Wellness Articles

Ayurveda and it's practices can be remarkable for your health, wellness, and happiness. This blog is updated with ayurvedic techniques and lifestyle tips. 

Oil Up For Your Health

Sushruta Samhita, Vol. 2, ch24:21 
Sneha (oil) affused (sic) on the human organism imparts a tone and vigor to its root-principles (tissues), in the same manner as water furnishes the roots of a tree or a plant with the necessary nutritive elements, and fosters its growth, when poured into the soil where it grows.  The use of sneha at a bath causes the sneha to penetrate into the system through the mouths of the veins and the ducts of the body, as also through the roots of the hair, and thus soothes and invigorates the body with its own essence.
Under the circumstances, affusions (sic) and anointments of the body with oil or clarified butter should be prescribed by an intelligent person with due regard to one's habit, congeniality and temperament and to the climate and the season of the year as well as to the preponderance of the deranged Dosha or Doshas in one's physical constitution.

 

 

I love that the above is translated from Sanskrit into English for a text that is over 3,000 years old.  Reread the last paragraph and note where it speaks about climate and season.  Spring is a wonderful time to renew or begin your self-oiling.   Love yourself up in the morning with warm oil and if you have a few extra minutes, oil your scalp as well.  

 

Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil

In Spring the earth begins to renew and things start to move.  The dry, cold, rough of winter starts to thaw and things begin to blossom as cold turns to cool and wet.  Pause and see if you feel some of the qualities of Kapha in your body or in your mind: heavy, cold, dull, soft, stable, gross, cloudy or smooth.  If so, try adding some warming spices to your meals like black pepper, chili pepper, mustard, scallions, cumin and coriander. But, remember these are to balance Kapha and if used in excess can disturb Pitta which can already be on the warmer side.  A nice thing to try to heat things up is the Cardamon, Ginger, Fennel tea I posted earlier HERE.

It is important to remember that oiling removes toxins from the skin, wakes up the lymphatic system and coats you with a warm blanket of love as you head out into your day.  Make sure to put on this most important accessory before heading out your door.

 

Mustard Oil

Mustard Oil


For this time of year I recommend Sesame for Vata's, Coconut for Pitta and Sunflower or Mustard for Kapha.  Mustard oil is especially good for Kapha if you have congestion building in your body such as in your sinus cavity it really helps to stimulate and warm things up to move out.


 If you can get hold of a squeeze bottle it is a nice way to apply the oil, plus you can warm it in your sink or a bowl by placing it in hot water first.  Have these things out the night before and start warming it when you first go into the bathroom to eliminate and then scrape your tongue and brush your teeth.

 

.Have two old towels that you will use just for oil (and throw away when they get too oil stained).  Do not put them in the dryer as they can start a fire, let them air dry only.  Stand on one or sit and begin with a small amount of oil by rubbing it with your hands into your scalp (the secret to getting oil out is to put shampoo in hair without water and rub then step under water and rinse, then shampoo once more) or leave this step out if you don't have time or are not washing your hair.  

Begin massaging the oil onto your body, covering each and every part.  Move as slowly as time permits, just rubbing without intention is like eating on the run you are just doing it without really knowing why.  I like to sit and massage my feet as well but be very careful to rub some off on the towel as you don't want to slip in the shower.  I use the second towel to pat myself dry after the shower.

If you find a day where you have extra time it is nice to sit in the oil for 20 min.  You don't want to usually sit much longer then this as oiling can get heavy but these are things that are discussed further in a consultation.  

 Then take your shower and use any remaining oil on your hands to massage your face, throat and ears.  Rinse off, no soap except on your privates if you like, and allow the love to envelop you.