Welcome to the 1st post in the Self-Care Series! In this post, we'll cover the Art Of Self- Massage. As we move deeper into the series, you can find the links to the next post at the bottom of the article and you can always visit "The Self Care Space" to find the series in order just in case you get lost.
Self-care is a broad term used to describe the things we do to take care of ourselves. On a personal level, I view self-care as an outward expression of the love that I have for myself. I'm always looking for new ways to express this love, which led me to this series. Here I'll share my favorite self-care "recipes" and how they have transformed my relationship with myself so that you too can join in on the self-love revolution.
What is self-massage?
It's exactly what it sounds like. Whip out some oil and rub yourself up! But seriously, even though it's much more nuanced than that, rubbing yourself down with oil is exactly what's happening.
Self-massage fosters a term that I like to call conscious awareness. It's the act of bringing awareness to something that you do so often that it's gone into desensitized automation. Think of it like your weekday work routine. We wake up, get dressed, go to work, come home, rinse, and repeat. This is how most of our relationship with our body goes, but when we insert self-massage into this routine, something amazing happens.
Grounding, Connection, and Neurotransmitters
Self-massage may be the first act of grounding we have during our day. This process demands that we slow down in a way that forces the brain to acknowledge what we're doing and pulls us into the present moment. When we add our favorite scents and sounds, we elaborate on the sensory experience and create the ideal setting for feel-good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin to be released.
By engaging in this act of conscious awareness we also allow the needs of the love languages quality time, physical touch, and acts of service to be met. If we take it a step further and add luxurious body oils, repeat self-loving mantras, or buy sexy/comfy underwear, we can add, words of affirmation and gifts too. This one small act has now created an all-inclusive, well-rounded experience that creates the perfect environment for self-love to grow.
Self-Massage, A Ritual Experience
Without further ado, let's get into the Ritual:
Before you hop in the shower or bath, grab a mug, fill it halfway with near-boiling hot water, and sit your (glass) oil bottle inside ensuring that you've cracked the top so that it doesn't shatter. Put the mug in your room, bathroom, or wherever you normally get dressed.
I prefer to keep my nightly bath oils and tools in a basket so that when the time comes, I can grab and set the mood quickly. I lay out my towel, set up, grab my speaker and hop in the shower. Do what feels best for you.
After bath time, the oil should be slightly warmer than body temperature and ready to use. I like to use a combination of body oil and lotion because lotions are usually formulated to hold both water and oils so I can take my time massaging and the lotion will absorb any excess oil.
Start with the upper body. Apply the oil blend to your chest, and work your way to your shoulders, arms, belly, breasts, and the back of your neck, paying special attention to the places that hold tension or make you feel insecure. Massage your body like a lover would. (slow, deliberate, and with the looming promise of sex) Tune into the feeling of your hands touching your body. Watch your fingers and palm as they glide across your skin, occasionally closing your eyes to deepen the experience.
Work your way down. Place your freshly oiled hands on the arch of your back and rub. Knead away the stress as you angle your way down to your butt, around your hips, into the V of your pussy, down your thighs, over your knees, and down to your legs.
Now sit down. Grab the oil, rub it in your hands, and start on your feet. Those feet have carried you through every step of your journey, spend some time on them. Once you've finished both feet, take a deep breath and relax for a bit. Listen to the music play in the background, lay back on your bed, and vibe for 5 minutes.
This is an everyday practice but once in a while, you won't feel like it. Do it anyway, but instead of it taking 10-15mins, do it in 5-7. Remember, this is an act of love.
Product Recommendations, Oils, Lotions, and Shameless Plugs
As mentioned above, I use a combination of Oils and Lotions in my routine that vary based on the seasons, here are a few of them:
EOS Body Lotion- Find it at Target or Walmart. It's a chill sweet-smelling line of lotions that provide basic moisturizing benefits for the skin. I've only seen them in 3 scents but they could have more. Just consider the scent profiles of the oils and lotions you use, if you're layering.
B. Fresh- I mostly use their exfoliating serums, as an alternative to the Goldbond Rough and Bumpy Cream, which is great for smoothing out the skin, especially the knees, elbows, strawberry legs, inner thighs, etc.
Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy- once again, this is a great, thick exfoliating cream. It has BHA in it so it helps to unclog pores if you get breakouts. It's not smelly like the Lactain Lotion but because it's so thick, I'd only use it during cooler months or on the feet during sandal season.
Oils! I usually custom-make my own oils to complement my mood or intentions so the only recommendation I can offer here is my shop. We make plant-infused oils like lavender, rose, and blue lotus. I also have a line of witchy oils based on intention like manifestation, self-love, persuasion, etc. all of which have their own signature scents that range from warm and spicy to airy and floral.
If you want to learn how to make your own oils, shoot me your email below and I'll let you know when the article drops and if you want to shop for oils or supplies, scroll to the top of the page and click "The Self Care Space"