Did you know?
That peppermint essential oil is cooling and will ease an upset stomach, increase your circulation, and provide an all natural alternative pick-me-up without any side effects?
That lavender essential oil will not only sooth and relax you, but disinfect your wounds, and is an all purpose oil? Which makes it an excellent choice for whatever ails you!
That even though it’s not as sweet smelling as most floral oils, clove essential oil is warming and has tremendous benefits such as easing joint pain and arthritis, undoing cramps and convulsions, and aiding digestion.
Welcome to the fascinating and wonderful world of essential oils!
So what are essential oils? An essential oil is an oil extract from a plant containing its volatile aroma compounds. It captures the plant’s essence. Hence, the word essential.
Using essential oils with Abhyanga
Not only do essential oils smell amazing, they help balance, invigorate and ultimately help the body heal itself! When added to your massage oil, in addition to all their health benefits, essential oils greatly enhance your daily massage experience. But the vast selection of essential oils and the knowledge and understanding you need to use them properly can be overwhelming.
Start small and listen to your body. Soon you’ll do wonders with essential oils.
As with food, not all essential oils are suitable for everyone. We’re all unique and have unique body types. This is where Ayurveda, the ancient science of healing can save the day.
According to Ayurveda, there are three forces/energies (known as doshas) that operate in nature: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Since we are part of nature, what is true for nature is true for your own body. As within, so without. Therefore, these same doshas operate within your own body as well. The particular combination of these three forces within you is what creates your own unique mind-body type.
Vata dosha reflect space and air. Vata is quick, light, rough, moving, cold, irregular, mobile, and dry. Vata mind-body types are usually thin and have trouble keeping weight on.
Pitta dosha reflect fire and water. Pitta is hot, light, sharp, soft, subtle, malodorous, clear and fluid. Pitta mind-body types usually have a lean build and don’t have a problem burning off excess calories.
Kapha dosha reflect water and earth. Kapha types exhibit the following: oily, cold, heavy, stable, dense and smooth. Kapha mind-body types tend to have sturdy, heavy frames, converting their calories to flesh, providing a good reserve of physical strength and stamina.
No dosha is good or bad, but when it becomes imbalanced it causes illness, pain or discomfort and creates weight issues. Many factors can cause these imbalances. The food you eat, the thoughts and emotions you engage in, and the environment you live in etc. all contribute to your imbalances.
Knowing the your mind-body type will help you to determine which essential oils are suitable for you to use with Abhyanga.
Oils that help correct Vata imbalances are basil, cumin, ginger, orange. Oils that help to balance Pitta are lavender, peppermint, rose, sandalwood. To balance Kapha, helpful oils are black pepper, clary sage, rosemary, lemon.
Let’s get on with the show!
So if you are just starting out experimenting I suggest you take it one step at a time. Always listen to your body. Here are the steps:
- Pick any essential oil that delights your senses.
- Test it out. To that add a few drops of the essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage it on your inner arm. Wait a few minutes and if irritation occurs, rinse with water and a mild soap. Do not use the essential oil.
The standard for dilution of essential oil to carrier oil is 5-6 drops/1oz (30ml, 2 tbs).
Once you’ve found an oil that’s agreeable to you, mix up a batch and use it for your daily oil massage. Only after some experience with a single essential oil do I recommend combining essential oils.
Keep in mind that essential oils are very powerful and you don’t want to create an unecessary aversion or reaction to them. Go easy with your essential oils at first, you can always add more later. Once again, when it comes to essential oils less is more.
Essential oils will truly take your daily oil massage to whole another level.
Here’s your ongoing health and wellbeing!
Image source: talkspas.com