By: Lila Ann Frechette
Loving our bodies can help us love our lives. We can support this love with a daily practice that is as much an exercise in cultivating compassion, as it is of nurturing physical and physiological wellness. By lightly oiling your body for five to fifteen minutes, you can revitalize your nervous system and dispel stress—perfect to do right before getting in the shower.
Massaging oil on your body can be done as a quick covering starting at your head and working your way down to your toes, or it can be done as a mindful meditation, massaging oil on the individual parts of your body and appreciating how each part serves you as a whole. A thin coating of oil is all it takes. Use long strokes on your limbs and circular strokes on your joints.
Hint: Warming the oil adds to the delight. Heat the oil by immersing the bottle in a bowl of warmed water, enjoy.
Dry skin is vulnerable to outside elements and irritation. This burden of irritation strains the nervous system and adds to an overall sense of distress. Fortunately, these body-oiling practices are beneficial to your skin, keeping it supple and maintaining its integrity as a source of protection. With longer practices, you will likely also experience a deepened sense of self-compassion and mindfulness.
By tending to your body in this way with oil and massage, you acknowledge and reinforce the boundary of what is yours and what is not yours. This is the ideal opportunity to choose what best supports and nourishes you.
Be selective in what you let in. Olive, sesame, and coconut oil are all good oil options. Sesame is warming and especially nice during the cool winter months. Coconut oil is a good ally for those with heat conditions, like eczema, showing up in their skin. Keep in mind that what you put on your skin is assimilated and becomes a part of you, if only temporarily.
Think of this daily dose of self-care as a blessing of compassion, wellness, and protection. In Sanskrit the word sneha means both “oil” and “love”. As you massage the oil on your body, consider the significance of this action and the effects of enveloping yourself in love.
Lila Ann Frechette works as an ally to women’s wellness. Providing hands-on healing, compassionate support, and effective self-care suggestions. It is her desire to assist you to find ease in your body, move thru challenges supported, and ultimately open up to your full potential. Lila Ann is a massage therapist, a Maya abdominal therapies practitioner and a holistic lifestyle consultant. Lila can be reached at: Lunabeebody.com or (510) 861-2572.