If you have grown up and lived in India, you must surely have had some experience with oil massages. Oil massages have been an integral part of the Indian culture, in many different ways. Most regions in India make it a regular part of an initial couple of months of an infant’s life. Both the mother and the baby are given good oil massages. The mother so that the body recovers from the stress and strain of childbirth and the baby so that the body is well developed as well as the infant feels good and takes a good sleep.
Due to hectic schedules, oil massages have taken a backseat nowadays. Few have it on weekends, and a few keep it for special occasions, especially, having one on Diwali is a common thing. In the northern parts of the country, mustard oil massages are used commonly to counter pains and obtain relief from cold. In the southern regions, coconut oil is used mostly for the same purposes. Apart from the body, oil massage is also done on the head, again for relief from stress and pain as well as aiding hair growth.
Benefits to seniors
Without a doubt, there are many benefits of an oil massage that have now been proved by various studies. It benefits people of all ages and more so for seniors. Here is a list of why should try out a massage at some time.
1. As we age, the blood circulation is usually affected, and there is no better way to improve it than have a good oil massage. The massage helps in getting the blood flowing through the various parts of the body.
2. One of the most significant concerns of aging is balancing oneself and avoiding falls. Oil massages help in improving the blood circulation, which in turn helps improve the sense of the relative position of body parts. Thus, it can help people to improve their balance and gait.
3. Oil massages help soften the muscles and tissues. Usually, due to stress and strain, and especially as we age, the muscles tighten, and a good massage can reverse this. Also, since this means that the joints and muscles are softened up; it makes you more flexible as well. This could be a real blessing for people who have arthritis etc.
4. A good massage also helps in releasing endorphins, hormones, and neurotransmitters and this is beneficial for the functioning of the nervous system. The hormones like serotonin and dopamine (the happy hormone) also get released and provide an overall good feeling, leaving one contented and happy.
5. One other issue that we usually find in aged people is sleeplessness. A good oil massage can work wonders on your sleep and help you have a good rest.
6. Massages are also said to help relieve the body from a lot of toxins and as such, can help keep a person healthy.
7. Last, but not the least, it makes you feel good, loved and pampered, especially if you are getting it done professionally by someone
Where and how
If you can afford to, it is best to tie up with some regular or Ayurvedic spa to figure out what best works for you. Many people take up a weekly, fortnightly or a monthly massage to distress and feel good. Certified Ayurvedic doctors can also check you out and suggest what is good as well as the periodicity of the same. This can help you get that pampered feeling and perhaps, once in a while; it is good to go in for such things.
If not, you can try this out at home as well. That is something that all of us are used to. Depending on what we are used to, the oil can be massaged into the body parts well by self or with someone’s help. If taking a whole body massage, then it is better to do it a little before bath. One may leave it for a while so that the body gets time to soak it in for maximum benefits. You may then take a hot water bath, with multiple rinsing with soap for ensuring that it is washed off.
Note: Please note a bath following an oil massage can also be the cause of falls in the bathroom, if not handled properly. Hence, it is best to take an assisted bath, if possible for safety purposes. It may be better to use anti-skid mats or install grab bars as well and take a bath seated on a stool. Also, make sure that the bathroom gets a good thorough wash after this is done, as the oil lingering on the floor causes falls more often. So, while doing this at home, one needs to be extremely careful. Also, if you have any specific medical conditions, it is always better to check once with your doctor, before attempting such things.