One of the most enjoyable things you can do for your body and health is to have a full-body oil massage in the morning before your bath or shower. An oil massage has a soothing effect on the nervous system (Vata), strengthens the circulation, and helps to remove toxins from the body.
Guidelines for oil massage
Allow about 15 minutes, in the morning. The massage can be done either standing up or sitting down, in a comfortably warm room. Ideally the oil should be heated beforehand to a little above body temperature. Massage slowly and evenly, using the whole hand. By the end of the massage, a thin film of oil should cover the whole body.
Start by massaging the head region, with small circular movements.
Then do the neck, throat, shoulders, arms and hands. Massage the limbs with long straight strokes up and down; for the joints use circular movements.
The chest and stomach area should be massaged very gently.
Use circular strokes on the chest, straight up-and-down strokes over the breastbone and solar plexus.
For the abdomen use a slow, circular, clockwise movement. Massage the back and the base of spine up and down with the flat of the hands - as far as you can comfortably reach.
The legs are done in the same manner as the arms: circular movements on the joints, straight strokes on the limbs.
Finally, massage the feet and the soles of the feet. Best results are achieved if you leave the oil on for 15 minutes at least, before taking a bath or a shower, so that the body has time to absorb the oil.
If you are short of time, then massage only the head, ears and soles of the feet.