by Marion O’Leary
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. In the Ayurvedic tradition, it is considered that through massage, yoga and meditation, these energy centres are opened, improving the state of mind and body.
It takes around 20 minutes to carry out the full massage, from head to toe. 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.
We recommend beginning by cleansing the face using our Face Cleansing Powder, to remove the superficial layer of debris from the skin. When the powder has been rinsed away, perform the face massage using one of Mokosh’s Natural Face Oils for your skin type, or the Eye and Neck Serum.
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. When massaging face and neck, use a very light touch as this skin is very delicate. Each instruction should be repeated 3-4 times. Marma points should be massaged gently in a circular clockwise motion with the middle finger.
Neck – with both palms, lightly massage upwards from collarbone to chin.
Chin – place the index finger of the right hand in the cleft above the chin, and the middle finger beneath the chin. Slide the fingers up the jaw line to the right ear. Repeat on the left side using the left hand.
Cheeks – use the index fingers massage from chin to nose along the smile line, then with the palms massage the cheeks upwards from edge of mouth to the temples
Eyes – place the ring finger beneath the eyebrow where it meets the nose and glide outwards using a very light touch, following the eye socket around beneath the eye and back to the starting point.
Third eye – starting at the side of each nostril, use the index and middle fingers to massage up the length of the nose continuing on to the middle of the forehead, the site of the ‘third eye’ or 6th chakra.
– Using the middle and ring fingers of one hand massage from the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows upwards towards the hairline
– Using all 4 fingers of the right hand sweep the fingers from left to right across the forehead , then use the left hand and sweep fingers from right to left across the forehead.
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.
Written by Marion O’Leary