Back in newsletter #8, I talked about Ayruvedic Massage or Abhyanga Massage, where large amounts of warm oil is used. The strokes are similar to Swedish style circular and vertical motions, and the effects of stimulating the lymphatic system are also the same.
The similarities begin and end with the oil. In Abhyanga, for each season (and for each person’s possible doshic imbalance), a different oil is used. For early spring, it could be sesame or sunflower oil. Especially beneficial in allergy season, one of the protocols for Abhyanga includes a cleansing of aural (ear) and nasal (nose) passages with these oils.
Those of you familiar with the neti pot are aware of the nasya oil that sometimes comes with the neti kits. A tiny amount of this eucalyptus-based oil is dropped around the outside of the nasal passages (and one inside each nostril) with the head tilted back so none goes into the throat. The practitioner then has the client breathe in deeply while gently, opening and closing the nose. The result – an instant sinus clearing!
Next comes the ears. Remember the ear candling? Getting that pesky unwanted wax buildup became a bit dangerous with that technique. There’s another, safer way: warm sesame oil in the ears. A skilled practitioner will have the oil at the correct temperature (and check it with you by dropping a bit on the outside of your ear), slowly add the oil until it snugly sits in a pool at the inner ear entrance. What the client experiences while the therapist massages the outside of the ear and down the neck can only be compared to being in the womb. Soothing, rhythmic swooshing sounds occur until it’s time to drain the oil. The therapist rotates the head so the ear faces, but is not covered by, a tissue in the therapist’s hand. All of the oil drains out with a satisfying glug, glug! Then it’s repeated on the other side.
With clear sinus passages, you’re ready to face allergy season – armed with a stronger, unblocked immune system!
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