If you're like most car owners, you take your car in for regular oil changes. Doing so keeps it running smoothly and efficiently, and serves to clear out gunk and debris. Believe it or not, doing this to our bodies serves a similar purpose! By taking time to oil your skin before showering, you lubricate joints, organs, and muscles inside - a practice even more beneficial during the cold months when some of us exercise less and many spend more time indoors, often exposed to the drying effects of artificial heat.
The Sanskrit word sneha means both “oil” and “love,” and the effects of lavishly applying oil to the body are similar to being saturated with love. Thus, the ancients tell us that this is a wonderful practice of 'self-love". The experience offers the feeling of stability, warmth and comfort to body, mind, and soul. Sneha—oil and love—is sukshma, or “subtle.” That means that the proper oil for your constitution, like love, easily passes through minute channels in the body to penetrate deep layers of tissue. Doing so, it, soothes and nourishes us, almost from the inside out.
Ayurveda teaches that there are seven dhatus, or layers of tissue in the body. Each is successively more concentrated and life-giving. It is taught that for the effects of sneha to reach to the deepest layer, it should be massaged into the body for 800 matras, roughly five minutes. If we consider that the entire body needs this kind of attention, a 15-minute massage is the suggested minimum amount of time to spend giving yourself this rejuvenating gift of self-love.
There are three classical ayurvedic texts (the Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hrdayam) and all three reference the benefits of applying oil to the body (abhyanga).
The benefits include:
Herbal oils specific to your constitution or current condition are especially good choices for full body massage. This can be determined by an ayurvedic pulse reading, which may be scheduled throughout the year in the Mountain Wisdom Studio. I craft unique oil mixtures that combine the subtleties of an essential oil (plant essences) with a suitable base oil. Inquire today, and begin the practice of nourishing yourself with the energy of love.
Winter Special: In a visit that may last up to an hour, receive an ayurvedic pulse reading to determine potential imbalances to your dosha, a breathing assessment, a short reiki energy clearing, and one bottle of ayurvedically inspired body oil made expressly for you. $47 (discounted from $132)