The therapeutic powers of massage are well documented. If you have experienced massage you know that this healing technique is also pleasurable. But, has it occurred to you to do massage at home?
For many people autumn feels like the beginning of the New Year and an appropriate time to make life style changes. Because fall is a transitional season it is an excellent time to work on strengthening internal balance. A strong immune system will take you through the winter months unimpeded by illness. During September, October and early November the physiology is adjusting to climate change and massage will give your mind-body a helpful boost. We know you want to enter winter full of vitality and with a powerful immune system. And, you can do this with the help of a pleasurable intervention—- massage.
Massage is a technology that awakens the intelligence of the body and eliminates impurities. And you can perform it on yourself. Today we want to introduce you to a special type of massage called Garshan. This massage should precede putting oil on the body. (You can learn about the benefits of oiling the body, in Chapter 13 of Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way.)
Garhsan is called the “dry massage.” It is a rigorous massage which increases vitality and energy. It also stimulates circulation to all the tissues of the body. This dry massage is performed for three to four minutes every day with gloves made from raw silk. Ayurveda recommends Garshan to stimulate the metabolism, for an improved blood circulation and a better complexion. The Garshan massage stimulates the connective tissue and prevents cellulite. Because it supports the reduction of fatty tissue, the massage is particularly suitable if you want to lose weight.
In our book Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way Sandra and I recommend Garshan especially for people suffering from Earthy Depression. Earthy Depression is characterized by physical and mental lethargy, dullness, and a lack of interest and motivation. Individuals with Earthy Depression have difficulty completing projects and often feel paralyzed to make any changes toward a more positive state of being. To say that these individuals lack vitality would be to minimize the degree of paralysis they experience.
Individuals suffering from Earthy Depression need interventions which purify and vitalize the physiology. Because they feel grungy they love Garshan. This massage, because it stimulates circulation to all of the tissues of the body, leaves them feeling clean and light and tingly. Garshan also improves metabolism thus promoting a breakdown of toxins lodged in the physiology. Garshan can be very helpful to you if you are suffering from Earthy Depression, want to lose weight, or simply wish to revitalize and stimulate your mind-body.
Garshan is ideally performed with a pair of raw silk gloves (but aloofah sponge or a skin brush also works well). If you are interested in buying raw silk gloves we recommend the ones from Maharishi Ayurveda. You can find these by going to www.mapi.com.
Following are instructions for this special massage: the brisk massage that rubs away depression.
- Put on a pair of silk gloves.
- Massage the head first. Move down your neck and shoulder area.
- Using brisk and vigorous strokes, massage your body. Use long strokes over the long bones of your body and circular strokes over the joints.
- Use long horizontal strokes over your chest area, avoiding direct massage over the heart and the nipples.
- In the abdominal area, stroke twice diagonally and twice horizontally.
- In areas with a high concentration of fatty tissue, feel free to exert more force and spend more times as necessary.
You will feel lively and filled with vitality after Garshan. Follow this dry massage with an oil massage. Sesame oil works for most people. It balances all the doshas and has many salutary properties. The oil must be cured and warmed to activate its effects. Be sure that any oil you use is organic and of the highest quality. Given the vital function of the skin as an organ, the Ayurvedic advice is this: if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, you shouldn’t put it on your skin. High quality sesame oil can be purchased from Maharishi Ayurvedic Products www.mapi.com
Have a great day and thanks for reading,