Just recently, I was viewing a lecture of a sadhu (a holy person) in the Himalayas who lived in Gangotri, at the mouth of the Ganges River. While he was talking, he was giving himself an oil massage. This, of course, is a day-to-day practice in India, called abhyanga, however the way he did it took me by surprise
As he was talking, he was massaging his legs, knees and thighs with oil, however what struck me was the way he was doing it. Instead of merely using the oil, he appeared to be loving his skin with each stroke, yet still able to hold his ideas and lecture.
His love and focus on his leg massage was so caring that if he wasn't a long-lasting celibate monk, I would have wondered about him. As I watched him talk while he rubbed himself, I understood the value of a loving touch. In reality, as I enjoyed him, I noticed everything he did was with a sense of heightened awareness.
In this post, I want to talk about the science behind a daily oil massage and the science behind the love and affection of such a massage. Doing this everyday to yourself-- or to another-- is, as stated in Ayurveda, "much better for you than for who you are rubbing."
This is the concept that when we do something with our complete interest, it is much better for us as we are doing it than it is for the things of our actions. Viewing this sadhu was the embodiment of a process-oriented (rather than goal-oriented) massage. It seemed like he could have easily invested hours caring and massaging his leg.
The Science of a Caring Touch
Research study on massage has actually revealed that it increases the production of oxytocin, which is a naturally-secreted hormone in the body that supports optimum levels of physical health along with love, kindness, empathy, and bonding. Research has revealed that without having caring relationships, even if all of their other fundamental needs are being met, people do not flourish.
Oxytocin is the bonding hormonal agent secreted by the mom, child as well as papa during giving birth, and links the family for life. Oxytocin is produced when you offer, love, bond, touch and take care of others. The catch is that you should do it unconditionally, without need or expectation. It is a naturally rejuvenative, rebuilding hormone-- which means the more oxytocin you produce, the more of it you make.
Oxytocin is launched in response to touch, including massage, low-intensity stimulation of the skin, and warm temperature. Massage assists the body cope with tension in ways that are only simply beginning to be understood. Also, massage has been found to increase oxytocin and reduce tension hormonal agents such as adrenocorticotropin hormonal agent (ACTH), nitric oxide (NO), and beta-endorphin (BE).
In another recent study published in the professional peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medication, 95 topics had their blood levels examined for numerous amounts of chemicals prior to and after a 15-minute massage. Oxytocin levels increased by 17% for the group that got massage. The control group who just rested revealed a 9% decrease in oxytocin. ACTH (adrenocorticotropin), which increases with tension, enhanced by 30% for the group who rested without receiving massage. Interestingly, it reduced by 20% for those who were in the massage group.
One of the ways that oxytocin works is by altering the microbiology on the skin throughout the massage. A loving touch will increase oxytocin which, in turn, changes the microorganisms in a manner that supports quantifiable health gains.
For instance, to determine the microbial effect of oxytocin, in one research study topics were offered probiotics and their oxytocin levels enhanced. The boost of oxytocin revealed measurable modifications in skin and hair quality and basic "glow of health," immune and hormonal balance, improved physical fitness and reproductive factors, the capability for skin wound healing, and was shown to impact mindset and social habits.
The External Skin's Response to Massage Oil.
All over you touch your body, there are nerve endings. The sensory nerves on the skin are exposed to consistent tactile, circadian, microbial, emotional, and ecological stressors 24/7. In fact, simply one arm has over a million nerve endings of which you can relax by adoringly using oil.
I keep in mind years earlier, when I utilized to work with Deepak Chopra, I was in a various city every weekend for weeks, lecturing and teaching with Deepak. I am rather sure I crossed method too many time zones for my bad circadian clock.
I keep in mind getting into this habit from survival: as quickly as I would show up in our brand-new destination, I would shower and provide myself an oil massage. The results were impressive. I could feel my whole body calm down and unwind, and quickly stop ringing from the travel.
Call another method you can relax the 20,000,000 nerve receptors in the body's skin in just a few minutes?!
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