The Ayurvedic Practice of Abhyanga

Are you sick and tired of trying to find the right lotion for your body type? Did you try the lotion that your best friend loves only to find that it sits on top of your skin like an oil slick? Or when you read the label you find out that it contains chemicals like petroleum or alcohol?

No one wants to absorb bad stuff into their body. In fact, we want to use healthy products on our skin! Just like the food we eat is the building blocks of health for our bodies, what we put on our skin also affects our health and wellbeing!

So my new rule is this: “If I wouldn’t eat it – then it doesn’t go on my skin.” And here are the steps I took to make the change.

#1.  Check ALL the beauty products in your home for the ingredients below. Check your deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, body lotion, face lotion, makeup (yes, even that) sunscreen….ANYTHING that you use on your body!

Artificial Color
Diethanolamine (DEA)
Formaldahyde donors
Parabens
Phthalates
Propylene Glycol
Sodium Laureth Sulfates
Sodium Laurel Sulfates
Toluene
Tri Ethanolamine

These chemicals are all known to cause cancer in mammals. If you find these chemicals in your products I suggest you THROW THE PRODUCT OUT. Believe me, I know this isn’t easy. I almost cried when I found out my favorite lotion was full of bad stuff. But we are trying to lower our exposure to harmful chemicals.

If you want to double-check me – go to google and type in the name of the chemical like this: “toluene and cancer” and look for scholarly publications with articles on the subject.

#2 Go to any search engine and type: Dosha Quiz. They are all pretty similar so just pick one. The main thing we want to know is your primary Dosha which will be either Vata, Pitta or Kapha. There are varying combinations but you will find that you are dominant in one aspect.

#3   Visit this website: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/lifestyle/self-oil-massage/  Then find your dosha and see which kind of oil they recommend for you. For example I’m Pitta and they recommend Coconut and Sunflower Oil.  Both oils that I would cook with!

Once you find out which oil is right for your dosha feel free to add any essential oil that you prefer. The Chopra Center recommends Sandalwood, Mint, Jasmine and Lavender to balance my pitta dosha. Mix your essential oil in with your carrier oil until it smells just the way you want! (roughly 12 drops per fluid ounce of carrier oil) And now you have a Massage Oil or Body Oil made just for YOU!

#4 Start using this mixture, your Abhyanga oil as a daily ritual to nourish and moisturize your skin! This is normally a pre-shower process which even includes the scalp and hair.  If you’re up for it, the Banyan Botanical site above will give you all the tips on how to do a proper Abhyanga. It is a relaxing process that will benefit every part of your skin, hair and nails.

If you don’t have enough time to do a full Abhyanga join me in using your oil as a daily after shower moisturizer. This is especially great if you shower or bath in the evening because you are not in a hurry and the oil can soak into your skin all night! I’m currently using coconut as a carrier oil with a little bit of Lavender Essential Oil from doTerra and some home-made Vanilla Bean Oil. I rub the oil all over my body. (avoiding my scalp, hair and face) I do this slowly and methodically rubbing the oil in until it is absorbed – usually about 15 minutes and it leaves my skin with a healthy glow all day long!

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PLEASE NOTE: If you’re going to add essential oils to your carrier oil be sure to do some research on the EO that you choose. Some oils can be hot on the skin and can even cause burns if undiluted. Some Citrus oils are not ok to use when going out in the sun or tanning! So be careful and do your research please. I want you to love this and have a great experience!

Happy Oiling! Dawn

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