Natural Beauty: Ayurvedic Face Massage and Marma Points
“Don’t touch your face!” This statement blared through chambers of my mind anytime my hands crept up to access, rub, or god forbid, “pick at” my face. I was blessed and cursed with adult onset non-cystic acne. I say blessed because when traditional dermatological approaches didn’t stick, my blemish dilemmas inspired me to learn more about natural health. It also handed me a lesson in compassion and empathy and gave me an “in your face” lesson on how our thoughts and emotions manifest physically.
I discovered that what we eat can sabotage our skin: whole foods heal, and excess salt, caffeine, and chemicals can wreak havoc on our skin. I learned to be kind to myself when I looked in the mirror. I had to cultivate compassion towards myself and truthfully understand that my beauty and worth had nothing to do with my reflection. This awakening gave me empathy towards others struggling with their own hardships—however big or small they may be. And finally, I learned that our skin is symbolic of how we see ourselves. If we see ourselves as flawed humans, this can manifest as flawed skin. If we’re angry, our skin can look angry and agitated.
Supporting the Skin with Oils
As a young adult, two key lessons were drilled into my mind: stay away from oil and all oil based products, and never touch your face. This advice couldn’t have been more backwards.
- Oils like coconut and almond support calm skin.
- Oils like neem and tea tree support the natural immune function of the skin against unwanted microbes.
- Essential oils like lavender and frankincense calm irritated skin (and emotions).
Quality organic oils in general are nutrient rich and nurturing. Lathering ourselves in oil is an easy way to practice self-care. Beauty Balm is also an easy and convenient way to nourish your skin whether at home or on the go.
Ayurveda teaches us that self-care is one of the most accessible ways to establish and maintain our highest states of well-being. A facial abhyanga, or facial massage, is an easy way to give ourselves some love!
|Botanical Skin Care Oil|
Add all ingredients to a small dish and stir together.
How to Apply
Before applying the botanical oil, gently wash your face with warm water. Using your hands, apply the botanical oil to your face. Massage in large circles over the entire face, smaller circles on the cheeks, and even smaller circles around the eyes.
- With your pointer and middle fingers, massage from the center of your brow across the length of your forehead using upward and outward strokes. Repeat three times.
- Next, apply a small amount of oil to your fingertips, and brush from the collar bone up towards your chin. Repeat three times.
- Finally, use your pointer finger and thumb to trace along the jaw bone, working upward towards the ears. Massage gently to relieve stress and pressure stored in the jaw.
When you’re finished, you’ll feel and look radiant! You can keep the oil on your skin or, if you prefer, splash your skin with warm water and gently pat dry.
Finding Balance with Marma Points
If you want to go deeper into your self-care routine, you can apply pressure to your marma points. Each point correlates with a particular physical and mental aspect of your mind and body. These points help us balance our energy, lymphatic, nervous, and circulatory systems.
With the following list to guide you, use your middle fingers and apply a moderate amount of pressure to each point for 30–60 seconds.
- The center of the chin (reproductive region)
- The corners of the mouth (metabolism)
- Between the nose and upper lip (cerebral circulation)
- The outer corners of the nose (sinuses)
- The center of cheekbones (lungs)
- Lower lids, just above the cheekbones (adrenals)
- The junction between the eyebrows and nose, on the lower part of the eyebrow ridge (liver/spleen)
- The temples (stress headaches and colon)
- Third eye or sixth chakra (the middle of the forehead, slightly higher than where the eyebrows meet)
- Crown of the head or crown chakra (place hands on crown of head and massage with your finger pads)
This therapeutic treatment is not about vanity. Real self-care is about nourishment on the levels of understanding, compassion, and balance for all three bodies: physical, mental, and emotional. Enjoy your beautiful self and try these suggestions for inner and outer beauty.