Sesame seed oil has been an inherent part of the lives of the people of Tamil Nadu since time immemorial. Though the daily ritual of the sesame seed oil bath has come down drastically, even today in traditional households, oil bath is taken on Tuesdays and Fridays. Sesame seed oil bath accords several benefits. Unfortunately, today’s generation has given up the wise old ways that were handed down to us by our ancestors, in an attempt to ape the West. Little do they realize that the western habits do not befit our climatic conditions? The hot and humid climate of Tamil Nadu causes increased body heat, fatigue of the brain and nerves, tiredness of the limbs etc. Sesame seed oil helps retain body heat at desirable levels. A regular routine of sesame seed oil massage in the head and body, followed by retaining the oil for about half an hour and a warm bath helps in rejuvenating the mind and the body
The last few decades of bygone millennium have thrown up a plethora of disorders, changes in the atmosphere and living conditions being predominant causes. Thanks to the environmental pollution, we are constantly inhaling and ingesting toxins everyday.
Sesame seed oil massage is a natural technique to detoxify our body. In Ayurveda, it is known as Abhyanga. Charaka Samhita, the medical treatise, delineates the benefits of sesame seed oil massage in great detail. Sesame oil massage promotes softness and luster of the skin, lubricates the muscles, tissues and joints and increases flexibility. A regular routine of this massage is believed to make one strong, and diminish the effects of aging. It helps increase the body’s capacity to handle strenuous work and healing after injury. Research studies on the healing properties of sesame oil massage have documented that it decreases stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. It reduces anxiety. Depression and pain. The National Cancer Institute recommends this massage for alleviation the pain of cancer patients.
The linoleic acid in sesame seed has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, the oil massage decreases the bacteria on the skin.
Certain procedures have to be followed to derive true benefits of sesame seed oil massage. Curing the oil is important and that is what I do for you. It is a tedious process but without curing the oil you would not receive the full benefits of the sesame oil. Gently warm the Cured oil before use to enhance the antioxidant properties.
For applying oil, the palms of the hands are used instead of fingertips, in vigorous circular motions. It is ideal begin the massage on the scalp, followed by the face, ears motion over the muscles are effective for the arms and legs. The chest and abdomen are massaged in large clockwise motions. The massage on the back is done vigorously. The ritual is concluded with a rub on the legs and feet.
Traditionally the massage used to be done before meditating and showering. The oil is kept on the skin for about 20 minutes and then a shower is taken.
Body’s self purification mechanisms have been rendered inadequate by the impurities surrounding us. To contend with our daily encounters with varying types of toxins everyday, eliminating them on a regular basis makes sense. Our ancestors have provided us with excellent habits that not only help us to get rid of body toxins but also accords immense benefits to our general health. A gentle rub that soothes is all you need to keep you rejuvenated, energized and radiant!
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