I’m super stressed. Ha! What’s new?
I need a pick me up to put me down (on a couch with a cup of soup and hot cocoa where I belong). Oh, I dream…
This week I want to talk about relaxation. While I can breathe my way out of a headache, I have not mastered the art of meditating my stress away. I envy people with this sort of concentration.
But stress can be relieved! I know it. I’ve seen it happen. Ayurveda is only one way.
Indian head massage supports the nervous system by alleviating stress; stimulates the lymphatic system, which encourages the elimination of toxins; helps break down muscular knots; relieves chronic neck and shoulder stiffness; increases oxygen uptake in tissues; and improves circulation.
It sure does a lot of stress relieving!
Head massage can also be used to stimulate hair growth, improve concentration and relieve migraine pain.
Begin by choosing an oil: sesame, mustard, almond, coconut and olive oils are common.
Massage the oil into your head by starting first at the sides and working toward the top. Work your way front to back. Gently massage the whole head with thumbs and fingers. Then, grasp fistfuls of hair at the roots and tug from side to side –keep fits close to the scalp. Squeeze at the temples with the heels of the hands and make slow circles. Look down slightly and massage the back the neck by squeezing and rolling the muscles. Begin at the top of the neck and work you way down, first with one hand, and then the other.
Place the thumb of your left hand under the left occipital area and the thumb of your right hand under the right occipital area at the base of your head. Relax tight muscles by using a rubbing motion to cause friction.
Place left hand on right shoulder near your neck. Using medium pressure, gently squeeze the shoulder muscle that starts at the base of your neck. Work your way out along your shoulder to your arm, and then to your elbow. Go back to the base of your neck and do this twice more. Repeat on the other side.
Finally, rub lightly with your hands all over the head; extend these movements to your face. If possible, allow a few minutes to relax (a lot of blood is moving).
Another fantastic treat for your scalp and hair is a coconut head massage. Try coating your head with flower-infused coconut oil. Lubricating your locks is an essential part of Ayurvedic care and is said to promote sleep and memory.
Massage the oil into the scalp, and then comb through to saturate all hair. Wrap head and hair in an old towel for 20 minutes. Then shampoo; it may take two rinses to get all of the oil out.
Make the Oil: Mix 1/2 cup coconut oil, 2 tablespoons rose water, 1/2 cup mixed-fresh rose, hibiscus, marigold or jasmine petals. Heat oil in saucepan, add rose water and petals; boil for three minutes, remove from heat and let flowers steep in oil for one day. Strain through a coffee filter into an airtight container before use.
While the thought of giving myself a massage sounds daunting, I’m sure I can find someone to pay to do it for me… or just ask Husband. If the TV’s off, he does a very good job. :)
Relax with me, friends; we need it.