Herbal body oiling is an ancient practice that every mom should know and incorporate in her self-care routine. For thousands of years humans have been utilizing the healing power of herbs through the simple act of rubbing plant infused oils into their skin. Our skin is our largest organ, which means what we put on it matters. Herbal body oiling is safe for everyone including children and breastfeeding women. Toss the lotions scented with synthetic fragrances and get back to the basics- oil and herbs. Adding a few drops of essential oil for scent is always nice too.
How It Works
Anything we put on our skin is easily absorbed, so when we use oil infused with medicinal herbs, our body can immediately access the healing properties of the plants. Herbal body oiling feeds the nervous system and encourages it to move from the sympathetic state of fight or flight to the parasympathetic state of rest and digest. The majority of us tend to live in the sympathetic. Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned one, if you are taking care of young children you are likely experiencing high levels of stress and exhaustion. Herbal body oiling is a chance to nourish your nervous system.
Self-massage as a form of self-care is a way to check in and connect with our body. A gentle massage from head to toe is not only relaxing, but also a necessity for the health of the lymphatic system. Lymphatic fluid does not move on its own. It’s up to us to keep it flowing through movement and massage. When we tend to our lymphatic system we are tending to our immune system as well. The immune system cannot operate at full capacity when lymph is stagnant, which is why colds and other immune problems are often accompanied by swollen lymph nodes. Herbal body oiling during the cold and flu season is a ritual the whole family can partake in to stay healthy.
How It’s Done
Herbal body oiling is not complicated, but it is oily. You’ll want to have a designated towel to use when oiling your entire body. You can choose to oil before bed and leave the oil on overnight or oil up and sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off in the shower when you are ready to continue on with your day. Oil penetrates the skin quickly, so don’t feel like you have to leave it on for a long period of time to receive the benefits.
Starting with your face, massage in a circular motion always moving in an upward movement. Don’t forget your ears! Continue with a circular motion on the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen and chest, moving clockwise. For the arms and legs you’ll want to switch to long strokes toward the heart. Don’t forget the neck, armpits, breasts, and groin. These are all areas we want to pay attention to when moving the lymph. Finally, finish with your feet.
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