Detox & Reset Part 2: four essential parts to end the up-down cycleMay 11, 2023
Image by nir_design from Pixabay
When we think of detox, we might think of a mono-diet, a fast, or a month without alcohol. It’s about giving our bodies a digestion break and giving it a chance to move what’s stuck through and out.
What we don’t often think about in association with detox is our self-talk and the actions we take that align with it. We have to digest these as well, and they often get stuck and accumulate.
Some of us have learned to stop saying things like
I’m so dumb
but then say,
I don’t have time [to do this thing that I want to do that takes care of me].
I’ll do it after [everything else is done].
To carve out space for your own nourishment and joy is an act of radical self-love that detoxes your systems and resets your mind and body to think better, feel better, and do better. In fact, I’m going to suggest that this does a better job than any mono-diet or fast! To carve out sacred time to love on yourself is to start trusting yourself and feeling safe again. Think about it.
This second practice in this series is the most pampering of the four because it gives you an opportunity to get intimate with yourself by literally placing your hands over your entire body, your own beautiful skin, and feeling into self-love.
Abhyanga, pronounced ah-bee-yan(g)’-guh, is a luxurious self-massage with a
long list of benefits
- It’s sensual and hands-on.
- It’s moisturizing and nourishing to the skin.
- It lubricates the joints,
- increases circulation,
- soothes the nervous system
- massages and tones the muscles
- enhances your complexion,
- promotes deeper sleep,
- calms the nerves,
- increases mental alertness,
- and balances your mind-body constitution.
- Done regularly, it’s deeply grounding, and
- over time can dramatically reduce anxiety and
- deliver a deep sense of calm and of Self.
This act of performing abhyanga on yourself psychically slows you down to become more purposeful and effective. It tells you at the gut level how truly okay you are. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your edge. In fact, you’ll sharpen it. You don’t have time for abhyanga? You don’t have time not to.
What you’ll need
- Invest in some high quality massage oil. For additional benefit and enjoyment, you can choose one that’s infused with herbs based on how you want to balance your mind-body state. To keep it simple, you can start with cured, cold-pressed, chemical free sesame oil (for skin/ massage). It’s widely available and costs much less than a massage, therapy, or doctor’s appointment (though I’m not suggesting that this is a replacement).
Check out MAPI, or Amazon for some options. (I am not an affiliate for any of these).
- Two large clean towels.
- Your own loving hands. This has a more powerful effect on your psyche than you think. The warmth of the oil in itself, applied to your body, is incredibly soothing and grounding. Your own loving hands moving over every part of your body from head to toe delivers presence, embodiment, and safety that is provided by none other than you.
- A bathroom w/ shower or tub.
How to do it
- Heat up the oil by running its container under hot water for a few minutes or by placing some oil in a small bowl, and placing the bowl in hot water (the water should not seep into the oil). You’ll decide how warm you want the oil. I like it really, really warm.
- Place a large clean towel on your bathroom floor to sit on.
- Use your fingertips and palms of your hands to cover your entire body with warm oil from head to toe, using long strokes on your longer parts (i.e. arms, legs), and circular motion on the stomach and your round parts (i.e. shoulders, elbows, knees). Remember your ears, the back of your neck, and your bum.
- Take your time. Enjoy the feel of your skin and the curves of your body with its battle wounds and protective layers. Your body does so much for you. Give back with some gentle kindness and time.
- Sit for 10-20 minutes*. Let the skin absorb the nutrients from the oil and the oil draw out the toxins. The longer you sit, the deeper the oil penetrates.
- Pat excess oil off your body with a towel, then shower or take a bubble or epsom salt bath (avoid products with color and synthetic fragrances). There’s no need for soap or lotion - the oil does it all for you.
- Don’t expect to come out of this “squeaky” clean; that’s drying. Look for silky and soft clean. It’s a new, deeply clean and lubricated way of being. 😁
What not to do
Don’t rush through this entire process the same way one might gulp down an entire meal with minimal chewing while halfway out the door.
Instead, dim the lights, turn on some candles, pick your best, fluffiest towels, and fall in love with yourself.
*What you might do while you sit and let the oil do the heavy lifting
- Listen to soothing or uplifting music
- Contemplate on an inspiring quote or something good you experienced
- Do a puzzle (if you enjoy this and don’t mind it getting a little oily)
- Engage in a mental scavenger hunt, looking for all the ways you’ve been held, including in the most unforeseen ways
- Clip your nails
- Drink some fresh lemon, lime, cucumber, or mint water
- Place a piece of dark chocolate in your mouth and let it melt
- Listen to an audiobook (one that’s relaxing, uplifting, or takes you on an adventure; just not a stressful one)
- Maybe even kiss your knees or hands a couple of times
You can give yourself the time. You can. Daily or twice a week, the return on investment is worth it.
p.s. if you missed the first in this series, go here.
Savitree is co-founder of HealedLovedFed and a meditation coach who’s been helping her clients step into the next chapter of their life for over 15 years. To learn more, schedule a strategy call with her.