils. Though it is intended to promote emotional well-being, but the effect on me has been nothing less than extreme contentedness (that might be the same thing).

Clary Sage: 3 drops – (middle: dry, tea-like and floral)

Jasmine: 2 drops – (middle: warm, rich, deeply floral)

Bergamot:  12  drops – (top note: fresh, spicy, floral, citrus)

Benzoin: 5 drops – (base: rich, sweet, similar to vanilla)

Ylang Ylang:  2 drops – (base: rich, sweet, floral)

Grapefruit: 2  drops – (secondary top note: fresh, tangy, citrus)

Carrier Oil:  2/3 C. Jojoba oil (most like human oils, little to no scent)

***My friend Amy says this oil I’ve been making smells like Napoleon’s iconic perfume Eau de Cologne which he had custom-made.

I can’t help but share the self-love. My new plan is to develop half a dozen different types of self massage oil for my friends to try out and comment back on. Have you tried self-massage? What do you do for anxiety?