• Dr. Erica Oberg

A Personal Connection During Social Distancing...

Updated: Apr 21

" A Personal Connection During Social Distancing..." is my way of staying connected to you via the technology we have at our disposal while we practice Social Distancing. Please feel free to subscribe, email or post on social media. Let me know if you have questions or ideas you would like addressed. And let me know how you are doing!

Hello!


This week, we’re thinking about the importance of touch. One of the unfortunate consequences of social distancing and quarantine, is that we  are all missing out on hugs and touches - and this isn’t insignificant! Infants in the NICU who aren’t regularly held and touched fail to thrive. Touch and hugs stimulate the release oxytocin and endorphins, which calm us down and make us feel good.

So if you are quarantining with others in your household, give them  some hugs today! Whether or not you are with others, no worry. I have a great tool for everyone to incorporate: Abhyanga!


In the 5000 year old system of healing called Ayurveda, the sense of touch is important enough to incorporate into a daily ritual called Abhyanga. Abhyanga is a type of oil massage performed on yourself before showering. Using a light oil, you cover your body and let it rest a minute before showering. The oil absorbs into your skin with excess being rinsed away Depending on how you are feeling, essential oil fragrances can uplift, calm or sooth emotions and thoughts as well. At the bottom of this page you will find a quick intro on how to do Abhyanga. If you learn one new thing during this time, this could be a gem!


Don't forget you can also hug a pet, or a tree! 


Sending love and hugs to you all.

Dr Erica

QUICK GUIDE TO ABHYANGA OIL MASSAGE

Massage has been used for centuries in a variety of traditional cultures to strengthen well-being and vitality. Abhyanga, the term used to describe an Ayurvedic oil massage, is recommended for almost everybody of any age, from a newborn child to an elderly person. In Sanskrit, the word “sneha” can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” Both oil and love provide a sense of nurturing, grounding, and nourishment. Try doing this simple routine in the morning for a strong start to your day or before bed for a more restful sleep.

BENEFITS OF AYURVEDIC SELF-MASSAGE • Imparts softness, strength, and color to the body • Decreases the effects of aging • Nourishes the body • Benefits sleep patterns • Benefits skin • Imparts tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body • Stimulates the internal organs of the body, increasing circulation • Pacifies vata and pitta. Using rough strokes and doing a dry massage with minimal oil or with chickpea flour is pacifying for kapha. THE TECHNIQUE Choose an oil that is appropriate for your doshic type. 1. Put about 1/4-1/2 cup of oil in an 8 oz. squeeze bottle. 2. Warm the oil by placing the bottle in a mug of hot water. 3. Massage the oil into your entire body, beginning at your extremities and working toward the middle of your body. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints. 4. Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine, massaging clockwise, moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side. 5. Put a couple drops of warm oil on the tip of your little finger or on a cotton ball and apply to the opening of the ear canal. 6. If you are able, take your time with this process. Spend up to 20 minutes massaging the muscles and working the oil deep into the skin. 7. Enjoy a warm bath or shower. Minimize the use of soap, and use only where needed. 8. Avoid doing Ayurvedic self-massage during menstruation or while ill. To learn more about the benefits of Ayurvedic self-massage and view how-to videos of these techniques visit: www.banyanbotanicals.com/self-oil-massage

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© 2020 by Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH