Abhyanga for Tension

#COVID19 has brought much tension to many. We certainly have experienced shifts in daily routine. This can be finding items at the grocery store, jobs, children are home, etc. Generally, I find that people around me have high spirits. However, tension may still be within you. It certainly was for me.

Blocking emotions or negativity can be easy for some. Others, we may not be lucky enough to be aware that we are facing stress and rather, are storing it.

There are times when we do know we are stressed and times when we don't. Recently I have found that I was not processing stress. I stored it. Enjoyed wine. Laughed. Thought all was fine. I actually said, "I'm fine. Not stressed at all."

But there were dreams.

There were nightmares. Panic. Indigestion. Skipping a meal when hungry. Waking up to group texts of updates. Around people who make fun of those with fear. People who make fun of those without fear. Changes with my farm business. Checking in on family welfare.

It's been a tug-of-war of emotions all around me. I lost track of which ones were mine. What was I really feeling and who's have I absorbed that I need to block out. Was I ignorant to want a break and mute the stress for a moment? Turn off my phone?

I believe it is better to be informed, especially running my own business and having love for my friend's and family's well-being. Clearly, the real lesson was for me to identify how to process information better.

I found balance through Abhyanga.

Abhyanga is an ancient self-massage practice that helps reduce the aging process by rejuvenating your tissues and increasing circulation. This helps our bodies detox stored tension, heavy metals, pollutants and many toxins that can contribute to negative emotions and thoughts. It also improves our immune system!

"Abhyanga can help balance your entire mind and body, relieve fatigue, provide stamina, enhance sleep, promote better complexion, improve the luster of your skin, increase longevity, and foster all-around body nourishment."

~ Kimberly Snyder, C.N. and Deepak Chopra, M.D., Radical Beauty

Not only all of this, but in a time where we are touch-deprived, why not enjoy a moment to work your hands over your body? It's okay to be sensual with yourself and not just receive it from others. Let's set the mood, shall we?

How to Practice Abhyanga:

by Kimberly Snyder, C.N. and Meagan Emerson

1. Coconut oil is best for the warmer months while sesame oil is best for winter. Coconut oil cools while sesame oil warms. Try adding aloe, herbal infused oils or CBD for pain release. Sweet almond oil with some neroli oil (citrus) really stimulates my senses!

2. Do this in the morning. This will help release toxins accumulated during the night.

3. Avoid slipping by standing on a woven blanket, floormat, or towel. Do this on a chair or edge of tub. Even a bed is fine.

4. Apply warmed oil to your hands and massage your entire body for 5 to 10 minutes, applying even pressure with your palm and fingers. Work in long strokes upward toward the heart, but circular motions work well, too. Apply lighter pressure to sensitive areas such as your upper torso, breasts, heart and abdominal area. When you are massaging your abdomen, start on the right side (looking down) and then make a circular motion up, across, and down the left side. This supports the natural pathway of digestion.

5. Spend extra time at the soles of your feet (connected to pelvic region and head), palms of hands, base of fingernails, and face, ears, and neck. This helps relieve congestion tremendously. On a day you wash your hair, give yourself a precious head massage. You may want to go longer than 10 minutes because it feels so good!

6. Make it a special time out! Add music, light candles and truly be sensual. Enjoy the touch and the tension releasing. It's important to note that when we get massages we also release toxins. Some days I like to take a hot Epsom salt bath and sweat, but be more tepid if you are at risk for high blood pressure or heart disease or are pregnant. It is highly recommended to shower or exercise after Abhyanga. Don't just put on your clothes and walk out. Be sure to perform Hydrotherapy to complete the process. You'll love how the oil seeps into your skin when the steam opens up your pores.

PLEASE NOTE: be sure to have plenty of water to help your kidneys flush out the toxins now swimming through your bloodstream. Without water, you risk upset stomach, swelling and headaches. Worst of all, toxins may get restored into your tissues.

I really hope you enjoyed this tip on stress-relief during this uncertain time. It's a long journey to finding which stress-management techniques work best for us, but Abhyanga is something that can help everyone. Babies and even animals love the tender touch of fingertips. It's a time to offer healing and restore the balance we seek. Be aware of what's going on during COVID-19, but know that it's okay to take a break. It's, in fact, crucial to improve your immune system.

Much love! Be well.




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Photography by Ally Swen Photography, Broadfork Acres, and Meagan Emerson

Writing content by Meagan Emerson

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