Practicing self-care techniques at home can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health at this difficult time.
Here's a simple marma face massage which can be practiced daily to achieve brighter skin and to help alleviate headaches.
Ayurveda, meaning ‘science of life’, is the ancient healing system of India. Marma therapy, an important aspect of ayurveda, focuses on balancing the subtle energy (‘prana’) of the body to support healing and maintain health and wellbeing. It involves the manipulation of 107 different points that are considered access points to the body, mind and spirit. These marma points are located all over the body, and being generally larger and less specific than reflexology or acupressure points, it’s very easy to massage them yourself.
DIY MARMA FACE MASSAGE
Even spending a few minutes each day massaging your own face can make a huge difference to how you look and feel. Your eyes and skin will appear brighter, and you may help alleviate headaches and sinus problems, too. Try this simple routine and see for yourself:
• First, cleanse your face and neck, and apply a small amount of your favourite facial oil, massaging it gently over the entire area.
• Work on each of the points shown, massaging these gently with your finger(s), three times in each direction.
• Finish by pinching and tapping all over your face and neck and then thoroughly massaging your ears and scalp..
THE 12 FACIAL MARMAS
1. STHAPANI (support) – clears mind
2. AVARTA (calamity) – eye tension
3. SHANKA (temple) – tension headaches, memory
4. UTKSHEPA (upwards) – emotional tension
5. APANGA (outer eye corner) – sinuses, photophobic headaches
6. PHANA (serpent’s hood) – sinus congestion
7. SHRINGATAKA (where four roads meet) – tongue, nose, eyes, ears
8. USTA (mouth) – alertness, libido, appetite suppression
9. VIDHURA (distress) – all ear problems
10. MANYA (honour) – circulation, taste, voice
11. SIRA MATRIKA (mother of blood vessels/carotid arteries) – blood flow to head
12. NILA (dark blue/jugular veins) – thyroid, speech, circulation from brain
Neroli (orange blossom) is often referred to as the ‘rescue remedy’ of essential oils and is useful for helping to ease anxiety and stress while Bergamot is traditionally used in Italian folk medicine to relieve tension and anxiety.
Some essential oils have anti-viral properties (although there is no evidence that they work against COVID-19). Eucalyptus, Tea-Tree or Rosemary can help support the respiratory system. You can add a couple of drops to hot water for a steam inhalation or simply add one or two drops of your chosen oil (such as sesami, olive, grapeseed, rosehip or argan oi) to a tissue and gently inhale when required, pour a small amount of the blended oil to your hands and massage into the skin.